Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost Generation" of the 1920s. He finished four novels: This Side of Paradise, The beautiful and Dammed. The Great Gatsby and Tender is the Night. A fifth, unfinished novel,The Love of the Last Tycoon, was published posthumously. He died of a heart attack in 1944 before its completion. Fitzgerald also wrote numerous short stories, many of which treat themes of youth and promise, and age and despair.
Following Fitzgerald's footsteps began in St. Paul, Minnesota where our group of 10 gathered downtown in Rice Park to have our photo taken beside his bronze statue. This life size replica was created by Minnesota sculptor, Michael Price.
Driving past the stately Victorian mansions on Summit Avenue of railroad barons James J. Hill and his son Louis W. Hill's home, we stopped at a more modest property at 599 Summit avenue. It was here Scott published his first novel "This Side of Paradise" and a number of short stories, including A Camel's Back.
626 Goodrich Avenue is where Scott and Zelda briefly lived after the birth of their first and only child Frances (Scottie) Fitzgerald in Oct 1921.
It's the yellow Victorian house on the right almost hidden by spring foliage.
An added bonus to the trip was finding the old St. Paul Academy building where Fitzgerald went for three years. In 1909, at age 13, Scott won his first byline with the publication of a short story in the school magazine. Now a professional building, the young Fitzgerald is immortalized by a bronze statue on the stairs holding his school books.
A birthday would not be complete without a birthday cake. Our last stop was Kathleen's house to cap a very fun day walking in Fitzgerald's shoes. And I might add tracing the footsteps of Fitzgerald inspired all of us to reread his classic books and short stories. Many in the group did their homework, were well informed and came with their favorite quotes.