|Posted: 12 February 2006 at 3:48am | IP Logged
I have aquired a small Key West Florida souvenir that is believed to be from the boxes that are from Sloppy Joes's attic. This is what the person I bought it from has to say:
I have kept this piece on my desk for over 20 years now, and I have kept it so long because of where it came from. Not because it says Key West on it, although that is part of its' history. It is special because for a time I worked as a salvage diver and office helper in Key West for Mel Fischer and others. Back in the early 1980's, Mel gave this to me one day as a token of appreciation and he told me that it was carved in Key West by a Cuban artist, but he was not sure exactly when. It was a hand crafted item that was made before any mass produced tourist items were available beginning in the 1940's. That was a long time ago, before Key West was discovered! He did know that this artist used to sell his carved wares to tourists over by Southern Most Point and that this one had been given to him by the owner of Sloppy Joes's .
It wasn't until years later after a visit to the East Mortello Musuem in Key West that I became aware that boxes of items belonging to Ernest Hemingway that had been stored in Sloppy Joe's attic were recovered. This was confirmed by Sloppy Joe's son, who cleaned out the attic when he sold the place, and he too knew those boxes had been stuck up there since the 1960's. Some of Hemingway's old war items, manuscripts, and other desk related items are now on display at the Museum. For this reason, I believe this desk item could have belonged to Hemingway. I have looked for years to try and find any photos of his writing room in Key West that might show this item in the room, but there are only a few photos I can find and none that are proof.
I find it very curious that this piece exists at all,as in all my years in Key West,I have never seen anything like this produced for the tourist trade.
Does anyone know where I could find pictures of Hemmingway during his marriage to Pauline?