Ernest’s friends Charles Thompson, Joe Russell (also known as Sloppy Joe), and Capt. Eddie “Bra” Saunders, together with his old Paris friends became known in Key West as “The Mob.” The Mob would go fishing in the Dry Tortugas, Bimini, and Cuba for days and weeks at a time in pursuit of giant tuna and marlin. Everyone in The Mob had a nickname, and Hemingway was often referred to by his friends and family during this time was “Papa”—it was a moniker that eventually stuck with him throughout his life. Hemingway’s Key West was a town unlike any place he ever experienced. It was filled with interesting people, ranging from well-to-do businessmen and lawyers, to down-on-their-luck fishermen, to shipwreck salvagers. Throughout his career, Hemingway freely used the people and places he encountered in his literary works, and many Key Westers appear as characters in his novel “To Have and Have Not,” a novel about Key West during the Great Depression.
The house was originally purchased for $8,000. After Hemingway's death in 1961, the house was sold by his widow, Mary, to Mrs. Bernice Dickson, the founder of the museum. A prominent feature of the dining room is a Murano glass chandelier. Upstairs, a book display shows books owned by Hemingway while he lived in Key West—including Red Pete the Ruthless by . Bennett. Clearly visible is the inscription, "Given to Hemingway—1936," from Sister Ida, a nun at the local St. Joseph's convent. His writer's studio in the second floor of a free-standing carriage house, and where he stayed briefly (in the 1950s) when visiting from his home in Cuba, was once connected by a second story walkway to the master bedroom. The walkway, shown in pictures from archives, has not been reconstructed.
I like this piece very much. I suppose there are some who would mock what they see as the narrow-mindedness of religion, faith, and belief, but since they don’t believe, they can’t really understand what such choices cost those of us who do. Not only does God ask the terrible questions, he also demands the terrible choices. I would like to see more about your thoughts as a mature person looking back on the choice. Is there anything good that has come into your life that balances that youthful loss? Having chosen God early in your life, is it now easier to keep choosing him?