Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Books · An Ernest Endeavor
. . . .

An Ernest Endeavor

Glen D. Young - June 14th, 2010
An Ernest Endeavor: Picturing Young Hemingway in Northern Michigan
Picturing Hemingway’s Michigan
Wayne State University Press
216 pages, 269 illustrations
$39.95
By Glen Young
It would be easy to believe that there’s nothing new to say about
Ernest Hemingway. Writers as well as relatives have detailed the
history of Michigan’s most iconic writer in every manner of
publication.
However, in Picturing Hemingway’s Michigan, Michael Federspiel digs
deep into the Hemingway legend, mining old family photos, as well as
those that have been seen elsewhere, to provide a context that has not
been thoroughly explored. “A lot of people have talked about
Hemingway up north, but few have talked about Up North with Hemingway
in it,” Federspiel says. “I place him in the context of Northern
Michigan,” he adds.
Federspiel, a faculty member of Central Michigan University’s history
department, as well as curriculum specialist with Midland Public
Schools, is also president of the Michigan Hemingway Society. He came
upon the idea for the book somewhat unexpectedly. Working with the
Michigan Humanities Council on 2007’s Big Read, which featured
Hemingway’s The Nick Adams Stories, Federspiel says, “I had pulled
together a lot of stories about Hemingway in Michigan.” When a
council board member suggested his research would make for an
interesting book, Federspiel was intrigued. When Wayne State
University Press showed interest, the project took shape.
During 2008, Federspiel recalibrated his objective, spending a good
deal of time in the archives of the Little Traverse Historical Society
in Petoskey. He utilized the Petoskey Public Library, and Hemingway
family archives as well. A valuable source was Hemingway’s nephew Jim
Stafford, a Walloon Lake area resident who is the son of Hemingway’s
older sister Marcelline. Stafford has been sharing his archive with
Central Michigan University’s Clarke Historical Library. “These items
have had limited availability, and some have never been seen in the
publishing world,” Federspiel says.

AVID PHOTOGRAPHER
What results from this collaborative assistance is a photo heavy book
providing fresh evidence of Northern Michigan’s enduring influence on
Hemingway’s work.
“Hemingway’s mother was a serious scrapbooker and his father was an
avid photographer,” Federspiel says. “She made scrapbooks for each
child. Some of the photos appear in more than one scrapbook and some
don’t.”
Federspiel’s large format book relies heavily on the Hemingway
photographs, but included also are photos and advertisements of the
era depicting the importance of the railroads and the plush hotels
that dotted the area in the early part of the 20th century.
In his introduction, Federspiel explains, “The Hemingways’ arrival
coincided with dramatic changes in northern Michigan.” When the
railroads laid tracks through the clear-cut acreage of old growth
white pine, “Local businessmen and railroad executives immediately
went to work marketing the region for tourism.”
Business owners and speculators knew, “More growth in the region meant
more profit.” It was into this evolving environment that Hemingway’s
physician father Clarence brought his young family from Oak Park,
Illinois, eventually settling on the Walloon Lake. “They resembled
others in their lifestyle and background, and there was little to
indicate anything special about them,” Federspiel writes.
Vintage photos of the Petoskey-Harbor Springs region show not only the
Hemingway family and other resorters, but also highlight the elaborate
resort hotels, such as the Cushman and the Arlington, which could
accommodate upwards of 800 guests before it was destroyed by fire in
1915.
Federspiel believes one result of the book is a revelation about the
area. “Petoskey was a far more sophisticated place than most people
realize.”

HAMMING IT UP
Photographs of Horton’s Creek, where Hemingway fished as a young boy,
figure prominently also. There are photos of a youthful Hemingway
proudly displaying a string of trout, while others show him hamming it
up with boyhood friends like Bill Smith. Here, too, are photos of a
teen age Hemingway hopping a freight train, and camping with friends
near the Black River.
Of Hemingway’s most famous short story, “Big Two Hearted River,”
Federspiel writes, “The real trip was a test of Ernest’s endurance. It
would involve significant hiking and stream wading on his injured
leg.” Hemingway famously damaged his leg while a driver in the Red
Cross ambulance corps in Italy during World War One. He returned to
Petoskey to recuperate, then traveled north to Seney, the location of
the fishing in the famous short story. (The Big Two Hearted River is
located to the northeast of Seney but Hemingway chose to use the name
of the river for poetic reasons.)
Federspiel considers the success of his book is in showing both how
Hemingway’s literary future was shaped while he romped through
Northern Michigan, as well as in demonstrating that Hemingway’s
experiences were not unlike others who vacation here.
“The Hemingway family experience isn’t remarkable; it sounds like
everyone else’s,” he says. “Largely people do the same things (when
up north). They pick on their brothers, go swimming, and roast
marshmallows.”
“If I did it right,” Federspiel believes, “the book will appeal to
folks who have an interest in the Little Traverse Region.” He also
hopes to demystify Hemingway as much as that is possible. “I hope the
book makes Hemingway more approachable to those who don’t have a
history with him.”

Michael Federspiel will sign copies of Picturing Hemingway’s Michigan
on June 19, at McLean and Eakin Booksellers, 307 E. Lake Street,
Petoskey, from 1 to 3 p.m. and at Horizon Books in Traverse City on
July 31 from 2-4 p.m.

 
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