Re: RARA-AVIS: Gregorio Fuentes died

From: Michael Robison (
Date: 15 Jan 2002

from norberto fuentes's book, in _hemingway in cuba_ (paraphrased):

hemingway and fuentes met in the dry tortugas, weathering out rough seas. fuentes invited hemingway aboard for wine and raw onions, and several years later became the "pillar of the pilar." of their first meeting, fuentes described hemingway as always willing and smiling, very talkative, dark-haired, and honest. hemingway was around 28 years old.

at first meeting, gregorio loaded his sailboat with ballast and took hemingway on a dangerous 3-mile trip to a lighthouse to use a telephone.

fuentes, the author, interviewed gregorio in his cojimar house, barefoot with a drink, with his wife there.

gregorio knew adriana ivancich, the young italian girl that hemingway had the hots for and wrote about in _across the river and into the tree_. gregorio liked her too.


Jose Latour said:
> 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
> cook and friend to the American writer. Many say he was the inspiration
> 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,
> 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
> a month to care for his boat, El Pilar. Before returning to the United
> States in 1960, Hemingway stopped by Fuentes¹ Cojimar home to say goodbye.
> "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
> seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

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