Hemingway Days and the Weather
^ Listen to “Life On My Terms” while you read the blog! Hemingway certainly lived on his own terms!^
A great misconception about Key West is how hot it gets in the summer. This year as I write this, the outside temperature is 86F/30C. I have only seen it hit 90 (32.2C) once this year so far, though in August I’m certain it will top that. Having stated that, it’s been over 100 (37.8) all up the east coast of the U.S. this summer. New York, Washington D.C., Raleigh, Philadelphia, Richmond, Atlanta, you name it, they’ve all been sweltering, with temps stretching as high as 106 (41.1C). The rallying cry is “Come to Key West!!!” to cool off! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Summer is one of the best kept Key West secrets!
Why is it cooler here? Key West is positioned perfectly to reap the benefits of the classic Trade Winds. There is almost always a breeze here and that belies the fact that we sit closer to the equator than anywhere else in the continental U.S. It also works the other way in the winter, where Key West is the only frost free city in the continental Unites States. What a place to live!
Out weather patterns are consequently quite different from the mainland as well. Here we are “Swimming in that Ol’ Gulf Stream” as the song “The South” says and for the last month, or so, we’ve had rain almost every day it seems.
Most of the time, rain in the Keys blows in, courtesy of the aforementioned Trade Winds, lasts an hour or two, then blows out, back into a nice day again. However, we’ve gotten an amazing amount of rain this summer; quite to the contrary of the drought they are having on the mainland currently.
Fun stuff going on here in the Conch Republic this summer!! Summer is the best kept secret in Key West, first off because of the aforementioned weather and second because of some of the great events. This weekend we had the thirty second annual Hemingway Days, which includes the Hemingway lookalike contest, held at Sloppy Joe’s Bar. The numbers vary between one hundred and twenty and one hundred and fifty men, who all look exactly alike, descended on Key West! All of these men look like Ernest Hemingway in the late portion of his life and likewise, dress the same as well, in khaki shirts and shorts!
I attended for the first time this year and proceeded to laugh my ass off! What a surreal situation! They also do an auction and raise money for charities. This year they raised over $25K! Great stuff indeed!
In the contest itself, these 150 contestants go in groups vying for the coveted title of the best lookalike of the year. The winner wins absolutely nothing and the competition all in good fun! Each contestant gets to do a little speech, sing a song, read poetry, or what have you. Everything being a fun, positive vibe!
I met my friend Cindi Hogan there on Friday and on Saturday for the finals I again met Cindi and also my pals Wasabi Metcalf, Kristie Metcalf, and Rachel Siegel, who were an integral part of my CD cover as well. Wasabi had sliced his thumb really well a few weeks back with a power table saw. Consequently, he was sporting a bandage with a little picture of Hemingway, made by Rachel plus, a little drink umbrella. Rachel also had more of the thumb bands for the rest of us. Not sure who gave them the name, Wasabi, Rachel, or Christie, but we called them “Ernest Thumbingway” :-D
On a side note: I was on the phone before Saturday's contest started with my friend Jai. Jai had told me she just bought a boat and when Wasabi heard that, felt he needed to talk to her, so I gave him my phone. He stepped outside and was gone for a while. I finally saw him back texting lewd, albeit humorous comments to my friend Marc Hollander, who seemed quite confused regarding these things that "I" was saying! HA HA HA! Welcome to Key West!
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