Up in Michigan: Hemingway Country. Dear Readers: My friend and fellow Hemingway fan, Don, called my attention to the below article. I loved it and hope you enjoy it too. I added a few more photos. Best, Christine

Following Hemingway: Motorcycle Adventure on Michigan’s Lower Peninsula

By William M. Murphy – July 9, 2014

Lake Charlevoix
Walking along the channel connecting Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan is a relaxing way to watch boats and view the Great Lake.

Iconic author Ernest Hemingway followed his own path in a distinctively adventurous manner. I’ve compared his approach to life to that of motorcyclists, pursuing adventure on lonely ribbons of asphalt, willingly exposed to difficulties they could have chosen to avoid.

There are easier and more comfortable ways to experience life, but Hemingway, and motorcycle riders, wouldn’t have it any other way.

Hemingway Michigan
Hemingway’s story is kept alive in various northern Michigan locations through plaques and historical markers.

Hemingway spent considerable time in the northern part of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula and many of his stories are based on events he experienced here. Riding a motorcycle is the perfect way to retrace Hemingway’s wanderings, visiting the same places he enjoyed as a youth and later as a veteran recuperating from wounds suffered in World War I.

I begin my ride in Charlevoix, on the coast of Lake Michigan. Kickstand up early on a perfect morning, I ride U.S. Route 31 north over the drawbridge that spans the channel connecting Lake Charlevoix with Lake Michigan. A couple miles north of town, urban traces are left behind as I ride east on Boyne City-Charlevoix Road, en route to the historic hamlet of Horton Bay. As it winds through a lush countryside of forested hillsides, the road hints at the motorcycling adventures that this ride offers.

upper peninsula

After 10 pleasurable miles, I roll into Horton Bay. Hemingway spent many summers here and hung out at the Horton Bay General Store, my first stop. Built in 1876, the store was the center of social life a century ago; if only those walls could talk! Subsequent owners have kept the building much as it was and it is like walking onto a set for a 1920s movie. Besides buying the basics, a visitor can get a homemade lunch, or perhaps an ice cream cone. After a visit with the owner, I retire to the front porch and sit on a bench used by Papa, gazing upon sights he would have seen. This village was important enough to Hemingway that he married his first wife here in 1921.

Legs Inn
A rare treat—enjoying an empty parking lot at Legs Inn, enabling me to take some photos and wander the grounds to see the many interesting displays.

After the relaxing break, I fire up my Harley-Davidson Road King and backtrack a half-mile to Horton Bay Road (C-71), riding it north to U.S. Route 31 and Little Traverse Bay. The hilly blacktop conveys me past orchards and farmland, with plenty of forested land to provide an “up north” flavor. The air is pure, the sky is blue and my surroundings are grand. Cresting the final hill before U.S. 31, I’m presented with a spectacular view of the bay with sailboats speckling the sky-blue water.

The highway soon delivers me to Petoskey and there are several historic locations here that I want to visit. The first is an old railroad depot, now the Little Traverse History Museum with a Hemingway display. This impressive building is reached by turning left onto Lake Street from U.S. 31. Jesperson’s Restaurant, at 312 Howard Street, is my next stop. This place was Hemingway’s favorite eating and socializing spot when he lived in Petoskey for several months. It is still noted for its home cooking and delicious pies. After a walking tour at other downtown sites, I saddle up and continue north.

Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay
Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay is a beautiful sight on a serene summer day.

East of Petoskey, I turn onto State Route M-119 toward the well-groomed municipality of Harbor Springs. North of Harbor Springs, M-119 is known as the Tunnel of Trees Scenic Heritage Route, a well-known destination road for Midwest motorcyclists. For more than 20 miles, the narrow strip of asphalt, perched on a bluff high above Lake Michigan, sculpts a path of extreme curves and amazing scenery. Admiring the view must take a back seat, however, as full attention is required when carving the curves on this road. It is narrow, has no shoulder and trees line the edge of the pavement. Traffic is minimal and I have the road nearly to myself on this beautiful early morning as I lean through the many curves, working the clutch, throttle and brake in a choreographed dance that every motorcyclist knows well. To say this road is a blast to ride is an understatement.

Horton Bay General Store
The “Repeal 18th Amendment” sign and the many antiques in the Horton Bay General Store reflect the long history of this fascinating place.

M-119 ends at Cross Village where I stop to admire Legs Inn. This unique restaurant, specializing in large portions of Polish food, is a destination for many who ride the Tunnel of Trees. Plan to arrive hungry for lunch or dinner. I continue north on North Lake Shore Drive, enjoying more curves through a forested backdrop. At the Sturgeon Bay Trail intersection, I turn left to stay on Lake Shore Drive and soon cross into Wilderness State Park. I unexpectedly find myself riding through a landscape of sand dunes—a distinctive feature of Lake Michigan’s eastern shore.

Lake Shore Drive becomes Lakeview Road and heads east, merging with County Road C-81, which I ride north. Its winding and pleasant path, with many views of the big water, eventually delivers me to Mackinaw City at the southern terminus of the Mackinac Bridge.

The statue unveiled last year in Petoskey, Michigan of Young Ernest Hemingway

I explore Mackinaw City on foot and buy some fudge made famous by local confectioners, putting a portion in my saddlebag for a snack later in the day. Enjoying a rest at the marina, I watch ferries carrying so-called “fudgies” to Mackinac Island, and thrill at the sight of a Great Lakes freighter gliding under the bridge between its two massive towers.

Overcoming inertia, I resume my quest by riding east on U.S. Route 23 along the beautiful Lake Huron shoreline toward Cheboygan. Two miles east of that port city I turn onto County Road F-05, which meanders southward along the Black River and past Black Lake. In 1919, Hemingway escaped to this area in a friend’s Buick, trying to recover physically and emotionally from war wounds.

railroad depot, Petoskey’s
Once a busy railroad depot, Petoskey’s refurbished station now houses historical artifacts of the region’s fascinating history.

