Visiting the Homes of Patsy Cline, Babe Ruth and Edgar Allan Poe
From voaspecialenglish.com | facebook.com/voalearningenglish This small house in Winchester, Virginia, opened its doors to the public in August. It was home to singer Patsy Cline, who died at the age of 30. Judy Sue Huyett-Kempf is director of the Patsy Cline Historic House. "When she moved here, she was singing in local talent contests, church functions, anything that she could find at that point." "That piano she got when she was eight years old." Patsy's first cousin, Patricia Brannon, shows the house to visitors. Patricia was six years younger than Patsy and often visited her as a child. "Her mom, and her sister, and her brother and herself, was four of them. There was a not a whole lot of money. Like everybody else was hard time." Brannon's childhood memories helped return the house to the condition it was in in the late 1940s. She is pleased that Winchester is finally honoring her cousin, nearly 50 years after she died in a plane crash. "They all said that she was born on the wrong side of town. But when they purchased the house and they restored it, I think that was one of the best things that happened." Huyett-Kempf says many people had been waiting for this recognition. "I mean this is where she lived. Where she walked, where she ate, where she slept. We can only allow 20 people at a time in the house because the house is very small. And in the first five days we did over 600 people." Babe Ruth is considered one of the greatest baseball players in history. He was born in this house in Baltimore, Maryland. "Ruth was born here in 1895, February 6." Mike Gibbons is executive director of the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum. He says Ruth was the first sports superstar. "He is the first guy who ever had a sports agent. He is the first guy who ever was used to promote retail goods." Ruth's birthplace was supposed to be destroyed in the 1960s. The building was rescued by people in Baltimore, and has been open to the public for almost 40 years. "With his house we give them plenty of opportunities to touch where Babe Ruth, you know, walked around. Now he did not live here, but this was his grandparents' house, so he was in and out of this house for the first seven years of his life." Baltimore was also home to the famous writer Edgar Allan Poe. He is best known for his scary poems and stories. Poe's house is now the oldest in the city. Jeff Jerome is curator of the building. "We believe he lived here 1832 to 1835. He was around 25 years old at that time when he lived here and he shared this small house with his two cousins, Henry and Virginia, his aunt Maria Clemm, and his grandmother." Poe's attic bedroom looks much like historians believe it did when the writer lived there. "He probably, of course, had a bed, very similar to the one that we have. He had a chair, a washstand, and maybe a small table." Edgar Allan Poe is buried in Baltimore. Jerome says people travel from all around the world to visit Poe's house and his burial place. "We had a young lady, 16 years old, that came here from China with her father and she said she was a poet. I allowed her to sit in a chair that belonged to Edgar Allan Poe, and she started crying saying, 'I'm not worthy. I'm not worth to sit in his chair.'" The house could close to the public in twenty-twelve because of financial problems. Jerome hopes that does not happen. He wants others like the young lady from China to get a chance to experience the house. I'm Barbara Klein.