Hi gang! I wanted to add this note (post) on here with all the other posts made this week, that in lieu of the upcoming Ernest Hemingway week, I will have another post or two in the upcoming days devoted to him. Since Oak Park, Il talks about Hemingway as their favorite son as if he devoted his life to this Oak Park, IL I decided I would put my money where my mouth is and go to the Historical birthplace of Ernest Hemingway (and his siblings) and the Hemingway museum on Oak Park avenue. And so this past Sunday on the 10th I did the whole tour of the birthplace and wandered around the small museum to get a better picture of the man instead up-close and personal than what you read online and in books.
The guides at the Hemingway house and museum are incredible with their in-depth knowledge repository they have regarding this man, and if you do go to either I recommend going on a Sunday and not during the celebratory week. Mainly because the room in Hemingway’s birthplace are so small that with the guide only about ten of us could fit at a time, plus it gives you enough time to peruse the museum even further without tons of crowds.
Some of the furniture and photos in the house (on the first floor) are reproductions but that does not mean that you can act like a bull in a china shop! I was not sure about the flash photography in Hemingway’s birthplace so I took a bunch of photos with my phone! I then used my digital camera with and without the flash option at the museum. Altogether I took about 125 pictures, I have not gone through and reviewed all of them for quality purposes and will be posting them at various times I talk about Hemingway here on the blog.
The tour runs about $15 per person, so taking pictures is very much recommended. Note that the tour guides wait for you as they go room to room so be very fast taking pictures! You do not have time to do your best Herb Ritts impression with limited time and being mashed in a room with ten people. Plus, there is a four-hour BBC documentary about Hemingway, that includes an interview with Hemingway’s sister. Yes, I said four hours and no, I did not stay in the museum to watch it because I had a lot of water before I went into the Hemingway birthplace. Please note I do not think you can be chugging on liquids there because of some of the antiques and the public bathrooms, that I found were at the museum, not birthplace, so keep that in mind if you go when it is really hot out!
The tour was great we learned a lot about Hemingway, especially the fact that when he came back from World War 1 he did not feel at home here in Oak Park, IL add to that his upbringing, mother, and dalliances with women I see why he did not stay or like it here. Quick fact Hemingway lived in Spain and ended up in Idaho before ending his life, never staying here in Oak Park, IL longer than he needed. Also, it is mentioned that he felt at home in the Michigan summerhouse that his family owned more than the other family homes (there were two) here in Oak Park, IL. So I guess even the museum reinforces the Hemingway’s attitude about Oak Park, IL
So with that said, I guess even the museum reinforces the Hemingway’s attitude and his previous “wide lawns..” statement about Oak Park, IL were based upon his experiences and cannot be argued otherwise. Its seems like this blog Hemingway states that Oak Park, IL is an okay place to visit but not to stay!