I ride for many very enjoyable miles on F-05, through forests and farmland that is slowly but surely reverting to its natural wooded state. The lightly traveled road eventually delivers me to State Route M-68, which I follow westward on its sweeping curves. I soon cross the Black and Pigeon rivers, both of which Hemingway knew well. He considered the Black River the best brook trout stream in Michigan and fished it several times. A century ago this land was cut over and blackened by fires. The scars are gone and much of the area today is preserved as the Pigeon River Country State Forest.
M-68 eventually brings me to the town of Indian River and Old U.S. Route 27, which closely follows the Sturgeon River, another of Hemingway’s favorites. My powerful two-wheeler carries me southward on the gently curving asphalt of this historic byway through a land of sparkling waters and verdant forests. The ride is especially rewarding since nearby Interstate 75 carries virtually all the traffic. At Wolverine, I stop at a restaurant/tavern called BS & Company that caters to motorcyclists and is known for good food and friendly service. Hemingway and his companions camped here on one of their trips, enjoying meals of freshly caught trout.

Michigan motorcycle route
Map by Bill Tipton/Compartmaps.com

This is elk country, so I keep my eyes peeled for these large ungulates, and their smaller more troublesome cousin, the whitetail deer. Curves and hills become more pronounced and eventually I cruise down a long slope, the V-twin burbling effortlessly, and see a sign for County Road C-48, the road I am to ride westward. C-48 is a joy to ride, possessing the qualities of those special routes sought by motorcyclists. It is called The Breezeway and wends its enticing way through a beautiful landscape.

Eventually I reach U.S. 31 again and turn back north toward Charlevoix. This popular motorcycling route, with occasional spectacular views of Lake Michigan in this vicinity, was once a dirt path called the West Michigan Pike, carrying Chicago tourists to Michigan resorts.

The young couple who honeymooned On Walloon Lake

After an unforgettable ride of 206 miles I arrive back at Charlevoix. It’s been a day when I have had to think hard to come up with new superlatives to describe the marvelous natural and manmade attractions and history of this remarkable region. It comes as no surprise to me that Hemingway, who had the wherewithal to explore the best that the world had to offer, counted this small corner of the planet as one of his favorite places. If you ride a motorcycle, I’m sure you’ll agree with him.

(This Favorite Ride: Two-Wheeling with Hemingway was published in the July 2014 issue of Rider magazine.)

Sunset Park in Petoskey offers wonderful views of the bay, as well as impressive rock bluffs and gardens.Route C-48 (also known as the Breezeway) carves an enjoyable path through the northern Michigan countryside.
The Red Fox Inn and the Horton Bay General
Store, both built in 1876, are mentioned in Hemingway’s 1923 short story, “Up in Michigan.”
The welcome mat is always out for curious travelers or serious students of Hemingway at Horton Bay General Store.

Things Hemingway Cut From FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS: Part I

Fascinating. Media/Photos added by me. Best, Christine

What Hemingway Cut From For Whom the Bell Tolls

An Epilogue, For Starters

VIA SCRIBNERBy Seán Hemingway


July 16, 2019

During the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939), Spain became a battleground in the fight between freedom and fascism. Fascism prevailed. To gain a powerful and palpable impression of the civil war in Spain you can do no better than to read Ernest Hemingway’s masterpiece, For Whom the Bell Tolls. It is a story about a young American volunteer in the International Brigades, named Robert Jordan, who is attached to an anti-fascist guerrilla unit in the mountains of Spain. All of life—hope, fear, and love—plays out in three days of intense action. Though entirely a work of fiction, it transports you to that time and place so that you feel as though you have experienced it yourself. For Whom the Bell Tolls is Hemingway’s longest and, for many readers, finest novel and his most in-depth treatment of war. It is also simply a great story.

An ardent lover of Spain since his first visit there, when he was twenty-four, to see the bullfights at Pamplona in 1923, Hemingway followed the Spanish conflict from its inception. At the onset of the war he supported the Loyalist cause as the chairman of the Ambulance Committee for the Medical Bureau of the American Friends of Spanish Democracy and through his own personal contributions to buy ambulances, a form of support sanctioned by the U.S. government, which was not yet involved in the conflict. Having volunteered as an ambulance driver in Italy during World War I, Hemingway knew from firsthand experience the critical value of medical aid in wartime. He also supported the Spanish Republic when, in 1937, together with Jörg Ivens, he produced the movie The Spanish Earth, which was for him a new kind of writing endeavor.

In just under an hour, the masterful documentary attempts to show the reality of life amid the fighting in Spain. Hemingway wrote the script and narrated the film after Orson Welles declined. He also promoted the film in the United States, speaking at fund-raising events for the Loyalist cause. His speech to the American Writers Congress at Carnegie Hall on June 4, 1937, is included in this Hemingway Library Edition as Appendix I. In it, Hemingway discusses how a writer needs to write truly in order to create “in such a way that it becomes part of the experience of the person who reads it,” how dangerous it is to write the truth in war, and how no good writer can do his job working in a fascist state, which is built on lies. It received a standing ovation and remains to this day a powerful commentary on the importance of a writer’s accurate record of war and its atrocities.

Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn in Sun Valley, Idaho, 1940. Photographer unknown in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston. Together covering the Spanish Civil War

Ernest Hemingway experienced the Spanish Civil War firsthand as a war correspondent for the North American Newspaper Association (NANA). He wrote twenty-eight dispatches for NANA that were published between March 13, 1937, and May 11, 1938. His journalism makes tangible the devastating effects of war on people, but it has been criticized for its partisanship and for not presenting a balanced assessment of events. However, some recent scholarship has, in my opinion, mischaracterized his contribution, which was significant and sincere. Adam Hochschild’s book on the Spanish Civil War and U.S. participation essentially omits Hemingway, for example, suggesting that he was self-aggrandizing and motivated by self-interest. I beg to differ. I believe that the tremendous body of work Hemingway produced during this period—his journalism; The Spanish Earth; his only full-length play, The Fifth Column; his excellent short stories including “The Butterfly and the Tank” and “Night Before Battle”; and For Whom the Bell Tolls—reflects my grandfather’s passion and commitment to his work, which was fueled by his enthusiastic support for the anti-fascist Loyalist cause and his love of Spain.

A previously unpublished account written by Hemingway just after his time as a war correspondent for NANA, and included as Appendix II (and Figure 1) in this book, gives a vivid sense of Hemingway’s wartime experience in Spain, his proximity to battle, and the strong psychological effects it had on him. The piece is full of anti-fascist opinion and thoughtfully argued assessments of military actions, which he supports with graphic details that bring the horrors of battle to life. Readers may judge for themselves how close to the truth it is.

