The Miami Herald
July 22, 1999

 Cubans remember Ernest `Papa' Hemingway

 HAVANA -- (AP) -- Fans of Ernest Hemingway celebrated the 100th anniversary
 of the writer's birth with flowers and rum cocktails near his former home in Cuba,
 where he spent nearly half his life.

 Cubans fondly remembered the famed writer and adventurer as a romantic man.

 ``He was one of the greatest friends a man could have,'' said 102-year-old
 Gregorio Fuentes, the captain of Hemingway's boat, El Pilar. Fuentes took a
 front-row seat Wednesday afternoon at a small commemoration of the writer's life.

 Hemingway, who would have turned 100 on Wednesday, lived permanently in
 Cuba for 20 years and sporadically for another 11, about half of his 62 years.

 He remains beloved in Cuba and several of his favorite hangouts are still important
 stops on the tourist circuits -- the Bodeguita del Medio where he drank Cuban
 ``mojito'' cocktails, the Floridita where he imbibed frozen daiquiris.

 Even room 511, where he stayed and worked for a time at the Hotel Ambos
 Mundos in Old Havana, is enshrined as a kind of museum. The Finca Vigia, a
 house with sprawling gardens just outside the capital, has become the official
 Hemingway museum. Visitors can't enter, but they can look in the windows at the
 home as he left it, with its hundreds of books and hunting trophies.

 On Wednesday, several dozen Hemingway aficionados made the pilgrimage to
 Finca Vigia to pile bouquets of red roses on a table set up under an oil painting of
 the writer, his beard white, his hair tousled.

 Outside the small room where the ceremony was held, a barman served up
 mojitos, a rum drink made with lots of sugar and mint leaves.

 In another part of the compound, visitors viewed a small exhibit of black and white
 photographs taken of the writer on safari in Africa, in Spain during its civil war, on
 the grounds of Finca Vigia. Also displayed were some of his belongings: a
 passport, daggers, and tickets to bullfights in Spain.