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Turning Over New Leaf

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Hemingway Days–The Positive

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Hemingway Days – The Positive

As most of you who follow regularly are aware, I recently visited Key West, Florida for the Hemingway Days celebration. I present here some of the highlights of my trip. The negative side is presented on my other blog, JJ Botta - Freelance Writer.

We always have a blast whenever we visit the Keys, especially Key West, because it is not a place. It is a state of mind. Being a huge Hemingway fan, I always try to visit during the Hemingway celebration, and I learn something new each time. 

I love the era of the 1920s. I love studying the lost generation. I enjoy the music, the art, and the literature. Indeed, the expatriates of that time were disillusioned with their government, much like many of us are today. They visited Paris, Madrid, Florence, and other European cities to learn more about life. Hemingway led the pack.

There were a couple of events we attended this year. Meet the Papas was particularly interesting. About 30 or so gentlemen who purported to be Hemingway lookalikes spent all week vying for the title as the closest looking to Ernest. I still do not know who won, and it doesn’t really matter. They were all caught up in the spirit of the bygone era. 

The Key West Art & Historical Society Museum is always a favorite. The curators change the exhibits continually, and this year I got to see some new photos, writings, and other memorabilia dealing with Hemingway. Photos were permitted, so I took as many as I could for my collection.

Of course, we once again visited the Hemingway House and Museum on Olivia Street. The home is the site of origination for some of Papa’s greatest writings, and I was able to take new photos of typewriters, briefcases, pens, books, and artifacts that made me feel a connection with the times.

Of the several book signings I attended, only one dealt directly with Hemingway himself. Author Lorian Hemingway, granddaughter of the Nobel Laureate, did a reading for the audience, which always makes people feel in sync with the living EH. I had met her on two occasions in the past at similar readings. It is thrilling. 

Finally, my wife and I visited several art galleries and museums, where we captured in photos (where possible) not only the spirit of the early twentieth century, but also some of the visions of pre-Castro Cuba that forced us to reflect upon the brilliance of that old culture, which we hope to someday be able to experience first hand.

All-in-all, it was a fabulous trip, and a great cultural experience, replete with food, drink, and festivities that made us promise to each other we would return to Key West soon.


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19 comments:

  1. Great report and what an experience that might have been! Thanks for sharing.

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  2. How wonderful to spend that time in the midst of fellow fans learning about and enjoying the life of someone you admire so much.

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  3. FanaticoUm: Yes, it was a valuable experience for me. I am in the process of writing my second book on Hemingway, and this trip helped me a great deal.

    Galen: Yes, most of the folks I hung around were fans.

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  4. It sounds like a marvelous place to be...what fun getting lost in the era of 1920's...wonderful bliss for sure! Maybe you'll share some of the photos!!!

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  5. Karen: It was marvelous. I will try to post some pictures (without me in them, if I can). I especially love some of the art and the accompanying stories. Stay tuned.

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  6. Did you see the film 'Midnight in Paris?' I think you'd really enjoy it.

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  7. Suze: I have not seen it, but if that is the one where he goes back in time to the 1920s, it is on my list.

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  8. Sounds wonderful. It is good to step out and really get away, even within the mind at times. Glad you enjoyed your time at this celebration.

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  9. Fantastic JJ.. sounds like something I'd like too! It would be like taking a trip back in time without having to do so with the use of a time machine. So glad you had a fab time... Thanks for sharing with us... cheers JJ have a great week!

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  10. I've never been down there for Hemingway Days, but I love Key West - it's been a few years since I've been down there though.

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  11. 'Yellow Rose' Jasmine: I think this time I really needed the break.

    Katherine: Thank you. We always enjoy a good time - no matter where we are.

    Lisa: It is just a fun place to be, where everyone seems to be relaxed and happy.

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  12. Ahhh Yes the food and DRINK excellent!

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  13. nice that you had a good trip and portrayed both negative and positive aspects of this :)

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  14. Aahhh! I can almost smell the era. In my mind I see the dust filled air around his desk, were his creativity took to pen and paper.

    So glad you had your time with EH in Key West. It's lovely when we can soak up our interest with pleasure.~Ames

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  15. Wonderful! Fantastic!
    A great experience!

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  16. Whitesnake: Some day, over a cold one.....

    Muhammad: Thank you. I always try to present at least my perspective on both sides whenever I travel.

    Ames: It is like a time machine.

    The Tame Lion: It really was. Thank you.

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  17. I admire the passion of your passion. I've wondered who are the people in the "Scotty/Zelda looking picture on the top of your blog. Such a neat era.

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  18. KB and Whitesnake: Thank you. We always do.

    Manzi: I agree. I am an anachronism.

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