Archive for December 20th, 2004

Last night the temperature dropped to 13 F and the wind blew down from Canada before the power went off in our house. I was sitting in bed wondering when I’d have to load up my family, our lizard and Sally’s mother and head off to a Day’s Inn. As the first hour passed, I thought of the wonderful F. Scott Fitzgerald story, “The Ice Palace.”
The story, as I remembered it, contrasts the life and reactions to weather, practice and environment between south Georgia and some where that might be Minnesota. Fitzgerald is most interested in the young woman of the South, called “Sally Carrol,” who is obviously a stand-in for Zelda.
I mentioned the story at lunch today as the temperature crawled up to 23 F. No one among my collegues at the table seemed to have heard of it — or to have read much Fitzgerald. The entire story — it is short — is on-line thanks to the folks at the University of South Carolina, a state not mentioned in the story. NC is mentioned in an important way.

“Ever been North before?”

“Spent two Julys in Asheville, North Carolina.”

The irony over time is that Zelda eventually died in a fire in Asheville, NC while a patient at Highland Hospital many years (1948) after the story was published.

There is also an image of how the story looked in the Saturday Evening Post of May 22, 1920.


Ice Palace

See also Linda Wagner-Martin’s Top Ten Jazz Age books in the Guardian UK.

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Elvis with gifts meets Nixon
I had forgotten that our mole in the National Archives had shared these pictures of the famous Elvis Presley and Dick Nixon meeting. One is the famous handshake; the others are leading up to and following the photo-op. At least one of the people in this series of pictures is on medication. And why are there no books on the bookselves?

Thanks to Jason Moore for keeping these available.

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