From Castro to Cancun

Havana from Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro

by Clay Reynolds

“In June, 2013, Darwin Payne, past president of the Texas Institute of Letters, organized a tour of Cuba, with an emphasis on Havana and excursions to the countryside, through a Canadian Travel Agency working in cooperation with the Cuban Travel Agency, San Cristobal. The offer to go was extended to all TIL members, and twenty-seven individuals took advantage of the week-long junket. These included such notable TIL members as Jim and Kate Lehrer, Robert and Jean Flynn, Hugh Aynesworthy, Michael Zagst, Mark Busby, James and Lynn Hoggard, Anita Bunkley, and Kathi Appelt, among others. The tour included a visit to famous haunts of American writer Ernest Hemingway, including his Cuban ‘ranch’ and the fishing village where he composed The Old Man and the Sea and where much of the movie, starring Spencer Tracy, was filmed. This was an amazing and astounding trip, highly educational and enlightening, and it provided a unique opportunity for all of us to see Cuba as it is today.”

“From Castro to Cancun.” Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture. (May 2014). by Clay Reynolds

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