Ernest Hemingway to his mother in 1913: “P.S.

Ernest Hemingway to his mother in 1913: “P.S. My shirt buttons all fly off when I take a full breath”

A few days ago, on Ernest Hemingway’s 112th birthday, the John F. Kennedy Library (which has an extensive Hemingway collection) released, in partnership with the author’s foundation, five scrapbooks made by Grace Hall Hemingway, his mother. The scrapbooks, full of photographs and letters and old homework from Hemingway’s fractious youth, had been in storage but can now be yours instantly and forever through a .zip file. Here are a few amazing samples:

These next ones are harder to read, so there’s a transcription after the images.

Dear Mother,

I got your card thanks very much. Our Train was 2.25 minutes late!! so no school.

The Program is all changed around lunch at a different time and alot of other changes. There was a report circulated around that I was drowned and some of my pals thot I was a ghost. May I PLEASE have SOME LONG PANTS. Every other Boy in our class has them, Lewie Clarahan Ignatz smith and every other little shrimp. My pants are so small every time I wiggle I think they are going to split. And I have about 8 or Ten inches of wrist below me cuffs thusly.

Please say I can have them long ones.

Your drowned son

Ernest Hemingway

P.S. My shirt buttons all fly off when I take a full Breath

Photo credit Grace Hall Hemingway, at the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.