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 Ernest Hemingway Message Boards : General Questions
Subject Topic: Suicide and Wander-Lust: Why?? Post ReplyPost New Topic
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donmadge
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Posted: 06 May 2006 at 12:07am | IP Logged Quote donmadge

Hijo,

Yes indeed it was Milton Wolfe.  I believe the Canadian mentioned in the article may have been my father in law.  The name of the individual is listed as Ward.  This could have been him because that alias was used by him according to police records in the 1950s.  I am planning to get in touch with Milton to see if he remembers anything about the goings on at the time.  I came to the incident at Flix following the movements of this guy Ward who helped to get a very red person over to Spain so that he could join Abraham Lincoln Battalion.  The relationship between ALB and the MacPaps by the way is very similar to 101st Airborn and Princess Patricias Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) now serving in Afghanistan.

Your knowledge of Spanish history is incredible.  Each day each month another tidbit of information comes to the fore.  Incidentally the other day my wife astonished me by telling me her father was a Mason.  What references or associations did Hemingway make or have toward this Order?

Don



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hijo
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Posted: 06 May 2006 at 8:59pm | IP Logged Quote hijo

Don: Good God, Man! Go Back To Your Kipling!

Masons - "Free Masons" - just about EVERYONE who was ANYONE during the days of building THE EMPIRE (you remember, on which the sun never set?) was a Mason. Check also with your contacts in Canada - they might let you know of other groups to which he belonged (non-government, I mean).

Originally called "Free Masons" because they were considered free thinkers - and feared by at least the Catholic Church (especially for some reason in Spain?), they were one of the original "anti" groups, an organization of people who rejected some of the common teachings and political beliefs for centuries.

I'm not one, by the way, but have had many friends who were.

One of the "junior" groups, as in what started a good friend of mine, was the "Knights of the DeMolay" - you'll have to read Dan Brown's book to get more on that...:)

Anyway, I recall Masonry (the ring many wear identifying themselves - a "compass" as in the old carpentry term, and a circle, and a "square") figuring in "The Man Who Would Be King" at least, and if I recall correctly, also in "Kim".

Let's just say old, um, wandering priests, to use the term from "Kim," had to have a means of identifying themselves to others of their, um, sect.

Ah. Mathematics. One of the original codes ...

So. Any idea who was the "Very Red" chap he was getting into Spain? Considering at the time ostensibly the government was still functioning, albeit in Valencia, and most of the Brigadistas arrived by boat at Alicante, I'd like to think he didn't have much trouble until he reached Flix.

I believe Land and Liberty (Tierra y Libertad), David Lynch's movie on the Spanish Civil War, includes scenes allegedly depicting some of that fight. And I know Hemingway and Herbert L. Matthews together covered the Brunette Front battle (the one that cut off half the Brigadistas and Loyalists from the other half along the Ebro). But assuming he's still firing on all synapses, Wolfe will be able to detail any of it you need. Man, that guy needs to write another book. And soon.

If you can get Wolfe to recall meeting your late father-in-law, you're well on your way, I'll bet. Because among other things it places him with Don Andres etc, right? And adds to the "wet op" theory, because after all, everyone - especially during wars - uses people that have well-honed skills regardless of public political persuasion, no? See if Wolfe stayed in touch with any of EH's friends from Flix? He may be more forthcoming knowing you're not involved in any past or current witch hunts.

Now. Tying everything in to Harry Oakes' and mining interests a la La Esmerelda may be a bit dicier, but being Canadian and the aging Fidel's purported love for Don Ernesto a direct but respectful query to the leader might be in order?

As for Spanish history of the past Century, thanks. Being the son of anthropologists, and a newspaperman, I grew up thinking it behooved one to learn as much about a country one was covering as possible to be able to understand the subtext of what one was seeing. Educating oneself about another place and time - what a quaint idea. I used to think it's what all foreign correspondents and foreign affairs specialists did. Actually, I think it used to be.

Best,
hijo
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hijo
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Posted: 06 May 2006 at 9:01pm | IP Logged Quote hijo

Don: assuming you're writing him, for what it's worth, I recall people around Madrid during the reunion shouting out "Milty!" when they saw him and another guy with the same name but not as well-groomed facial hair...:)

Best,
and as always good luck,
hijo
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