Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Boxing Hemingway

Boxing in Paris

One day, some time in the 1930s, Shine Forbes was acting as a second to a young boxer who was taking quite a pasting. Shine threw in the towel. The referee refused to accept it. He did it again and once more the referee kicked it away. Furious at his refusal to stop the fight, Shine climbed into the ring and swung a punch at the referee. Only after the fight was Shine told that the referee he had assaulted was the famous writer Ernest Hemingway. He was made to go round to the house and apologize straightaway.

Shine knocked on the door of the grand house at 907 Whitehead with deep misgivings, but Hemingway, far from being angry, asked him and his friends in for some sparring practice and told them to come round any time.

And they did. One Christmas, Shine recalls, they were walking up Whitehead, short of cash, when they saw a light in the Hemingways' house and knocked on the door. Hemingway was holding a party and the boys earned $200 sparring by the pool as an entertainment for his guests.

(Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure)

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