I was in jr high school when I read this book and saw the movie and I remember that I cried--a lot. So when I learned that Ms Rawlings lived very near Ocala when she wrote the book I decided to visit her house.
After an hour of wandering down some very picturesque back roads I came to the state park and the house Ms Rawlings lived in for 25 years and where she was living when she wrote "The Yearling" and "Cross Creek".
When she and her husband first bought the property they planned to support themselves by growing oranges but the depression hit and the price of oranges dropped drastically.
The house was very modest and even when she won the Pulitzer Prize for her book and became hugely famous she continued to live here. The architecture is known as "Florida Cracker".
With her first royalties she screened in this porch and this is where she did most of her writing. This spot is just as peaceful and pleasant as it looks.
She brought many of her furnishings from her home in New York and all the furniture in the house is the original.
So it was all a little 'ho hum' to me until I learned that Gregory Peck slept in that bed! OMG! Also a few writers, actors, politicians and even a president slept in that bed--but who cares! Gregory Peck slept right there!
She even had a garden and that's an outhouse in the background. Her second royalty check bought her the first indoor bathroom in Cross Creek. She was so thrilled with it she filled the tub with ice and champagne and threw a party--in the bathroom! I wonder if Mr. Peck was there.
As I wondered around the town of Cross Creek I decided it really hasn't changed that much in 60+ years.
And I am reading "The Yearling" again and enjoying it. But something tells me I will cry--a lot.