How Ernest Hemingway viewed Oak Park, IL

Hemingway is such a cornerstone of Oak Park’s existence; they even have a Hemingway district in honor of the famous author. However, in regards to what Hemingway thought about his place of origin, as one of my readers (Nick) pointed out was that Hemingway stated that Oak Park was a place of “wide lawns and narrow minds”.

So like every lazy 21st-century researcher (and college student) I googled the quote to double check and I got conflicting information about the quote from one (opinion) article but multiple sources that state Hemingway truly stated this phrase upon how Hemingway viewed Oak Park.

This is the line to the one opinion piece/article that says Hemingway did not mean Oak Park “but that Hemingway was referring to his parents/upbringing” as narrow-minded!

This is dissenting article here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/oak-park/news/chi-sp-the-wide-lawns-myth-ernest-hemingway-in-oak-park-20141219-story.html

But tons of other places/sites state that Hemingway did say it! Making our reader (as usual) 100% correct, I would go with the latter because Hemingway is a huge thing here in Oak Park. These are just three of the different sites pursued over to basically verify the quote and give Nick a big thumbs up!

These are the supporting articles:

http://www.lostgeneration.com/childhood.htm

http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/31360.html

http://www.oaknopark.com/2011/05/wide-lawns-and-narrow-minds.html

http://www.neh.gov/humanities/1999/julyaugust/feature/celebrating-ernest-hemingway%E2%80%99s-century

For tourism sake, just the name rings of greatness and is, of course, synonymous with Oak park due to being his place of birth (the house is still there) and this famous saying. Meaning Hemingway brings in money, so debunking his all too famous saying of Hemingway’s, well it is of course in Oak Park’s best interest.

It would be like Prince saying he hated Minnesota or George Washington saying America was not worth the Revolution! If an icon talked crazy about something like a hometown that they were being praised by, it would be very unseemly (to say the least). Debunking Hemingway fuels his statement and literally supports his statement because of course narrow minds always shoot down facts or make excuses for events that have actually happen!

Plus, after living here a couple months and a bunch of blogs entries later, I am inclined to agree with Hemingway’s assessment. I wonder if Hemingway were alive today what would he think, was there any changes in attitudes or is just the same shit, different day? I believe it would be the latter, what do you think?

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