Hemingway’s Birthday (More Than Just a Writer?)

I can be a bit of a sucker for ‘stars’ probably because I grew up watching the likes of Robert Mitchum, Richard Burton and Steve McQueen. Their lives off stage were as interesting as the characters they portrayed, so it’s not surprising that when it came to authors ‘Papa’ would captivate me. If you are readers and what blogger isn’t? Then I don’t need to rant about his books, you know who he is.


Go back over a hundred years to WW1 and Ernest was a young, bored volunteer ambulance driver for the Red Cross in Italy, so he offered to deliver chocolates and cigarettes to the front line. While chatting with some soldiers a mortar explosion left him with 237 shrapnel fragments in his leg, he then carried a seriously injured soldier to safety whilst under machine gun fire and was shot in the knee. The Italians awarded him the Silver Star for valour. The stone was set ๐Ÿ™‚


He was a hard drinker and maybe that contributed to his list of misdemeanours, but during his life he managed to pull a skylight down upon his head, break his leg in a car accident and shoot himself in the legs trying to kill a shark. He was badly burned helping to fight a bushfire, he survived two plane crashes (one of which supposedly killed him) emerging with first degree burns, internal bleeding, ruptured kidney, ruptured spleen, ruptured liver, a crushed vertebra and a fractured skull. He was by no means safe from disease andย he survived anthrax, malaria, pneumonia, dysentery, skin cancer, hepatitis, anemia, diabetes and high blood pressure.


In WW2 he converted his boat the ‘Pilar’ to a Nazi submarine detector and embarked upon a search and destroy mission that lasted a year. He then joined the allied forces in Europe as a war correspondent and having disregarded his non-combatant attire (in violation of the Geneva Convention Guidelines for the press), formed a small unit of ย resistance fighters assumed the title of Colonel and liberated the Paris Ritz. Upon entry he greeted his old friend the barman and ordered 73 Dry Martinis ๐Ÿ™‚ An investigation afterwards accused him of assuming the title of Colonel andย storing arms in his room. To which Hemingway replied that it was a nickname given to him by the men and as for the arms he said he was just looking after them. Several friends gave character references and he was not only cleared but awarded the Bronze Star for bravery.


Ernest Hemingway was not always a gentleman, he was not always a good husband and certainly not always a good father, but most of his books came from his experiences so, like the man or not, he was a helluva writer and a helluva a man. So Happy Birthday ‘Papa.’ I, for one, will be raising a glass to you tonight. ๐Ÿ™‚

About charliecountryboy

Part-time Carpentry Assessor. writer, runner, guitarist. Curious about life and all those wonderful people in it.
This entry was posted in Blogging, Books, Hemingway, History, Life, Opinion, people and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Hemingway’s Birthday (More Than Just a Writer?)

  1. He was a survivor ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ‘ awesome life, awesome writer, handsome man ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ•บ

    Liked by 2 people

  2. cigarman501 says:

    Shame he couldn’t avoid his own darkness. Nicely done!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Carolyn Page says:

    Don’t know that I would have like him in person; but, I’ve to say – he sure lived life according to his own directions!
    Great write-up, Charlie. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  4. iScriblr says:

    A wonderful tribute to the man who totally deserves!โค

    Liked by 1 person

  5. chattykerry says:

    Hemingway’s birthday was the day after mine and I wondered what we had in common. When I visited his house in Key West and saw his little cat cemetery for his beloved Polydactyl cats, I realized we were both cat crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. kerbey says:

    Wow, even more craziness than I had imagined. Never a good thing to shoot your own legs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. lbeth1950 says:

    He lived a fascinating life.

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. K E Garland says:

    What a nice tribute! I had the good fortune of visiting his Key West home a couple years ago. Apparently, he had a huge affinity for cats too.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve always wondered about Hemingway.
    I didnt finish the 7th grade so I missed much of everything really.
    I’ve heard of The Old Man and the Sea but never read it. Perhaps it’s an age thing but probably because I lived a sheltered life. I didnt have access to books or libraries as a child, then life took over. ๐Ÿ™‚ I started reading after I married and had the children. I’ve not stooed since but I doubt I will ever catch up.
    I do remember reading about him in the war and new he was a writer. Thanks for sharing and giving me some insight about him.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. jjtm4 says:

    I visited Hemingway’s home in Key West. Such an interesting man! The woman who lead the tour was full of details I’d never heard of or read before. Such as the story behind a water feature in his yard. It was connected to his favorite bar and the movement of said bar down the street after the rent on his building was raised. It was originally a urinal!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Singledust says:

    he lived with passion. I enjoyed this.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thanks for sharing the overview on Hemmingway with book references. So… he was a military hero and definitely more than a writer known for his great poems..

    Liked by 1 person

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