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Quiz about Where F Scott Met Daisy Saint Paul
Quiz about Where F Scott Met Daisy Saint Paul

Where F. Scott Met Daisy: Saint Paul Quiz


Come along to Saint Paul, Minnesota, where the author of "The Great Gatsby" was born. We'll walk a complex city of shadow and light, where F. Scott Fitzgerald grew up.

A photo quiz by Godwit. Estimated time: 4 mins.
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Author
Godwit
Time
4 mins
Type
Photo Quiz
Quiz #
401,795
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
151
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
-
Question 1 of 10
1. Scott Fitzgerald was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, named after his deceased sister, both of them named after which distant, star-spangled cousin? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. F. Scott enjoyed frequent trips downtown Saint Paul. This was possible because he could hop on which popular mode of public transportation, available as of 1907 when Fitzgerald was eleven? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. This gorgeous place, which opened in 1917 when F. Scott was 21, devotes an ornate alcove on the 3rd floor to his works and biographies because it is what kind of public building? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. From upper story windows of downtown Saint Paul one can see the river which winds along the back of the city, forming its early nature and fortune. Which river was ever-present in F. Scott's youth? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Fitzgerald grew up in a rented row house very near massive estates such as the one pictured. F. Scott admired and longed to own one of these mansions.


Question 6 of 10
6. Living in the Roaring Twenties, Fitzgerald coined the term "Jazz Age". In Saint Paul he lived in a hotel which had what secret and illegal dance spot in its basement? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Pre-Zelda F. Scott was home visiting St. Paul when he fell madly in love with a lady named Ginevra. She was the model for Daisy in "The Great Gatsby". What was Ginevra's last name? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. In an inviting area downtown stands the Saint Paul Hotel, where for a time F. Scott and his wife Zelda lived. Not surprisingly F. Scott's photograph hangs in which hotel area? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. A handsome statue of Fitzgerald stands in downtown St. Paul. The Landmark Center behind him was a Federal Courthouse in F. Scott's time, where which group of people were tried? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. Fitzgerald was 14 when this building opened, featuring which type of satirical entertainment, suitable for teens by 1910? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Jun 29 2024 : Nhoj_too: 9/10
Jun 21 2024 : polly656: 7/10

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Scott Fitzgerald was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, named after his deceased sister, both of them named after which distant, star-spangled cousin?

Answer: Francis Scott Key

Francis Scott Key (1779-1843), a prominent politician and lawyer of the US east coast, wrote the lyrics for the US national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner". A second cousin thrice removed to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Key's line goes back to Anne Boleyn, William the Conqueror, Thomas Jefferson and John Rockefeller, to name a few. Big shoes to fill, as our future author Francis Scott (1896-1940), was born less privileged, into the genteel middle-class in a Midwestern lumber and railroad town. A keen awareness of the haves and have-nots ran strong in F. Scott's upbringing, his psyche and his writings, demonstrated well in his 1922 novel, "The Beautiful and the Damned".

The photo hint suggests the "twilight's last gleaming", which I took at dusk on a bridge above Saint Paul's Mississippi river.

F. Scott's sister "Louise Scott Fitzgerald" died three months before his birth. "I think I started then to be a writer", wrote F. Scott. As if to continue the family claim on his prominent cousin, something F. Scott often played up, F. Scott named his only child "Francis Scott Fitzgerald" (1921-1986). She married a prominent lawyer (interesting?) and was inducted into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame in 1992 both for her writing, and much active work in politics.

Our author F. Scott was also a first cousin to Mary Surratt, the first woman executed in the USA, (1865) as an (unproven) conspirator in the assassination of President Lincoln. No one in F. Scott's family was named after her.
2. F. Scott enjoyed frequent trips downtown Saint Paul. This was possible because he could hop on which popular mode of public transportation, available as of 1907 when Fitzgerald was eleven?

Answer: Electric streetcar

F. Scott grew up in a residential area just west of downtown St. Paul. From there he could hop on the new electric streetcar, riding along his beloved Selby Avenue into the city, arriving near the site of the newly constructed Cathedral of Saint Paul. The electric streetcar was especially popular because of a relatively steep incline going into town, difficult to travel in the deep cold and snow of winter. The streetcar opened up transport and created a bustling shopping and cultural area along its route, which F. Scott enjoyed. Around 1968 Interstate 94 went right through the Selby area, bringing about a decline, though some of the neighborhood remains as it was.

