N.C. man wins Hemingway look-alike contest
KEY WEST -- A white-bearded, 64-year-old North Carolina investment banker won Key West's Ernest Hemingway look-alike contest, a highlight of the annual Hemingway Days celebration that ended Sunday.
Greg Fawcett beat 139 other "Papa" Hemingway Look-Alike contestants late Saturday night on the 113th anniversary of the late author's birth.
"Thank you, Ernest!" Fawcett shouted as his name was announced at Sloppy Joe's Bar, where Hemingway often drank with friends.
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Competitors in sportsman's attire paraded before a judging panel of former winners during two preliminary rounds and the finals, trying to prove their resemblance to the famed author who resided in Key West throughout the 1930s.
Fawcett, who won on his 10th attempt, credited his victory to establishing camaraderie with the judges, timing his haircuts carefully and paying attention to the length of his beard. In addition to his appearance, he said he shares several traits with the Nobel Prize-winning writer.
"I'm an avid hunter; I fish every day," said Fawcett. "Unfortunately, I'm not a very good writer but I can drink, so three out of four is pretty good."
Semi-finalists included Michael Groover of Savannah, Ga., who was cheered by his wife, Food Network personality Paula Deen.
Deen praised her husband's Hemingway looks but said he had other equally important qualities in common with the author.
"He's all man, he's truthful and honest and (has) really got the spirit," Deen said. "Yeah, I'm married to a Papa."
Hemingway penned many of his best-known works while living in the island city, including the Key West-based "To Have and Have Not," his only novel with an American setting.
Hemingway Days ended Sunday after events including a marlin tournament, "Running of the Bulls" spoof and short story competition directed by Ernest's granddaughter, author Lorian Hemingway.