1993 Winner: Frank Meitz
He looks like a Hemingway brother. She sings like a jazz diva. Welcome to the world of Frank and Maxine Meitz.
The couple met when Frank, living in Chicago, journeyed to Cleveland for a management consultant assignment. The leaders of his company suggested he check out a talented singer performing with the house band at the Theatrical Grill.
The result: “We got romantically involved,” said Frank, who fell for Maxine’s music and more.
Besides consulting for a wide range of companies, Frank shared his knowledge at 11 different universities. “I would teach adults how the hell to keep a company going, developing it, and making money.”
His job eventually led to Key West trips. He fell in love with the lifestyle of the Keys, moving from the Windy City to Summerland Key 22 years ago.
Similar to the original papa, Frank shares a deep passion for fishing. “I’m a fanatic about fishing. I collect different poles and reels for different fishing.” And he isn’t the only fishing fiend in the family. “Maxine loves it, too, and she always beats me when we place bets on who gets the best catch.”
A veteran of the entertainment business, Maxine graced venues in Toronto, New York, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Lake Tahoe, her jazzy styling ranging from George Gershwin to Hoagy Carmichael.
But the sweetest music ever to please Frank’s ears came when he heard his name announced as the winner of the 1993 Hemingway Look-Alike contest.
“It was wonderful to win. I finally won it in my seventh year. You don’t understand what you go through until you actually become a judge. It meant the opportunity to work with a group of Papas and enhance the Hemingway Look-Alike Society.”
Papa Meitz urged more communication and participation with the wannabes, not just during the competition, but during the entire year. He helped push the idea of a mid-year meeting that has become popular since the year it launched in Jensen beach, Florida.
Papa Meitz, born in Chicago, December 22, 1928, offered some sage advice to wannabes: “If you’re a contestant and don’t win anything, sure, there’s a little disappointment. It lasts about 10-15 minutes, then you’re ready to try again next year.
Frank passed away in December, 2008