F. Scott was at home in the downtown bookstores, library, train station, hotel bars, along the river, and in other local establishments, a few still serving the public when I was there in 2019. Many are mentioned in his stories and books. I went looking for his favorite bookstore as listed in the walking tour, but found myself standing in a parking ramp, near the Twin Cities metro rail (opened in 2004) which brings folks downtown these days. I was reminded of a trip to Arles, France, finding a new grocery store sitting where Van Gogh once lived. Like F. Scott, Van Gogh moved around, fragmenting his connections to a city.

By 1929 F. Scott lived far from his birthplace. He was about 32, drinking heavily, and his wife Zelda was headed for her first mental breakdown (1930). Back when Zelda broke off their engagement F. Scott took refuge back in St. Paul. He nursed an upset heart, and re-wrote a novel he began while attending Princeton, "This Side of Paradise". This novel catapulted him into the fame and fortune he had long viewed as both beguiling, and empty. His success won him Zelda's hand, and they became Jazz Age celebrities. Their new homes included New York City, Paris, the Riviera, and a later move to Hollywood by F. Scott. Throughout his short life F. Scott repeatedly left, returned and left Saint Paul again, but once quite famous, and drunken, he never went back. Saint Paul's Fitzgerald is the toddler, the teen, and the young man.

The photo is of the metro rail station downtown in 2019. You can take it into the heart of the city and find excellent authentic ethnic food or a good old Midwestern breakfast. Live music, the Science Museum, a symphony hall and other stellar museums await. The Model T came available in 1908, but F. Scott was still a boy.
3. This gorgeous place, which opened in 1917 when F. Scott was 21, devotes an ornate alcove on the 3rd floor to his works and biographies because it is what kind of public building?

Answer: Library

Bookstores and libraries were a haunt for F. Scott Fitzgerald, and this one is both beautiful and imposing. It' in West 4th Street in St. Paul MN, next to the Saint Paul Hotel where F. Scott and Zelda once lived. Established in 1882, the entire library and 158,000 books were destroyed in a fire in 1915, when F. Scott was nineteen. The new building shown was funded in part by railroad baron James J. Hill, who owned one of the mansions F. Scott so hated.

This library was fully renovated in 2002. In 2014 it launched a new Racial Equity initiative, winning an equity award in 2016. In 2019 they eliminated overdue fines, so the poor could take out books. In June 2020 peaceful protestors and angry looters gathered by the thousands in this capital city, including the park outside the library, to raise their voices against police aggression and racism. I mention these things not only because this library offers impressive public service, but because class, race and racism are often mentioned in the same breathe as "Fitzgerald".

When I visited this library in 2019 it was a bitterly cold November. Some homeless took shelter there, allowed to use the computers and books. I was deeply moved that this stately, grand building gave them refuge. Taking a unique antique elevator to the 3rd floor, behind impressive pillars, I found the F. Scott alcove of his books and biographies. Some of the homeless sat in soft chairs there, reading and warming their hands. From a window one can see the great river, winding along the back of the library. One can imagine Fitzgerald standing just there, watching the water.

Fitzgerald at times expressed a view he was a superior remnant "of the old American aristocracy". He was unwelcoming of other races and nearly all foreigners, whom he called, with some disdain, "homeless". Years later he apologized, saying he'd been pretentious and offensive; yet in that same letter he claimed the French an inferior people. Ironically, the American Dream--that anyone of any life circumstance can reach their dreams--was his deepest (and most disappointing) life tenant.
4. From upper story windows of downtown Saint Paul one can see the river which winds along the back of the city, forming its early nature and fortune. Which river was ever-present in F. Scott's youth?

