2006 Winner: Chris Storm
When Jean Klausing announced my name as the winner of the 2006 Hemingway Look-alike competition, I felt many emotions: elation at having won, appreciation for the years of support from my family and friends, and sadness knowing my competitive days were over. I’d come to really enjoy the preparation and practice that went into trying to develop a unique routine that would stand out from the many other outstanding competitors, and I enjoyed the camaraderie among the contestants as we waited in the heat on the street for our turn on stage.
This journey began for me seven or eight years before when a friend in Amarillo bought a copy of Life magazine with Hemingway’s face on the cover and “The Old Man and the Sea” inside. He said I was a dead ringer for the author. I’d never thought of it before, but I’ve hunted and fished my entire life and I’d read all of Hemingway’s works – some several times – so maybe there was something to it.
A short time later, I saw a documentary that included a film clip of the contest at Sloppy Joe’s featuring, of all people, Kevin Sullivan. With that introduction, I figured this had to be a good time. Fortunately 25 or 30 of my closest friends and a couple of our children thought so, too. We were off to Key West and were not disappointed.
I didn’t win, but I did make the finals and more important, I learned there was a lot more to this whole thing than just a three-day contest and lots of partying. Grite and I have made lots of life-long friends who do wonderful things for the students of the Keys. It’s a privilege to be involved with such a great group of people. I do miss being on-stage though. So great for the ego.