F. Scott Fitzgerald’s best-known novel chronicles the star-crossed romance between Louisville debutante Daisy Fay Buchanan and a local soldier, the future tycoon Jay Gatsby. In this passage, her friend Jordan Baker is recalling their Louisville childhood among the well-to-do gentry, living in mansions ringing verdant Cherokee Park in 1917.
Daisy Fay was just 18, two years older than me, and by far the most popular of all the young girls in Louisville. She dressed in white, and had a little white roadster, and all day long the telephone rang in her house and excited young officers from Camp Taylor demanded the privilege of monopolizing her that night.
She had a début after the Armistice, and in February she was presumably engaged to a man from New Orleans. In June, she married Tom Buchanan of Chicago, with more pomp and circumstance than Louisville ever knew before. He came down with a hundred people in four private cars, and hired a whole floor of the Seelbach Hotel, and the day before the wedding he gave her a string of pearls valued at $350,000.*
* $4.2 million in 2016 dollars.
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