|The book as I knew it|
Last post I filled you in on the Betsy-Tacy houses and doings in "Deep Valley" (a.k.a. Mankato), Minnesota, but, as all readers know and mourn, after "Betsy" graduated high school the "Ray" family left Deep Valley and moved to Minneapolis, never to return!
While the Rays' house, which Betsy lived in for all of one week after Betsy and the Great World, now lies under a park, I was happy to learn it was the only house that no longer exists. It also surprised me how nearby the other Betsy houses were. You could see how Betsy and Joe could walk home on those clear winter nights.
|The Bow Street Apartment!|
|Another view of the inspiring window|
|With a porch big enough to dance on!|
The things I go through, for Betsy.
We also stopped by the Violent Study Club house on Aldrich, where they had such fun until the insufferable Rocky came and ruined everything with his blow-hardness. (Sorry about the picture quality--had to take it on the phone.)
If you're ever in Minneapolis and want to see the Betsy sites, addresses can be found here. There were more houses even than we got to, but these are the book sites.
Neither MHL nor the fictional Betsy spent all that long at the University of Minnesota, but we did a campus drive-by for the sake of those few months and walked across the bridge over the Mississippi connecting the two chunks of campus. Surely she or Delos Lovelace did too, at some point...?
I learned later that this was the very bridge from which poet and U of M professor John Berryman jumped to his death in 1972, so wherever you go in Minnesota, you travel in the footsteps of famous literary folk.
Speaking of which, with all the hoopla of Baz Luhrmann's new version of The Great Gatsby, imagine the thrill when we headed over to St. Paul's historic Summit Avenue neighborhood to lay eyes on the house where F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote This Side of Paradise.
|Love this cover!|
The thirteen-year-old wouldn't bother to get out of the car and come look, so here's what she missed:
|Note this particular child's awe|
|You wondered who bought them, and now you know.|
And finally, I end our Literary Dream Tour with Fitzgerald's neighbor, easily in trick-or-treat range. Sinclair Lewis was the author of Main Street, Babbitt, and Elmer Gantry, which got made into a 1960 Burt Lancaster movie.
|Now that's a movie poster!|
|The Lewis Domicile|