2 Hemingway scholars to speak at benefit for SF College

Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 3:57 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at 3:57 p.m.

Aficionados of liquor and literature can convene to enjoy both at Cellar 12 this Friday.

The Santa Fe College Foundation is hosting an event featuring Philip Greene, author of "To Have and Have Another: A Hemingway Cocktail Companion," and Raul Villarreal, an author-artist whose father tended to Hemingway's Cuban estate for 15 years.

For $100 per ticket, guests can hear Greene and Villarreal speak about their connections to Hemingway while drinking cocktails described by the author in his novels.

The event starts at 7 p.m. at Cellar 12, 12 SE First Ave. in Gainesville.

Proceeds benefit the Santa Fe College student scholarship fund, and tickets can be bought at the Santa Fe College Foundation's online store.

"It's a very rare opportunity" to experience two Hemingway scholars speaking together, said Michael Curry, associate vice president for development at SFC and deputy executive director of the SFC Foundation.

Curry, a Key West native and lifelong fan of Hemingway, reached out to Greene and Villarreal for the event.

In Key West, Curry said, both of his grandfathers knew Hemingway, though not well. One saw the author at the docks and one saw him at the newspaper, which was located across from Sloppy Joe's Bar, reportedly one of Hemingway's favorite watering holes.

Curry invited Villarreal to speak at the college's Fine Arts Hall last year, where he discussed his experience helping his father, Rene Villarreal, pen a memoir of his time with Hemingway.

This year, for a fresh fundraising idea for the SFC scholarship program, "I just thought it would be kind of fun to have both (Villarreal and Greene)," Curry said.

Villarreal, calling on his father's stories, will talk about day-to-day life at Finca Vigia, Hemingway's estate outside Havana.

Greene also has a unique perspective into Hemingway lore. He is one of the founders of the Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans, and in his book provides historical context for drinks that were popularized by Hemingway and also many lesser-known libations.

Curry said Cellar 12 will be decorated to represent the three places Hemingway lived and wrote about: Africa, Paris and the Gulf Stream — Key West and Cuba.

Greene will organize his lecture around the three locations, and six cocktails that represent them. Guests will sample three. Dinner will be served.

Afterward, both authors will be available to sign their books, for purchase at the venue.

Curry said anyone with an interest should attend.

"I think this is an event probably for anyone, but particularly for anyone who is a fan of Hemingway or a fan of his writing," he said.

Contact Erin Jester at 338-3166 or erin.jester@gainesville.com.

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