Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Gone with the Wind Tea Time or in a weak moment I wrote a blog. . .

GWTW room features the front door of Tara from the movie set 
In my recent visit  to Atlanta - for the very first time - it was essential to walk one of the most famous streets of the city, Peachtree, and connect with its most celebrated author, Margaret Mitchell. It's here that one will find the Margaret Mitchell House where the author wrote most of Gone with the Wind. My family and I took part in the guided tour of Mitchell's apartment as well as the museum's exhibit dedicated to the GWTW movie.

I thought we might see a tea service of Mitchell's or even a "Gone with the Wind" tea in the gift shop (in my defense, there was even a Marie Antoinette tea at the gift shop in Versailles - I know because I was there and bought some, even though I have never found an occasion suitable to serve it). Unfortunately, as the museum's docent explained at the beginning of our tour, very few of Mitchell's personal belongings were at this historic site (no explanation about the gift shop tea, however).

Rachel outside the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum
After some on-line research of tea connections to Margaret Mitchell, I have since learned that many of her furnishings and possessions were bequeathed to the Archdiocese of Atlanta, including a silver tea and coffee set. (Mitchell Heir Leaves Estate to Archdiocese). The benefactors are considering putting this private collection together for special exhibits. I hope that these lovely items get to be shared with the public.

Portrait of "Scarlett" from GWTW movie set. (too much velvet for the Waffle House?)

Another tea connection I found on-line was a legendary story about Clark Gable having some fun with Hattie McDaniel on the GWTW movie set. According to many film sites on the web, including movie mistakes.com, there's a scene where Rhett hands Mammy a glass of whiskey and, although it was supposed to be just tea, Gable put real liquor in the glass. The scene had to be reshot. Note the next time you watch the movie as McDaniel takes a whiff of the contents of the glass before she drinks from it.

In the courtyard between the museum and the GWTW exhibit
Although the Margaret Mitchell House does not have much in the way of tea, it's a great way to spend a few hours on a lovely weekend afternoon. We toured the apartment where Margaret Mitchell lived with her second husband and, while convalescing an injury from a minor auto injury, she typed up the tome that told the story of a strong-willed heroine during the Civil War.

Like another of my favorite authors, Jane Austen, Margaret Mitchell was a woman who carved out a writing career despite conventions of what a proper woman should do and is also very quotable. In the Margaret Mitchell House gift shop, among the items I did purchase was a handsome bookmark with the following Mitchell quote:  "In a weak moment, I wrote a book."  (With greatest affection and humblest apologies, I borrowed that line for the blog.) Incredibly, Mitchell was reluctant to give her book to a publisher. Fortunately, she was persuaded to do otherwise.
Staircase outside of Mitchell's apartment. It is said she rubbed the lion's nose every day for luck.

Encouragement for all pursuing our dreams. After all tomorrow is another tea!


Andrew Alison said...

Hi Barb, I have 3 large picture frames that were made from the same frame material used in Gone With The Wind that my grandmother had made by the same Hollywood art framemaker that framed the art found above the Tara living room fireplace. Interested in the story? if so, contact me: andyalison.mail@gmail.com

Andrew Alison said...
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