(Oops . . . for some reason this didn't post yesterday ... )
We're happily ensconced in the Perry Hotel in Petosky, Michigan, where Hemingway and his family vacationed from the Chicago suburb of Oak Park. The Hemingway conference started yesterday, with a very pleasant musical review and a cocktail party with "substantial" munchies. Very substantial, as the food tends to be in this neck of the woods.
Gay and I had a fine drive of a couple of hours through farmland with a little woods, all reminiscent of her family's Western Maryland. Room wasn't ready yet, so we wandered the streets of Petosky. A nice lunch at Uncle Lou's.
This grand old hotel was built in 1899, the year after Hemingway's birth. I haven't nosed around looking for evidence of his passage. (I always have to think about the bar in Barcelona that has a plaque, "Ernest Hemingway Never Ate Here.")
Hemingway's reminiscences of his youth are complex and not remarkably happy, but I think he always loved this place, where he learned to fish and hunt. (I've just seen a famous picture of the embryonic big-game hunter, a gangly teenager grinning over about twenty microscopic fish taken from this lake.)
About two hundred people showed up last night for the reception and concert. Especially glad to see
Strange how everybody else seems to be two years older, while Gay and I continue unfazed.Off to the opening ceremonies.