LLR Books

F. Scott Fitzgerald at Princeton



F. Scott Fitzgerald was not a good student. At age sixteen he was expelled from St. Paul's Academy. At seventeen he entered Princeton University after a brief stint at a prep school to get his grades up.
At Princeton he became friends with future critics and writers, Edmund Wilson and John Peale Bishop. He became absorbed in the Triangle Club, Princeton's theater group, the oldest touring collegiate musical comedy troupe in the U.S., and renowned for featuring an all-male kick-line in drag.
Fie! Fie! Fi-Fi! was the first Triangle Club production written by Fitzgerald, a freshman whose book and lyrics were selected for 1914-15 production.
"Fitzgerald was cast in the role of Celeste, but due to his poor grades could not appear in the show and the role went to one of the composers, Dudley Griffin. That did not stop him from having his picture taken as a chorus girl. Being a chorus girl in a Triangle show was by far the sought after role. At a time when co-educational schools were rare, both sexes in a play were portrayed by the available student body. Therefore, it was not unusual to view a Princeton show with men dressed as women" (Ellwood Annaheim, opening remarks to the 1998 Musical Theater Research Project performance of Fie! Fie! Fi! Fi!).
His witty lyrics won high praise.
Fie! Fi! Fi! We're shocked that you are married.
Fie ! Fi! Fi! Your little plan miscarried.
I only did what I thought best,
The place for you is way out West
From manicuring take a rest
For far too long you've tarried
You had to be there.

Fitzgerald was a Junior in the class of 1917. There are at least three photographs of him in the Bric-A-Brac for that year. He's in the center rear of his class photo, one of the few in class not wearing a top hat or bearing a cane. He's also pictured in the Triangle Club, as well as credited with the lyrics for the club’s annual musical Fie! Fie! Fi-Fi (coverage for which takes up several pages), and he's again pictured on the staff of the Princeton Tiger. He is also listed in several other places, including as a member of the Cottage Club, The American Whig Society, and the Minnesota Club. Classmates Edmund Wilson and John Peale Bishop are pictured in the book.


In the The Nassau Herald, Class of Nineteen Hundred and Eighteen, Fitzgerald is mentioned as a member of several clubs, and is pictured in a group photograph of the Board of the Princeton Tiger. Edmund Wilson has a separate class entry.

 

In 1919, the war effort presumably interfered with timely publication of the Bric-A-Brac, and this yearbook seems to cover five classes instead of the traditional four. Fitzgerald was in the Senior Class and sits front, dead center in the class photo. He is also pictured in the Triangle Club, (as well as credited with the lyrics for the club’s musical, Safety First) and as a member of the Board of the Princeton Tiger. He is also listed as a member of the Cottage and Frenau clubs.
Ever the lazy student, Fitzgerald was on academic probation and unlikely to graduate when he left Princeton to enlist in the Army for WWI. Commissioned as a second lieutenant, he was convinced he would not survive the war. The Armistice intervened.

F.Scott quotes





Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy. – The Crack Up

 I hope she’ll be a fool — that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” - The Great Gatsby

I don’t want to repeat my innocence. I want the pleasure of losing it again. – This Side of Paradise

 Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke. – quoted in Beloved Infidel

I’m not sentimental — I’m as romantic as you are. The idea, you know, is that the sentimental person thinks things will last — the romantic  person has a desperate confidence that they won’t. – This Side of Paradise

 I like people and I like them to like me, but I wear my heart where God put it, on the inside. – The Love of the Last Tycoon

There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired. – The Great Gatsby

Here’s to alcohol, the rose colored glasses of life. – The Beautiful and Damned

I’ll be different, but somewhere lost inside me there’ll always be the person I am tonight. – Magnetism

 New friends can often have a better time together than old friends. – Tender Is the Night

I want to give a really BAD party. I mean it. I want to give a party where there’s a brawl and seductions and people going home with their feelings hurt and women passed out in the cabinet de toilette. You wait and see. – Tender Is the Night

 Youth is like having a big plate of candy. Sentimentalists think they want to be in the pure, simple state they were in before they ate the candy. They don’t. They just want the fun of eating it all over again. – This Side of Paradise

 All life is just a progression toward and then a recession from one phrase– ‘I love you” – The Offshore Pirate

 Today it’s my world and everything’s easy. Even Nothing is easy! - The Beautiful and Damned

While it seemed to him that every debutante spent every hour of her day thinking and talking about what the great world had mapped out for her to do during the next hour, any girl who made a living directly on her prettiness interested him enormously. – The Beautiful and Damned

 You know, you’re a little complicated after all.’ ‘Oh no,’ she assured him hastily. ‘No, I’m not really — I’m just a — I’m just a whole lot of different simple people. – Tender Is the Night

Youth is a dream, a form of chemical madness. – “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz”

 And lastly from that period I remember riding in a taxi one afternoon between very tall buildings under a mauve and rosy sky; I began to bawl because I had everything I wanted and knew I would never be so happy again. – The Crack Up

Love is fragile — she was thinking — but perhaps the pieces are saved, the things that hovered on lips, that might have been said. The new love-words, the tenderness learned, and treasured up for the next lover. – May Day

If you spend your life sparing people’s feelings and feeding their vanity, you get so you can’t distinguish what should be respected in them.” – Tender Is the Night

”I like large parties. They’re so intimate. At small parties there isn’t any privacy- The Great Gatsby

 Grown up, and that is a terribly hard thing to do. It is much easier to skip it and go from one childhood to another. The Crack Up

 Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…. And one fine morning — So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. - The Great Gatsby


It's the birthday of Zelda Fitzgerald

 born Zelda Sayre in 1900. Her father was a judge in Montgomery, Alabama, and her mother was a nonconformist housewife. Zelda was a wild child, larger than life, and many times she was only saved from disgrace by her family's reputation and social standing. Her childhood friend Eleanor Addison wrote: "By day she was healthy and hoydenish, a veritable dynamo, by night a beautiful enchantress. ... When she commandeered a streetcar and went clanging down Court Street with the befuddled motorman practically hanging on the ropes, the town criers lifted their eyes to the heavens and said, 'disgraceful.' When she danced like an angel in a pink ballet costume at some charity affair, the same town criers murmured, 'beautiful.'"
She met F. Scott Fitzgerald at a dance in 1918, and they were both smitten. She refused to marry him, though, until he published his first book. She assured him that she loved him, and that he shouldn't worry if she flirted with other men a little bit. "Don't you think I was made for you? I feel like you had me ordered -- and I was delivered to you -- to be worn -- I want you to wear me like a watch-chain or button-hole bouquet -- to the world." They married in 1920, and they were the standard-bearers for the Jazz Age: beautiful, glamorous, and free. By the end of the decade, Scott had descended into alcoholism, and Zelda had descended into madness. She had her first schizophrenic breakdown in 1930, and spent the rest of her life in and out of mental institutions. She died in 1948, eight years after her husband, in a fire at the Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina.
Scott Fitzgerald said: "I fell in love with her courage, her sincerity and her flaming self-respect and it's these things I'd believe in even if the whole world indulged in wild suspicions that she wasn't all that she should be. ... I love her and that's the beginning and the end of it."

Great Gatsby Boat Tour on Long Island

By Jason Boog on May 18, 2011 12:23 PM

 “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past,” wrote F. Scott Fitzgerald in The Great Gatsby. Now you can live that famous metaphor in a two-hour Great Gatsby Boat Tour of Manhasset Bay and Long Island Sound.

Adult tickets cost $25 and tickets for children 10-years-old or younger cost $15. The next tour leaves on Saturday, May 21st at 2 pm. Follow this link for tickets.

“The Great Gatsby was set on “that slender riotous island” otherwise known as Long Island. Join us on a boat tour of the bay that ignited Fitzgerald’s imagination and become familiar with the peninsulas of West Egg (King’s Point) and East Egg (Sand’s Point) … Try to envision where Gatsby’s mansion might have stood and exchange stories of “the roaring twenties” on Long Island – a microcosm of the U.S.’s pre-WWII revolution in manners and morals.

