The Fitzgerald, St. Paul, Minnesota, April 2007, photo © 2007
by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
Last April, I went to see Galway Kinnell at the Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul. As my friend and I left the theater after a magnificent night of interviews and poetry, I turned and snapped this shot.
I am fortunate to live in the Twin Cities, a place that is a big supporter of writers and the arts (including funding). The Fitzgerald Theater is the oldest existing stage venue in the city of St. Paul and the home of American Public Media’s, A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor.
When I interviewed my 8th grade English teacher in Pennsylvania in June (after having not seen her for almost 40 years), she told me she loved A Prairie Home Companion and had visited the Fitzgerald Theater in Minnesota. She didn’t know at the time that I lived here. I instantly felt a renewed connection. Memoir research leads down many vibrant roads.
Liz was perusing the City Pages at dinner the other night and informed me that on Monday, September 24th, the St. Paul Central Library is sponsoring a celebration of the birthday of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald was born September 24th, 1896 in St. Paul, Minnesota, and did you know he was named for his famous relative, Francis Scott Key?
You can find everything Fitzgerald at the Princeton site, F. Scott Fitzgerald Papers — 1897-1944 (Co187). And there’s more information at All About F. Scott Fitzgerald and the University of South Carolina’s, A Brief Life of Fitzgerald.
I saw The Great Gatsby at the Guthrie last year with Liz and her Mom. It was fun to see the play; I learned a lot about Fitzgerald. But I’m almost equally fascinated by his wife, Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald , a writer and artist with a privileged and tragic life. The intimate dance of love between F. Scott and Zelda seems complicated and dark.
Details of the celebration of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s birthday at the St. Paul Central Library are below. There will be readings of his work by Michael-jon Pease. And Lynn Deichart’s Jazz Quartet will play.
The Jazz Age of the 1920’s had a big impact on Fitzgerald’s life, the period when he became famous for The Great Gatsby and friends with Hemingway. I wonder if they ever bumped into Mabel Dodge?
Celebrate F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Birthday
Monday, September 24th, 7p.m.
St. Paul Central Library
90 West 4th St.
St. Paul, Minnesota
For more information call: 651-222-3242.
-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, September 16th, 2007