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On March 3, 1941 John O'Hara's tribute to F. Scott Fitzgerald appeared in the New Republic. The title was "In Memory of Scott Fitzgerald: II - Certain Aspects." Fitzgerald had died the previous December.

Fitzgerald was nine years older than O'Hara, but he had been an established writer since the early twenties. O'Hara gave Fitzgerald credit as one of the authors who influenced him. He thought Tender is the Night was one of the great books. Here's what he wrote about Fitzgerald in the New Republic: "The people were right, the clothes, the cars were real, and the mysticism was a kind of challenge." (Thanks to Matthew Bruccoli, The O'Hara Concern).

The two writers were good friends; they corresponded and socialized, especially after John O'Hara hit the big time with the success of Appointment in Samarra.

                                                         The Pretty Daughters

On March 3, 1945 the short story "The Pretty Daughters" was published. The New Yorker. Hellbox.

Thirty-nine year old Major Robb goes to visit an old girl friend, Nancy Reeves, whom he hasn't seen in fifteen years. Nancy's out, not to return for a few hours, but the door is opened by Nancy's step-daughter, twenty-three year old Jean. "The girl was quite tall and she wore a slipover and a cardigan, a tweed skirt, moccasins, a pearl necklace ... This girl had a superb, pared-down figure."

While waiting for Nancy, they sit in Daddy's den, and, over whiskies, have a quiet little conversation. The story includes traditional O'Hara themes, such as looking up the old girl friend, male/female sexual electricity, as well as adultery.

Here's the Major's reminiscence, when he's enjoying the ride to the house.

It took him back to Christmas holidays twenty years ago when he would visit his classmates in cities like Hartford and Buffalo and Harrisburg. Once you got out of the built up districts and into the sections where the houses were larger and had more ground around them, each anonymous house would hold a promise of fun ... You didn't know who lived in any of them, but maybe in one of them, as you went from the station to the home of the people you were visiting, there would be a girl, a pretty daughter.

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