Three days ago, November 25, I had another wonderful conversation with Patrick Hemingawy. I called him at 5:50pm, and we talked for half an hour.
It is clear that Patrick enjoys our conversations as I do. He was, again, very generous with his comments about Hemingway, and very insightful.
I set out to ask him a pecifically about his time in Iringa, Tanzania, and Hemingway's visit there, in 1954.
He told me a great deal, with his characteristic humour and amazing ability to remember details, without mixing up the chronology. He remembers other people who lived there. He gave me valuable hints for a research project I want to undertake this summer in that area, to document Patrick's time there and related matters.
It was very nice to hear him say, again, that when Hemingway hunted in the area, what we call Ruaha National Park today was not yet a national park. That designation came later, with much assistance from Chief Adam Sapi Mkwawa.
Patrick told me about how pleasant life was in the area, for the Africans, without the kind of increased population he knows exists. There was a hotel not far from Sao Hill, owned by an English lady who was an early activist within TANU, the nationalist movement. I knew at once that he was talking about the late Lady Chesham, for he had told me about her in a previous conversation.
The more I talk with Patrick, the more I discover how much he has taken after his father, including an alert mind a great sense of humour. I don't think I have ever met anyone with Patrick Hemingway's sense of humour about wideranging topics, anyone who talks and laughs so much. But he talks about important subjects.
It is a great joy to be or talk with him. He never gets bored and he always holds the audience captive. He is a gifted story teller.
I am always amazed and humbled when he mentions my book,Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences, describing it as a very well written book. He has done this every time we have talked, and this time he said plainly that he wishes he could write Swahili as well as I write English. Such a tribute from such such a very famous person, who has written great introductions to Ernest Hemingway's books, and is very highly respected in his own right, is truly humbling.
For an earlier blog post about my first encounter with Patrick Hemingway, read here,