Rooster and I seldom have a day alone with nothing to do. We have two of our grandchildren on Saturdays. Other family responsibilities exist during the week. We have a full and active retirement, and it might seem like I’m complaining, but I’m not. These days, we have little opportunity to pull the motorcycle out of the shed and point it in the direction of a place we have never visited. Our adventure destination on this day became the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and library located at 543 Indiana Ave. Indianapolis, Indiana.
Why the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library
Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis on November 11, 1922, to a once-wealthy family who lost their fortune during the depression. His grandfather was a prominent architect, and the family owned a hardware store. Kurt served in the military during World War II. He was a prisoner of war during the bombing of Dresden. He and other POWs survived by hiding in a meatpacking plant locker with Slaughterhouse-five printed on the door.
Vonnegut had a fifty-year writing career. A list of the novels he wrote includes Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat’s Cradle, and Breakfast of Champions. Many of his books were banned, which started his battle against censorship. Toward the end of his life, he lost interest in writing novels. He focused most of his attention on short stories and painting.
Our visit to the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library
Rooster and I rode to Indiana Avenue, unsure what to expect when we arrived at the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library. The facility recently moved from its old location into a building that once included a Cajan restaurant. Rooster and I ate there many moons ago before the world shut down because of the virus. We found the building suitable to house the Vonnegut collection because it still retained a laid-back New Orleans feel. We walked past an interesting window display.
Our first stop contained a replica of the writer’s study. Vonnegut was a tall man who worked close to the floor. He thought the sensation of being uncomfortable important while creating his stories.
The man wrote with a chicken lamp for inspiration. I somehow thought he was a kindred soul to the Henhouse Lady. Vonnegut understood the humor to be found in the lowly chicken.
One by McCarthy
Vonnegut’s original typewriter and glasses.
“so it goes”
Observations about our visit to the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library
Rooster and I enjoyed our visit. The young man who served as our guide was very knowledgeable. We learned a lot about the writer’s life and the banning of books. It appears all it takes is for someone not to like the book to have it removed from the library shelves. I think the issue of censorship is alive and well in American culture. It seems like censorship always came from the conservative and religious side of the political spectrum in the past. Both sides try to eliminate writings they don’t agree with or like these days. Some people will always find the ideas expressed between the pages of a book dangerous because there is power in the written word.
The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library also seemed like a great place to hang out. I noticed people sitting at tables with their laptops open writing. Someday when I’m low on inspiration, I might try this strategy. The facility had the feel of the perfect gathering place for artists of all kinds. This museum is slated to become Indiana’s first literary landmark. We saw a rally for the Ukraine on Monument Circle on our ride home, a living example of free speech.
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
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