A fellow racer and writer for Sports
Car Magazine emailed me not long ago with some interesting information
about this quote:
I was chasing down some references to the famous Ernest Hemingway quote
about mountain climbing, bullfighting and motor racing and came across
your site, and the notation citing Josh Silverstein that "After years
of searching, I have been unsuccessful in attributing this quotation
to Ernest Hemingway or to anyone else for that matter."
Well, a couple of
years ago I believe I stumbled across the source. No surprise that it
was not Hemingway, also no surprise that it was a writer very much like
Hemingway, a contemporary of Hemingway who shared similar interests --
makes it easy to mis-attribute the line.
As I am told, the
quote belongs to Barnaby Conrad, a writer of the same
era as Hemingway and a San Francisco raconteur of some note. Mostly he
did magazine articles but his books include "The Death of Manolete." He
also owned a San Francisco night club for many years named El Matador,
part of San Francisco's Broadway entertainment district.
My source is Dan Gerber,
yet another writer of the era (and still today) who also drove Cobras
for a time as part of the Carroll Shelby stable. I had the pleasure to
interview Gerber last year. He's also recently back racing in vintage.
I was raised in San
Francisco, and yes I've been to El Matador -- the place used to have a
fantastic zimbalist player (think hammering directly on piano strings)
who entertained diners. Sad to say I never met Conrad -- I was not yet
a writer myself -- but he was large in San Francisco lore so I certainly
knew about him. It doesn't surprise me at all that a quote believed from
Hemingway would actually be from Conrad.