Photos


In Which Woody Allen Talks About His Zelda Fitzgerald Fixation

Isn’t she smart—she has the hiccups. I hope it’s beautiful and a fool—a beautiful little fool.
-Zelda Fitzgerald at the birth of her daughter Scottie

And I hope she'll be a fool — that's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.
-Daisy Buchanan at the birth of her daughter in The Great Gatsby

All describe Zelda Fitzgerald as beautiful and intelligent, while some describe her as a talented painter and a dazzling writer. Most often she’s described as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife and muse, and—most damningly by Ernest Hemingway—as her husband’s downfall. Woody Allen’s new film clearly takes the Hemingway macho take on this lady writer. “She’s just like you think she would be,” says Owen Wilson’s awestruck novelist character of her. “Brilliant. But all over the map!” She’s depicted as having both felicitous and suicidal streaks. “I hate my skin. I want to die,” she says in a scene that seems disjointed from the other scenes of literary life as endless bohemian bacchanalia. In this scene in which she attempts to jump into the Seine, she seems as if she could be played by Mia Farrow, by Farrow in any film of Allen’s anyway.

Zeldas pop up frequently in Woody’s work. Diane Keaton’s ambitious and brittle writer bitch in Manhattan is described as the winner of the “Zelda Fitzgerald Emotional Maturity Award.” And Allen’s best female character in years, Penelope Cruz's ball-of-fire competitive painter in Vicky Cristina Barcelona, puts Javier Bardem in his place by saucily spewing, “Your whole worldview is mine.”

Literary competition is a subtheme in Allen’s new film (Hemingway frequently suggests solving these squabbles by putting on gloves and having it out in a few rounds), and Zelda Fitzgerald is the ultimate literary competition unsolved mystery for lit critics. She co-wrote articles with Scott Fitzgerald that were published under his name, since as a more established writer, he could collect a higher fee for this always cash-strapped, hard-drinking couple. When she wrote an autobiographical novel, Save Me the Waltz, in less than a month while being treated for hysteria at a sanitarium, Scott was furious. He tried to suppress publication since this was “his” material (for Tender is the Night, which came out later, eight years after his previous novel, The Great Gatsby, covering much of the same material as Zelda’s novel; these have been described as the ultimate he said/she said comparison in fictionalized biography).

So was she a talented writer whose vivacity and original phrasings influenced her husband’s work, but who was not able to thrive under his shadow? Clearly Woody Allen takes the other, less feminist point of view, and at recent press conference I had a chance to ask him about his Zelda fixation. “I wanted to ask you about Zelda Fitzgerald,” I began, and he suddenly seemed excited. Previously he had been deflecting questions about method and autobiography with a string of low-key jokes. (“I have never been called a communist,” he responded to a question about the film's political message. “I could never even share a bathroom.”)

“Yes?” he said, perking up at mention of Zelda.

“It may be just a rumor but I once read that you wanted to make a film about her. Is there any truth to that?”

“No, there’s no truth," he said. “I would have liked to have made a version of The Great Gatsby, because it’s a great film for me to make. I mean everyone thinks it’s grandiose, but I think I could have done a good job with it. You know, I like that era. And it’s a New York, Long Island film. And I just feel that, you know I could have made that film work.

“And I've always had a... CRUSH on women like Zelda Fitzgerald. Now, this is very self-destructive. I've always selected in my lifetime women who had that, uh, that uh… sort of streak of insanity in them that she has. And it didn't do me any good! But I was fascinated by it, always. And, you know, I've used that kind of character in my movies many, many times.” There was audible lip smacking at this point, then a deep breath, and he collected himself.

“So, I just think I would have been good to make that picture. But it was never in the cards. I was not eligible to make it when I first started, and it’s been made a few times. And now I think they’re making it again, into a musical. Baz Lurmann is doing it, I read in the paper, who will probably do a great job with it. “




Baltimore

The Missing Piece 
The Fitzgerald sets out to close a gap in the city's urban fabric. Given all the hurdles that had to be cleared, it is a wonder the $78 million mixed-use development called the Fitzgerald was built at all.
From the outset, the building—which takes its name from F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, who once lived nearby—proved to be a daunting undertaking. The University of Baltimore wanted to transform a Midtown parking lot into a place that both generated income for the university and "contributed to the economic revitalization of the city," says Steve Cassard, the university's vice president of facilities management and capital planning. If it worked, the structure would close a gap in the urban fabric, connecting the neighborhoods of Bolton Hill and Mount Vernon. But that was a big "if."

Mansion that inspired Great Gatsby razed

Mansion that inspired Great Gatsby razed


Reuters April 23, 2011



Bulldozers have razed a storied mansion where F. Scott Fitzgerald partied and which some say inspired his novel The Great Gatsby, leaving just a few chimneys standing on Long Island's Gold Coast.
The Land's End mansion was built in the early 20th century in Sands Point, N.Y., overlooking the waters of Long Island Sound. In the 1920s, it became the home of Herbert Bayard Swope, the executive editor of the New York World and an acquaintance of many of the luminaries who came to define the Roaring Twenties, including Fitzgerald.
But in recent years it had stood empty, a reminder that fabulously wealthy hedonists known for their decadent parties have found other playgrounds around the world.
"This is the last little bit of this glamour, the Gatsby era, the flapper age, and they're tearing it down," said Monica Randall, who wrote books about the area's gilded homes.


Gatsby mansion makes way for $10m super homes

26th April 2011 | BACK     PRINT
A building in New York which is thought to have inspired F Scott Fitzgerald's classic 1925 novel "The Great Gatsby" has been demolished.
The Land's End mansion overlooking the Long Island Sound estuary of the Atlantic Ocean will be replaced by an exclusive new housing development.
The 25-room house flaunted marble, parquet floors, Palladian windows and hand-painted wallpaper.
A local newspaper said Winston Churchill, the Marx Brothers and Ethel Barrymore partied at Land's End in the 1920s and 1930s.
According to preservationist Alexandra Wolfe, Fitzgerald's relationship to the house has become local lore.
The 13-acre property will now feature five homes costing 10 million dollars each.
Increasing taxes and maintenance costs have led to the loss of hundreds of mansions on Long Island's Gold Coast over the past 50 years, historians said.

