The Key West’s Chronicles

Hemingway’s house in Key West, not as close to the sea as this chronicler thought, is today a museum visited by tourists from all over the world.

By Angel Christopher

On a bohemian island like Key West, a bohemian man had to live like Ernest Hemingway, who lived here from 1920 to 1930, the year when he moved to Havana, Cuba, where he bought the very famous Finca Vigía, in San Francisco de Paula, very close to the coastal town of Cojímar.

Hemingway’s house in Key West, not as close to the sea as this chronicler thought, is today a museum visited by tourists from all over the world.

The entrance for all public has a cost of $12.00 dollars destined to the maintenance of the property. Once inside, a guide will explain every detail of the house and narrate anecdotes about the writer; but the kindness of journalism exempted us from paying and we were able to visit all the Museum facilities for free, including the pool where the writer exercised and his two sons, Gregory and Pattrick, played, while the father exchanged drinks and stories with his guests.

Urbis et Libris

Very close to the perch is the cat cemetery, a Hemingwayan tradition that is also repeated at Finca Vigía.
I was particularly impressed to see a room on the top floor where Hemingway performed his job: there is the old typewriter placed on a simple table, a stool for a seat, barely two rest furniture, some libraries, ornaments, and on the walls, the inevitable heads of animals that once hunted during his African safaris. His house and its surroundings do not have the dimensions of his Havana farm, since in 1920 the writer and journalist had not yet achieved the renown that allowed him to acquire Finca Vigía a decade later. Remodeled and adapted to Hemingway’s whims by Martha Gedhorn and later by Mary Hemingway, the

Havana mansion is more prolific with museum objects, photographic archives, hunting weapons, clothing, pencils, books; the very presence of the yacht Pilar in its gardens, and the fact that access to the halls of the house are restricted to the public, allow for a better state of conservation in relation to the house-museum in Key West. But despite these small details, it is incredible to be there, because the presence of the writer is felt, and the attention of the Museum directors is stupendous. In the bookstore we left several copies of our book: “Finding Hemingway, the Key West’s Chronicles”, an edition in English, French and Spanish that we are pleased to exhibit there.

90 miles

Being Key West, in South Florida, the closest point in the United States to Cuba, the culture and history of the Caribbean island have exerted a great influence on the life of this key for more than two centuries, and vice versa, also this one. has left its marks in Cuba.

In Key West, as you walk through the streets, you can see numerous shops and restaurants in which the Cuban flag flies, old cigar workers doing their old trade, and a monument to the “unknown rafter” that exhibits a raft of Cuban origin, that the US Coast Guard found deserted on the high seas.
The memories of the passage of José Martí and other patriots such as Salvador Cisneros Betancourt, Carlos Manuel de Céspedes y Céspedes, as well as the image of the patron saint of Cuba can be seen in certain places…

But perhaps the relationship with the largest island of the Antilles is most visible in the famous buoy that marks the southernmost point of the United States and on which you can read “90 miles to Cuba”, exactly to the tip of the Francés in the Hicacos peninsula, Matanzas province.

In this place, Cuban families stand in a long line to take a photo or a selfie and send their loved ones a proof -incomprehensible for some- of patriotism, summed up in that desire of all Cubans to return one day to their long-awaited land.

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