Ernest Hemingway was born July 21, 1899 in Oak Park, Illinois. He was the second of six children four sisters and one brother. He referred to his home town as a place with "wide lawns and narrow minds. His father taught him how to fish and hunt, which exposed him to the serenity of nature. His mother taught him the finer points of music which helped him shared in his first wife Hadley's interest in the piano. In High School he enjoyed working on the newspaper called the Trapeze. His first job was a reporter for the Kansas City Star. When he turned eighteen he enlisted for the army and was turned down due to poor eyesight in his left eye, but he volunteered to be a Red Cross ambulance driver. His first day in Milan a munitions factory exploded and he hade to carry the remains to a makeshift morgue. A few weeks later in Schio he was hit with shrapnel from an Austrian mortar. He received the Italian Silver Medal for Valor for "...generous assistance to the Italian soldier more seriously wounded by the same explosion... During his hospitalization in Milan he hade an affair with his nurse Agnes von Kurowsky. A year after returning from Italy he met Hadley Richardson while staying with a friend.