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Posts Tagged ‘Idaho’

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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I took this photo of the Liberty Theater yesterday morning in Lewiston, Idaho. I don’t know how many of these postcards have been photos of classic main street movie theaters in the United States, but this isn’t the first and it won’t be the last.

Scott W. Smith

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Postcard #169 (Lewiston Hill)

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I took this photo today overlooking Lewiston, Idaho. 

According to Wikipedia, “Lewiston is located at the confluence of the Snake River and Clearwater River, thirty miles (50 km) upstream and southeast of the Lower Granite DamBecause of dams (and their locks) on the Snake and Columbia River, Lewiston is reachable by some ocean-going vessels.”

This is the region where the Lewis and Clark expedition passed on its way to finding a passage to the Pacific Ocean.

Scott W. Smith

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There are two performances by actors that stick in my mind as transcending acting. In both performances I had not see the actors before which helped bring a sense of heightened reality to the roles they played. And both come down to a single scene that burned into my memory. One was Denzel Washington and his role in Glory when he was being whipped, and the other was Scott Glenn’s role in Urban Cowboy when he drinks from a bottle of tequilla and eats the worm.

Glenn had actually been kicking around Hollywood for 15 years by the time he played the tough ex-con in Urban Cowboy.  But as he approached 40 he had given up on Hollywood and moved to Idaho with his wife and family. His agent talked him into auditioning for the role and the rest is history. From then on the former Marine was a Hollywood movie star.

What I remember when I watched his performance is that I thought, “This guy isn’t an actor, he’s a real bad ass.” Glenn has said he picks roles not for the story but whether or not the character interests him as something he wants to spend four months doing. But there is a Glenn quote I remembered reading years ago that I thought would be a fitting quote of the day.

I couldn’t find the original quote but did find one in the same vein where in speaking about his decision to move to Ketchum, Idaho back in 1978 Glenn said:

My plan was to get a job as a bartender and apprentice myself out as a cross-country ski guide for hunting and fishing and do Shakespeare in the park in Boise during the summer until the kids were older.”

That’s a spirit I can appreciate.

 

Scott W. Smith

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