Great Gatsby is back in fashion

No film makes you ache for summer more than The Great Gatsby. In Newport, Rhode Island, where I spent my summers growing up, Gatsby's legacy is alive and well. Those huge white palaces (or 'cottages', as they're known locally) are still there, including Rosecliff, which doubled as Gatsby's house for the 1974 film. Tennis 'whites' are still required if you're on court, and the cocktails and the socialising are as potent as they ever were.
My affection for the book began when I first read it at 16, and despite an instant dislike for Daisy, my selfish, careless namesake, I chose it as the theme for my debutante coming-out party (yes, they still exist) the following summer. It was as big as any wedding extravaganza, beginning with the invitations, which came in boxes with colourful boas for the girls and sparkly bow ties for the boys. Our driveway was lined with a collection of 1920s Studebakers, Ford Model Ts and Chrysler Imperials, and guests were offered a glass of champagne to sip as they made their way past the cars to the party. My parents invited 150 people for a seated dinner at our house, which was decorated with enormous stands of black and white flowers, sparklers and pearls. A further 250 came to dance under a full moon to two jazz bands; there were even cigarette girls and a doughnut-making machine. Most of my friends stayed reasonably in control, except for my cousin Gigi, who got so 'tired and emotional' that she fell into the band and had to spend the night in the 'sleeping tent' that my parents had thoughtfully erected for just such an eventuality. Prohibition was long gone but we were still underage and fortified ourselves with surreptitious shots of vodka and cigarettes. The shots made me tipsy but really intoxicating was the knowledge that I had all the best parts of my life in front of me. I felt like Nick Carraway at the start of the story: 'It had been a golden afternoon… I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.'
First published in 1925, F Scott Fitzgerald's novel, which encapsulates the aimlessness hidden behind a smokescreen of opulence that was the roaring Twenties, only became truly popular after his death in 1940. But still it was not until the 1974 film, starring Robert Redford, Mia Farrow and Sam Waterston, that the visual language of Gatsby and the term 'Gatsbyesque' came into existence. People are never more intrigued by the tale than in times of financial strife, when the excesses of the past become so rose-tinted. The film launched during the throes of a major recession, the oil crisis of 1973 was choking the USA and inflation had hit an all-time high. Now, with the world desperately clambering out of a global recession and oil prices soaring again, Baz Luhrmann, the man behind Moulin Rouge, is helming a lavish 3D remake starring Carey Mulligan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Hayley Atwell and Tobey Maguire. Luhrmann certainly sees the similarities between the rise and fall of Gatsby and our recent economic troubles, and considers it a good way to teach us a lesson: 'If you tell people, "You've been drunk on money," they're not going to want to see it. But if you reflect that mirror on another time, they're willing to.'
Designers have consistently used Gatsby as a reference point. This season once again there are languid silk pyjamas at Rochas, just made for a sultry night spent sipping gin-spiked lemonade, and Chanel has black and white numbers that are perfect to slip into after a late game of tennis. Stella McCartney has given girls Gatsby's three-piece white suits, while Roksanda Ilincic tapped Daisy herself, wrapping her models in layers and layers of romantic chiffon. Phillip Lim has a turquoise tunic dress with a jaunty collar, perfectly suited to the tomboyish athlete Jordan Baker, and Erdem's floaty floral dresses in vibrant greens and yellows on white are just the thing for a spot of croquet.

It's not just designers and directors who have a thing for Gatsby.
Sigourney Weaver took her first name from the book: 'An act of desperation because I didn't like being called Susie.' Marc Jacobs is so obsessed that 'both my dog and my perfume are named after my favourite literary character Daisy Buchanan'. Even Hugh Hefner, still a fast-living playboy in his eighties, says it's his favourite novel, and Brad Pitt and David Beckham have aped Gatsby's style for the red carpet. For die-hard fans, there is now an online game where you can go on your own hunt for Gatsby at his party, dodging menacing waiters, drunks throwing bottles, and flappers doing the Charleston, winning points by downing Martinis along the way.
But there is one famous face who loves Fitzgerald so much that at times she seems like the reincarnation of Zelda herself. Kate Moss is so obsessed with the legend of the Fitzgeralds that her long-suffering fiancé Jamie Hince tried desperately to track down Zelda's diamond engagement ring with which to propose to her. He only managed a copy, but what could be more perfect for the girl who once confided that she is obsessed by Gatsby (Marianne Faithfull introduced her to the book) despite its unhappy ending: 'I know,' she said. 'But it was the whole lifestyle, the whole thing.' And who can forget her extravagant Beautiful and Damned-themed 30th birthday party at Claridge's a few years ago? The evening allegedly descended into the kind of decadence not seen since Fitzgerald's day; Moss, a vision in a blue sequined dress, with smouldering eyes and curly golden tresses, had struck the perfect note of the Lost Generation's tragic glamour.

Now once again summer is just around the corner and with it comes that perpetual promise of a glittering Gatsby- esque future for us all.

Last Gasp pf the house that inspired Gatsby (maybe)



In its heyday, it was the epitome of an era that haunts us still as a fleeting moment of America on the cusp of something it never quite duplicated or achieved — money with style, sin that seemed innocent, human-scale pleasures, a jazz-inflected version of the American dream minus today’s cynicism and rust.
“Shakespeare-spouting poets and, when it came to that, Shakespeare-spouting pugilists might be seen there, milling and churning among senators, polo players, professional gamblers, Supreme Court justices, and horsy debutantes; the house was like a decompression chamber between social extremes,” one of Herbert Bayard Swope’s biographers wrote of the scene at Swope’s Sands Point mansion on the North Shore of Long Island.
There was croquet on the 13 acres of lawn, illumined by car headlights and parties at all hours for what Swope’s wife, Margaret, described as “an absolutely seething bordello of interesting people.” They included Bernard Baruch, George Gershwin, Robert Moses, the Marx Brothers, Irving Berlin, Vanderbilts, Whitneys and Harrimans. It’s the world F. Scott Fitzgerald captured in “The Great Gatsby,”which still seems fresh and urgent almost — remarkably — a century later.
So it’s no surprise that the world’s Fitzgerald-ologists and experts on Long Island’s faded luxe life are being besieged with queries about a 25-room, 20,000-square-foot Colonial Revival mansion called Lands End that is said, in part, to have inspired “Gatsby,” and is now facing demolition so the property can be subdivided for five more modest houses, at $10 million or so each.
In truth, many homes in both Sands Point and Kings Point — the first Fitzgerald’s old-money East Egg, the second his nouveau riche West Egg — inspired “Gatsby” during the period from 1922 to 1924, when Fitzgerald lived in what his wife, Zelda, described as “our nifty little Babbitt-home at Great Neck.” Fitzgerald spent the time drinking himself blind, spending money he didn’t have, and oh, yes, writing much of what is still the prime contender for the Great American Novel.
But few houses defined the era as much as the home built in 1902 and later owned by Swope, editor of The New York World and, in parts, the Tina Brown or Rupert Murdoch of his day.
According to Ruth Prigozy, an English professor at Hofstra University and executive director of the F. Scott Fitzgerald Society, Fitzgerald and his friend Ring Lardner used to gaze across Manhasset Bay at the property, much as Gatsby did, pining for Daisy. So the house was at once the inspiration for Daisy’s old-money preserve in East Egg and the Swope parties a model for the revels at Gatsby’s house in West Egg.
Perhaps 500 of the grandest mansions have already been knocked down, said Monica Randall, who has chronicled the era and its architectural heritage. So the demolition of Lands End is just one last domino falling from a long-gone era. And yet, the gravitational pull of Gatsby’s world endures, undimmed.
Dan McCall, a professor emeritus at Cornell University, taught the book for 40 years. He marvels at the hold Gatsby still has on students. On the one hand, he said, with its hypnotic prose, its layers of longing for money, status, reinvention and love, it’s still channeling the American experience. “It’s not an antique to them, it’s never gone out of style the way some books I teach.” On the other hand, he said, Gatsby’s evocation of the American dream has an innocence and passion that are impossibly distant, like astral material from a lost galaxy. “Gatsby’s dream, the way he’s so devoted to it, that’s not something you find much in this economy, at this time. I think it’s breathtaking for kids in college. It’s an America they haven’t heard about from their parents.”
Of course, Gatsby’s dream was built on deceit and illusion. The Roaring ‘20s ended in the Great Depression. Fitzgerald burned out and died at 44.
Still, like the old ruined mansion, he did capture something epic and elusive in American life. So there’s yet another Gatsby film coming — starring Leonardo DiCaprio — in 3D! If Gatsby were around today, maybe he’d be Bernie Madoff or one of the other swindlers of Wall Street fallen to earth. Maybe there’s something of him in Mark Zuckerberg, concocting his virtual social network with no need for the grand mansion or the seething bordello.
Maybe someone will write today’s “Gatsby.” Or maybe it would just be an epic tweet: “Yo, Gatz. Blue lawn, green light, so close, but too far. Ahh, Daisy. We beat on, boats vs. the current, borne back, lol, into the past.”


..........................................................................................................


