Home at Hemingway's
I have long been a fan of Hemingway's literary works and a romancer of what he must have been like as a person, in person.
I rushed around the block to the ticket booth just fifteen minutes before they were giving their last tour.
Hemingway was a man's man, who left behind a legacy of literary pearls followed by a trail of heartbroken ladies, each marking a new period in his life.
As an actor, I've often heard this question from other non-actors, "Why is it so hard for actors to keep a relationship together?"
And I've also heard this one, "You know what they say, once your personal life goes to sh--t, your career takes off!"
I remember when I first found A Farewell to Arms in my parents library. I was twelve. The cover was plain, the font was bold and plain, and I couldn't put it down.
And there I was, in the very house where this visceral genius wrote most of the words that inspired and changed the way I saw life; honest, impersonal and wild.
But today I wonder, why is the 'bad boy' personality accepted when coupled by an enormous amount of talent? Shouldn't basic manners and consideration fall as blueprints in adult behavior for any personality, artistic or not?
Damn it, I will always love his work, but when does damaged deserve to be called selfish?
I took pictures of everything and found Hemingway's six-toed cats roaming the grounds, as if on permanent vacation.
To be honest, it was sort of eerie to be in the private space, the personal home of someone whom I've never physically met, but feel I know so intimately.
The best story of Hemingway's past was that of his affair with Martha Gellhorn in Cuba while he was still married to his second wife Pauline, whom he also began an affair with while he was married to his first wife, Elizabeth Hadley Richardson.
Apparently, Pauline found out of her husband's affair to Gellhorn while he was still in Cuba and as revenge, spent an estimated total $20,000.00 of his American dollars on a swimming pool built on the grounds of his home in Key West.
When Hemingway returned from Cuba and found out what Pauline had done, they had one final conversation which ended with Ernest taking a penny from his pocket and throwing it at her with these last words,
"Damn it Pauline! You've taken me for my last red cent!"
Thank you Hemingway, for saying and writing, with the courage and heart that only a man like you could have possessed.
(photos courtesy of the House of Hemingway, Joaquin Guerrero and yours truly)
Yours truly -- Ann Hu