Myths about Ernest Hemingway—the hard-living, hard-drinking, celebrity he-man—have proliferated almost to the same extent as his literary fame and have inevitably clouded opinions of his work, especially for those who have not read it or read it closely. Even a writer as fine as Orhan Pamuk has misjudged Hemingway’s literature, referring to “his war-loving heroes” since war is the focus of so much of his writing. Such an assessment of Robert Jordan, Hemingway’s greatest literary war hero, would be totally inaccurate. To be sure, Hemingway appreciated the deep bonds forged in wartime among its fellow combatants, but he viewed war itself as a crime against humanity. He explained to F. Scott Fitzgerald why he thought war made such a good subject for writing: “. . . war is the best subject of all. It groups the maximum of material and speeds up the action and brings out all sorts of stuff that normally you have to wait a lifetime to get.” The complexities of war and its many contradictions can make it very difficult to write about, but Hemingway succeeds beautifully in For Whom the Bell Tolls, one of the greatest war novels of all time.

Hemingway visited the front in Spain for the last time in November of 1938. When he returned he did not know he would soon begin work on his novel. He began it as a short story. That fall and winter he wrote two powerful short stories based on his recent war experiences, “Night Before Battle” and “The Butterfly and the Tank.” In the middle of February of 1939, he went to Cuba and set himself up at the Hotel Sevilla Biltmore in Havana intending to write three more stories. Upon completing the first, “Under the Ridge,” he began typing a second story in March, and after writing some fifteen thousand words knew that it would be a novel.Fidel Castro famously said that he had used the book as a kind of training manual for his military insurrection that began in December of 1956.

His regimen was to begin writing at eight-thirty in the morning and continue until two or three in the afternoon, the same practice he had established with A Farewell to Arms. He frequently recorded the number of words he wrote each day, which ranged from about three hundred to over a thousand (see Figure 7). On the fourth of April he wrote to his friend Tommy Shevlin: “It is the most important thing that I’ve done and it is the place in my career as a writer where I have to write a real one.” Later that month, Martha Gellhorn, his new love, joined him in Cuba and found Finca Vigía (“Lookout Farm”) in San Francisco di Paula outside of Havana. Hemingway soon moved in with her and continued to work on the book there until late August 1939. By May 23, 1939, he had completed 199 pages of the manuscript, and by July 10, 352 pages.

Finca Vigía was located high in the hills above Havana and was susceptible to electrical storms that frequently occurred in the summertime. Papa related to his sons Patrick and Gregory how lightning struck that July just before he had hung up the phone from speaking with their mother, Pauline, and sent him flying nearly ten feet across the living room, stiffening his arm and neck and taking away his voice for a long time. He joked with the boys then that it was lucky he had on dry shoes and was standing on a stone floor or it could have been the end of him and it would have been up to them to finish the novel.

After a family vacation with Pauline and his three sons at Nordquist’s L-Bar-T Ranch in Montana, Hemingway resumed writing the book between September 20 and December 9, 1939, in Sun Valley, Idaho, where he and Martha Gellhorn were guests at the nascent Sun Valley Resort. On Christmas Day he returned to the Finca alone and resigned himself to continue writing until the manuscript was done. By April 20, 1940, he told Max Perkins that he had thirty-two chapters completed. That month he decided on a title. As he had done in the past, he turned to the Bible and Shakespeare for inspiration, and after considering some twenty-five possibilities he settled on The Undiscovered Country. But he was not completely satisfied with it. Persevering, he looked to the Oxford Book of English Verse where he found a quote from John Donne, which expressed the interconnectedness of humanity that matched the aspirations of his work. On April 21 he wired Max Perkins that he had decided on the title For Whom the Bell Tolls. By the beginning of July he was working on the last chapter and contemplating how to end it. He considered having an epilogue, which he sent to Max Perkins, who describes it in some detail. However, he ultimately decided against it. On August 26 Hemingway wrote Perkins:

What would you think of ending the book as it ends now without the epilogue?

I have written it and rewritten it and it is okay but it seems sort of like going back into the dressing room or following Catherine Barclay to the cemetery (as I originally did in A Farewell to Arms) and explaining what happened to Rinaldi and all.

I have a strong tendency to do that always on account of wanting everything knit up and stowed away ship-shape. I can write it like Tolstoi and make the book seem larger, wiser, and all the rest of it. But then I remember that was what I always skipped in Tolstoi.

What do you think? . . .

You see that the epilogue only shows that good generals suffer after an unsuccessful attack (which isn’t new); that they get over it (that’s a little newer) Golz haveing killed so much that day is forgiving of Marty because he has that kindliness you get sometimes. I can and do make Karkov see how it will all go. But that seems to me to date it. The part about Andres at the end is very good and very pitiful and very fine.

But it really stops where Jordan is feeling his heart beating against the pine needle floor of the forest.

You see every damn word and action in this book depends on every other word and action. You see he’s laying there on the pine needles at the start [see Figure 2] and that is where he is at the end [see Figure 8]. He has had his problem and all his life before him at the start and he has all his life in those days and, at the end there is only death there for him and he truly isn’t afraid of it at all because he has the chance to finish his mission.

An early false start of the epilogue is preserved among the papers at the Finca (Appendix III, n. 38), though no complete copy is known to exist.

Hemingway completed his manuscript on July 21, 1940, and hand-delivered it to Max Perkins at Scribner’s in New York around July 25. By August 25 he had sent the first batch of corrected galley proofs back to Scribner’s from Cuba (see Figures 9–10). The last corrected proofs were sent from Sun Valley on September 10. The book was published on October 31, 1940.

There are many cases where Hemingway expands on passages from the first draft to make them more poignant, such as the lovemaking scenes between Robert Jordan and Maria (Appendix III, nn. 13–14, Figures 5–6) or El Sordo reflecting on life during his last stand on the hilltop (Appendix III, n. 25). The manuscript shows how Hemingway grappled with trying to translate certain words in the Spanish language (Appendix III, n. 5). He was also very familiar with the danger of censorship and its impact on book sales, having dealt with these issues in The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms. In For Whom the Bell Tolls he tried to avoid such problems as much as possible at the outset while still conveying the realism that was central to his storytelling. His editor, Max Perkins, and publisher, Charles Scribner, had very few criticisms of the manuscript text. Scribner objected to the graphic wording of the scene in chapter 31 where Robert Jordan masturbates the night before battle. Hemingway cut the offending sentence, “There is no need to spill that on the pine needles now,” and wrote instead, “There are no pine needles that need that now as I will need it tomorrow.”

