2011–The 75th Anniversary of GWTW, the book, based in part on writings from the Mitchell family scrapbook, shown above.
“Meet Me In St. Louie, Louie…Meet Me At The Fair.” Those words conger up pictures in our minds of Judy Garland playing Esther Smith in the movie which depicts a family in turmoil on the eve of the 1904 World’s Fair, known by its long name, which little Tootie loved to say, as “The Louisiana Purchase Exposition.”
The city of St. Louis—also known as the Gateway To The West– has done well to preserve some of it’s 1904 World’s Fair History, including the building which held the planning meeting responsible for bringing the fair to St. Louis. Today this building is a beautiful museum: The Saint Louis University Museum of Art (SLUMA) and it will be one of the venues in the upcoming “Gateway To The Wind” event scheduled for Nov. 5-7 in St. Louis.
Those who come to St. Louis for the event will get to see more than the world famous Arch. They can see the Old Courthouse where the Dred Scott Decision came down; the Old Cathederal, which is the oldest Catholic Church west of the Mississippi; White Haven, the plantation where Ulysses S. Grant lived with his in-laws, and then Hardscrabble the log cabin he built a block away on the grounds of Grant’s Farm. Grant’s Farm is the ancestral home of the founders of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery.
Tourists to St. Louis also enjoy driving by the new Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals, and other landmarks which celebrate some of the citizens of St. Louis which have included the Grandfather of Ragtime Piano Music, Scott Joplin; poet Eugene Field, actor John Goodman, and singers Ike and Tina Turner just to name a few.
St. Louis is also a city rich in Civil War History and buried in Calvary Cemetery is Union General William T. Sherman, whose army was responsible for much of the outcome of the battles around Jonesboro, Clayton County and Atlanta which formed the story behind Gone With The Wind.
The state of Missouri was divided between the feelings of the North and the South. The first Civil War episode, not officially called a battle took place in St. Louis at Camp Jackson, the area near where Saint Louis University (the University spells out “Saint” whereas the city usually does not) and the Saint Louis University Museum of Art stand today, so that location is appropriate for an event honoring a story that was set in Civil War times.
Not far down the street and around the corner sits the FOX Theatre, a lovely refurbished grand old theater from days gone by. After being completely restored, the biggest names in entertainment perform there to sell-out crowds. The Fox Theatre is located (as is SLUMA) in an area of St. Louis called Grand Center, and there are many small and large theaters, galleries, and it is one of the entertainment centers of St. Louis.
The old Loew’s State Theater is not in operation, but 70 years ago, in January of 1940, it was the scene of the St. Louis Premiere of Gone With The Wind. St. Louis was one of the few cities to debut the movie before it went out to the general public.
In November, the city will come alive with both the Civil War history of Gone With The Wind as well as the Glitzy Hollywood glamour of the movie production. Weekend activities range from dancing at the Gateway To The Wind Charity Ball; to viewing a Civil War cooking demonstration; watching a new documentary featuring the living actors from GWTW; touring a Civil War home once owned by Ulysses S. Grant, similar to Mitchell’s Fitzgerald family’s home; hearing speakers talk about the Movie, browsing a GWTW Memorabilia exhibit and much more! You won’t want to miss this event, unlike any other.
The Grandaddy of Gone With The Wind, Herb Bridges will be doing an audio-video presentation about the Atlanta Premiere. Bridges is the foremost authority on Gone With The Wind, having worked at the Loew’s Theatre in Atlanta where the movie premiered as a child, and then assembling what was probably one of the largest collections in the world of GWTW Memorabilia. He went on to a successful career of lecturing on the topic, and he knew Margaret Mitchell’s brother and nephews and some cousins.
“Bea Knows Gone With The Wind” Will be the topic as Mickey Kuhn, Patrick Curtis, and Greg Giese take to the stage at the “Margaret Mitchell Birthday Lunch” on Saturday afternoon.
Other guests at Gateway To The Wind include Mark and Paul Rabwin, the sons of GWTW Producer David O. Selznick’s executive assistant, Marcella Rabwin and Abb Dickson, a historian from Jonesboro, Clayton County Georgia, whose ancestors lived in the property next to Margaret Mitchell’s Civil War Fitzgerald relatives.
The crown jewel of the event will be the GWTW Memorabilia Collection of Novella Perrin PhD. which will be on display for a three-month exhibit at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art. There will be speakers, a documentary showing, a ball and other events which can be seen on the “Events” page of this site. Attendees will get the chance to meet various authors, bloggers, and those behind the Facebook pages and websites about Gone With The Wind.
Tables are available for $20 at the Market Bazaar held at the Drury Inn- Forest Park Saturday Morning Nov. 6th at 9:30-11:30. This event is open to the public. The organizers are accepting tables with items relating to Gone With The Wind, The Movies in General, and The Civil War. Contact them at info@GWTWbook.com. Be sure to check out the Market Bazaar. This will be where Mickey Kuhn, Patrick Curtis, and Greg Giese will be available for autographs. If there are any authors or bloggers who wish to be included, they can feel free to contact the info@GWTWbook.com email also.
This event is sponsored in part by American Airlines so event organizers would appreciate you trying to book your flights on American Airlines. (www.AA.com)
call Suzanne at (314) 849-7578.
*For a great summer read, try Sally Rains’ husband’s new book: The Curse: Cubs Win! Cubs Win!…Or Do They? This fictional novel written by former major league baseball player Andy Van Slyke, and sportswriter Rob Rains mixes the love of baseball and the father-son relationship with a fictional story based on the real history of how the Cubs have not won a World Series since 1908.
There is an element of how money, greed, and power can ruin everything, and a decision to be made at the end which provides a way to end the Curse- which has been handed down from one father to his son.- The book is a real quick read and is not just for Cubs fans. It is for baseball fans everywhere. Available on Amazon.com.
By Sally Tippett Rains, author of The Making Of A Masterpiece, The True Story of Margaret Mitchell’s Classic Novel, Gone With The Wind (www.GWTWbook.com) published by Global Book Publishers International.