“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, January 17, 1922, Oak Park, Illinois

Grace Hall Hemingway, 49, and her husband, Dr. Clarence Hemingway, 50, are eagerly reading the latest letters from one of their sons, Ernest, 21, currently living in Paris with his new wife, Hadley, 30, from St. Louis.

Hemingway home in Oak Park, Illinois

The Hemingways are at least glad that Ernest has decided what he wants to do with his life. Before the newlyweds left for Paris in December, he had a job, editing some company newsletter, but he was hanging out with his young friends a bit too much for Grace’s taste.

Ernie and Hadley were eager to move to Europe—first they planned on Italy but decided on France. She has a trust fund to supplement his income as foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star.

Ernest writes to his parents that he and Hadley have moved out of the hotel they were staying in and now live in a fourth-floor walk-up apartment. Rent, food and drink are, thanks to a terrific exchange rate, really cheap. Dinner for both of them for 12 francs with a glass of wine! Grace hopes they don’t spend too much of their money on that cheap wine.


Elsewhere in Oak Park, another couple, the Whites, are welcoming their first child, Betty, born today.

The Whites’ new baby, Betty

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and also in print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

On February 3, 2022, we will be celebrating the 148th birthday of my fellow Pittsburgher Gertrude Stein, at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill. You can register for this free event, or sign up to watch it via Zoom, here

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.

At the end of February I am talking about the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses at the Osher Lifelong Learning program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

2 thoughts on ““Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, January 17, 1922, Oak Park, Illinois

  1. What?! Betty was from Oak Park too?!
    That house looks so much like my uncle’s on Home Ave in Oak Park. Beautiful neighborhood.

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    • Yes! I decided to do something on her when I heard her birthday was coming up. I was just chuffed when I found out she was born in Oak Park. Couldn’t get an address tho. Like Gertrude’s family in Pittsburgh, the Whites headed to California when Betty was only a few months old. Did you get the blog I sent you to read the other day? It’s about Scott and Zelda…

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