To George [Brown], Hemingway’s longtime friend, boxing coach, sparring partner, and trainer who was also a tennis partner and friend to Hemingway’s wife, Martha, Hemingway writes relaying family news along with news of mutual friends and telling a story of a boxing match gone awry with John "Shipwreck" Kelly, the All-American halfback football player who later played for the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers. Hemingway was an avid fan of boxing and prided himself on his skill at the sport. Kelly was a friend of Hemingway’s who went on an African safari with him and apparently visited him in Cuba. Hemingway refers to his children Jack (Bumby), Patrick (Mousie) and Gregory (Gigi), his wife Marty (Martha Gellhorn), and friends including Winston Guest, husband of C.Z. Guest. Hemingway was best man at the wedding of Winston and C.Z. Guest which took place at Finca Vigia in 1947. The letter begins with family news. "Mary is almost finished on a novel she is writing... Bumby went into the army... Mousie did good at school... Gigi same... Mousie never got to like that... school... decided by himself last year that he didn’t believe in God...." He then talks about mutual friends. "Don Andrews is fine and sends his best... Jai-alai players are fine and two of them Paxchy and Fernando are with me now on this trip... Also Winston sends his best too...." Hemingway then describes the fishing trip he is on, "an island in the ocean where the trade wind blows day and night... iguanas six feet long... flamingoes... by the thousands... the ocean is full of the biggest kind of fish...." He then tells the boxing story about putting on his boxing gloves. "Speaking of the sour science old John (4F) Kelly got himself down to a natty 205 and brought his lovely bride out the Finca... I hadn’t had a glove on for six eight months... I was so pitiful...." He describes the bout at length and then refers to a plan that Kelly will come again the next day at 11 and Hemingway came up with strategies to beat him, fair or unfair. He tells how he drinks as he waits for Kelly to arrive but he never arrives. He recounts that he put "a little scotch in my tea" and considers that he might "try to fall on him and break his bad leg." His story, he hopes, gets a laugh out of his friend. "I hope you get a laugh... I had one and so did Winston. Mary’s only reaction was ‘What did you let... Kelly cut your mouth for in the first place?’ She was right." He sends his love to Georgette, referring to George Brown’s lover and longtime companion, Georgette Cohan, the daughter of George M. Cohan. And he ends by asking what his correspondent thinks of the film version of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" which came out in 1943, the year of this letter. Hemingway signs twice, "Ernesto, " and in full, "Ernest Hemingway."
An exceptional letter in every way.