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Posts Tagged ‘For Whom the Bells Tolls’

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
—John Donne (from the poem For Whom the Bell Tolls)

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Yesterday I visited Ernest Hemingway’s grave in Ketchum, Idaho. After college I did the drive around the county and find yourself thing and made a stop in Ketchum. This was in the days before cell phones and points of interest were harder to gather and I missed seeing his grave.

I read my first Hemingway book when I was 17 years old. Not because I knew he was a literary giant, but because The Old Man and the Sea was the thinnest book of the selection that my American Literature teacher offered us to chose to do a report on.

A couple of years later I visited Hemingway’s house in Key West and wondered what Key West was like back before it became a cruise ship tourist mecca. I wonder the same thing about Ketchum. It’s a much more refined town than when I visited back in the ‘80s. It’s more like Aspen than Ketchum of the 1950s and 60s when Hemingway liked to rub shoulders in bars with everyday people. But it’s a fine mountain town that I’d love to call home.

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The Sun Valley Lodge is just a mile or so from downtown Ketchum and is said to be where Hemingway finished writing the novel For Whom the Bell Tolls.

P.S. Here’s the view looking west from Hemingway’s grave. Fitting for a man who had a love for nature going back to his younger days spent in northern Michigan.

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Scott W. Smith 

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