Hemingway, Truman, and the Southernmost Point

I was holding out as long as I could in hopes that Cindy may soon return. However, with it looking unlikely that she will join me in Key West, I reluctantly decided to visit the typical tourist attractions without her.

Closer to Cuba than Miami.   It's just a day's sail away!

Closer to Cuba than Miami. It’s just a day’s sail away!

First on the list was the Ernest Hemingway house. The tour guide was one of the most passionate guides I’ve ever seen. He made the house and the stories come alive. Ernest Hemingway was a larger-than-life man who is one of America’s most important authors. His house in Key West was built by a wealthy Asa Tift in 1851, and was purchased for Hemingway and his second wife, Pauline, by her wealthy uncle. The house is home to (at this time) fifty-two polydactyl cats which roam the premises. Hemingway lived here from 1931-39, though he retained title to the home until he died (tragically, of a self-inflicted gunshot wound).

The Hemingway Living Room with Original Furniture

The Hemingway Living Room with Original Furniture

Dining Room Chandelier - Hand blown glass from Murano, Italy

Dining Room Chandelier – Hand blown glass from Murano, Italy

Hemingway's Bed - Headboard custom made from a Spanish gate

Hemingway’s Bed – Headboard custom made from a Spanish gate

Betty Grabel

Betty Grabel

Hemingway collected Spanish Birthing Chairs (obviously invented by a male)

Hemingway collected Spanish Birthing Chairs (obviously invented by a male)

The wrap-around second-story porch

The wrap-around second-story porch

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The Key West Lighthouse as seen from the second floor of the home.  Hemingway used it to guide him home after a night at Sloppy Joe's

The Key West Lighthouse as seen from the second floor of the home. Hemingway used it to guide him home after a night at Sloppy Joe’s

Gary Cooper

Gary Cooper

Aptly named - Duke Ellington

Aptly named – Duke Ellington

Hemingway made the room over the carriage house into his writing studio

Hemingway made the room over the carriage house into his writing studio

Hemingway's typewriter, on which he wrote many of his works

Hemingway’s typewriter, on which he wrote many of his works

The interior of the writing studio

The interior of the writing studio

From the gardens

From the gardens

Chandelier at the base of the steps

Chandelier at the base of the steps

Second stop of the day was the Harry S. Truman Little White House, initially built as officer’s quarters for the Navy. It was the winter White House for Truman for a total of 175 days during 11 visits. The first president to visit the site was William Howard Taft in 1912. Thomas Edison stayed in the house while working for the military. Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Carter, and Clinton have also stayed here. Kennedy visited just after the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 to reassure the citizens of their safety. No photography was allowed inside (sorry) since it still serves as an active presidential residence, if called upon.

The Truman Little White House

The Truman Little White House

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