Answer: Mississippi

Saint Paul has 26 miles of Mississippi riverfront, and the city beginnings were powerfully shaped by extensive trade and the gathering of nationalities via the river. The Mississippi is about 12,000 years old. Humans lived along it at least 10,000 years ago, when it was very cold and simply interwoven braids of water. Two thousand years ago a Mound Builder society established extensive trade up and down its length. Hernando de Soto explored it in 1540. In the early 1800s it enabled a transportation and trade empire for Saint Paul. By the mid-1800's men of fortune in railroad, lumber and paper were building the massive estates Fitzgerald perhaps envied, yet despised.

When F. Scott was about six there was a terrible tornado that blew down part of the High Bridge over the river. The storm destroyed multitudes of buildings downtown, killed people and injured others. Having grown up near the Mississippi, in Tornado Alley, I know an event like that leaves a powerful impression in the mind of a child. The river is beauty, commerce, entertainment, and sometimes disaster. In 2004 some teens died in the caves along its St. Paul banks. I explored those risky Mississippi caves when I was a teen. Perhaps Fitzgerald did. Dangerous and mighty, I thrill every time I cross the "Misi-ziibi", Great River, as it is a part of my fabric, as it was for F. Scott. As a child he too probably had to recite the little ditty, "M-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i". All Twin Cities children learn how to sing and spell it.

In "The Great Gatsby" water is a constant theme. The book ends with it: "So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past". These words are etched into Fitzgerald's Maryland gravestone.
5. Fitzgerald grew up in a rented row house very near massive estates such as the one pictured. F. Scott admired and longed to own one of these mansions.

Answer: False

F. Scott's parents lived in a rented place at 599 Summit Avenue, on what the brochures still claim to be, "the longest stretch of Victoria-era homes in the USA". Also on Summit are stately colleges, a seminary, a temple, the world famous Cathedral of Saint Paul, and the Governor's Residence. Summit Avenue has a unique feel, with its cold, stone buildings and their commanding air of wealth, security, and eerie beauty. But F. Scott called them a "mausoleum of American architectural monstrosities".

F. Scott believed that everyone who works hard can create the life they want. At the same time he experienced that promise as hollow. Although he grew up a neighbor and friend, he was firmly shut out of the elite class. He attended parties and balls with those who lived in these mansions, but he would never be one of them.

About this F. Scott wrote, "Let me tell you about the very rich. They are different from you and me. They possess and enjoy early...They think, deep in their hearts, that they are better than we are because we had to discover the compensations and refuges of life for ourselves. Even when they enter deep into our world or sink below us, they still think that they are better than we are. They are different".

It is said that living so intimately among these great estates fueled the author's creation "The Great Gatsby". There, an ordinary Midwesterner named Nick Carraway is bedazzled at the grandiosity and allure of Daisy and Gatsby, yet he sees their lives as shallow and superficial.

Fitzgerald said, "...life is essentially a cheat and its conditions are those of defeat; the redeeming things are not happiness and pleasure...but the deeper satisfactions that come out of struggle". These American nobles and their "monstrosities", the ultra-rich he partied with who spent their lives golfing, boating and seeking pleasure, never having to struggle, affected F. Scott deeply.

The 1891 mansion pictured (240 Summit Avenue) belonged to railroad magnate James J. Hill until his death in 1916. It's a US National Historic Landmark. In my 2019 visit the Fitzgerald home belonged to a private owner, who keeps it as it was, and is known to give the occasional Fitzgerald fan a tour.
6. Living in the Roaring Twenties, Fitzgerald coined the term "Jazz Age". In Saint Paul he lived in a hotel which had what secret and illegal dance spot in its basement?

Answer: Speakeasy

In the USA prohibition was a national ban on the production, import, transport and sale of alcoholic beverages, around 1920 to 1933, as set out in the Eighteenth Amendment. F. Scott was in his twenties, often found at the Hotel Commodore in St. Paul, or elsewhere in the secret, illegal drinking establishments called speakeasies (origin, "speak quietly"), sometimes called blind pig or tiger. Prohibition gave rise to "bootlegging"--making and selling illegal booze--and the speakeasy was a hidden place to drink it. Fitzgerald and especially Zelda loved to dance and party, the dazzling prince and princess of their circles. F. Scott dressed himself in the height of style and high fashion, likewise creating dandy attire for his characters.

