Tag Archives: Bobby Griffith

Keep passing the open windows. — John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire

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“Keep passing the open windows” is the phrase that comes from the John Irving novel The Hotel New Hampshire, published in 1981. It is a catchphrase among the Berry family, the characters whose story is told in the novel. It is drawn from a story that the Berry parents tell their children, about a street performer called “The King of Mice.” He committed suicide in jumping from a window. “Keep passing the open windows” is the family’s way of saying to each other to carry on when the going gets tough. I read the novel in 1983 and saw the feature film version released in 1984. This catchphrase and the sentiment behind it has remained with me over the years and I have applied it in my own life in “passing the open windows.” However, I understand while it is easy to tell someone who is troubled, having a hard time coping with life, its joys and sorrows, to “keep passing the open windows”, promising them things will get better, sadly, not all stories have a happy ending. Continue reading

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