I will confess, like many others, I have spent most of my life with an instinctual stereotype in my head of Indiana as a flat, boring state. This is not true. Admittedly, some areas are quite a bit less interesting than others. Such can be said of every state in our great nation, however.
So it goes…
The city of Indianapolis holds many surprises for those like me assuming Indiana has little to offer (much like Jerry’s CD labeled “Rock and Roll” suddenly playing “The Bare Necessities,” which made me laugh out loud). I was happy to see a canal and signs advertising gondola rides upon arriving at my next location. Though I was tempted to embark on a gondola ride, I was on the fence as to whether I would feel silly or depressed doing this alone.
Besides, I was too busy making my way to the KURT VONNEGUT MEMORIAL LIBRARY- 340 Senate Blvd., Indianapolis, IN. Kurt Vonnegut, for those unaware, was an author of many offbeat novels and short stories published from the early 50s up through his death in 2007 (and some works posthumously published beyond then). He is described as a “morbidly comical commentator on the society in which he lived.” Those familiar with any of his works understand completely what this means. His novels include Slaughterhouse Five; God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater; Cat’s Cradle; and more.
What many people may not realize is that Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis, which inspired many portions of his writing, hence the city being home to his memorial library.
“Library” is a loose term here. It is actually more of a museum with Vonnegut paraphernalia on display and free tours available. I walked in and was not sure how to feel about the fact that the library/museum was really only 2 small rooms. With the space being so small, when the girl at the desk offered to give me a tour, I was expecting this to only take about 10-15 minutes. My tour guide was so well informed with interesting facts about Vonnegut’s life and career that it actually was closer to 45 minutes.
Local art inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s works.
Kurt Vonnegut’s typewriter.
Recreation of his work space (considering he was 6’2, this seems cramped). Visitors are invited to play Vonnegut by sitting down and typing.
Strange factoid: Kurt Vonnegut wanted to sue a tobacco company because his cigarettes did not kill him like he was told they would, but died from health complications brought about by tripping over his dogs’ leashes.
Also available at the memorial library is merchandise including shirts, books, and more. If I had more time (and more money!), I would have splurged. If only they had audiobooks for this big, long road trip…
At the end of the tour, the guide told us (2 gentlemen joined my tour a few minutes in) that there is a Kickstarter campaign to move into a bigger space as they have so much more that has to sit in storage due to lack of room. Hey, you sitting there reading this, here’s an idea! Go to bit.ly/soitgrows and donate some money for this cause. Even if it’s just $5. They have some nifty incentives for you if you do. Hurry up, though, the campaign ends July 14th, 2016!
After you do that, whenever you happen into the Indianapolis area, stop by the museum and buy a Slaughterhouse Five t-shirt for me.
Until next time, dahlings…