My Last Cigar

In his 1924 classic Death in the Afternoon, Ernest Hemingway constructs a dialogue between himself and another American on the subjects of bullfighting, soccer and football.  The number of young men injured, paralyzed and killed playing football numbered in the thousands (today, it’s the tens of thousands).  The number of young men hurt playing soccer is minimal by comparison.  And then there is bullfighting.  Where humans occasionally get hurt – but rarely killed.  Hemingway’s point — those who decry bullfighting rarely raise a whisper about American football.   

Many years ago, in another lifetime, Donna and I spent the better part of a month following the corrida de toros circuit in Spain.  Diego Puerta was a favorite.  Madrid.  Cordoba.  Malaga.  Sevilla.  And others.  It was pretty special.  I still have great pictures from those Sundays.  There was artistry.  Tension.  Spectacle.   A unique smell.   There was the classic music.  And the denouement. . . . .  The last time I went to a bullfight was in Monterrey Mexico with my good friend Antonio G.  The Plaza de Toros Monumental on the Avenida Alfonso Reyes.  That was the last time too when I had a cigar.  A gigantic Cuban.  Hand-rolled.  Cohiba Robusto.  If you haven’t been to a bullfight, read Hemingway’s classic and then go.  I’ve read it a few times.  And get yourself a big hand-rolled Cohiba Robusto . . . . .

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