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Farewell to Arms: connecting the Gary Cooper dots…

July 18, 2012

It was great going to see Ernest Hemingway’s classic, “A Farewell to Arms” come alive on the big screen. Gary Cooper, Helen Hayes and Adolf Menjou are the stars in the story of doomed love between Cooper’s Henry, an ambulance driver in World War 1, and nurse Cathy Barkley (Patty Duke’s Cathy “saw” Barkley Square, sorry a tangential moment). When Hayes’ Cathy tries to encourage Henry she says he will return home and become an architect. Perhaps he did, and certainly Gary Cooper played the consummate architect in “The Fountainhead” based on the Ayn Rand novel.

One can dream, connect, and walk out, albeit into tremendous heat, after time spent at the movies. Both Cooper and Hemingway died in 1961. That year Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s single season home run record. Cooper played the great Ruth’s immortal teammate, Lou Gehrig in the movie “Pride of the Yankees.” Surely, avoiding the heat and watching Cooper, Hayes and Menjou on the big screen in a classic, I felt as though I hit at least a triple and that is a darn good feeling.

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