The once-grand white house watches over Long Island Sound from the tip of Sands Point, its days numbered.
Lands End, the 25-room Colonial Revival mansion that local lore says was F. Scott Fitzgerald's inspiration for Daisy Buchanan's home in "The Great Gatsby" faces demolition this month.
In the 1920s and '30s, Winston Churchill, the Marx Brothers and Ethel Barrymore attended parties there. Fitzgerald was perched on the back deck, drinking in the view. Rooms featured marble, parquet and wide wood-planked floors, Palladian windows and hand-painted wallpaper.
Now, the front door is off its hinges, wood floors have been torn up for salvage, windows are missing and the two-story Doric columns are unsteady.
Sands Point Village in January approved plans to raze the house and divide the site into lots for five custom homes starting at $10 million each.
Lands End is the latest Gold Coast estate to fall. With each demolition, the North Shore loses more of its gilded past, when sea breezes and social events attracted the rich and famous. Historians say hundreds of the mansions have been lost in the past 50 years as owners faced increasing taxes and high maintenance costs.
"The cost to renovate these things is just so overwhelming that people aren't interested in it," said Clifford Fetner, president of Jaco Builders in Hauppauge and Lands End project construction manager. "The value of the property is the land."
Morgan, Tiffany gone
Among the estates already lost are the former homes of financier J.P. Morgan on East Island and glassmaker Louis C. Tiffany in Laurel Hollow.
From about 1890 to 1950, business titans, politicians and old-money families built as many as 1,400 opulent homes on the North Shore. The Gold Coast stretched from Great Neck to Eatons Neck and down to Old Westbury, said Paul Mateyunas, a historian and real estate agent at Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty.
The homes often were designed by noted architects like Stanford White and echoed European grandeur. They belonged to Vanderbilts, Woolworths, Morgans and Astors.
"The No. 1 priority is drawing attention to these mansions, saving what we can," said Oyster Bay author and historian Monica Randall.
Sands Point Village Trustee Katharine Ullman, who lives near Lands End, at first opposed the subdivision, saying it would increase traffic, disturb a creek and tear down a navigation landmark for sailors. But now, "I understand the problem," she said. "It was costly to make the repairs to make it livable."
Taxes, insurance and maintenance of the 24,000-square-foot house and 13-acre grounds total as much as $4,500 a day, said David Brodsky of 4B's Realty, which is redeveloping the site. His father, health care entrepreneur Bert Brodsky, bought Lands End for $17.5 million in 2004 from Virginia Kraft Payson, the late wife of former Mets owner Charles Shipman Payson.
"In its heyday, it had 20 in help," David Brodsky said. "It was a true Gold Coast estate."
The state Offices of Parks and Historic Preservation acknowledged that the costs of rehabilitation were prohibitive, but required the family to provide historical documentation and photos about the property.
"You can't save everything," Ullman said, adding that some historic homes "are being restored. Maybe that's the best we can do."
Some of the grand houses became part of parks or were used by religious groups, schools, hotels or nonprofits, said William Conklin, 49, who grew up on the Peacock Point estate in Locust Valley, where his father was caretaker.
The 40-room Ormston House in Lattingtown is now a monastery, Sefton Manor in Mill Neck is a school for the deaf and the Chrysler estate in Kings Point is part of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.
But about 500 historic North Shore homes were knocked down in the 1950s and '60s, Randall said. More have fallen in the past 30 years.
"It's becoming more and more of an epidemic," said Alexandra Wolfe, director of preservation services at the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities.
Once for sale at $30 million
The senior Brodsky has said he bought Lands End with plans to live there, but his family objected. He put it up for sale in 2006 for $30 million.
The subdivision plan wasn't the Gold Coast's first. After serving for decades as a home to steel magnate Henry Phipps' family, the Knole estate in Old Westbury was divided and developed several years ago.
La Selva, a 40-room Italian Renaissance villa in Upper Brookville, also was targeted for subdivision. Sylvia Kumar, wife of imprisoned former Computer Associates chief Sanjay Kumar, bought the 24-acre estate in 2001. It has been for sale for more than three years, now at $9.9 million. Kumar filed subdivision plans last year, but withdrew them, village Building Department clerk Linda Giani said.
Also for sale are a $15-million estate in Mill Neck and a $39.5-million estate in Kings Point called The Point.
"There are many of these in all degrees of condition and all degrees of pricing," said Barbara Candee, vice president of Daniel Gale Sotheby's. "The stories are wonderful and it's very sad if these are taken down."

...................................................................................................


The once-grand white house watches over Long Island Sound from the tip of Sands Point, its days numbered.

Lands End, the 25-room Colonial Revival mansion that local lore says was F. Scott Fitzgerald's inspiration for Daisy Buchanan's home in "The Great Gatsby" faces demolition this month.

In the 1920s and '30s, Winston Churchill, the Marx Brothers and Ethel Barrymore attended parties there. Fitzgerald was perched on the back deck, drinking in the view. Rooms featured marble, parquet and wide wood-planked floors, Palladian windows and hand-painted wallpaper.

Now, the front door is off its hinges, wood floors have been torn up for salvage, windows are missing and the two-story Doric columns are unsteady.

Sands Point Village in January approved plans to raze the house and divide the site into lots for five custom homes starting at $10 million each.

Lands End is the latest Gold Coast estate to fall. With each demolition, the North Shore loses more of its gilded past, when sea breezes and social events attracted the rich and famous. Historians say hundreds of the mansions have been lost in the past 50 years as owners faced increasing taxes and high maintenance costs.

"The cost to renovate these things is just so overwhelming that people aren't interested in it," said Clifford Fetner, president of Jaco Builders in Hauppauge, N.Y., and Lands End project construction manager. "The value of the property is the land."

Among the estates already lost are the former homes of financier J.P. Morgan on East Island and glassmaker Louis C. Tiffany in Laurel Hollow.

From about 1890 to 1950, business titans, politicians and old-money families built as many as 1,400 opulent homes on the North Shore. The Gold Coast stretched from Great Neck to Eatons Neck and down to Old Westbury, said Paul Mateyunas, a historian and real estate agent at Daniel Gale Sotheby's International Realty.

The homes often were designed by noted architects like Stanford White and echoed European grandeur. They belonged to Vanderbilts, Woolworths, Morgans and Astors.

"The No. 1 priority is drawing attention to these mansions, saving what we can," said Oyster Bay author and historian Monica Randall.

Sands Point Village Trustee Katharine Ullman, who lives near Lands End, at first opposed the subdivision, saying it would increase traffic, disturb a creek and tear down a navigation landmark for sailors. But now, "I understand the problem," she said. "It was costly to make the repairs to make it livable."

Taxes, insurance and maintenance of the 24,000-square-foot house and 13-acre grounds total as much as $4,500 a day, said David Brodsky of 4B's Realty, which is redeveloping the site. His father, health care entrepreneur Bert Brodsky, bought Lands End for $17.5 million in 2004 from Virginia Kraft Payson, the late wife of former Mets owner Charles Shipman Payson.

"In its heyday, it had 20 in help," David Brodsky said. "It was a true Gold Coast estate."

The state Offices of Parks and Historic Preservation acknowledged that the costs of rehabilitation were prohibitive, but required the family to provide historical documentation and photos about the property.

"You can't save everything," Ullman said, adding that some historic homes "are being restored. Maybe that's the best we can do."

Some of the grand houses became part of parks or were used by religious groups, schools, hotels or nonprofits, said William Conklin, 49, who grew up on the Peacock Point estate in Locust Valley, where his father was caretaker.

The 40-room Ormston House in Lattingtown is now a monastery, Sefton Manor in Mill Neck is a school for the deaf and the Chrysler estate in Kings Point is part of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

But about 500 historic North Shore homes were knocked down in the 1950s and '60s, Randall said. More have fallen in the past 30 years.

"It's becoming more and more of an epidemic," said Alexandra Wolfe, director of preservation services at the Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities.

The senior Brodsky has said he bought Lands End with plans to live there, but his family objected. He put it up for sale in 2006 for $30 million.

The subdivision plan wasn't the Gold Coast's first. After serving for decades as a home to steel magnate Henry Phipps' family, the Knole estate in Old Westbury was divided and developed several years ago.

