Thursday, March 8, 2007

Hemingway? What's that?

One of my favorite places on the planet is Key West, Florida. Another guy who kind of liked it there is Ernest Hemingway. His home there has become a local shrine and tourist attraction. You can walk through it with a well-informed guide for a modest fee. I do it every time I'm there.

Papa Hemingway is legend on the island. He not only wrote some really good books while he lived there, he did quite a bit of fishing and more than a little bit of drinking. His daily routine started with writing. He had to write 700 words before he could do anything else. Once he got those 700 down on paper, it was off to the bar. Sloppy Joe's is a large, loud, populated place on Duval Street. But there's another bar, just off Duval that claims Hemingway also. Captain Tony's is today in the location where Sloppy Joe's was in Hemingway's day. So go to either one. You'll be steeped in the Hemingway experience in both places.

One of my favorite things on the tour is Papa's study. This is separate from the main house on the second floor of the old carriage house. You can only peer inside. They won't let you go in and touch anything, no matter how much you beg. But you can stand in that doorway, look at his things, close your eyes and absorb his essence.

I figure he's a pretty good standard to follow, so I make it my goal to write at least 700 words every day. Usually I write more than that, but once I get my "Hemingway" done, I'm sailing the rest of the day. Of course, if I lived in Key West, I'm sure I'd be off to Sloppy Joe's too. Good thing I don't live there.

Have a great day!


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