The new 16-foot panel exhibit, The Piggott Connection, provides a timeline of Hemingway's visits to the Pfeiffer home, featuring a monthly log for the 1927-1940 years during which the Hemingway family--Ernest, Pauline and/or the Hemingway children--were in residence at Piggott. Family photos and excerpts from Hemingway's letters tell the story of his connections with Piggott and the Pfeiffer family.
John Hemingway will comment on his Pfeiffer heritage after the unveiling, followed by his book signing. Strange Tribe is a fascinating family memoir revealing the peculiar family dynamics between Ernest Hemingway and his youngest son Gregory. Gregory, the author's father, tried to live up to Ernest's "macho" reputation throughout his life. But as a cross-dresser and (eventually) a transsexual, Gregory struggled with personal demons up until his death in the Women's Correctional Facility of the Miami Dade County Jail in 2001. In this wonderfully crafted narrative, featuring unpublished correspondence between Ernest and Gregory, Strange Tribe reveals how they were actually "two sides of the same coin" with surprising similarities between the two.
John Hemingway's participation in the anniversary celebration is especially appropriate since his father, Gregory Hemingway, was the featured guest at the Grand Opening Celebration of the HPMEC in July 1999. Born in 1960, he is the half-brother of Lorian Hemingway, who also has visited Piggott. John has been married to his wife Ornella since 1984 and they have two children. After living in Italy and Spain, the family now resides in Montreal, Canada.
John Hemingway's visit to Arkansas also will include a reading and book signing at 3 p.m., Wednesday, July 29, at the Dean B. Ellis Library, Arkansas State University-Jonesboro, Third Floor Exhibit Area, and at 5 p.m. Thursday, July 30, at that Bookstore in Blytheville. Strange Tribe is available to purchase at all events.
HPMEC is an Arkansas State University Heritage Site at 1021 W. Cherry Street, Piggott, Arkansas. Tours are on the hour Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. For more information call 870-598-3487.