In response to Scribner’s objection, Hemingway also changed at the galley stage Robert Jordan’s status as a card-carrying member of the Communist Party (Appendix III, n. 16) to someone working under communist discipline. However, while Perkins and Scribner were both concerned by Pilar’s discussion of the stench of death and suggested removing it, Hemingway insisted that it was important and left it as he wrote it originally. Despite the length of the manuscript, the differences between the published version and the original manuscript are relatively small. The missing epilogue and list of possible titles and a few draft pages preserved among my grandfather’s papers at the Ernest Hemingway Museum at the Finca in Cuba make clear that additional drafts and supporting materials existed.

For Whom the Bell Tolls depicts guerrilla warfare—a war of resilience involving small-scale skirmishes over an indefinite period of time. It is a type of combat that goes back at least to ancient Roman times. The term itself derives from the diminutive form of the Spanish word for war, guerre, and means “little war.” It became popular during the Peninsular War in the early nineteenth century when the Spanish and Portuguese people used the guerrilla strategy against Napoleon Bonaparte’s vastly superior army during his invasion of the Iberian Peninsula. Francisco Goya’s Disasters of War (1810–1820), his graphic etchings of the Spanish struggle against Napoleon’s army, were well known to my grandfather, who owned a set that was made from the original plates during the Spanish Civil War. Goya’s images of executions, such as the etching entitled “Y no hai remedio” (“And there is nothing to be done”), are a visual pretext for some of the more powerful scenes in the novel, like the brutal execution of citizens described by Pilar in chapter 10. In a passage cut from this very chapter of the novel, Hemingway wrote that “You heard about it; you heard the shots. You saw the bodies but no Goya yet had made the pictures” (Appendix III, n. 11).

Hemingway counted Stendhal as among the most important literary predecessors for his novel. In a famous interview with Lillian Ross, Hemingway, using the metaphor of boxing, said that he had fought two draws with Stendhal and that he thought he had the edge in the last one. Hemingway saw For Whom the Bell Tolls as his first great bout with Stendhal and Across the River and Into the Trees, which he had just finished at the time he spoke with Ross, as his second. There are distinct similarities between Stendhal’s The Charterhouse of Parma, where a participant in the Battle of Waterloo gives the reader a strong sense of battle from a soldier’s perspective, and For Whom the Bell Tolls; Hemingway even calls out the book as a superlative example of war literature in a passage he cut from the novel (Appendix III, no. 10).As Graham Greene wrote in his review of the book, For Whom the Bell Tolls is “a record more truthful than history.”

Hemingway conceived For Whom the Bell Tolls out of his own experience and the knowledge that he had gained about Spain and its people. As he told Malcolm Cowley in an interview for Life Magazine in 1949, “But it wasn’t just the Spanish Civil War that I put into it, . . . it was everything I had learned about Spain for eighteen years.” The terrain of the book is realistic but does not correspond exactly to an actual place. It is what Allen Josephs, in his excellent book about the novel, calls “Hemingway’s undiscovered country,” echoing the author’s early title for For Whom the Bell Tolls. Patrick Hemingway notes in his foreword to this edition that his father drew considerably from his experiences in the American West to write truly the passages about life in the mountains and tracking in snow.

For Whom the Bell Tolls was an immediate success. Hemingway wrote to his first wife, Hadley, that it was “selling like frozen daiquiris in hell.” It has had tremendous impact and has been valued for its accurate depiction of guerrilla warfare. Fidel Castro famously said that he had used it as a kind of training manual for his military insurrection that began in December of 1956 and played out in the southern mountains of Cuba until his reverberant guerrilla triumph over the government of Cuba in 1959. When I visited Cuba in early November of 2002 as part of a delegation to preserve my grandfather’s papers at Finca Vigía, I had the opportunity to meet Castro. I asked him what parts of the book were especially instructive for him and he recalled that the passage about machine-gun placement in the mountains was perhaps the most instructive.

In their recent documentary on the Vietnam War, Ken Burns and Lynn Novick interviewed a Vietnamese woman, the writer Le Minh Khue, who as a youth volunteer working on the Ho Chi Minh Trail during the Vietnam War carried with her a copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls. Le Minh Khue greatly admired Robert Jordan and learned a great deal from his character about how to endure war. These are but two testaments to the realism of the book in its many parts. Hemingway, in his own words, believed that “A writer’s job is to tell the truth. His standard of fidelity to the truth should be so high that his invention, out of his experience, should produce a truer account than anything factual can be. For facts can be observed badly; but when a good writer is creating something, he has time and scope to make it of an absolute truth.” As Graham Greene wrote in his review of the book, For Whom the Bell Tolls is “a record more truthful than history.”

*

A new edition of For Whom the Bell Tolls also includes three short stories about my grandfather’s experiences during World War II, the great conflict that followed the Spanish Civil War, which Hemingway predicted as early as September of 1935. The stories were never published in his lifetime although he wrote them in several drafts (see Figures 13–15) and even sent them to Charles Scribner suggesting that if they were too provocative they could be published after his death. Scholars have long been interested in these stories, two of which have never before been published. Colonel David Bruce of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) remembered being with my grandfather on August 25, 1944, when the Second Armored Division of General Philippe LeClerc, accompanied by an American infantry division, successfully entered and assumed control of Paris from the Nazis. Bruce and Hemingway were with the advance fighting units that headed into the center of the city and together they climbed to the top of the Arc de Triomphe to look across all of Paris. How magnificent it must have felt to be there at that moment. Hemingway suggested that they go straight to the Ritz Hotel. Paris was the city my grandfather loved more than any other in the world. He was proud to assist the OSS in the city’s liberation and the liberation of the Ritz Hotel became one of his most memorable moveable feasts. When he arrived at the Ritz with Colonel Bruce and their band of irregulars, the hotel manager greeted them joyously and asked Hemingway if there was anything he could get for them, to which Hemingway replied, “How about seventy-three dry martinis?”