I discovered to my amazement that St. Paul was a bastion of gangster and bootlegging activity during prohibition. Sadly the glamorous Fitzgerald became crippled with alcoholism, and Zelda landed more than once in a mental institution, where she eventually perished in a fire.
7. Pre-Zelda F. Scott was home visiting St. Paul when he fell madly in love with a lady named Ginevra. She was the model for Daisy in "The Great Gatsby". What was Ginevra's last name?

Answer: King

Although Fitzgerald lamented his "humble beginnings" the fact is he attended a private school as a boy, and then the elite Princeton in New Jersey. He was born on one of the most prominent streets in Saint Paul, and his first love was an extravagantly rich girl.

At 19 on a college break home F. Scott fell head-over-heels for Ginevra King. She was 16, they were greatly infatuated, yet King dated others, her parents nixed any serious public outings with Fitzgerald, and then she ditched him "with the most supreme boredom and indifference". In perhaps sweet revenge, or forlorn heartbreak, Fitzgerald based many of his future characters on Ginevra, including Daisy in "The Great Gatsby" and Isabelle Borge in "This Side of Paradise". It is said that for the rest of his life F. Scott became teary-eyed at the mention of her. Fitzgerald later wrote to his daughter, Scottie, that his visit to Ginevra in a Chicago suburb called Lake Forest was "the most glamorous place in the world".

As example of the not-so-fictional portrayal of Ginevra, in "Winter Dreams" (1922): a sophisticated young Minnesota man "of humble origins" falls for a spoiled and wealthy woman named Judy Jones, whom he met at a members-only club (which still exists in St. Paul, 2020) where he was working. Dexter engages in a "lifelong series of impetuous acts" in a mad drive for material success and to satisfy his longing for Judy. Judy rejects suitors lacking upper class status and riches. She marries well but it becomes a dull and abusive union, while Judy loses her ravishing good looks.

Ginevra nee King Pirie did indeed have an unhappy though lucrative first marriage (to "Tom Buchanan" in "The Great Gatsby"), and then married an extremely wealthy tycoon. She lived to age 82 (1980). Her family of origin was known to associate almost exclusively with quite prominent families. Fitzgerald moved on to date the beautiful and high-spirited Zelda, the socialite daughter of an Alabama Supreme Court judge.
8. In an inviting area downtown stands the Saint Paul Hotel, where for a time F. Scott and his wife Zelda lived. Not surprisingly F. Scott's photograph hangs in which hotel area?

Answer: Bar

In the Saint Paul Hotel Fitzgerald's portrait hangs on a very classy wall in the very classy bar. Even today this hotel is so exclusive when I walked through seeking the F. Scott photograph on my self-guided walking tour, I was stopped by an indignant hotel manager who wondered how someone "not our clientele" wandered in. I explained and he pointed me to the bar, where the bartender allowed me a photo of the sophisticated bar room. I found F. Scott's picture on the wall, among those of other famous people familiar to the hotel. I am still curious who their 2019 upper crust "clientele" might be? I mean, which glamorous high rollers overnight in Midwestern St. Paul? Obviously I'm an outsider or I would know. In any case if you can get past the manager, the bar is a gem.

The Commodore is another local hotel, bar and restaurant where F. Scott and Zelda lived. They attended prohibited speakeasy parties in the basement there.

As a side note, "Saint Paul" and "St. Paul" are interchangeable. Saint Paul being correct, and St. Paul the common shorthand. Thus the lofty hotel is rightly called the Saint Paul Hotel, while the city is most often listed as St. Paul. The Dakota Indians called the city "Imnizaska". The first Catholic pastor of the area, a Frenchman, changed the name from Pig's Eye to Saint Paul. Fitzgerald might have become a different sort of person, had he been born and reared in Pig's Eye.
9. A handsome statue of Fitzgerald stands in downtown St. Paul. The Landmark Center behind him was a Federal Courthouse in F. Scott's time, where which group of people were tried?

Answer: Gangsters

In January, 1996, one hundred years after F. Scott's birth, Michael Price created this fine statue of Fitzgerald, placed in in Rice Park, downtown Saint Paul. The statue looks in the direction of the library and the river, while to his left is the Saint Paul Hotel where he and Zelda lived. Behind him is the historical Landmark Center, featuring cultural events, closed "until further notice" in March, 2020 due to the corona virus pandemic.

