Smith accepts induction into Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame with grace and humor

The best line from John L. Smith’s acceptance speech after being inducted into the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame came after he recounted how the most famous member of that august hall left town — either to avoid a duel or being brought up on charges of arranging a duel. Smith noted it is easier to “spin a yarn if no one is threatening to shoot you or sue you into bankruptcy.” This was followed by knowing laughs.

Smith also claimed he could out drink Twain, perhaps forgetting just how Sam Clemens got that nickname. Upon entering the bar in Virginia City after a thirst-inducing deadline he did not shout to the barkeep to put two on his tab, instead he called out: “Mark twain.”