“A Room on the Garden Side” is a fictional account of the days following the liberation. Hemingway stayed at the Ritz before setting out to catch up with the 22nd Regiment, who were chasing Nazi troops from France across Belgium and into Germany. In conversation with the hotel owner Charles Ritz and the French novelist cum military leader André Malraux, as well as various GIs, the protagonist (named Robert but clearly based on Hemingway) sips champagne in his room on the quieter garden side of the hotel and riffs on war, French writers, literature, and Paris. The author displays a wry wit and gives us a sense of the camaraderie among the men who lived through this momentous time in Paris. As Hemingway wrote later, “How different it was, when you were there.” The short story ends with Robert planning to leave Paris early the next morning. Hemingway left Paris on September 7, 1944, in a small well-armed convoy of two cars, two jeeps, and a motorcycle with Archie “Red” Pelkey serving as his driver.

“Indian Country and the White Army” continues the story only a few days later. It is a thinly fictionalized account of Hemingway with his small band of irregulars and two other journalists traveling through the Ardennes forest in Belgium toward Houffalize, the first town taken by the Germans. Captain Stevie, the American soldier in charge, remarks that the two Frenchmen with them are all that is left of an outfit of irregulars originally two thousand strong. They are remnants of the foreign volunteers who first served the anti-fascist Loyalist cause during the Spanish Civil War and went on to assist the underground resistance in France. The Ardennes forest reminds Hemingway of the northern Michigan of his youth when the Native American presence was very much a part of the territory. The “White Army” is a witty reference to the Belgians, who wore white armbands and are portrayed as rather inferior and uncourageous guerrilla fighters. Hemingway captures with sly humor the delicate tensions between the Belgian farmhouse owner and his liberators over the killing of a goose amid the real dangers of combat. The difficulties of feeding an army on the move, a topic discussed in the abstract in the previous short story, are presented here in vivid detail. While they are sitting with the owner, they hear the bridge at Houffalize being blown up by the Germans during their retreat.

The theme of blowing up a bridge continues in “The Monument,” a point of comparison to For Whom the Bell Tolls, in which a bridge is also blown but for notably different tactical reasons. Hemingway rejoins his old friend Buck Lanham, commander of the 22nd Infantry Regiment, just after Lanham has taken the Belgian town of Houffalize. He and Buck talk together while the bridge that the Nazis blew up is repaired so that they can bring their tank destroyers across it. Peter Lawless, a London Daily News correspondent, describes to Hemingway a monument in town dedicated to the first Belgian soldier killed in World War I. He was from Houffalize. The monument recalls the Homeric warrior Protesilaos, the first Greek soldier to die in the Trojan War, and makes us reflect on the tragic cost of human life in war, notions of fame and glory, and the significance of place. At the end of the story, Hemingway states that another monument was built there to record their own liberation of Houffalize and the rebuilding of the bridge. In reality, the monument is a small plaque set up near the bridge that records how Lanham and his men had managed to rebuild the bridge in forty-five minutes on September 10, 1944.

Hemingway wrote all three of the stories in Paris during the summer of 1956 long after the war. As Patrick notes in his foreword, they present a much more personal vision of my grandfather’s experiences in the European theater of operations than what he wrote about World War II combat in Across the River and Into the Trees. In fact, an inquiry during World War II by the U.S. military into Hemingway’s participation in the war beyond the parameters of a journalist likely weighed heavily on his decision not to write about these experiences until much later. We can be thankful that he did.

Nearly eighty years later, For Whom the Bell Tolls retains the power that made it an instant classic at the time of its publication in 1940. With this new Hemingway Library Edition the reader gains a better appreciation of Ernest Hemingway’s commitment to the Loyalist cause during the Spanish Civil War. It was arguably the single most important thing that my grandfather ever believed in, besides writing truly. The Loyalist defeat was profoundly disappointing, but his experiences in Spain inspired him to write a true account of the war in the medium that mattered most to him—fiction—where he could draw on his passion for Spain, exceptional knowledge, and formidable talent. Through his manuscripts we glimpse something of the creative magic and hard work that went into how Hemingway wrote what is perhaps his finest novel.

____________________________________________

What does Hemingway’s New Story Mean?

What has led Jordan to abandon the comfortable life he was leading in America is the prospect of the Loyalist defenders of the Spanish Republic being overwhelmed by a fascist cabal relying on foreign aid. During the Spanish Civil War, America was neutral as a result of a bill President Roosevelt signed on May 1, 1937, banning the export of arms and ammunition to the warring parties in Spain.  

By contrast, neither Germany nor Italy saw any reason to remain neutral when they believed they had much to gain from helping a fascist ally. As historian Adam Hochschild notes in Spain Is in Our Hearts, his account of the Americans who fought in the Spanish Civil War, the German and Italian contributions to Franco were immense and gave both nations a chance to test out weapons they would use in World War II.

Some 19,000 German troops and instructors saw action in Spain or helped train Fascist troops, and nearly 80,000 Italian troops fought for Franco between the start of the Spanish Civil War and its conclusion. The Soviet Union, which for a period identified itself with the Loyalists, provided only limited aid by comparison.

For Hemingway, who made four trips to Spain to report on its Civil War for the North American Newspaper Alliance, Jordan was an admirable figure who reflected what was best about the 2,800 Americans who went to Spain to fight on the Loyalist side. Jordan knows that the Loyalist side he is on is capable of great cruelty. He is no fan of the Communists who are part of the Loyalist alliance. But Jordan sees the flaws in the fascists as so much greater than those of the Loyalists that he does not back away from the commitment he has made to the war.

In this commitment Jordan mirrors Hemingway, who in a 1937 letter described the Spanish Civil War as “the dress rehearsal for the inevitable European war.” Hemingway raised money in support of the Loyalist side, and with his future wife, the correspondent Martha Gellhorn, who travelled to Spain with him, he went to the White House for a showing of the pro-Loyalist film, The Spanish Earth, before President and Eleanor Roosevelt.

For Whom the Bell Tolls

In the end Hemingway had to content himself with doing his best rather than getting the outcome in Spain that he wanted, and so finally must Robert Jordan. What makes Jordan admirable is what made McCain admirable—his unwillingness to sit on the sidelines and watch democracy be undermined.

Ernest HEMINGWAY during Spanish Civil War.
In December 1937 Ernest Hemingway was covering the Loyalist assault on Teruel, the walled town in the bleak mountains of Southern Aragon, Gen. Franco was planning to use this corridor route to the Mediterranean thus seaparting Barcelona from Valencia and Madrid. Robert CAPA the photographer and Hemingway would with some colleagues drive daily to Teruel from Valencia and return each evening.
Valencia. Dec. 1937. Hemingway visiting the front line.

