Oak Park is all Frank Lloyd Wright all the time, but he is not the only golden boy. Ernest Hemingway was born and raised through his teenage years in Oak Park as well. Both his birthplace and museum are a great way to appreciate a local American author.
Even though this quote sounds like an introduction at an AA meeting, it is actually an excerpt from his notebook during junior high predicting his future. He followed that dream. (Wouldn't it be fun if we could see our own journal entry of what we said we were going to do while we were still in junior high?)
The museum has many photos for viewing and quotes, excerpts and explanations for what was happening at each period in his life, his travels to Paris, and his Nobel Prize.
And what if we had to do this...list 3 adults essential to our beginning. Who would you credit? I'll wait while you think.
After making a quick zip through the museum or a lengthy visit reading every word, visitors can head just down the street to his birthplace.
And also how small the furniture was. His mother's bed is so tiny!
His grandfather was a huge influence on Ernest. He was one of the adults in his life that he always looked to for advice. Ernest would spend time in Michigan with him.
The Ernest Hemingway Foundation continues to foster and improve the home for visitors and the museum is always hosting events. Click on the link for the foundation to see what is offered.
After both tours, my husband and I headed to Hemmingway's Bistro for a romantic meal. (Not that I needed to bribe him with food...Ok, so maybe I had to bribe him with food.)
We arrived early, but by the time we left, this place was full.
To enjoy a relaxed afternoon and evening in Oak Park that is all about Hemingway, bring someone with that likes to read... or eat.
You don't have to be in a book club or even an avid reader to appreciate the history of Hemingway's young life, although it may encourage you to pick up one of his classics and read. Maybe you will find that he loved you. I know I do.