The other day, responding to Miker, I wrote:
Finca Vigia is a shrine in fact, the Pilar included. Norberto
Fuentes wrote Hemingway's biography (well, it's not a
biography, it's an account of his years in Cuba). Hemingway's
skipper is also Fuentes, and he's 102 years old. Can you
believe it? Has smoked cigars all his life.
I got this wire a few minutes ago and thought some of you may
like to learn that:
Gregorio Fuentes, Hemingway¹s boat captain in Cuba, dead at
104 AP Photos HAV101,103; NY184,185 HAVANA (AP) Gregorio
Fuentes, who was Ernest Hemingway¹s boat captain when the
late writer lived in Cuba, died Sunday at age 104, his family
said. Fuentes had suffered from cancer. For nearly 30 years,
Fuentes was captain, cook and friend to the American writer.
Many say he was the inspiration for the protagonist in
Hemingway¹s classic "The Old Man and the Sea." "He died in
the house he had always lived in," his grandson Rafael
Fuentes, 48, told The Associated Press. He was buried Sunday
afternoon. Fuentes had lived in Cojimar, a coastal city about
10 miles east of Havana since arriving in Cuba as an orphan
at age 6. Born on July 11, 1897 in Lanzarote, in the Canary
Islands, Fuentes was traveling to Cuba when his father, the
ship¹s cook, died on board. The young orphan was taken in by
other Canary Island immigrants who cared for him until he
reached adolescence. Hemingway and Fuentes met in 1928, and
in the 1930s the writer hired the mariner for $250 a month to
care for his boat, El Pilar. Before returning to the United
States in 1960, Hemingway stopped by Fuentes¹ Cojimar home to
"Take care of yourself has you have known how," Fuentes once remembered Hemingway as telling him. Fuentes later inherited El Pilar and donated it to the Cuban government, which displays it outside Hemingway¹s former home, now a museum on the outskirts of Havana. Fuentes is survived by four daughters, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
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