Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hemingway and Faulkner Join the Literary Garden!

I am so excited to share that we have two more American literary legends on board for the garden!

Ernest Hemingway will be represented in the garden in a special MICHIGAN connection. Hemingway's Nick Adams stories are based on his boyhood summers in northern Michigan, especially in the Horton Bay and Petoskey areas. Chris Struble, President of the Michigan Hemingway Society, has offered to send a mint plant mentioned in "Summer People," as noted by Phillip Greene, author of the book and blog "To Have and Have Another:"

"The Hemingway short story 'Summer People' is yet another of the great, semi-autobiographical Nick Adams stories, set in the Michigan woods of Hemingway’s youth. His family spent their summers near Petoskey, at their cottage Windemere, on Lake Walloon. 'Summer People' is set in the town of Horton Bay, named for an inlet of nearby Lake Charlevoix. The story begins:
'Halfway down the gravel road from Hortons Bay (sic), the town, to the lake there was a spring. The water came up in a tile sunk beside the road, lipping over the cracked edge of the tile and flowing away through the close growing mint into the swamp. In the dark Nick put his arm down into the spring but could not hold it there because of the cold. He felt the featherings of the sand spouting up from the spring cones at the bottom against his fingers. Nick thought, I wish I could put all of myself in there. I bet that would fix me. He pulled his arm out and sat down at the edge of the road. It was a hot night.'
In October of 2013, while presenting at the Michigan Hemingway Society’s annual conference, I visited Horton Bay, and was fortunate enough to talk with Jim Hartwell, proprietor of the Hartwell & Co. Bookshop, part of the Red Fox Inn. Jim’s grandfather Vollie Fox is said to have tutored the young Hemingway on trout fishing in Horton’s Creek. Jim directed me to the very spring mentioned in the story, 'halfway down the' now-paved road toward the lake. Sure enough, mint still grows around the spring. I took a few cuttings, and now I have some of that very mint growing at my home. Kinda neat, in an admittedly geeky way."
Mr. Greene, I feel exactly the same way!
Another literary legend is headed our way - William Faulkner! William Griffith, the curator of Rowan Oak, Faulkner's home in Oxford, Mississippi, has offered to send a cutting of a rose bush. This is a perfect choice for our 10th grade American literature students who read Faulkner's most famous short story, "A Rose for Emily." 

We are not done! We may have a few surprises up our sleeves! Stay tuned...
We are still looking for donations of pea gravel and plant mix (topsoil and compost) for the garden. Please contact me here if you can help.

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