La Selva, a 40-room Italian Renaissance villa in Upper Brookville, also was targeted for subdivision. Sylvia Kumar, wife of imprisoned former Computer Associates chief Sanjay Kumar, bought the 24-acre estate in 2001. It has been for sale for more than three years, now at $9.9 million. Kumar filed subdivision plans last year, but withdrew them, village Building Department clerk Linda Giani said.

Also for sale are a $15 million estate in Mill Neck and a $39.5-million estate in Kings Point called The Point.

"There are many of these in all degrees of condition and all degrees of pricing," said Barbara Candee, vice president of Daniel Gale Sotheby's. "The stories are wonderful and it's very sad if these are taken down."

“Crazy Sunday” by F. Scott Fitzgerald-

It was Sunday–not a day, but rather a gap between two other days. Behind, for all of them, lay sets and sequences, the long waits under the crane that swung the microphone, the hundred miles a day by automobiles to and fro across a county, the struggles of rival ingenuities in the conference rooms, the ceaseless compromise, the clash and strain of many personalities fighting for their lives. And now Sunday, with individual life starting up again, with a glow kindling in eyes that had been glazed with monotony the afternoon before. Slowly as the hours waned they came awake like “Puppenfeen” in a toy shop: an intense colloquy in a corner, lovers disappearing to neck in a hall. And the feeling of “Hurry, it’s not too late, but for God’s sake hurry before the blessed forty hours of leisure are over.”

Joel Coles was writing continuity. He was twenty-eight and not yet broken by Hollywood. He had had what were considered nice assignments since his arrival six months before and he submitted his scenes and sequences with enthusiasm. He referred to himself modestly as a hack but really did not think of it that way. His mother had been a successful actress; Joel had spent his childhood between London and New York trying to separate the real from the unreal, or at least to keep one guess ahead. He was a handsome man with the pleasant cow-brown eyes that in 1913 had gazed out at Broadway audiences from his mother’s face.

When the invitation came it made him sure that he was getting somewhere. Ordinarily he did not go out on Sundays but stayed sober and took work home with him. Recently they had given him a Eugene O’Neill play destined for a very important lady indeed. Everything he had done so far had pleased Miles Calman, and Miles Calman was the only director on the lot who did not work under a supervisor and was responsible to the money men alone. Everything was clicking into place in Joel’s career. (“This is Mr. Calman’s secretary. Will you come to tea from four to six Sunday–he lives in Beverly Hills, number–.”)

Joel was flattered. It would be a party out of the top-drawer. It was a tribute to himself as a young man of promise. The Marion Davies’ crowd, the high-hats, the big currency numbers, perhaps even Dietrich and Garbo and the Marquise, people who were not seen everywhere, would probably be at Calman’s.

“I won’t take anything to drink,” he assured himself. Calman was audibly tired of rummies, and thought it was a pity the industry could not get along without them.

Joel agreed that writers drank too much–he did himself, but he wouldn’t this afternoon. He wished Miles would be within hearing when the cocktails were passed to hear his succinct, unobtrusive, “No, thank you.”

Miles Calman’s house was built for great emotional moments–there was an air of listening, as if the far silences of its vistas hid an audience, but this afternoon it was thronged, as though people had been bidden rather than asked. Joel noted with pride that only two other writers from the studio were in the crowd, an ennobled limey and, somewhat to his surprise, Nat Keogh, who had evoked Calman’s impatient comment on drunks.

Stella Calman (Stella Walker, of course) did not move on to her other guests after she spoke to Joel. She lingered–she looked at him with the sort of beautiful look that demands some sort of acknowledgment and Joe drew quickly on the dramatic adequacy inherited from his mother: “Well, you look about sixteen! Where’s your kiddy car?”

She was visibly pleased; she lingered. He felt that he should say something more, something confident and easy–he had first met her when she was struggling for bits in New York. At the moment a tray slid up and Stella put a cocktail glass into his hand.

“Everybody’s afraid, aren’t they?” he said, looking at it absently. “Everybody watches for everybody else’s blunders, or tries to make sure they’re with people that’ll do them credit. Of course that’s not true in your house,” he covered himself hastily. “I just meant generally in Hollywood.”

Stella agreed. She presented several people to Joel as if he were very important. Reassuring himself that Miles was at the other side of the room, Joel drank the cocktail.

“So you have a baby?” he said. “That’s the time to look out. After a pretty woman has had her first child, she’s very vulnerable, because she wants to be reassured about her own charm. She’s got to have some new man’s unqualified devotion to prove to herself she hasn’t lost anything.”

“I never get anybody’s unqualified devotion,” Stella said rather resentfully.
“They’re afraid of your husband.”
“You think that’s it?” She wrinkled her brow over the idea; then the conversation was interrupted at the exact moment Joel would have chosen.

Her attentions had given him confidence. Not for him to join safe groups, to slink to refuge under the wings of such acquaintances as he saw about the room. He walked to the window and looked out toward the Pacific, colorless under its sluggish sunset. It was good here–the American Riviera and all that, if there were ever time to enjoy it. The handsome, well-dressed people in the room, the lovely girls, and the–well, the lovely girls. You couldn’t have everything.

He saw Stella’s fresh boyish face, with the tired eyelid that always drooped a little over one eye, moving about among her guests and he wanted to sit with her and talk a long time as if she were a girl instead of a name; he followed her to see if she paid anyone as much attention as she had paid him. He took another cocktail–not because he needed confidence but because she had given him so much of it. Then he sat down beside the director’s mother.
“Your son’s gotten to be a legend, Mrs. Calman–Oracle and a Man of Destiny and all that. Personally, I’m against him but I’m in a minority. What do you think of him? Are you impressed? Are you surprised how far he’s gone?”

“No, I’m not surprised,” she said calmly. “We always expected a lot from Miles.”
“Well now, that’s unusual,” remarked Joel. “I always think all mothers are like Napoleon’s mother. My mother didn’t want me to have anything to do with the entertainment business. She wanted me to go to West Point and be safe.”
“We always had every confidence in Miles.” . . .

He stood by the built-in bar of the dining room with the good-humored, heavy-drinking, highly paid Nat Keogh.

“–I made a hundred grand during the year and lost forty grand gambling, so now I’ve hired a manager.”

“You mean an agent,” suggested Joel.

“No, I’ve got that too. I mean a manager. I make over everything to my wife and then he and my wife get together and hand me out the money. I pay him five thousand a year to hand me out my money.”

“You mean your agent.”

“No, I mean my manager, and I’m not the only one–a lot of other irresponsible people have him.”

“Well, if you’re irresponsible why are you responsible enough to hire a manager?”
“I’m just irresponsible about gambling. Look here–”
A singer performed; Joel and Nat went forward with the others to listen.


II
The singing reached Joel vaguely; he felt happy and friendly toward all the people gathered there, people of bravery and industry, superior to a bourgeoisie that outdid them in ignorance and loose living, risen to a position of the highest prominence in a nation that for a decade had wanted only to be entertained. He liked them–he loved them. Great waves of good feeling flowed through him.

As the singer finished his number and there was a drift toward the hostess to say good-by, Joel had an idea. He would give them “Building It Up,” his own composition. It was his only parlor trick, it had amused several parties and it might please Stella Walker. Possessed by the hunch, his blood throbbing with the scarlet corpuscles of exhibitionism, he sought her.
“Of course,” she cried. “Please! Do you need anything?”

“Someone has to be the secretary that I’m supposed to be dictating to.”
“I’ll be her.”

As the word spread the guests in the hall, already putting on their coats to leave, drifted back and Joel faced the eyes of many strangers. He had a dim foreboding, realizing that the man who had just performed was a famous radio entertainer. Then someone said “Sh!” and he was alone with Stella, the center of a sinister Indian-like half-circle. Stella smiled up at him expectantly–he began.

His burlesque was based upon the cultural limitations of Mr. Dave Silverstein, an independent producer; Silverstein was presumed to be dictating a letter outlining a treatment of a story he had bought.

