F. Scott Fitzgerald Loved Beer
A friend who lives in Asheville, North Carolina sent me this.
Recently, NPR’s Susan Stamberg made the rounds in Asheville while researching a piece about the time F. Scott Fitzgerald lived in the city.
While in Asheville, Fitzgerald spent some time at the famous Grove Park Inn. His time there was both sad and memorable.
Fitzgerald stayed at the inn in mid 1930s, when his fame as a writer was waning and his reputation as a drinker and womanizer was on the rise. Fitzgerald fired a shot from his handgun inside the hotel in a suicide attempt that was more a cry for help. His wife, the famous flapper Zelda, was facing her own health issues as a resident of Asheville’s nearby Highland Hospital. Zelda died in horrible fire at the hospital in 1948.
Asheville is known for its wide variety of beers and, currently, its craft beer. Back in the 1930s, Fitzgerald was one the city’s first big beer lovers, according to this article.
But F. Scott wasn’t sipping on beer to entertain his palette. He liked beer because he liked to get tore up from the floor up. He “reportedly” downed more than 30 bottles of beer in one day.
He also had a bit of thing for Thomas Wolfe, the famous writer who lived in Asheville.
He once wandered over to the Old Kentucky Home to see the home of another famous writer of the time, Asheville’s Thomas Wolfe. Fitzgerald reportedly stunk of alcohol, and Wolfe’s mother refused him entry on the steps.
Another time, Fitzgerald wandered over to the local library to check out Wolfe’s books. Because of Wolfe’s complicated relationship with his hometown, the library did not carry any of Wolfe’s work, so Fitzgerald went to a book store, bought an armful and delivered them to the library.
I find this stuff fascinating.
How does a writer as talented as Fitzgerald end up drunk and on the steps of Thomas Wolfe’s house? Such talent! Such a shame that everything ended for him the way it did.