Expansion of Hemingway Division of the JFK Library in Boston

Good day!  A new display at the JFK Library, Hemingway Collection. I will catch it in the next few weeks. Hope you are having a great summer. Best, Christine

Hemingway’s legacy inspires new JFK Museum display


Associated Press

Friday, June 29, 2018
BOSTON — A new Ernest Hemingway exhibition puts a fresh spin on the author’s colorful life and legacy by displaying his own books and belongings alongside pop culture items from his time.

“Ernest Hemingway: A Life Inspired” opened Thursday at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, which has become the leading research center for Hemingway studies.

Visitors to the expanded show will see manuscripts for “A Farewell to Arms,” “The Sun Also Rises,” “For Whom the Bell Tolls” and other Hemingway works — but they’ll also glimpse popular paperback books from the first half of the 20th century, as well as magazines, photographs and other mementos pulled straight from his world.

It’s an elaborate attempt to portray “Papa” in his proper context.

“It is now our pleasure to present a permanent Ernest Hemingway exhibit that tells the writer’s story by weaving together his literary masterpieces with his worldly inspirations,” said James Roth, the JFK Library’s deputy director.

“The exhibit places the viewer in Hemingway’s shoes, seeing the people and places that inspired his greatest works,” he said.

It includes many of the papers, photos, fishing rods, mounted animal trophies and other quirky personal belongings that Hemingway’s widow, Mary, retrieved from the author’s former estate in Cuba with help from JFK after her husband died in 1961. She later offered a trove of items to Jacqueline Kennedy for safekeeping and display at the Boston library, which opened in 1979.

Kennedy Library, home of the Hemingway Collection, Boston

It’s since become the world’s No. 1 repository of Hemingway lore.

Hemingway and Kennedy never met, but the late president was an admirer. He wrote Hemingway for permission to use his oft-quoted phrase “grace under pressure” in the opening to JFK’s own Pulitzer Prize-winning “Profiles in Courage.”

The new permanent display builds and expands on a 2016 temporary but ambitious exhibition, “Ernest Hemingway: Between Two Wars.” Curated by Hilary Justice, the presidential library’s Hemingway expert, the latest presentation draws from virtually every aspect of JFK’s vast Hemingway collection.

full quote of “the world breaks everyone”

On show are first editions of Hemingway’s major works; personal photos from his own collection; and photos of the women who inspired him. (Spoiler alert: Hemingway had a reputation for being a “man’s man” and a misogynist, but strong women helped shape his art.)

There are also pages from early drafts of some of Hemingway’s most celebrated books.

“The Old Man and the Sea,” his last major work of fiction, figures prominently. A Live magazine edition of the novel is on display, along with 32 covers of translations done around the globe.

All Photos for a change

Hadley

Hem with boys and cat

hem back row right

1918 Nurse Agnes von Kurowsky and American Red Cross volunteer Ernest Hemingway, Milan, Italy. Photograph in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

Hemingway with Patrick, John “Bumby”, and Gregory “Gigi”), at Club de Cazadores del Cerro, Cuba. Photograph in Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

Below are a few photos that are not published as often as some. Hope you enjoy them. Best, Christine

 

Hem and his father

Idaho

Hem with his beloved Black Dog (a spaniel stray that adopted Hem)

hem and Mary

The early days in PARIS, On the left, Hadley with Bumby

Hadley near the time of her wedding

Hem and Gregory, his third son

 

Hemingway and Bumby/Jack, his first born

Early love in WWI Agnes Von Kurowsky

Enough photos for Today!  C

Hemingway’s Cuban Home: Finca Vigia

Happy Spring all!  A few photos and background about Hemingway’s home in Cuba where he lived from 1940-1960.

It appeared that things were opening up in Cuba and that there might one day be actual access to Hemingway’s home Finca Vigia outside Havana. The name means Lookout Farm. Since the new election, it is unclear if this will happen.

Regardless, Hemingway had over 10 acres and a rundown house that was found by his then wife, Martha Gellhorn. It was his home from approximately 1940 to 1960. He had a staff usually of 3 people to help in the house, drive, work in the gardens. The vegetation was lush and he and Martha brought the pool and tennis court back to former glory.

Even after the divorce from Martha Gellhorn, he kept the farm as his residence and his new wife Mary Welsh moved in and became the mistress of the house.

Mary’s tower for the cats and writing

When asked why he didn’t live in America, Hemingway noted that he could boat and fish year- round in Cuba, always had a breeze, fantastic food and drink, and a welcoming and warm people. He indicated that if he found a similar place in America, he would move there.

60′ living room

Ultimately he had to move. Although Castro did no

Martha, discoverer of the Finca

t force him out, the anti-Americanism was everywhere. Further, when he came to visit in the United States in 1960, the FBI told him he could not return. There then ensued great drama in trying to get his personal items and book manuscripts out; his animals re-settled; and to provide care for his staff left behind. It was a devastating blow to him although he did anticipate that he would have to leave Cuba at some point. He had a small apartment in New York but after not being able to return to Cuba lived much of the year in Idaho in the house in which he died.

Hem drinks with Boise

Finca Vigia is presently in the midst of renovations. The goal is to keep it as it was when Hemingway was there but with preservation. In a humid climate, much deteriorates relatively quickly and the restoration project is afoot.

After Hemingway’s death, Mary donated the house to the Cuban government and the restoration began in 2005 by the Finca Vigia Foundation working with the Cuban government. The house itself is in San Francisco de Paula, a modest town 9 miles outside Havana. The Cuban people have always respected Hemingway’s choice to live among the people he fished with. The house was built in 1886 and was purchased by Hemingway in 1940 for $12,500.

He wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea primarily while living there. A Moveable Feast was also written there. After Hemingway’s death in 1961, the Cuban government took ownership of the property and Mary Hemingway agreed to that appropriation.

Please enjoy the photos of his home.

Recent Reviews of Hemingway’s Key West Home and MuseumTour

Happy Holidays to all!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I live in CT so dreaming of warm locales comes naturally at this time of year.  In case you are thinking of a Southern trip, may I suggest considering one of our territories (Puerto Rico if available and utilities restored by the time of your trip, the U.S. Virgin Islands, any of the beleaguered Caribbeans which rely on tourism to survive) including in particular our own Key West.

