There was a bond my father had with Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway had re-shaped the definition of masculinity of American males in the 1940s and 1950s. A large segment of these men fashioned themselves after Hemingway, taking their cues from his sense of adventurism.
Dr. Arthur Zampella was not immune from the influences of Hemingway’s works as a writer. So much was that influence, that he purchased the sister ship of La Bella Lola [originally christened as the Fairweather] that was built for Hemingway in the Cayman Islands in 1947.
In 1948, may dad took the schooner on a Hemingway inspired deep sea fishing trip and landed a 12 foot sailfish off the coast of Venezuela. That fish hangs on the wall of the indoor pool at Idylease to this very day: A relic connected to Ernest Hemingway hanging on walls of Idylease. How cool is that?
The boat was moored in the Long Island Sound for many years before it tore loose in a hurricane and ended up on the rocks at Atlantic Highlands in New Jersey. The vessel was unable to be salvaged. A sad ending to a vibrant period of my dads life.
At my dads funeral in 1992, his best friend Andy Bertone, laughed about a drunken night in the 50s when they attempted to board the schooner and impress their dates with a stolen row boat. They all gave up because they simply couldn’t find the boat in the pitch dark.
Little would my father know that many years later, the connection with Hemingway would culminate with a documentary I produced on Ernest Hemingway with John Mulholland and his daughter Shannon. The film received a Critics Pic from the New York Times in 2013. Post production work was completed at Idylease, with my father being a constant inspiration to help tell the story.
Patrick Hemingway; Ernest’s last surviving son, was fascinated by the odd connection between our fathers when we discussed it over dinner at the Yale Club a few years ago.
Special Feature – Writer/Director John Mulholland discusses Ernest Hemingway and his impact on author Elmore Leonard. Elmore Leonard: But Don’t Try to Write is a 2021 Official Selection at this weeks American Documentary and Animation Festival in Palm Springs, California. Produced & Edited by Richard Zampella at Transmultimedia Entertainment. Post production work completed at Idylease. Narrated by Campbell Scott. To learn more, visit: www.elmoredoc.com