I love Key West.
“Dave Gonzales, executive director of the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, confirmed to CNN that he and nine other employees were staying through the fierce winds and rain expected with Hurricane Irma, saying the legendary author’s 1851 house, with its 18-inch-thick limestone walls is “the strongest fortress in all the Florida Keys.”
The home stands at an elevation of 16 feet above sea level—still the second-highest site on the island of Key West.
“Actress Mariel Hemingway thinks it’s noble that the 72-year-old general manager of her grandfather’s historic Key West home wants to stay and try to safeguard the property and its famous six-toed feline residents as Hurricane Irma comes barreling in.”
It was in his house in Key West that Hemingway did some of his best work, including the short story classics The Snows of Kilimanjaro and The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, his novel To Have And Have Not, and the non-fiction work Green Hills of Africa.
It was in Key West that Hemingway was introduced to the world of big game sport fishing. Hemingway was one of the authors that inspired me to write and his photos to take up deep-sea fishing.
The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane was the most intense hurricane to make landfall in the United States on record. The Labor Day storm was a category 5 hurricane that killed 408 people in the Florida Keys. Those who perished in the storm included 259 World War I veterans living in three Civilian Conservation Corps camps.
Hemingway, who lived in Key West at the time, made his way through the aftermath of the most devastating hurricane to ever impact the Florida Keys.
Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms was set in World War I. He wrote a scathing magazine article critical of those rescue in the Florida Key, efforts titled, “Who Killed the Vets?”
Pray for the good folks of Key West and all of those affected by Hurricane Irma!
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photos include: 1) Me and a bronze statue of Ernest Hemingway outside the Key West Museum of Art & History. 2) Hemingway’s Key West home and a six-toed cat. 3) Hemingway and his three children deep-sea fishing in Key West. 4) My three son and I deep-sea fishing.
Vaya con Dios,
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Josh Willis, Adam Willis, Aaron Willis