Fencing class at Buenos Aires Jockey Clu – Photo – LIFE.

When I see a picture like this one I have to smile.  The image recalls a time when fencing was considered a gentleman’s pastime, and it was entirely appropriate for a fencing salle to be hosted by a country club, or, in this, case the Buenos Aires Jockey Club.

Nedo Nadi, brother to Aldo Nadi, moved from Europe to teach at this club, and I wish he had kept a journal of what he did see and hear.  I have to think he might be seen in this photograph, but I’ll have to look more closely.

Undoubtedly, fencing sessions were followed by a fine lunch or dinner in the club’s restaurant. Can you imagine the braggadocio heard over cocktails? As fencers many of the members were, likely, to have reputations for intrigue and, perhaps, hot tempers.  It is nice to think that at one time fencing was a valuable social pursuit for these men much the way golf is today.  Jacket and tie were required, of course.

Mark Brandyberry

December 2011