2015 Winner: Charlie Boice
Once upon a time a very good friend of mine suggested that I get into the Hemingway Look a Like contest. Since the Keys have been one of my favorite vacation places I showed up at Sloppy Joes on Thursday night to see what it was all about. I competed in my first year on Friday night and when the microphone was handed to me I just babbled for a few seconds. After my initial fright I was comforted by the Horny one, Tom Chadwick, who explained to me that this isn’t something that is won in your first try. So I decided I’d come back and I came back again and again and again…
It was only after a few years that I had the pleasure of making the finals. That was really exciting and my family drove from Jacksonville on Friday to be there to cheer me on. Then they started making their vacation plans around the contest and it became a big family event. But it all started to change for me in 2009 when I competed in the International Hemingway Impersonators contest in Pamplona, Spain. I was a runner up to Tom Grizzard and really enjoyed the time I spent with Tom and his lovely wife Linda. That trip and the following year’s trip back to Spain for the winner and runner ups (Brian Gordon was also a runner up) allowed my relationship with these two good friends to blossom. Having a mentor like Tom showed me some of the ways to increase my chances of winning.
I started staying at the wonderful Mango Tree Inn where many fun celebrations have been held over the years. The contest has allowed me to meet some lifelong friends who still today I see regularly. Year after year the camaraderie that the Papa’s and Momma’s and Wannabe’s share is something very very special and is a tight fraternity of brothers. I’ve had a cheering section of friends from places all across the country and they all come back to Key West to join in the fun.
2015 was certainly a very special year for me. After a great midyear celebration in Savannah with Paula Deen and Mike Groover I was in Guana Cay Bahamas in the spring and caught my first Blue Marlin with my good friend Dr. Ken Simmons. I love to fish and share Papa’s love of the sea and the sport fishing world.
Two weeks before this years contest my wonderful niece married her long time sweetheart. They had told me that because of honeymoon and work commitments they were not going to be able to make Key West this year. I understood but knew I’d miss them cause we are a close family and they just didn’t miss the contest. Well my world was rocked when on the Wednesday before the contest while sharing lunch (that we caught that morning) with some Papa’s and Momma’s and Wannabe’s, my wonderful sister and brother-in-law came and joined us on their way to Key West. A few moments later I was tapped on the shoulder by my niece n nephew who had flown in from their Hawaii honeymoon to be with me!!!! Wow. What a wonderful surprise!! My new nephew’s National Guard unit had exercise’s that week in Key West. So not only did I have my family and friends cheering for me but I also had the National Guard!!!! Then on Saturday night the honor of being selected as this year’s Papa made 2015 the best year ever!!!!!!
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