Inspired by a 1996 New Yorker article by the esteemed Westport writer, Barbra Probst Solomon, who first connected the Gatsby dots to Westport, Deej Webb and myself picked up Barbara’s baton because her piece was ignored by the Fitzgerald scholars. Besides writing numerous books and essays, Barbara had also started a literary magazine with her good friends Saul Bellow and Norman Mailer, and yet nobody bit on her thesis.
We interviewed more than a dozen scholars, dug into the archives at Princeton, made a presentation at a Fitzgerald Society Conference in Montgomery, Alabama. We even journeyed up to Burlington Vermont when it hit 18 degrees below zero to film one of Fitzgerald’s granddaughters, who incidentally, rarely speaks to anyone
What we uncovered was not only surprising, it made us realize that the Westport Fitzgerald home was much more than just about Gatsby, which let’s face it, should suffice for any literary buff (come to the event to learn more).
But the narrative isn’t just about what happened here in 1920, it’s about what’s happening today. This remarkable home is for sale and unprotected–meaning, anyone could buy it and make it tomorrow’s Teardown of the Day, just like Ray Bradbury’s home in Los Angeles, which earlier this year was torn down before anyone could stop it.
The FTC event is an important part of the narrative. We will make our casethrough the clips (we have over an hour’s worth) for why Westportneeds to save this home. We will have a film crew on hand and hope to move audience members to speak out either in favor of, or against landmarking this house.
Joining us will be Professor Walter Raubicheck, a Fitzgerald scholar from Pace University and Sue Gold, executive director of the Westport Historical Society. It should make for a very interesting evening.
Monday, June 8th @ 7 PM — For tickets: Fairfield Theatre Company
I’m appearing next week in New York at Rockwood Music Hall 2, World Cafe in Philly and FTC in Fairfield. I’ll be playing original songs and reading an excerpt from my novel: My Year as a Clown — which incidentally was chosen by Amazon this month to be part of their Kindle Big Deals.
Thursday, November 13 @ 6:30 Rockwood Music Hall 2, New York City
Friday, November 14 @ 8:00 World Cafe Upstairs, Philadelphia
Saturday, November 15 @ 8:00 Stage One, Fairfield Theatre Company, Fairfield, CT
I will also be appearing at the Ridgefield Library on Thursday, November 20 @ 7 to talk about the documentary I’m making with Deej Webb.
Here’s a clip I took with my iPhone while in the studio with legendary drummer Omar Hakim: