This is the conversation I imagine will take place when my kids go back to school next week:

Teacher: "What fun things did you all do over Spring Break?"

Kid 1: "I went to Ocean City!"

Kid 2: "I went to the amusement park!"

Kid 3: "I went to Panama City Beach!" (well... let's hope we don't hear that from a 2nd or 6th grader)

My kid: "My mom made me go look at some dead guy's grave... again."

Yeah, this all doesn't mean much to them now, but when they take high school classes and get to the section on Civil War heroes or great American authors (or presidents, or horror novelists, or wow, I take my kids to a lot of cemeteries don't I?) they'll be able to say, "Hey, not only have I heard of that, but I've been there" and their classmates will be so impressed they'll cheer and put them up on their shoulders and then their teacher will give them an A++++++++ and then they'll thank me, won't they?

I only recently learned that F. Scott Fitzgerald was buried near D.C. in Rockville, Maryland, when I was listening to an interview with Maureen Coleman on NPR about her new book (which I totally want to read).   

The Great Gatsby was one of the first "real books" I ever read.  It was definitely one of the first books I read, analyzed and discussed in some literary detail.  I'm not sure I understood or related to any of the characters in that book, given my seventh-grade life experience.  In some ways, I think I read that book way too early.  But I do remember learning about symbolism, foreshadowing, imagery, personification and a host of other literary devices though that book and it changed how I read Everything after that. I'm completely indebted to F. Scott Fitzgerald for that. 

Last fall, I put two giant, foot wide, google eyes on my office door... because, hey, why not?...  and then a coworker and I had a long discussion about how it reminded us of the billboard described in Gatsby  A couple of days later, a post-it note appeared under those eyes that said, "Dr. T. J. Eckleburg's persistent stare." It stayed there until the tape under one of the eyes gave out a couple of weeks ago.  That made me think I really needed to go follow through on that promise I made myself to go see Fitzgerald's grave site.  So this week when we were running an errand in the area, I found it.  I wish these were better photos; I didn't have my camera with me and the light was getting low, but we stopped by an left a pen and some flowers that the Shortlings picked for Scott and Zelda.