Hemingway museum received new donation

Posted: 13-Feb-16 14:02

Ernest Hemingway's house in Havana, a highly prized historic place and tourist's attraction, received new books from a regular contributor, Canadian actor Brian Gordon Sinclair, who is also author of the six-play series Hemingway On Stage: The Road to Freedom. The contribution revives Hemingway's passion for baseball.

Hemingway museum received new donation

Canadian actor Bob Gordon Sinclair, who has performed as Ernest Hemingway in several stages across the world, went to Havana this December of 2015 to pay tribute to the American famed writer, donating 100 books to Finca Vigía Museum. The volumes are about Cayuco Jonronero, one of the members of a baseball team created by Hemingway in San Francisco de Paula borough.

Cayuco, whose real name is Oscar Blas Fernández Mesa, began to play baseball in Las Estrellas de Gigi (The Stars of Gigi), a lineup founded and sponsored by Hemingway in Havana as a way to provide entertainment for his younger sons Patrick and Gregory (Gigi).

The baseball team was the first of its kind created in San Francisco de Paula, where poor children like Cayuco had the opportunity to play with real bats, balls and baseball suits thanks to Hemingway´s idea. The team brought in Cayuco´s vocation for sports, and he had the opportunity to play as a professional later on.

As part of the research for writing his plays about Hemingway, Brian Gordon Sinclair went to Finca Vigía and met Cayuco there. About two years ago, the Candian actor started to write the book The Homerun Kid by Cayuco “Jonronero”, where the Cuban man, now aged 85, narrates his personal encounters with Papa Hemingway. Sinclair also became the sponsor of a new generation of Las Estrellas de Gigi, that is playing now in the baseball field located at the Havana´s museum.

Sinclair, who has the Finca Vigía Museum distinction, presented his book on 5th December at the former Hemingway´s mansion, where also took place the 3rd baseball game exhibition of Las Estrellas de Gigi, celebrating Christmas.

The author of The Old Man and the Sea lived in Finca Vigía from 1939 to 1960 until he travelled due to health problem. The property, located 15 miles east of Havana´s centre, was donated to the people of Cuba with most of the family possessions after Hemingway´s death. There are lots of books, haunting trophies, clothes and other personal belongings of the author that remain almost untouched since then.

The house where Hemingway wrote his Nobel Prize winning novel was seriously damaged by the effects of climate and the lack of funds to repair it, but Cuban government managed to place some budget there for restoration works, and the museum reopened in 2007.

Earlier this year, the American-based Finca Vigia Foundation donated $860,000 to preserve Hemingway´s house and its contents. As part of this agreement, US government authorised the export of construction materials to Cuba for the first time since the 1959 revolution in the island.


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