“–a story of divorce, the younger generators and the Foreign Legion,” he heard his voice saying, with the intonations of Mr. Silverstein. “But we got to build it up, see?”
A sharp pang of doubt struck through him. The faces surrounding him in the gently molded light were intent and curious, but there was no ghost of a smile anywhere; directly in front the Great Lover of the screen glared at him with an eye as keen as the eye of a potato. Only Stella Walker looked up at him with a radiant, never faltering smile.

“If we make him a Menjou type, then we get a sort of Michael Arlen only with a Honolulu atmosphere.”
Still not a ripple in front, but in the rear a rustling, a perceptible shift toward the left, toward the front door.
“–then she says she feels this sex appil for him and he burns out and says ‘Oh go on destroy yourself’–”
At some point he heard Nat Keogh snicker and here and there were a few encouraging faces, but as he finished he had the sickening realization that he had made a fool of himself in view of an important section of the picture world, upon whose favor depended his career.
For a moment he existed in the midst of a confused silence, broken by a general trek for the door. He felt the undercurrent of derision that rolled through the gossip; then–all this was in the space of ten seconds–the Great Lover, his eye hard and empty as the eye of a needle, shouted “Boo! Boo!” voicing in an overtone what he felt was the mood of the crowd. It was the resentment of the professional toward the amateur, of the community toward the stranger, the thumbs-down of the clan.

Only Stella Walker was still standing near and thanking him as if he had been an unparalleled success, as if it hadn’t occurred to her that anyone hadn’t liked it. As Nat Keogh helped him into his overcoat, a great wave of self-disgust swept over him and he clung desperately to his rule of never betraying an inferior emotion until he no longer felt it.
“I was a flop,” he said lightly, to Stella. “Never mind, it’s a good number when appreciated. Thanks for your co√∂peration.”

The smile did not leave her face–he bowed rather drunkenly and Nat drew him toward the door. . . .

The arrival of his breakfast awakened him into a broken and ruined world. Yesterday he was himself, a point of fire against an industry, today he felt that he was pitted under an enormous disadvantage, against those faces, against individual contempt and collective sneer. Worse than that, to Miles Calman he was become one of those rummies, stripped of dignity, whom Calman regretted he was compelled to use. To Stella Walker, on whom he had forced a martyrdom to preserve the courtesy of her house–her opinion he did not dare to guess. His gastric juices ceased to flow and he set his poached eggs back on the telephone table. He wrote:

DEAR MILES: You can imagine my profound self-disgust. I confess to a taint of exhibitionism, but at six o’clock in the afternoon, in broad daylight! Good God! My apologies to your wife.
Yours ever,
JOEL COLES.

Joel emerged from his office on the lot only to slink like a malefactor to the tobacco store. So suspicious was his manner that one of the studio police asked to see his admission card. He had decided to eat lunch outside when Nat Keogh, confident and cheerful, overtook him.
“What do you mean you’re in permanent retirement? What if that Three Piece Suit did boo you?
“Why, listen,” he continued, drawing Joel into the studio restaurant. “The night of one of his premiers at Grauman’s, Joe Squires kicked his tail while he was bowing to the crowd. The ham said Joe’d hear from him later but when Joe called him up at eight o’clock next day and said, ‘I thought I was going to hear from you,’ he hung up the phone.”

The preposterous story cheered Joel, and he found a gloomy consolation in staring at the group at the next table, the sad, lovely Siamese twins, the mean dwarfs, the proud giant from the circus picture. But looking beyond at the yellow-stained faces of pretty women, their eyes all melancholy and startling with mascara, their ball gowns garish in full day, he saw a group who had been at Calman’s and winced.
“Never again,” he exclaimed aloud, “absolutely my last social appearance in Hollywood!”
The following morning a telegram was waiting for him at his office:
You were one of the most agreeable people at our party. Expect you at my sister June’s buffet supper next Sunday.

STELLA WALKER CALMAN.
The blood rushed fast through his veins for a feverish minute. Incredulously he read the telegram over.
“Well, that’s the sweetest thing I ever heard of in my life!”


III
Crazy Sunday again. Joel slept until eleven, then he read a newspaper to catch up with the past week. He lunched in his room on trout, avocado salad and a pint of California wine. Dressing for the tea, he selected a pin-check suit, a blue shirt, a burnt orange tie. There were dark circles of fatigue under his eyes. In his second-hand car he drove to the Riviera apartments. As he was introducing himself to Stella’s sister, Miles and Stella arrived in riding clothes–they had been quarrelling fiercely most of the afternoon on all the dirt roads back of Beverly Hills.

Miles Calman, tall, nervous, with a desperate humor and the unhappiest eyes Joel ever saw, was an artist from the top of his curiously shaped head to his niggerish feet. Upon these last he stood firmly–he had never made a cheap picture though he had sometimes paid heavily for the luxury of making experimental flops. In spite of his excellent company, one could not be with him long without realizing that he was not a well man.

From the moment of their entrance Joel’s day bound itself up inextricably with theirs. As he joined the group around them Stella turned away from it with an impatient little tongue click–and Miles Calman said to the man who happened to be next to him:
“Go easy on Eva Goebel. There’s hell to pay about her at home.” Miles turned to Joel, “I’m sorry I missed you at the office yesterday. I spent the afternoon at the analyst’s.”
“You being psychoanalyzed?”

“I have been for months. First I went for claustrophobia, now I’m trying to get my whole life cleared up. They say it’ll take over a year.”

