It's always an awesome sight to see famous people in the Magic City. Back in the day, Billings was a big hot spot for celebrities, especially Country music artists. But, for my money, some of the most influential famous people in America are authors; they have the ability to influence and transport people to new worlds. And one of the most influential authors in American history spent some time, albeit not for a great reason, in Billings back in the 1930s. You've probably heard of him.

A Nasty Car Accident Left Him Hospitalized in Billings

Ernest Hemingway, the author of such works as A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls, had been driving out of Yellowstone National Park in November of 1930. He had been elk hunting with writer Jon Dos Passos, but after he took Dos Passos to the train station, Hemingway crashed his car outside of Laurel. According to a letter from Hemingway, the crash had been caused in no small part due to a "quart of bourbon."

The crash had severely broken Hemingway's arm, nearly severing it, which required a two month stay at St. Vincent's Hospital. His doctor, named Louis Allard, had to bind the fractured bones with Kangaroo tendon just to set the break, and it took nearly a whole year for the nerve damage in his had to fully heal.

His Stay Inspired One of His Short Stories

The stay in St. Vincent's Hospital inspired Hemingway with his short story titled The Gambler, The Nun and the Radio, which tells the story of a Mexican gambler in a hospital run by a convent in Montana. Sound familiar? It was published in 1933 in a collection of short stories. Talk about a big homage; that's quite the honor for St. Vincent's Hospital.

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Did you know this interesting tidbit about the famous American author? I never even knew about it until today. Do you have another story about an American icon in Billings? Let us know on the app, or on Facebook.

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