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Hemingway's Ketchum

The writer’s legacy in the town that he helped transform

(page 1 of 2)

On the morning of Ernest Hemingway’s death, long shadows tugged at a typewriter perched at the window where clear Idaho skies hovered over the Wood River Valley. Throughout his writing life, Hemingway had always visited Ketchum in the fall, when the impending winter carried a sharpness, and fallen aspen and cottonwood leaves perfumed the air with the bouquet of changing seasons. After much of a lifetime in Italy, Paris, Cuba, Spain and Africa, Ketchum had become home. Hemingway and his wife, Mary, left behind Caribbean fecundity for the arid West, a place where he had friends–actors, socialites and cowboys–from many years and many visits. This was his first summer.

Hemingway boasted never missing a sunrise, and the morning of July 2, 1961, was a glorious one. Sunlight spilled into the bedroom where he slept alone. Down the hall, in her separate room, Mary slept.

Sun Valley Magazine encourages its readers to post thoughtful and respectful comments on all of our online stories. Your comments may be edited for length and language.

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Mar 22, 2012 12:07 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

I wouldn't say the wilderness has been tamed or packaged - in fact -it's surrounded by endless mountains and wilderness.

Jul 17, 2012 11:38 am
 Posted by  iltcinmm

Thanks David Frey. I'm spending a week in southern Idaho in a few days and planned on visiting Ketchum because of the Hemingway connection. Your story provides me the perfect setting of the town - while all things must change, it doesn't mean that they're for the better or even if they are, that we have to like them.

David Kolhoff

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