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The Old Man In The Bar (Havana Affair)

In the corner of La Floridita, there sits Ernest - stoic, yet smiling; probably waiting upon what he once called 'the world's greatest daiquiri'. He is as frozen as his favorite libation, for many decades after his passing he is a larger than life figure cast in bronze. The man himself was first a visitor to Cuba in 1928 and then in 1932 and 1933. But this is not a story about the man, the myth or legend. This is not a story about the story of a man who wrote stories; it is about statues and bars.

There is no finer memory of a man, any man, than to be cast in concrete or bronze or steel or plaster. Though I must pause here and mention that, as a purveyor of words, the legacy of a man can lie within the pages of books - words written concerning his character, his dreams and feats, be they good or bad. But to have your likeness cast in stone and mortar, or brick, or paints, even in plastic or a synthetic material that will withstand the ravages of time is an honor even the stars in the galaxies hope and dream of. And to be awarded your own eternal and immortal seat in a favorite watering hole is akin to godhood. I do not mean to say that alcoholism is an award we should all strive for, as this is not about drinking. It is simply about remembering a man, a writer, a human being whose presence and tiny drops of ink upon a blank canvas made us bleed. We bled in the Spanish Civil War, in the bull rings and lost our minds in the depths of the ocean. All because a man drank in a bar.

I have often joked that there shall be statues of me in various bars in Ohio made of manure. I cannot use the word I usually use because I would be banned from this site for using inappropriate language. I have written at Rockne's in Solon, Ohio, and Doogan's in Aurora, Ohio. Now I write at Daly's Pub in Sandusky. I will not be immortalized as has Hemingway and Wilde. But I do hope that I will somehow be remembered as 'that guy who drank beer and wrote stuff'. If I can be known as this it means I will never really die. Someone will remember me and the fact that I wrote words and sentences that didn't really mean much but meant a lot to me.

Words are important. I believe we have forgotten this.