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Hemingway's home in Key West ~
For our Spring break this year we travelled south, right to the tip of the Keys to Key West.
These beginning scenes are from the beginning of the trip. Beautiful weather, beautiful scenery ... and never have I seen so many fishing boats anywhere. The Keys are sort of like the Caribbean, have that island mentality, yet still very much a part of America. Great restaurants and if you love seafood as we do, you'll be in heaven!
This was Hemingway's home from 1931 to 1939.It is a private, for-profit landmark and tourist attraction now populated by six and seven-toed cats that guides claim are descendants of Hemingway's cats. The author's second son, Patrick, who lived in the house, stated in a 1994 interview in the Miami Herald's "Tropic" that his father had peacocks in Key West, but no cats; he owned cats in Cuba. In a 1972 L.A. Times interview, Hemingway's widow Mary denounced the sale of "Hemingway cats" by the owners of the house as "An outright lie. Rank exploitation of Ernest's name." The house no longer sells cats, but does continue a selective breeding program for them.
It was in this house that he did some of his best work, including the final draft to "A Farewell to Arms," and the short story classics "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" and "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber."
The house stands at an elevation of 16 feet above sea level, but is still the second-highest site on the island. It was originally built by Asa Tift, a marine architect and salvage wrecker, in 1851 in colonial southern mansion style, out of limestone quarried from the site. As testament to its construction and location, it survived many hurricanes, and the deep basement remained, and remains, dry.
The Hemingways had lived in Key West since 1930, but had rented housing. Pauline Hemingway (the writer's second wife) found the Tift house in 1931, for sale at a tax auction. Pauline's uncle Gus bought it for her and Ernest, for $8,000 cash, and presented it to them as a wedding gift.
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Leather and Oak add comfort and warmth
I love the warmth and richness of oak and leather. The chair on the left is one I found in the trash after a neighbor moved it. It has large flat arms and is perfect for setting down a cup of tea or other.
The chest in the middle came from a garage sale... $25! Solid oak and it used to be a display piece in a hardware store. It's marked in gold letters... Union Twist Drill Co., Athol, Mass. U.S.A. and also Twist Drills and Milling Cutters. It is filled with small drawers for all these small findings.
The chair on the right is an original early Danish Modern by Borge Mogensen.. very low slung and incredibly comfortable even for the tallest man! A sister chair is in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. This one came my way when my son-in-law saw it at a garage sale for $20 and knew "it would be my thing."
I knew the chair when he brought in from the car. I had studied the history of furniture and immediately said, "Mogensen!"
See my set... Living in a Jungle.
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