Two Early Stories


On July 14, 1928, publication of "Do You Know - ?" The New Yorker.
The fifth earliest, a "who do you know" dialogue:

"Did I hear you say you went to Yale?"
"Uh, yes. I was at New Haven."
"I used to go up there a lot when I was in school. Did you know Charlie Weeks?"
"Weeks. Charlie Weeks. Was he Shef or Ac?"

And so on and so forth. Four names are mentioned, and they are all Anglo-Saxon Protestant names. That was this country at that time, and here was the twenty-three year old John O'Hara with his nose to the glass.
In 1928 he pursued Margaretta Archbald and the Democrats nominated for President the Irish-Catholic Al Smith, who was soundly defeated in November in no small part due to his religion and ethnicity.
On July 14, 1934, publication of "In the Morning Sun." The New Yorker. The Doctor's Son. 

Twenty-Seven year old Sam Demarest, who's been through a nasty divorce and a serious health crisis, is recuperating at his wealthy fifty-year old widowed or divorced mother's summer home. The mother laments that her son's life appears empty and even over at such an early age.

"Have you any plans for today?"
"No, I guess not," he said. "I was thinking I'd play some golf, but I guess I'll wait till late this afternoon and see how the weather is."

Here's the last sentence: "And his mother shivered, for there was nothing she could do." An O'Hara gem.

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