Life Sketches by Terry Berkson
Several years ago my wife Alice and I made a trip down to Key West, Florida and among other sites visited the house where Ernest Hemingway lived and worked on great writing projects like “A Farewell To Arms.” It was an interesting two-story structure, one of the few in Key West that was made out of stone blocks that had been cut and removed to create a cellar. There was a veranda that skirted the second floor and overlooked a spacious yard that was populated with palm trees and myriad tropical plants. Papa liked cats and one section of the backyard held a feline cemetery where among other names carved in stone was Marlene Dietrich. In the back of the house there was a catwalk that led to the second floor of a carriage house that provided a surprisingly neat space where the writer worked.
By Terry Berkson
After a visit with relatives in central Florida, my wife, Alice, and I headed all the way down to Key West to see one of those famous sunsets. The last 100 miles on the causeway were like flying low in a turquoise sky. We arrived in the late afternoon, paid through the nose for a room and headed over to Mallory Square to watch the sun go down. There was quite a crowd standing there with drinks in their hands, all facing west, like cows to the wind as a live band played Dixieland Jazz. The sun was just touching the water, giving the impression that it was melting into the gulf, and as it did, the water around it turned red as though some giant crimson ink spot was bleeding into the sea.
I was impressed, but just as the sun was at the peak of its ebb, a tugboat hauled a huge barge across the horizon and blocked the view for everyone on the pier.
All cried “Boo!” as the band played on.