I thought for this post I would highlight the value of a trip to Hemingway’s house in Key West. I just randomly copied the most recent reviews on Trip Advisor, posted below. Hemingway bought the place on Whitehead Street – well actually his wife Pauline’s Uncle put up the money to buy the place – after Hem left his first wife, Hadley, and

 

The Finca in Cuba. compare to the below Key west house

Pauline at Paris Vogue

married his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer. Pauline hailed from a wealthy St. Louis family, which made money in pharmaceuticals and her Uncle Gus was very generous to his family. Hemingway lived there from approximately 1930 to 1940, when he left Pauline for Martha Gellhorn and bought the place in Cuba.

 

the house in keywest. compare to the Cuban home above

It was on the advice of John Dos Passos, a fellow member of the “Lost Generation” of ex patriate artists and writers populating Paris during the 1920s, that Hemingway was first prompted to visit Key West.  They were delayed in their journey due to car trouble.

John Dos Passos

He and Pauline rented a home for a few weeks waiting for the car and it was there that Hemingway continued his Paris habits of writing during the early mornings hoping to finish the war novel he’d begun. He then would explore his surroundings in the afternoons. The Hemingways spent three weeks waiting for their car, and it was during this very brief three-week interlude that Ernest finished the partially autobiographical novel about the First World War, “A Farewell To Arms.”

Swimming with Pauline

Both Ernest and Pauline grew to love Key West and its inhabitants, and soon decided to look for a permanent residence. After two seasons in Key West, Pauline’s Uncle Gus purchased the house on Whitehead Street for them in 1931.

Hem’s Dining room in Key West

Dining room in Cuba. Much more rustic

 

Key West

The home was in great disrepair when the Hemingways took ownership (as was the Cuban home when Hemingway bought it), but both Ernest and Pauline could see beyond the rubble and ruin, and appreciated the grand architecture and stateliness of the home. The massive restoration and remodeling they undertook in the early 1930’s turned the home into the National Historical Landmark that thousands of tourists visit and enjoy today.

Catherine and Frederic the remake

A unique and extraordinary feature of the grounds is the pool, built in 1937-38, at the staggering cost for the time of $20,000. It was the first in-ground pool in Key West, and the only pool within 100 miles. The exhorbitant construction costs once prompted Hemingway to take a penny from his pocket, press it into the wet cement of the surrounding patio, and announce jokingly, “Here, take the last penny I’ve got!” Tourists are invited to look for the penny, still embedded between flagstones at the north end of the pool.

Hem and Pauline

It’s a more elegant place than the place in Cuba, had much more Pauline in it than her husband. It had some funny quirks though. There also is a urinal there that Hemingway salvaged from a bar that was being taken down and he had a sentimental attachment to the number of times he’d used it. I believe it is now used to house plants.

Anyway, if you’re in that vicinity it’s well worth a look. Best and happy holiday season, Christine

Recent reviews of the Hemingway House

the house is a tribute to the late author, whose exploits during his life are legendary. The tour guides shared several interesting stories about Hemingway and his various wives/mistresses. The cats were adorable (and I’m not a cat person). Plenty of interesting photos and examples…More

Fun time, great tour guide. Not a huge Hemingway fan but would recommend a visit to all. Cats are very aloof.

3) Where do I start?

The Ernest Hemingway tour is a must for anyone visiting Key West! Whether you have read all of his books or none, it really doesn’t matter. The history of his house and life unfold eloquently and in a fun manner by the tour guides. They make this tour what it is, in my opinion by bringing the homes history and Hemingway’s history to life. And it is nice that you can manage the walking tour in under an hour, which leaves time to walk about the Hemingway grounds if you would like. Actual descendants of Hemingway’s cats are on premises! It was a fun and informative tour that I feel is a must visiting Key West!

 

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g34345-d130377-r539518496-The_Ernest_Hemingway_Home_and_Museum-Key_West_Florida_Keys_Florida.html#

Hemingway’s Final Steps: Read Eric Althoff’s article and journey

Read Eric’s Travels excerpted here. Best, Christine (some photos i added of the house and mountains.)

Tracing Hemingway’s final steps in Ketchum, Idaho

The author at the gravesite of Ernest Hemingway in Ketchum, Idaho. (Eric Althoff/The Washington Times)
The author at the gravesite of Ernest Hemingway in Ketchum, Idaho. (Eric Althoff/The Washington Times) more >
– The Washington Times – Saturday, October 7, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

You drive for three hours from Boise, through largely empty high desert country, to come to the place where Ernest Hemingway spent his final years, and where, on July 2, 1961, he chose to silence the demons forever.

Ketchum, Idaho, is also where many of Hollywood’s elite have second or third (or however many in the ordinal list) homes. For it is said that in the surrounding Sun Valley community, they can be unbothered in a way that is perhaps not so viable in Park City, Utah, the other ski community known for the glitziness of its populace away from Tinseltown.

I am met at the Sun Valley Lodge (1 Sun Valley Rd., Sun Valley, Idaho, 83353, 800/786-8259) by Jim Jaquet and his wife Wendy, who together run Jaquet Guide Services, wherein the couple offers specialized tours of Sun Valley that include restaurants, galleries and the Hemingway sites. .

 

Interior of the Ketchum house

As we drive away from the Sun Valley Lodge, Jim and Wendy point to various homes that belong to the rich and famous. Time was when they would take pilgrims closer, but a sense of privacy now pervades in Ketchum, and so today I must enjoy the posh homes from afar.

What I can get up close and personal to, however, is the Hemingway Memorial on Trail Creek Rd., erected in 1966 by friends and family of the deceased wordsmith on what would have been his 67th birthday. The bust of “Papa” Hemingway sits in a quiet alcove above a creek bed, and at its base is an inscription:

“Best of all he loved the fall
the leaves yellow on cottonwoods
leaves floating on trout streams
and above the hills
the high blue windless skies
… Now he will be a part of them forever.”

After a quick jaunt through the heart of town, Jim and Wendy take me to a spot on the outskirts of Ketchum and pull over. Jim hands me a pair of binoculars to spy, far in the distance, the privately owned Mary and Ernest Hemingway House and Preserve, where the scribe lived in his final tumultuous years, anguished that he was no longer able to write as he once had.

As no tourists are allowed near the home (the road leading up to it is also privately run), Jim shows me photographs of what the cabin looked like when Hemingway occupied it. Eerily, the shotgun he used to end his own life is in one of the photos, which can’t help but give me a chill.