“There’s nothing the matter with your life,” Joel assured him.
“Oh, no? Well, Stella seems to think so. Ask anybody–they can all tell you about it,” he said bitterly.
A girl perched herself on the arm of Miles’ chair; Joel crossed to Stella, who stood disconsolately by the fire.
“Thank you for your telegram,” he said. “It was darn sweet. I can’t imagine anybody as good-looking as you are being so good-humored.”
She was a little lovelier than he had ever seen her and perhaps the unstinted admiration in his eyes prompted her to unload on him–it did not take long, for she was obviously at the emotional bursting point.
“–and Miles has been carrying on this thing for two years, and I never knew. Why, she was one of my best friends, always in the house. Finally when people began to come to me, Miles had to admit it.”
She sat down vehemently on the arm of Joel’s chair. Her riding breeches were the color of the chair and Joel saw that the mass of her hair was made up of some strands of red gold and some of pale gold, so that it could not be dyed, and that she had on no make-up. She was that good-looking–
Still quivering with the shock of her discovery, Stella found unbearable the spectacle of a new girl hovering over Miles; she led Joel into a bedroom, and seated at either end of a big bed they went on talking. People on their way to the washroom glanced in and made wisecracks, but Stella, emptying out her story, paid no attention. After a while Miles stuck his head in the door and said, “There’s no use trying to explain something to Joel in half an hour that I don’t understand myself and the psychoanalyst says will take a whole year to understand.”
She talked on as if Miles were not there. She loved Miles, she said–under considerable difficulties she had always been faithful to him.
“The psychoanalyst told Miles that he had a mother complex. In his first marriage he transferred his mother complex to his wife, you see–and then his sex turned to me. But when we married the thing repeated itself–he transferred his mother complex to me and all his libido turned toward this other woman.”
Joel knew that this probably wasn’t gibberish–yet it sounded like gibberish. He knew Eva Goebel; she was a motherly person, older and probably wiser than Stella, who was a golden child.
Miles now suggested impatiently that Joel come back with them since Stella had so much to say, so they drove out to the mansion in Beverly Hills. Under the high ceilings the situation seemed more dignified and tragic. It was an eerie bright night with the dark very clear outside of all the windows and Stella all rose-gold raging and crying around the room. Joel did not quite believe in picture actresses’ grief. They have other preoccupations–they are beautiful rose-gold figures blown full of life by writers and directors, and after hours they sit around and talk in whispers and giggle innuendoes, and the ends of many adventures flow through them.
Sometimes he pretended to listen and instead thought how well she was got up–sleek breeches with a matched set of legs in them, an Italian-colored sweater with a little high neck, and a short brown chamois coat. He couldn’t decide whether she was an imitation of an English lady or an English lady was an imitation of her. She hovered somewhere between the realest of realities and the most blatant of impersonations.
“Miles is so jealous of me that he questions everything I do,” she cried scornfully. “When I was in New York I wrote him that I’d been to the theater with Eddie Baker. Miles was so jealous he phoned me ten times in one day.”
“I was wild,” Miles snuffled sharply, a habit he had in times of stress. “The analyst couldn’t get any results for a week.”
Stella shook her head despairingly. “Did you expect me just to sit in the hotel for three weeks?”
“I don’t expect anything. I admit that I’m jealous. I try not to be. I worked on that with Dr. Bridgebane, but it didn’t do any good. I was jealous of Joel this afternoon when you sat on the arm of his chair.”
“You were?” She started up. “You were! Wasn’t there somebody on the arm of your chair? And did you speak to me for two hours?”
“You were telling your troubles to Joel in the bedroom.”
“When I think that that woman”–she seemed to believe that to omit Eva Goebel’s name would be to lessen her reality–”used to come here–”
“All right–all right,” said Miles wearily. “I’ve admitted everything and I feel as bad about it as you do.” Turning to Joel he began talking about pictures, while Stella moved restlessly along the far walls, her hands in her breeches pockets.
“They’ve treated Miles terribly,” she said, coming suddenly back into the conversation as if they’d never discussed her personal affairs. “Dear, tell him about old Beltzer trying to change your picture.”
As she stood hovering protectively over Miles, her eyes flashing with indignation in his behalf, Joel realized that he was in love with her. Stifled with excitement he got up to say good night.
With Monday the week resumed its workaday rhythm, in sharp contrast to the theoretical discussions, the gossip and scandal of Sunday; there was the endless detail of script revision–”Instead of a lousy dissolve, we can leave her voice on the sound track and cut to a medium shot of the taxi from Bell’s angle or we can simply pull the camera back to include the station, hold it a minute and then pan to the row of taxis”–by Monday afternoon Joel had again forgotten that people whose business was to provide entertainment were ever privileged to be entertained. In the evening he phoned Miles’ house. He asked for Miles but Stella came to the phone.
“Do things seem better?”
“Not particularly. What are you doing next Saturday evening?”
“Nothing.”
“The Perrys are giving a dinner and theater party and Miles won’t be here–he’s flying to South Bend to see the Notre Dame-California game. I thought you might go with me in his place.”
After a long moment Joel said, “Why–surely. If there’s a conference I can’t make dinner but I can get to the theater.”
“Then I’ll say we can come.”
Joel walked his office. In view of the strained relations of the Calmans, would Miles be pleased, or did she intend that Miles shouldn’t know of it? That would be out of the question–if Miles didn’t mention it Joel would. But it was an hour or more before he could get down to work again.
Wednesday there was a four-hour wrangle in a conference room crowded with planets and nebulae of cigarette smoke. Three men and a woman paced the carpet in turn, suggesting or condemning, speaking sharply or persuasively, confidently or despairingly. At the end Joel lingered to talk to Miles.
The man was tired–not with the exaltation of fatigue but life-tired, with his lids sagging and his beard prominent over the blue shadows near his mouth.
“I hear you’re flying to the Notre Dame game.”
Miles looked beyond him and shook his head.
“I’ve given up the idea.”
“Why?”
“On account of you.” Still he did not look at Joel.
“What the hell, Miles?”
“That’s why I’ve given it up.” He broke into a perfunctory laugh at himself. “I can’t tell what Stella might do just out of spite–she’s invited you to take her to the Perrys’, hasn’t she? I wouldn’t enjoy the game.”
The fine instinct that moved swiftly and confidently on the set, muddled so weakly and helplessly through his personal life.
“Look, Miles,” Joel said frowning. “I’ve never made any passes whatsoever at Stella. If you’re really seriously cancelling your trip on account of me, I won’t go to the Perrys’ with her. I won’t see her. You can trust me absolutely.”
Miles looked at him, carefully now.
“Maybe.” He shrugged his shoulders. “Anyhow there’d just be somebody else. I wouldn’t have any fun.”
“You don’t seem to have much confidence in Stella. She told me she’d always been true to you.”
“Maybe she has.” In the last few minutes several more muscles had sagged around Miles’ mouth, “But how can I ask anything of her after what’s happened? How can I expect her–” He broke off and his face grew harder as he said, “I’ll tell you one thing, right or wrong and no matter what I’ve done, if I ever had anything on her I’d divorce her. I can’t have my pride hurt–that would be the last straw.”
His tone annoyed Joel, but he said:
“Hasn’t she calmed down about the Eva Goebel thing?”
“No.” Miles snuffled pessimistically. “I can’t get over it either.”
“I thought it was finished.”
“I’m trying not to see Eva again, but you know it isn’t easy just to drop something like that–it isn’t some girl I kissed last night in a taxi! The psychoanalyst says–”
“I know,” Joel interrupted. “Stella told me.” This was depressing. “Well, as far as I’m concerned if you go to the game I won’t see Stella. And I’m sure Stella has nothing on her conscience about anybody.”
“Maybe not,” Miles repeated listlessly. “Anyhow I’ll stay and take her to the party. Say,” he said suddenly, “I wish you’d come too. I’ve got to have somebody sympathetic to talk to. That’s the trouble–I’ve influenced Stella in everything. Especially I’ve influenced her so that she likes all the men I like–it’s very difficult.”
“It must be,” Joel agreed.


IV
Joel could not get to the dinner. Self-conscious in his silk hat against the unemployment, he waited for the others in front of the Hollywood Theatre and watched the evening parade: obscure replicas of bright, particular picture stars, spavined men in polo coats, a stomping dervish with the beard and staff of an apostle, a pair of chic Filipinos in collegiate clothes, reminder that this corner of the Republic opened to the seven seas, a long fantastic carnival of young shouts which proved to be a fraternity initiation. The line split to pass two smart limousines that stopped at the curb.
There she was, in a dress like ice-water, made in a thousand pale-blue pieces, with icicles trickling at the throat. He started forward.
“So you like my dress?”
“Where’s Miles?”
“He flew to the game after all. He left yesterday morning–at least I think–” She broke off. “I just got a telegram from South Bend saying that he’s starting back. I forgot–you know all these people?”
The party of eight moved into the theater.
Miles had gone after all and Joel wondered if he should have come. But during the performance, with Stella a profile under the pure grain of light hair, he thought no more about Miles. Once he turned and looked at her and she looked back at him, smiling and meeting his eyes for as long as he wanted. Between the acts they smoked in the lobby and she whispered:
“They’re all going to the opening of Jack Johnson’s night club–I don’t want to go, do you?”
“Do we have to?”
“I suppose not.” She hesitated. “I’d like to talk to you. I suppose we could go to our house–if I were only sure–”
Again she hesitated and Joel asked:
“Sure of what?”
“Sure that–oh, I’m haywire I know, but how can I be sure Miles went to the game?”
“You mean you think he’s with Eva Goebel?”
“No, not so much that–but supposing he was here watching everything I do. You know Miles does odd things sometimes. Once he wanted a man with a long beard to drink tea with him and he sent down to the casting agency for one, and drank tea with him all afternoon.”
“That’s different. He sent you a wire from South Bend–that proves he’s at the game.”
After the play they said good night to the others at the curb and were answered by looks of amusement. They slid off along the golden garish thoroughfare through the crowd that had gathered around Stella.
“You see he could arrange the telegrams,” Stella said, “very easily.”
That was true. And with the idea that perhaps her uneasiness was justified, Joel grew angry: if Miles had trained a camera on them he felt no obligations toward Miles. Aloud he said:
“That’s nonsense.”
There were Christmas trees already in the shop windows and the full moon over the boulevard was only a prop, as scenic as the giant boudoir lamps of the corners. On into the dark foliage of Beverly Hills that flamed as eucalyptus by day, Joel saw only the flash of a white face under his own, the arc of her shoulder. She pulled away suddenly and looked up at him.
“Your eyes are like your mother’s,” she said. “I used to have a scrap book full of pictures of her.”
“Your eyes are like your own and not a bit like any other eyes,” he answered.
Something made Joel look out into the grounds as they went into the house, as if Miles were lurking in the shrubbery. A telegram waited on the hall table. She read aloud:

CHICAGO.
Home tomorrow night. Thinking of you. Love.
MILES.

