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TOTM Hemingway Hess1

George Hess of Ivesdale is in full Ernest Hemingway mode while attending the 39th Hemingway Days in Key West, Fla., with girlfriend Linda Lietz, background right.

TOTM Hemingway Hess2

George Hess of Ivesdale, left, poses for a photo with Michael Groover, winner of the 2019 Hemingway Look-Alike Contest at the 39th Hemingway Days in Key West, Fla.

George Hess is a dead ringer for Ernest Hemingway.

Or so he’s told.

“When I go places, I hear that a lot,” said the 65-year-old retiree from Ivesdale.

Looking to make it official, George and his girlfriend, Linda Lietz, spent part of their recent vacation at the 39th Hemingway Days in Key West, Fla. A highlight of the festival honoring the late, great literary giant is a Hemingway Look-Alike Contest, which this year drew 141 contestants.

Hess was among 28 finalists to advance to a Saturday night showdown at Sloppy Joe’s Bar on Duval Street — a favorite stop of Hemingway’s during his many years in Key West — where his bearded bid fell short.

Still, “it was a wonderful time,” Hess said, adding that he plans to compete again in 2020. “It’s hard to beat Key West.”

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Provided That's Linda LIetz on the bull and George Hess back right.