Horse Rescue

Humane Society officers and volunteers work to assess nearly 30 horses found neglected at an abandoned farm along Bedillion Road in South Franklin Township on Tuesday afternoon after receiving a complaint about the horses conditions. The horses have had little to no food for months and have sustained themselves on bark and trees. Some of the horses were unable to even walk and had to be pulled to an area where they could be fed. One horse didn't have the strength to stand and caused fear with volunteers that it may be very close to death. Some even tried to hand feed the horses. Animal cruelty charges are pending against the owner.

Finding Agnes

Those who know me well know of my admiration for Ernest Hemingway. I've visited his homes in Key West and in Cuba. I've seen and touched the Pilar, the boat from the Old Man and the Sea. I've sat in his seat at his favorite drinking hole, La Terraza, in Cojimar, Cuba and sipped a mojito not far from where he penned the Old Man and the Sea. Being captivated by Hemingway's story I've always been drawn to the story of him and Agnes von Kurowsky, one of the great loves of his life.

Serving as an ambulance driver in Italy during World War I, Hemingway, eighteen-years old at the time, was taken to a Milan hospital after an explosion badly injured his leg. In that hospital he met Agnes, a twenty-six year old American nurse, who cared for him as he recuperated. Hemingway was infatuated with her from the start, and for a time she seemed to have feelings for him as well, though she later said she merely "liked" him and that their relationship was nothing more than a "flirtation." Hemingway wanted them to get married, but Agnes - because of their difference in age rejected the idea.

In January 1919 Hemingway left the hospital but continued to write her. Agnes decided she finally had to convince him it was over, and on March 7, 1919, she wrote Hemingway a letter ending their relationship. While Hemingway never truly got over his love for Agnes, he once told a close friend in the summer of 1919, "I loved her once and then she gypped me. And I don't blame her. But I set out to cauterize out her memory and I burnt it out with a course of booze and other women and now it's gone. But not gone entirely."

Agnes became the basis for Catherine Bakley, the beautiful young American nurse who treats and falls in love with an American soldier in an Italian hospital in Hemingway's 1929 classic A Farewell to Arms. While Hemingway never again saw Agnes, he went on to marry four other women. His first wife was Hadley Richardson. They married in 1921 and had a son, John, in 1923. They were divorced in 1928. Hemingway married Pauline Pfeiffer in 1928 and had two sons with her, Patrick in 1928 and Gregory in 1931. He divorced Pauline in 1940 and married Martha Gellhorn that same year. He divorced Martha in 1945 and married his fourth and final wife, Mary Welsh, in 1946. Many believe that for Hemingway, it was his undying love for Agnes that filled his heart with hurt and despair and drove him to long his whole life for the love he once felt with her. On the morning of July 2, 1961, some three weeks short of his 62nd birthday, he died at his home in Ketchum, Idaho, the result of a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head.

Agnes was married twice. She married Howard Preston ("Pete") Garneron November 24, 1928 while stationed with the Red Cross in Haiti. After her Haitian assignment was completed she obtained a quick divorce. She married for the second time to William Stanfield in 1934. Stanfield was a hotel manager and widower with three grown children. During World War II her husband and one of her stepsons both served in the Navy. Agnes and her two stepdaughters went to New York City, where Agnes worked at the Red Cross Blood Bank on Fifth Avenue. She remained married to Stanfield until her death in 1984, aged 92. She is buried in the Soldiers Home National Cemetery in Washington D.C.

Yesterday I visited Agnes' grave and left two white roses, one for me and one for Hemingway.

Strip Club

Some photos from Cheerleaders, Pittsburgh's newest strip club. The gentleman's club, which moved into the building where Bare Elegance used to be in the Strip District, hopes to change customers idea of what strip clubs should be.

Valentines Day

Jacqueline Peters, an employee with Cindy Esser's Floral Shop on the South Side, puts together a flower arrangement for Valentines Day on Friday afternoon, February 13, 2009. The flower shop has well over 200 hundred orders in the past week for Valentines Day.

The Bride of Penn Avenue

Playwright and filmmaker Melissa Martin of Mt. Lebanon has chosen Judy Penzer's "The Bride of Penn Avenue" mural on a house on Penn Avenue in Garfield as her favorite piece of public art.

Car Show Fun

Dottie Montgomery of New Castle tries out her driving skills at the Pittsburgh International Auto Show at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown on Thursday evening.

Acharya Yashovijaysuri

Acharya Yashovijaysuri, a guru of Jainism, one of the world's oldest religions, shakes Dr. Daniel Prevedello's hand as he lays in his hospital bed after having successful brain surgery at UPMC to remove a tumor which restored his sight. The guru who has never been in a car, boat, or any motorized vehicle was given special permission from religious leaders to travel to Pittsburgh to have the procedure. The guru is considered a living god by his followers.

Marriage Licenses

Sarah Lange, supervisor of marriage licenses, gives Kevin Powers and Cheryl Horton of Imperial an oath as they register for a marriage license at the City County Building, Downtown on Tuesday afternoon, February 10, 2009.

Rainy Golf

Ron Skirpan, 61, of Plum doesn't mind the rainy weather as he drives golf balls on Tuesday afternoon at Stoney Creek Golf Center in Plum. "I've been sitting around all winter dying to do something," he said.


Saw these tulips today at an assignment and couldn't resist shooting a few frames.

Winter Walk

Mary Dunn of Highland Park enjoys the sun as she walks around Highland Park on Monday morning, February 9, 2009.

Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka

Prentiss Orr and Barry Young are partners at Pennsylvania Pure Distilleries in Shaler where they produce and sell their Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka.

Steelers Victory Parade

Downtown Pittsburgh became a sea of black & gold today as nearly 300,000 Steeler fans lined the streets to welcome home the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers back to the city of champion after their win against the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII.

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About Me

My photo
Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Justin Merriman, an award-winning photojournalist has spent more than a decade traveling the world to cover politics, wars, natural disasters and civil unrest. His work has appeared in leading national and international publications and he has received numerous top journalism awards. After covering the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks – including the crash of United Flight 93 in Shanksville – Merriman committed to chronicling the U.S. military and its War on Terror. He has followed this story across the US and into the war zones of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. He also has covered life in Fidel Castro’s Cuba in 2002, India’s efforts to eradicate polio, the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Cuba in 2012, the 2013 conclave and election of Pope Francis in Rome, the second anniversary of Egypt's revolution and subsequent unrest, and most recently, Russia's invasion of Crimea and the international crisis that unfolded in Ukraine. Merriman lives in Oakmont with his fiancĂ©, Stephanie Strasburg.

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