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Hemingway Adventure

Horton Bay, Michigan

Michael Palin - Hemingway AdventureThe Horton Bay Store next door has a nostalgic Norman Rockwell feel to it - the sort of place where they make TV ads for processed food - and as Betty Kelly makes us coffee I admire her collection of Hemingway photographs and newspaper cuttings. One of them, from the Detroit News, reports the return of Hemingway the famous writer to the area in the late forties. He told the paper that no, he wouldn’t be visiting Horton Bay. He said it would spoil his memories of the place.

Tonight we eat in a fine restaurant called Andante in Petoskey, whose chef, John Sheets, not only serves excellent fish but catches what he cooks. He agrees to take me out tomorrow for a fishing lesson on Horton Creek.

Before going back to our hotel I take a walk up to the corner of State and Woodland to look at the rooming house where Hemingway stayed in the winter of 1919 and from there I retrace his steps down to the same public library on Mitchell Street where he went most days to read the newspapers. The moon is full and the air is cold, and I feel myself in danger of entering a young Hemingway time warp. Turn in to the Park Garden Café for a night-cap and a dose of present-day reality. Order a beer and settle myself down at the bar. The barman nods approvingly. ‘Second seat from the end. That was Hemingway’s favourite.’
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  • Series: Hemingway Adventure
  • Chapter: Horton Bay, Michigan
  • Country/sea: USA
  • Place: Horton Bay, Michigan
  • Book page no: 27

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