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Hemingway Adventure

Petoskey, Michigan

Horton Creek, Michigan, USA 
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Michael Palin - Hemingway AdventureBest Western Motor Inn, Petoskey. Woken by the sound of someone pacing about above me. This is a motel and you expect a certain amount of ambient noise but this goes on for almost three hours, broken only by the occasional sharp ping of bedsprings, and a momentary lull before the pacing starts again.

I find myself unwillingly drawn into all sorts of speculation about the nature of the pacer, ranging from serial somnambulist, to man wondering how to tell wife about girlfriend, man wondering how to tell girlfriend about wife, man wondering how to tell wife and girlfriend about garage mechanic, to man preparing to kill us all at breakfast.

The only way that I can curb my hyperactive imagination is to exchange it for someone else’s, so I reach for my copy of the Nick Adams stories. I’m struck by the number of times the local Indians feature in them. It’s as if Hemingway found something in their way of life that was lacking in his own, something raw and elemental, a direct confrontation with sex and death and pain. Whatever it was, he kept coming back to it.

He was a very tall Indian and had made Nick an ash canoe paddle. He had lived alone in the shack and drank pain killer and walked through the woods alone at night. Many Indians were that way.

‘The Indians Moved Away’

People in Petoskey tell me that it was once the largest Indian village in Michigan, but now all that’s changed. For a start Indians are not called Indians any more. They’re called Native Americans and if I want to see what they do now I should drive north to the Kewadin Casino. It is owned and run by descendants of the tribes Hemingway wrote about.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Hemingway Adventure
  • Chapter: Petoskey, Michigan
  • Country/sea: USA
  • Place: Petoskey, Michigan
  • Book page no: 29

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