Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

For local lawyer who looks like Papa, the sun also rises in Key West

At last — an Ernest Hemingway story with a happy ending.

Remember local lawyer Frank Louderback and his intriguing reason for requesting a Friday off during an upcoming federal trial in Tampa?

He had previous plans (and related reservations) for his fourth shot at Key West's rowdy annual Hemingway look-alike contest, alongside dozens of other bearded men hoping to most resemble the author called Papa.

Uh, no, the judge said.

Actually, U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday said much more in his elegant if biting order, quoting Hemingway and Dorothy Parker and saying the author himself would have stayed.

"Perhaps a lawyer who evokes Hemingway can resist relaxing frolic in favor of solemn duty," the judge wrote. And: "Best of luck to counsel in next year's contest." In case you were wondering where he stood.

Who could resist a court comeuppance both literary and tart? Not lawyers, who can be as gossipy as ladies under hair dryers. Louderback landed in the Times and on legal blogs, msnNOW and the Huffington Post. Calls came from Miami and Canada. Stories liked to say he tried to win over the judge on "the importance of being Ernest."

Some took a poke at the lawyer for asking to "suspend" a trial, apparently not knowing such requests aren't unheard of (even if the reason was unique), or that some judges don't hold trials on Fridays.

So he would not go. In fun, a few local judges took to calling Louderback, a respected and familiar face in their courtrooms, Mr. Hemingway.

Maybe Merryday was showing off a little literary dexterity. Who says a judge, even a lofty, untouchable federal one, can't try to have a little fun?

Perhaps inspired, another judge last week quoted a different classic, this one in a Palm Beach County case involving a boot camp guard who came home to find her daughter dallying with a young man.

The order invoked a Jim Croce tune that warns: You don't tug on Superman's cape, spit into the wind, pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger, and you don't mess around with Jim.

"And," the judge advised, "you don't let a pistol-packing mother catch you naked in her daughter's closet." (King Kong and that junkyard dog got a mention, too.)

And remember that judge in Orlando who ordered lawyers to settle a nitpicky dispute with a round of "rock, paper, scissors"?

This week came news: Two of the defendants scheduled for trial, including Louderback's client, pleaded guilty.

And the road to Key West is clear.

So what exactly is the appeal of this strange if festive event of beards and beers raised in the name of Hemingway? Brotherhood, the faithful will tell you. Louderback met a man who had come for 28 years. Another showed up who was clearly decades too young to be Hemingway. Turned out his father, a contestant, passed away, and the son came to stand in his place. And it's all for scholarships.

And our local lawyer will be there.

"All is well in the world," Louderback said.

What might the judge think of all that? Maybe he would again quote that final, cynical line from Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises, like he did in his order, saying:

"Isn't it pretty to think so?'"

Comments
Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

Rays journal: Could Sergio Romo be looking at pitching 3 straight games?

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays' pitching rotation for the weekend series against the Orioles could have a familiar look: Romo, Romo, Romo.Manager Kevin Cash said using veteran right-handed reliever Sergio Romo as the "opener" in all three upcoming g...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

Rookie’s error in 9th helps doom Rays against Red Sox

ST. PETERSBURG — Willy Adames was so excited to be in the big leagues, even if was for just a three-day cameo callup. So thrilled to make a smashing debut with a homer on Tuesday. So proud to have his parents and sister fly in from the Dom...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
‘This looks bleak.’ Game 7 loss short circuits Lightning fans

‘This looks bleak.’ Game 7 loss short circuits Lightning fans

TAMPA — Nick Genovese was anxious.The 21-year-old from Land O’Lakes had come to Thunder Alley outside Amalie Arena hoping to see the Tampa Bay Lightning triumph over the Washington Capitals in Wednesday night’s Eastern Conference winner-take-all Game...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

Lightning’s season ends one win short of Stanley Cup final with 4-0 loss to Capitals

TAMPA — The Lightning's dream season ended late Wednesday with the final horn, or, if you prefer, early in the second period of Game 5, when it scored its last goal of the Eastern Conference final.How about that? The team with the most regular-...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay had its chances. Here are the best ones

Lightning-Capitals: Tampa Bay had its chances. Here are the best ones

TAMPA — Yanni Gourde said he will have to see a replay to know just how it got away, but even in a lopsided 4-0 loss like Wednesday night, he'll remember the puck in front of an empty net, and the missed opportunity that encapsulated a frustrat...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Red Sox game

In a way, the timing of RHP Jake Faria's oblique injury seemed manageable in that RHP Nathan Eovaldi is close to coming off the disabled list and can step in. But on the other hand, the Rays finally could have four regular starters. Imagine that.Ther...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning-Capitals: A hurt that could last forever

Lightning-Capitals: A hurt that could last forever

TAMPA — This one stings. And it will ache for a long time. Maybe forever in these parts.Another chance for a Stanley Cup. Another disappointment. As the Lightning skated off the ice after losing Wednesday night's Game 7 of the Eastern Conferenc...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Woman hit, killed while crossing road in Tampa

TAMPA — A pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle while crossing N 40th Street near E Hanlon Street on Wednesday night, according to Tampa police.The crash took place just before 8 p.m. The driver was heading north on 40th Street before strikin...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Son tells NC police he found dog leash around neck of strangled Hillsborough developer Bill Bishop

Son tells NC police he found dog leash around neck of strangled Hillsborough developer Bill Bishop

After a prominent Hillsborough County developer died last month in North Carolina, word spread it was a heart attack that claimed his life.But records from that state show the death of William "Bill" Bishop was much more complicated.His 16-year-old s...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

Lightning-Capitals: Grading Tampa Bay’s 4-0 loss in Game 7

TAMPA — Forget Vegas.The Lightning have left the building.No more season. No more watch parties. No more anything.There is no way around it. Jon Cooper's team couldn't finish, not in Game 7 at home, not in the Eastern Conference final...
Updated: 1 hour ago