“I wonder if the Cards will ever win a pennant?”
“Not in our lifetime,” Bill said.
“Gee, they’d go crazy,” Nick said.
That tidy conversation was published almost 100 years ago, just a year before the Cardinals would win their first pennant and foreshadowing by six decades Jack Buck’s famous “Go crazy, folks!”
Ernest Hemingway’s clear, concise prose in 1925 seems as modern as anything from a broadcast booth today and evokes a friend who was one of many from St. Louis. These many friends would not only make appearances in Hemingway’s fiction, they’d also marry and divorce him, bear his only children and finance his early writing years.
One wife “paved the way for him to be able to write and not think of anything else,” says Lynn Novick, co-director with Ken Burns of a documentary that begins Monday on PBS. Pauline Pfeiffer’s loving uncle even bought them a place in Key West and sent them on an expensive safari.
Another wife helped him leave the Midwest for Paris. And a third found and fixed up a home in Cuba. And when he was stagnant, she arranged for him to return to war reporting.
His marriages to three women from St. Louis, all “ambitious in their own way,” as Novick says, are part of the three-part “Hemingway” broadcast. And, with a recent book, it is the latest to touch on the tremendous web of connections the influential author had with this city — and the influence some of its people had on him.