|Dr. Siluk in Havana, Cuba, at the Ambos Mundos Hotel,
6-2002, in E. Hemingway’s |
Room, his chair and desk and typewriter at hand
Monday, October 24, 2016
A Foolish Thing to Do! ((St. Paul, Minnesota, 2003, Albemarle Street)
It’s a hard reminder for me, one of the most unpleasant I ever had to express. And it all came about through my own foolishness, too, and I don’t use that word ‘fool…’ lightly, very seldom, it is one word I think the Lord hates man to use, unless worthy of it. Even yet sometimes, when I think of it, I want to beat the shit out of the guy, I swear I nearly got on the airplane and journeyed off to someplace in England, I never heard of, perhaps, even now, if I was to look through my files, after all this time, couldn’t find it, and that was thirteen years ago. Possibly, even now, after all this time there will be a kind of consummation, or fulfillment, in making myself look bargain-basement cheap by telling of it.
It all started in 2003, I had read all of Faulkner’s books, all of Fitzgerald’s books, all of Mary Renault’s books, got signatures, or first editions of them all, and one book signed by each of those authors but F. Scott’s, and now I had finished Hemingway’s books, all of them. When I went to Cuba, I even went to the hotel where he had wrote “For Whom the Bell Tolls” The Ambos Mundos Hotel, and sat in his chair, June of 2002, paying the lady in the room, where he lived in 1932 (Ernest Hemmingway being 39-years old at the time), $5 dollars, to lock the door as I sat in the chair, so no one would come in to bother me. To tell the truth I felt a little foolish that I should be sitting in the chair at all, which of course was forbidden. So now back to Minnesota, I’m looking for a signed book, letter, anything signed by Hemingway that has documentation to its originality. All my signatures have such authentication.
All this running around inspires me to write, I even went to Greece because of Mary Renault’s writes on Greece. I’ve read nearly all of Sherwood Anderson’s works, and I could go on and on, I have perhaps 30-special authors I like, and 30-poets I enjoy, and out of them a handful, I consider worthy of mentioning twice in a sentence.
Well, I searched high and low, the books were too expensive, and his letters were even higher. Then I found a letter, I believe it to be original, one written about a boy, who Hemingway met in Cuba, and he sent him some money, and it had something to do with baseball, it was on blue paper. And I made some search of it, and even copied the letter. It was on abe.com, and they are usually pretty good, and the guy took the letter off. And I wrote him, I wanted to buy it, but he’d not put it back on, yet in inferred I could buy it threw him. Well, I didn’t see any guarantee. But a letter like that for $1100-dollars was a good deal, my motto has for the most part been: when in doubt, don’t! But I wasn’t listening to my senses (later on, after this deal, just his signature would cost me $1000, with a guarantee, ten-years later).
So this fellow who kept writing back assuring me in Northern England I’d get the letter I wanted, if I sent him a Cashier’s Check made out to his bank account some other place, so I sent it to him, and he never sent the letter. I wrote him about it, he wrote back, as I lay awake nights thinking up ways to injure him without being found out.
But this place in England was some small town, in Timbuktu (metaphorically speaking), and he told me blank, “You’ll never find me,” (and he’s lucky I didn’t, I’d be in jail for what I was thinking) and I reported it to the FBI, gave all the information to them, and they were useless, lazy sprawling like beach bums, and never even wrote me back (had it been Hillary Clinton, they would have jumped on it, like white on rice).
Well, I never really talked about it since then, what’s the use I figured. Such fellows grab every opportunity, thieves, they are just thieves.
What I could say, my wife looking at me, I said to myself, ‘Gosh darn such a big fool—that’s what I am.’ I even thought I’d stop working be a bum like this guy earning money, why be a boob as myself. Well, after beating myself up some, I’ve learned to go treat one’s self, you always feel better, and I don’t drink booze or smoke, gosh darn what can I do, I went to Paris, purchased a Dali print, signed by him, then once back home, I bought a document signed by Benito Mussolini, the old Italian Fascist dictator, and signed by the King of Italy; Mussolini I have a lot of history on hand ((the document being: Cat. No. 123, Lot. 105, Ref: 69519) (out of Pacific Grove CA)). In any case, nobody took much interest in this document, for $240-dollars to which they were originally asking $1500, at the time, at the auction, the natural going price; today if you tried to buy it at any reputable Historical Signature Gallery the cost would be $5000-dollars and up. So by and large, all learning lessons cost. And all bad lessons, you got to treat yourself, and become wiser.