Meeting Margaux Hemingway
The media has a tendency to haunt us all with on the anniversary dates following the death of any given celebrity. Each year I am reminded of the anniversary of miss Margaux Hemingway's passing, which I am attuned to due to a brief encounter I had with her many years ago. It was one of those moments that stick in your memory forever: A famous name, and a very pleasant and charming woman. Her memory served as my recent inspiration to smoke and write about the Hemingway "Short Story" cigar. Pun intended, my Hemingway connection is a short story of its own.
Margaux Hemingway is the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway. Many people remember her only as that, but she was also the most famous model in the world in the mid 70’s. Margaux Hemingway was the first model to be paid the sum of $1 million as a spokesperson, and made millions more until her career slowed in the 80's. I had the luck to spend some time with her during a chance encounter at Los Angeles airport about 16 years ago.
My father and I were waiting in line to check baggage when a woman stepped in front of us, breaking into the line. She asked if she was in the right place. My father was initially perturbed, but the complete gentleman, he listened and then escorted her to the nearby kiosks to purchase a ticket to Las Vegas. I vaguely recall Margaux telling us she was either meeting someone or filming a movie there. She returned and stayed with us in line. She was talkative, sweet and went completely unrecognized. She told us her reason for being in LA was "being in movies," and told us she came from Idaho. She never told us her name. I recognized her as she spoke and her carry-on bag, a canvas duffel, had her name written on it in Black Sharpie, "Margaux Hemingway."
Margaux appeared slightly taken with my dad for his assistance, although he has always insisted it was for his good looks. He was alone with her a good 15 minutes or so before coming back with her. I recently asked him if he could recall his time alone with Margo, and he said "I helped her? What a nice guy I am ... I don't remember what happened. I think she asked me if I wanted to have dinner with her sometime at her place, but I respectfully declined told her she wasn't my type!!!! Makes for a good story doesn't it. However untrue it is." Although my dad's memory was short on the subject, we both agreed Margot was gracious and thankful as we parted ways. A delightful person. I remember being shocked about a year later when I read of her untimely death.
Recalling my encounter with Margot while smoking the Short Story Hemingway cigar, I could not help but wonder if the namesake was derived from her life, a short story in itself.
A strange looking cigar, the Hemingway Short Story is known for its flavor and also for its unusual shape. It looks like a mini Figurado, a shape which makes it the hardest cigar in the world to roll. The Hemingway is an oily and toothy looking stick, with a West African Cameroon wrapper and Dominican filler and binder. Pre-light there are no smells, but the toasting gives off some of the best odors I have ever encountered in a cigar. The draw was slightly tight, exactly right, and that famous Arturo Fuente flavor was immediately present, medium in strength and delicious. I hate to describe flavors, but this being a cigar review, there seemed to be leather, cedar and slight spice. Simply an excellent smoke, the price tag of $6 was well worth it. The stick burned for over an hour before it started to burn on my palate. Special thanks to my friends at Famous Smoke for processing my order so quickly.
Joe is an acclaimed published author