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