Eleanor Lanahan, from her book, Scottie: The Daughter of…The Life of Frances Scott Fitzgerald Lanahan Smith …
“It wasn't till 1959, when I was eleven, that I even vaguely realized that I was the granddaughter of somebody famous. A photographer from Life magazine spent the morning photographing my brothers, my sister and me playing with memorabilia in the attic: Zelda’s ostrich feather fans, Scott’s lead soldier collection…I was not curious about my grandparents. Being related to F. Scott Fitzgerald held about as much excitement for me as being related to an old master print or a marble bust in a museum.”
I re-read The Great Gatsby last week and enjoyed it more than ever. And I never tire of reading proverbial shirts scene. It never seems to become hackneyed...
“Recovering himself in a minute he opened for us two hulking patent cabinets which held his massed suits and dressing-gowns and ties, and his shirts, piled like bricks in stacks a dozen high.
“I’ve got a man in England who buys me clothes. He sends over a selection of things at the beginning of each season, spring and fall.”
He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel, which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many-colored disarray. While we admired he brought more and the soft rich heap mounted higher — shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and lavender and faint orange, and monograms of Indian blue. Suddenly, with a strained sound, Daisy bent her head into the shirts and began to cry stormily.
“They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such — such beautiful shirts before.” “
So here’s to Scott Fitzgerald. And to little lead soldiers. And of course, shirts.