In the days of Fitzgerald, the Landmark was a stunning Federal Court house and Post Office. Completed in 1902 it has a 5-story courtyard, elaborate architecture and a pink granite exterior. It was mistreated and ruined, but saved from destruction in 1972, restored, and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It has a place in infamy. Saint Paul was a safe haven for bootlegging gangsters in the 1920s to 1930s. The Mississippi provided needed water, the city had several breweries, there were German immigrants skilled in brewing, and it was easy to import and export with Canada. Local police welcomed the gangster's bribes, on the condition that the likes of John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, and Alvin Creepy Carpus abstain from murder and mayhem. Even Ma Barker and her gang were Saint Paul residents.

The locals considered bank robbers a sort of Robin Hood anti-hero, as banks were seen as greedy and unfair. The gangsters even had a well-attended restaurant built into a Mississippi cave, the perfect environment to hide and store liquor. Only an hour after an FBI shoot-out with Dillinger in his Saint Paul apartment, a St. Paul grand jury released its conclusion there was "no justification for any charges that an excess of crime exists here". Saint Paul was also a very lively scene for big jazz artists and speakeasies.

Meanwhile though, the FBI set up headquarters in the Landmark's 5th floor, just where, in 1919, Andrew Volsted wrote the 18th Amendment. The FBI had none of the local welcoming attitude. They declared Saint Paul resident John Dillinger Public Enemy No. One, and went after the gangsters. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover was thought to be a frequent visitor.

The FBI arrested Dillinger's beautiful Native American girlfriend Billie Frechette at a local apartment she and Dillinger shared, thinking Dillinger might be trapped if he waged a machine gun war to rescue her. He didn't, dying instead four months later in Chicago.

Despite the exciting, illicit backdrop, perhaps Fitzgerald did nothing at the Landmark except purchase stamps. Yet, the building is an icon and reminder of the times he lived in, looking over his immortalized shoulder.

When the Landmark re-opens it has offered a "Gangster Tour" you might enjoy.
10. Fitzgerald was 14 when this building opened, featuring which type of satirical entertainment, suitable for teens by 1910?

Answer: Vaudeville

Fitzgerald was 14 when the vaudeville opened in 1910, but whether he ever attended I do not know. He did write in his journal that age 14 for him was, "A Year of Much Activity but Dangerous", so he might have been exploring the deep caverns under the banks of the river, or in to have a peek at vaudeville? Since the late 1800s vaudeville in the US had shifted to family-oriented material.

The building has ornate architecture and excellent acoustics which made for wonderful vaudeville until 1933, when it showed motion pictures. It was purchased by Minnesota Public Radio in 1980 where it famously broadcast "The Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor for many years. I attended a memorable live show here. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 and renamed the Fitzgerald Theater in 1994. First Avenue (made famous by the genius musician Prince) bought the theater in 2019. First Avenue sets up concerts and events around the state, "promoting artistic expression".

The "Crash Test Dummies" were slated to play at this venue in April, 2020, but rescheduled to September due to the corona virus pandemic. "They Might Be Giants" was likewise rescheduled to 2021. The photo on the side of the building is cropped from one of F. Scott and Zelda together, not long before their daughter was born in Saint Paul, 26 October, 1921.

In conclusion, I was deeply moved by my Saint Paul tour and all I learned about Fitzgerald's early days. Even today downtown is a patchwork of gorgeous granite, marble, glass and steel buildings, next to those of tired, dirty brick with vague outlines of former ads and murals. There are incredible museums, music halls and great food, with such kind people about; while gang fights break out in the streets. Perhaps its double and dark nature has not changed much since F. Scott was there, or even since its beginnings.

"A writer like me must have utter confidence, an utter faith in his star", said Fitzgerald in 1936, terribly ill with alcoholism, feeling he had lacked the faith and confidence required. Similarly F. Scott wrote to his young daughter, "I never believe much in happiness. I never believe in misery either...those are things you see on the stage or screen or printed pages, they never really happen to you in life" (1933).
Source: Author Godwit

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor ponycargirl before going online.
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