Monday, November 9, 2015

If Jay Gatsby Knew Marshall Field III

    Jay Gatsby lived on the North Shore of Long Island, and if he had existed he would have met Marshall Field III at one party or another; they might have discussed English education, or the war, or, eventually, the Middle West. Gatsby's diary would have been fascinating:


Marshall Field III
    
    "Marshall Field. Very handsome. Well-dressed. Always the proper tie, accessories, etc. Always considerate, if anything over polite. Shy, quiet voice, noticeable but not offensive British accent, natural result of life abroad. Drinks; partial to martinis and Scotch; never drunk. Sign of responsibility. Tipsy once; sat down and stopped drinking. Talked to the crew of his boat: they have never seen him drunk or really angry. (Possibly just being loyal; they like him; but I incline to believe them.) Generous; prefers to be host, but will accept invitations. Brings small gifts, always the best. Women very fond of him. Daisy says it's not his money but his calm, plus a remarkably attractive and hearty laugh. Some gossip about him now and then, but I suppose that's natural; they gossip about me, too. Newspapers call him a playboy, but I'm not sure he's happy. Moody now and then, in the middle of a party at that. Friends call him a good banker. Average polo player; has a practice field on his place, Caumsett; his children learning the game. Pheasant shoots almost imperial; he breeds them, and Charley told me that ten men, with twenty-five beaters, shot 1,500 in one day last fall. Awful, but then he raised them. What do they do with the meat? Refrigerate, maybe; or hospitals. Also raises Labradors. Likes to talk about his grandfather; terrific respect for the old man. Plays tennis (indoor and outdoor courts at Caumsett, with floodlights indoors) and golf; concentrated hard, and got down to the low 80's in his first year. Said he enjoyed chess. (I must learn. Buy necessary books.) Liked Surtees (first name?), now reads mostly nonfiction, voraciously, all subjects, but mostly history, biography, current events. Catholic, but not conscientious. (Religion doesn't seem to matter a lot here. All kinds of people. Must remember that. Occasional nasty remarks made privately; never by Field.) He lost $70 to M--- at golf the other day; sickening to hear M--- flatter him: 'Great drive on tenth; bad luck in that bunker on twelfth; classic swing,' etc. Field paid up with a laugh. Has a string of horses: Kentucky, and Newmarket in England. Brings Kentucky horses to Belmont for training. No big winners, but one of them took the Futurity at Pimlico last year. Paid 7-2. Look up name and jockey; drop it into conversation. Asked him about market; he said he didn't like to offer tips, but everything was on the rise. Reads Times and Herald Tribune, occasional afternoon papers. Very loyal — even adamant — about staff and old friends." Marshall Field III; a Biography by Stephen Becker

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1 comment:

  1. Finally an updated post. Missed your unique and highly informative and well photographed posts for awhile now. Good to see your back.

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