Tour: Living Near Hammett

One of the walkers who showed up on September 16 and got in on The Maltese Eagle Caper was a guy named Michael — e-yclept Mjsoltys — who e’ed in advance to check about the date and mentioned:

“I lived at the corner of Pacific and Gough from 1991-1998 and never knew about this tour, and this will be my first time back since I moved to Charleston, SC. I am a big Hammett fan (‘Tulip’ aside), though unfortunately I can find no evidence he ever visited anywhere in SC.

“I did once stay in a posh gated resort near Key Largo called the Angler’s Club (note mention of the ‘Dashiell Hammett cottage’) which I like to imagine might have been near the Florida hideaway where he and Lillian Hellman allegedly worked on The Children’s Hour in ’33-34. I also lived for a year in Westport, CT near Tavern Island where the two supposedly spent time, as well as spent my teen years in Chappaqua, NY a stone’s throw from Hardscrabble Farm in Pleasantville.”

Michael has been shadowing Hammett around for awhile, and enjoying the experience.

I am a big fan of the Florida Keys — if you ever get to Key Largo, try to get out to John Pennekamp State Park, completely underwater, and if you get that far into the chain of islands, you may as well keep plunging south until you’re in Key West (where Hammett once rode out a hurricane, H.P. Lovecraft prowled around, Hemingway and Tennessee Williams had homes).

Which reminds me, someone else on a recent walk mentioned that Key Largo is launching a Bogart Film Festival next year with a lineup of noir movies and a guest appearance by Stephen Bogart, son of Bogie and Bacall.

Sounds like a great excuse to hit the Keys and chow down on Key lime pie.

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