Back in the mid 70s, I took a playwriting course with John Herbert (Fortune and Men’s Eyes). Herbert was a constant storyteller in class, describing once how he’d become friends with Tennessee Williams not long after “Fortune” was an off- Broadway sensation. They’d met in New Orleans and Herbert described going through the marketplaces with Williams, and how everyone knew the famous playwright, and how he walked from stall to stall, joking with the vendors. On one of their many walks, Williams related the story to Herbert of meeting Hemingway. According to Williams, Hemingway often sat barefoot in the bars, and there were those who (in Spanish, of course), referred to Papa as “The Fat Pig.” Williams also told of Hemingway’s frustration that all of his first editions were becoming moldy, both in Cuba and Key West, and how he had wanted to move them to Ketchum, but health, deadlines, wars, etc got in the way, and none of the books would be saved. Williams never got a real handle on Hemingway, but perhaps nobody did (Carlos Baker did a pretty good job). In any event, it was an era of great storytellers, and the stories of the playwrights and novelists—and even reviewers—were wonderfully larger than life, something they always wanted to be—and the great ones succeeded. Thanks for the post, Steve. Nice job.

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I did a poor imitation of Don Draper for 40 years before writing my first novel. I'm currently in the final stages of a children's book. Lucky me.

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