Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Of Discourse, Intercourse, and Drinks with Papa

From Paul


Do you want to drink in one of Ernest Hemingway's old watering holes?

There's a new book with info on six of Papa's favorite saloons. What? Only six?

It's "Novel Destinations: Literary Landmarks from Jane Austen's Bath to Ernest Hemingway's Key West."

Written by Shannon McKenna Schmidt and Joni Rendon, "Novel Destinations" (National Geographic, $25) is a great guide for the literary traveler. Okay, here are the six places Hemingway liked. Obviously there are more, but these still exist, and whoa, not one is a Hard Rock Cafe:

La Closerie Des Lilas, Paris;
Hotel Ritz, Paris;
Casa Botin, Madrid
Cafe Iruna, Pamplona
El Floridita, Havana
La Bodeguita del Medio, Havana

I've sipped cocktails at the two Havana places, plus one joint not mentioned, Sloppy Joe's in Key West, which no longer exists. (Yes, there's a saloon in Key West with that name and Hemingway memorabilia nailed to the walls, but it's in a different location from the original Joe's).


Who can forget when our Commander-in-Chief posed heroically on the deck of the USS Lincoln, the "Mission Accomplished" banner behind him? Well, isn't it time for truth in advertising?


Is there anything as inspiring as an eloquent leader in wartime?

"The folks who conducted to act on our country on September 11 made a big mistake...They misunderestimated the fact that we love a neighbor in need. They misunderestimated the compassion of our country. I think they misunderestimated the will and determination of the commander-in-chief, too."
---President George W. Bush, September 26, 2001

Yes, the Doofus-in-Chief says the darndest things. Kind of makes you yearn for a real wordmeister.

How about Winston Churchill's legendary 1940 speech:

We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France; we shall fight on the seas and oceans; we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air; we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches; we shall fight on the landing grounds; we shall fight in the fields and in the streets. We shall fight in the hills. We shall never surrender.

Cheers to all as I offer my blood, toil, tears and sweat...


  1. Sheesh! Now I'm depressed. Great post, Paulie.

  2. That is one of four words I don't use.


  3. Well, should I someday acquire the stature of Hemingway or Austen (hell, even Muriel Hemingway and Austin Powers, for that matter), you're invited to the following watering holes to wet your whistle or, you know, have a bite to eat.

    Kalloway's--Oxford, Michigan

    Red Knapps--Oxford, Michigan

    Sagebrush Cantina--Lake Orion, Michigan

    El Azteco--East Lansing, Michigan

    Please note, that to-date, none of them have my photograph or other memorabilia on the wall.

  4. Watering Holes:
    The Philosopher Club in SanFrancisco.
    The Mangy Moose in Jackson Hole,Wyoming.
    McSorley's in NYC.
    The Alibi in Middlebury,Vermont.
    Grumpy McClafferty's in Dublin,Ireland.


  5. Paul, I snagged an advance copy of that guide for the literary (or literate) traveler while on my book tour - and went straight to the section on Papa's bars! What does that say about me?

    And about Churchill - he also, circa 1921, uttered words to the effect: "What the bloody hell is going on in Iraq, and why can't we achieve some sort of order there ????"

    Ahhhh, history, the forgotten subject ....

  6. My favorite Churchill story is the one where he was joined at the urinals after a rough day in Parliament by someone he'd been debating, moments before.

    Churchill moved away from the guy, who said, "feeling standoffish, Winston?"

    Whereupon he replied, "No, it's just that every time you see something big, you want to nationalise it."