2016 Winner:  David Hemingway

     I was born in Furth Germany in 1950. In 1955 I was adopted by an American couple, Major T.S. Hemingway (U.S.  Army) and his wife Charlotte stationed in post war Germany. This is why whenever ask ‘the question’ my answer was always “No, I am not related to Ernest but my father always said we were, but I have not been able to find any evidence of that”.

     In the summer of 2009 my buddies told me that I was on the front page of USA Today. It turns out they were referring to a photo of the 2009 Hemingway Look Alike Contest. And then proceeded to convince me that I should enter next year’s contest, which I did. I went down there with the big head, convinced that I would come back to NC as Papa 2010. In preparation I tried to whiten up my two tone beard with Santa make-up. It looked good when applied but after my ten blocks walk to Sloppy Joes on Friday afternoon with the high temperatures and humidity, it was all caked up and looked awful. What did I know? Not a soul and nervous as a whore in church while on stage. Needless to say I did not even move into the Saturday night round. I was so despondent that I had decided not to ever try again.

     Later that year I got some emails about Mid-Year events and made plans to attend. It was the best decision I ever made. Met some great folks at Captain Hiram’s, like Randy, Bob and Pat Lanier. Pat kind of took me under his wing and gave me some pointers and peaked my interest about signing up for the next contest.

     To my surprise I made it to the finals that next year and every year after that. It was an even bigger surprise when I made the final five in my 5th year and every year after that. And totally surprised when I was in a three way tie my sixth year. That brought me full circle back to being convinced by my friends that I was going to win the following year. They were so convinced that about 20 of them followed me to Key West in the summer of 2016. And once again I was under extreme pressure to win. So much so that I almost ruined my chances of moving into the finals by getting intoxicated before appearing on stage Friday night. I was warned later by several of the Judges that I better show up sober on Saturday night. I took their advice to heart and did not consume but one drink, right before getting on stage the next night. And as they say ‘the rest is history’.

     As your Papa 2016 I would just like to thank all of those who supported me along this journey. And also would like to say that I am proud and honored to represent the Look Alike Society in my day to day travels. I am blessed to be associated with the Papas, Mamas, Wannabees, and all of the wonderful friends that I have met along this incredible journey….Papa Dave….2016.