Thursday, December 1, 2016

Papa Hemingway's Son/Daughter

I think the sad saga of Gregory Hemingway's life and death has been edged discreetly under the carpet.  Greg - or Gloria, his preference in later years - was born in 1931, the second son of Hemingway's second wife, Pauline.  His was a difficult birth, and in later years Papa attributed his ... less than conventional ways to that.  Papa was born in 1899 which goes far to explain an irrational belief like that.

Greg had been a thorn in poseur macho Papa's side since he was 10 years old and Papa found him in Mama's bedroom trying on her dresses and stockings.  Papa himself had been dressed and coifed as a girl by his own dingbat mother. 

When Pauline died suddenly, age 56, Greg blamed Papa and said he killed her.  The parents had been in a heated argument about Greg when a hitherto unknown tumor on her adrenaline gland went into overdrive and she died on the operating table.  Papa said Greg killed her because he was the source of the argument. 

Greg went on to possibly disprove he was a little ... different by marrying four times and siring seven children.  The 8th kid was adopted. 

Paternal duty done? he unleashed his feminine side and started sex reassignment.  He started with breast augmentation, but only had one done.  The other was left as God made him.  Give that a minute to percolate ... and then learn that he hadn't yet gotten around to fiddling with his genitalia. 

He was mercurial by temperament and alcohol and drugs.  He presented mostly as male, but in Key Biscayne and Cocoanut Grove, nothing was considered outrageous.  If he came into one of his favorite bars, dressed as a woman, friends just shrugged it off.  They knew that the next night, he might well be his masculine side.  He was welcomed either way.

The police were less than impressed with either personality as under the influence, Gloria was aggressive and abusive. 

His last arrest was for indecent exposure.  He was walking stark naked down the middle of the main drag at 4 o'clock in the afternoon.  He'd paused to pull on underpants, reportedly a flowered thong, but was carrying his dress and high heels. 

The police lodged him in the women's section of Miami-Dade jail and five days later he was found dead of an apparent heart attack.  It was caused, some whispered, by his struggles to get into a pair of too-tight pants  He had been diagnosed with hypertension and cardiovascular disease.

Older brother Patrick 88 now, has clearly escaped the Hemingway Suicide Curse (5 down so far.)Hemingways offed themselves with such frequency that had they all lived in the same town, remaining relatives could have gotten a substantial discount from a funeral home.

Google the above at your own peril.  I didn't come across any photos, but Google Images might.  My imagination, however, is vivid enough (unfortunately) that it's going to take awhile for his probable image to fade. 

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