Yes, it’s true, I stayed at the same hotel frequented by the great F. Scott Fitzgerald. Here in room 441 of the Grove Park Inn, Fitzgerald would not only write, but peer out the window to hand pick his dinner companion for the night (Zelda was closeted away at a Highland Mental Hospital up the road-where she was eventually killed in a tragic fire), and drink his life away. In room 441, F. Scott Fitzgerald tried to shoot himself, ending it all over financial worries, or maybe too much leisure and drink, yet leaving only a hole in the wall.
The view from below Fitzgerald’s room brings me back to Gatsby. Look closely, isn’t it easy to imagine dapper men with tuxedos and martinis and long cigarettes, flirting with flirtatious woman with bobbed hair, loose flapper dresses, and blacked rimmed eyes?
**On another note, a guest fell to her death from a balcony and is thought to be roaming the hotel still, wearing only her pink nightgown. She is known as The Pink Lady.
Another interesting tid-bit about the Grove Park Inn is its attachment to quotes. Everywhere you turn, you might find a quote stenciled into the stone. I’m sure this inspired Fitzgerald, it’s obvious the way that man could throw around some words.
His was a great sin who first invented consciousness. Let us lose it for a few hours.
Isn’t he cooler than any frat boy you’ve ever met? Too bad he had a habit of overdoing it.
In a real dark night of the soul, it is always three o’clock in the morning, day after day.
Kind of dark.
For the writers:
Action is character
All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.
For F. Scott Fitzgerald, the end of his life was filled with drink and unfinished manuscripts. When he passed away right before Christmas in the year 1941. Dorothy Parker attended his funeral and was rumored to have said over and over, “That poor sun of a bitch.” I think that might have made him smile, not sure why, just a hunch.
As Fitzgerald said, “Show me a hero and I’ll show you a tragedy.”