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Ernest Hemingway, Key West, Ford Model A

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    Ernest Hemingway, Key West, Ford Model A

    Below is a photo of Earnest Hemingway, his mother and father, and his second wife Pauline who is quite pregnant. Photo taken in Key West in April, 1928. The Ford Model A was a present from Pauline's wealthy uncle, Gus. Earnest and Pauline had just arrived from Paris and were to be in Key West for only two days awaiting delivery of a "yellow 1928 Roadster." They were on their way to the family estate in Piggott, Arkansas where they wanted Pauline to deliver their first child, Patrick. The car was over a week late in arriving and during that time Hemingway fell in love with the near tropical climate and crowd in Key West. He called it the "St. Tropez of the Poor." He also owned a Bantam. Most of the next decade he spent in Key West although in July, 1930 he is reported as "...bouncing along Yellowstone National Park’s gravel roads in a Ford Model A roadster until he reached one of the wildest places in America." During his time in Key West he finished or wrote such works as "A Farewell To Arms," "Death in The Afternoon," "Winner Take Nothing," "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," " The Short Life of Francis Macomber," and his Key West novel "To Have And Have Not." I can not verify where he wrote "The Old Man and the Sea." It may have been in Havana. Incidentally, Hemingway was an ambulance driver in WWI and while I have come across a picture of him in uniform, injured and on crutches, I cannot find reference to the type of ambulance he drove in France. Many of the French ambulances were Ford, Model T's. Bottom line: many Americans who were culturally "up" [e.g., movie actors and actresses (Mary Pickford, Joan Crawford)] and those who were rising (e.g., Hemingway) viewed the Model A Ford as evidence of success or coming success.
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    I'm glad I was born when I was. Ernest Hemingway was a live person to me. Havana was an "open" city and I had friends who vacationed there. Life then seemed preferable. What demons cause so many untimely and self inflicted deaths on the remarkable clan. And sexual duality! Is there a gene for this? And the monumental depression that brought on the moods that caused the the absolute conviction that the only way to end it was to end it with a shotgun in your mouth. But he, like another idol, Errol Flynn, certainly knew how to live each day, to the most! But I don't think that Flynn was much of a car guy though. Sad!