“You see,” she said, throwing the slip back on the table, “he could easily have faked that.” She asked the butler for drinks and sandwiches and ran upstairs, while Joel walked into the empty reception rooms. Strolling about he wandered to the piano where he had stood in disgrace two Sundays before.
“Then we could put over,” he said aloud, “a story of divorce, the younger generators and the Foreign Legion.”
His thoughts jumped to another telegram.
“You were one of the most agreeable people at our party–”
An idea occurred to him. If Stella’s telegram had been purely a gesture of courtesy then it was likely that Miles had inspired it, for it was Miles who had invited him. Probably Miles had said:
“Send him a wire–he’s miserable–he thinks he’s queered himself.”
It fitted in with “I’ve influenced Stella in everything. Especially I’ve influenced her so that she likes all the men I like.” A woman would do a thing like that because she felt sympathetic–only a man would do it because he felt responsible.
When Stella came back into the room he took both her hands.
“I have a strange feeling that I’m a sort of pawn in a spite game you’re playing against Miles,” he said.
“Help yourself to a drink.”
“And the odd thing is that I’m in love with you anyhow.”
The telephone rang and she freed herself to answer it.
“Another wire from Miles,” she announced. “He dropped it, or it says he dropped it, from the airplane at Kansas City.”
“I suppose he asked to be remembered to me.”
“No, he just said he loved me. I believe he does. He’s so very weak.”
“Come sit beside me,” Joel urged her.
It was early. And it was still a few minutes short of midnight a half-hour later, when Joel walked to the cold hearth, and said tersely:
“Meaning that you haven’t any curiosity about me?”
“Not at all. You attract me a lot and you know it. The point is that I suppose I really do love Miles.”
“Obviously.”
“And tonight I feel uneasy about everything.”
He wasn’t angry–he was even faintly relieved that a possible entanglement was avoided. Still as he looked at her, the warmth and softness of her body thawing her cold blue costume, he knew she was one of the things he would always regret.
“I’ve got to go,” he said. “I’ll phone a taxi.”
“Nonsense–there’s a chauffeur on duty.”
He winced at her readiness to have him go, and seeing this she kissed him lightly and said, “You’re sweet, Joel.” Then suddenly three things happened: he took down his drink at a gulp, the phone rang loud through the house and a clock in the hall struck in trumpet notes.
Nine–ten–eleven–twelve–


V
It was Sunday again. Joel realized that he had come to the theater this evening with the work of the week still hanging about him like cerements. He had made love to Stella as he might attack some matter to be cleaned up hurriedly before the day’s end. But this was Sunday–the lovely, lazy perspective of the next twenty-four hours unrolled before him–every minute was something to be approached with lulling indirection, every moment held the germ of innumerable possibilities. Nothing was impossible–everything was just beginning. He poured himself another drink.
With a sharp moan, Stella slipped forward inertly by the telephone. Joel picked her up and laid her on the sofa. He squirted soda-water on a handkerchief and slapped it over her face. The telephone mouthpiece was still grinding and he put it to his ear.
“–the plane fell just this side of Kansas City. The body of Miles Calman has been identified and–”
He hung up the receiver.
“Lie still,” he said, stalling, as Stella opened her eyes.
“Oh, what’s happened?” she whispered. “Call them back. Oh, what’s happened?”
“I’ll call them right away. What’s your doctor’s name?”
“Did they say Miles was dead?”
“Lie quiet–is there a servant still up?”
“Hold me–I’m frightened.”
He put his arm around her.
“I want the name of your doctor,” he said sternly. “It may be a mistake but I want someone here.”
“It’s Doctor–Oh, God, is Miles dead?”
Joel ran upstairs and searched through strange medicine cabinets for spirits of ammonia. When he came down Stella cried:
“He isn’t dead–I know he isn’t. This is part of his scheme. He’s torturing me. I know he’s alive. I can feel he’s alive.”
“I want to get hold of some close friend of yours, Stella. You can’t stay here alone tonight.”
“Oh, no,” she cried. “I can’t see anybody. You stay. I haven’t got any friend.” She got up, tears streaming down her face. “Oh, Miles is my only friend. He’s not dead–he can’t be dead. I’m going there right away and see. Get a train. You’ll have to come with me.”
“You can’t. There’s nothing to do tonight. I want you to tell me the name of some woman I can call: Lois? Joan? Carmel? Isn’t there somebody?”
Stella stared at him blindly.
“Eva Goebel was my best friend,” she said.
Joel thought of Miles, his sad and desperate face in the office two days before. In the awful silence of his death all was clear about him. He was the only American-born director with both an interesting temperament and an artistic conscience. Meshed in an industry, he had paid with his ruined nerves for having no resilience, no healthy cynicism, no refuge–only a pitiful and precarious escape.
There was a sound at the outer door–it opened suddenly, and there were footsteps in the hall.
“Miles!” Stella screamed. “Is it you, Miles? Oh, it’s Miles.”
A telegraph boy appeared in the doorway.
“I couldn’t find the bell. I heard you talking inside.”
The telegram was a duplicate of the one that had been phoned. While Stella read it over and over, as though it were a black lie, Joel telephoned. It was still early and he had difficulty getting anyone; when finally he succeeded in finding some friends he made Stella take a stiff drink.
“You’ll stay here, Joel,” she whispered, as though she were half-asleep. “You won’t go away. Miles liked you–he said you–” She shivered violently, “Oh, my God, you don’t know how alone I feel.” Her eyes closed, “Put your arms around me. Miles had a suit like that.” She started bolt upright. “Think of what he must have felt. He was afraid of almost everything, anyhow.”
She shook her head dazedly. Suddenly she seized Joel’s face and held it close to hers.
“You won’t go. You like me–you love me, don’t you? Don’t call up anybody. Tomorrow’s time enough. You stay here with me tonight.”
He stared at her, at first incredulously, and then with shocked understanding. In her dark groping Stella was trying to keep Miles alive by sustaining a situation in which he had figured–as if Miles’ mind could not die so long as the possibilities that had worried him still existed. It was a distraught and tortured effort to stave off the realization that he was dead.
Resolutely Joel went to the phone and called a doctor.
“Don’t, oh, don’t call anybody!” Stella cried. “Come back here and put your arms around me.”
“Is Doctor Bales in?”
“Joel,” Stella cried. “I thought I could count on you. Miles liked you. He was jealous of you–Joel, come here.”
Ah then–if he betrayed Miles she would be keeping him alive–for if he were really dead how could he be betrayed?
“–has just had a very severe shock. Can you come at once, and get hold of a nurse?”
“Joel!”
Now the door-bell and the telephone began to ring intermittently, and automobiles were stopping in front of the door.
“But you’re not going,” Stella begged him. “You’re going to stay, aren’t you?”
“No,” he answered. “But I’ll be back, if you need me.”
Standing on the steps of the house which now hummed and palpitated with the life that flutters around death like protective leaves, he began to sob a little in his throat.
“Everything he touched he did something magical to,” he thought. “He even brought that little gamin alive and made her a sort of masterpiece.”
And then:
“What a hell of a hole he leaves in this damn wilderness–already!”
And then with a certain bitterness, “Oh, yes, I’ll be back–I’ll be back!”