On this day in 1953, Ernest Hemingway won the Pulitzer for fiction for "The Old Man And The Sea." You know, the book you pretended to read in high school. I don't know how you bluffed your way through that essay, either. But as an adult, you'd most likely appreciate the book's straightforward writing style and symbolism.
You'd also appreciate a look into Papa's home in Key West. He lived at this gorgeous estate between 1931 and 1940, where it served as stomping grounds for his circle of friends (including Marlene Dietrich, of all people) and a six-toed cat.
The existence of the six-toed cat has been the topic of debate, with Hemingway's son Patrick asserting that said feline never roamed the Florida property.
Hemingway liked cats but Pauline, to whom he was married, wanted peacocks. So they got peacocks for the yard ... The time when he had so many cats was when he lived in San Francisco de Paula, Cuba.
But, regardless of the timing of the cat issue, Hemingway could possibly be the only person ever to get away with this lifestyle choice without it impacting his rather impressive reputation. Nowadays, according to the Hemingway Home & Museum, a small group of felines roam the estate, some of whom can brag to their friends that they've descended from the alleged Hemingway cat.
The limestone home was originally built in the 1850's and was furnished by his second wife, Pauline. Notable features include gorgeous gardens, the first pool built in Key West and a fountain made out of a bar urinal. Though the home was emptied following his death, it is furnished with items appropriate to the period and Hemingway's taste.
Today, we raise a daiquiri to this literary legend. What was your favorite Hemingway book? (Mine's "A Moveable Feast.")
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