Mary Hemingway

Jim tells me that one of the accepted theories about Hemingway’s suicide was that it was brought on by depression, magnified by his decreasing ability to write to his own liking, as well as the rather copious amounts of alcohol he was known to consume. Furthermore, some have posited that both the physical and “invisible” injuries he suffered during his time in the ambulance corps during the First World War may have later reared their ugliness as Hemingway sank deeper and deeper into despair until he could take it no more.

Add to this a condition called hemochromatosis, or too much iron in the blood, his diabetes and various other problems.

The midcentury Hemingway cabin is now run by The Community Library, and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today I shall get no closer.

Hem’s view while writing

It’s only appropriate that our next stop is Hemingway’s final resting place, the Ketchum Cemetery, located at 1026 N Main St. Papa’s grave is easy to find: Pilgrims leave pennies on the gravestone, as well as tributes like a half-finished bottle of Jameson today.

There’s also a journal, in which visitors can inscribe their thoughts. Not knowing precisely what to say, but knowing I must write something, I set pen to paper, allowing the ink to move me:

“One writer to another, may our language be the better angels of man. — EFA, May 14, 2017”

Friends and relatives of Papa are also interred here, including Margaux Hemingway, Hemingway’s granddaughter and a respected actress in her day. Unfortunately, like Ernest, Margaux was afflicted by depression and battled a chronic alcohol problem. She was found dead at her L.A. home July 1, 1996, the result of a sedative overdose.

Margaux and Hem’s son, Jack, Mariel on far right

Margaux was the fifth member of her immediate family to commit suicide, according to the IMDB. She is buried a few feet away from her grandfather.

Margaux’s sister, Muriel, is also an actress, and earned an Oscar nomination at the tender age of 19 for her role in Woody Allen’s 1979 film “Manhattan.” She still acts to this day.

Mariel

hem and Mary

From atop one of the lava cones, I look back to the northwest and the Sawtooth National Forest, whose accompanying mountain ranges enclose Ketchum and Sun Valley. My view from here is prosaic and inspiring — doubtless part of the reason Hemingway chose this central Idaho wonderland to try to re-stoke the artistic fires within.

It proved to be too large a task even for the glories of nature.

The house on a Hill: Hemingway’s home

 I enjoyed the article and the respect for Hemingway’s love of this area, this home, his legacy.  Best to all and hope your Thanksgiving was lovely.  Christine

IRMA AND THE HEMINGWAY HOUSE: KEY WEST

May the Hemingway house and all people in the path of Irma stay safe.  Best, Christine

Managers at Ernest Hemingway’s Key West home not heeding Mariel Hemingway’s plea to take the cats and go!

A six-toed cat, one of many that reside at the home of author Ernest Hemingway, is seen February 18, 2013 in Key West, Florida. Hemingway was given a white six-toed cat by a ship's captain and some of the cats who live on the museum grounds are descendants of that original cat, named Snow White. AFP PHOTO/ Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
A six-toed cat, one of many that reside at the home of author Ernest Hemingway, in 2013 in Key West, Florida. Hemingway was given a white six-toed cat by a ship’s captain and some of the cats who live on the museum grounds are descendants of that original cat, named Snow White. (KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

UPDATE: At around 1 p.m. PST, Dave Gonzales, executive director of the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Key West, confirmed to CNN that he and nine other employees were staying through the fierce winds and rain expected with Hurricane Irma, saying the legendary author’s 1851 house, with its 18-inch-thick limestone walls is “the strongest fortress in all the Florida Keys.” Original story follows: 

Actress Mariel Hemingway thinks it’s noble that the 72-year-old general manager of her grandfather’s historic Key West home wants to stay and try to safeguard the property and its famous six-toed feline residents as Hurricane Irma comes barreling in.

But she’s begging Jacqui Sands to leave the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum to protect her life.

The Ernest Hemingway House is seen in this February 16, 2016 photo in Key West, Florida. / AFP / Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
The Ernest Hemingway House is seen in this February 16, 2016 photo in Key West, Florida. / AFP / Karen BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images) 

“I think you’re wonderful and an admirable person for trying to stay there and to try to save the cats and the house,” the Academy Award-winning actress said in a video posted by TMZ. 

“This is frightening. This hurricane is a big deal,” she said, adding that she should, yes, save the cats if she can.

“Get in the car with the cats and take off,” she said.

The legendary author’s home, where he wrote “A Farewell to Arms” and “The Snows of Kilimanjaro,”  is in the path of Irma, which is now categorized as a category 4 hurricane and is expected to hit the Florida Keys and other parts of southern Florida Saturday evening.

General manager Sands is tasked with securing the property and ensuring the safety of the 55 cats that freely roam there. Many of the cats are believed to be descendants of the author’s cat Snow White and have the distinctive six and seven toes on one paw.

1954: American novelist Ernest Hemingway (1899 - 1961) on safari in Africa. (Photo by Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
American novelist  on safari in Africa in the 1950s. (Photo by Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images) 

Sands won’t be there alone with the cats. She’ll be joined by nine other employees, who have helped to stock up on food, water and medication for the cats and to board up windows and doors. They also have three generators to keep the power and air conditioning going. The other employees couldn’t leave because either they don’t have a car or couldn’t find a flight out, she said.

 

That confidence was echoed by the museum’s executive director Dave Gonzales, who told the Houston Chronicle that the 1851 French colonial home has 18-inch thick limestone walls that allow it to withstand dangerous storms.

“This isn’t our first hurricane. We’re here to stay,” Gonzalez said.

In an interview with CNN Friday afternoon, he added that at 16 feet above sea level, the house is not in a flood zone. As for the cats, he said they are adept at surviving storms, and the home has never lost a cat to a hurricane.

“Cats know naturally when to go. As soon as the barometric pressure drops, they come in,” Gonzalez said. “They know before humans do when it’s time to get in.”

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 10: Actress Mariel Hemingway attends the 2015 Hope For Depression Research Foundation Luncheon at 583 Park Avenue on November 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
Mariel Hemingway in 2015 (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images) 

But Mariel Hemingway isn’t so confident and points out that “it’s just a house.”

She acknowledged that “none of us likes to lose things we treasure” but “ultimately you’ve got to protect your life.”

Hemingway then referred to that famous idea espoused by her grandfather in his prose.

“Courage is grace under pressure,” she said. In this case, “I think this is taking things a little too far.”