Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Blog Update: I'm Still Here!

Hello to all my fellow bloggers and blog visitors. I greatly apologize for my absence these past few weeks.
As some of you may know, my beloved father passed away a little over two weeks ago now.  It's painful to even type these words.

So many of you have heard me over the years speak about my father and his love of Westerns. Even during his last days while in the hospital one of his main complaints was the hospital didn't get the Western Channel. We laughed a bit about that and I told him mom had better prepare herself when he got home to hear Gene Autry blaring from the other room again.

He gave so much joy to so many during his life. A hard worker, a loving and dedicated father and husband, a loyal friend to many and one thing he found during his last years was an extended family with the Patriot Guard Riders. I'll never forget our conversations in recent years where dad shared his enthusiasm for having the honor of giving back to his fellow Vets, fallen soldiers. And in a touching tribute, each of his fellow Patriot Guard Riders where there to honor my dad as well in a beautiful send off. I know he would have been proud.  Of course, never more proud than I am to have been able to have called him my dad. We were truly blessed.

Hopefully he's getting to catch up on his Westerns now and in peace.

On a blog related note: I am so sorry I missed all the entries for the CMBA Forgotten Stars Blogathon but I'll do my best to go back and read each post. I'll also post my Lois Moran tribute this coming weekend. Of course, like most of my posts, it's so long I think I'll have to do it in at least 3 parts. She had an interesting life I think you'll be interested in reading about.

I'll see you all soon. All the best!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Celebrating Labor Day With One Final Fun In the Sun Post for 2014.

Hi, everyone!
I hope you're enjoying your holiday and you've had a great summer. It's still very hot here so I thought it would be fun to take one final look back at our favorite classic stars having fun in the sun before I move on to my fall series.

I might as well get started with Cyd Charisse and her perfect body. I'll try to forget this before I head out to the pool later today.

Maria Montez glows as she soaks up some sun.

Rita Hayworth, always flawless as she relaxes by the pool.

The girls love their giant floaties. Here's Jinx Falkenburg frolicking on the beach.

Joanne Woodward strikes a pose.

Kirk Douglas works on his tan.

Debbie Reynolds shows why she was America's Sweetheart. Love everything from her one piece to her red sun hat. 

A stylish, Leslie Brooks shows off those perfect gams by her backyard pool.

Rochelle Hudson shows you can get in the pool wearing shoes and a large sun hat without looking odd. Adorable from head to toe!

Veronica Lake looks like she's ready to set sail. Nothing like venturing out onto the high seas during your down time. Well, at least the publicity department wants us to think so.

Yvonne DeCarlo picks an interesting pose to show off her cute bathing suit. She looks exhausted like I do after an hour in the hot sun.

Beverly Garland is perfection in gingham.

Claire Trevor finds a quiet place in her yard to soak up some rays.

I'll close with Carole Lombard because when I think of summer I think of wearing a bathing suit with a cape while giving attitude. 

Have a wonderful Labor Day everyone and don't forget your sunscreen! 
See you soon,

Monday, August 4, 2014

Touring Atlanta: The Margaret Mitchell Museum

I'm back and ready to share more from my trip to Atlanta. While there I had the pleasure of touring the Margaret Mitchell Museum which is located at her residence in downtown Atlanta.

Before I get started with the photo tour let me give you a bit of back story on the residence and its importance. The three story home was built in 1899. Originally a single family home, it was turned into apartments during the early 1920s. Margaret and her husband, John Marsh took up residence in a first floor apartment there in 1925.

The residence has a lot of significance due to it being Mitchell's residence while she wrote Gone With the Wind. Long after Margaret's death, the apartment building was left abandoned but luckily Atlanta city officials stepped in during the late 80s and deemed the residence a Historical Landmark.

The museum has been open to the public since 1997 but not before setbacks. While renovations were underway the structure was damaged by fire in 1994 and again in 1996. For more background on the residence and tour info please click the link HERE.

(I apologize in advance for my photo skills. Some were taken with my digital camera which ran out of space so I reverted to my iPhone.)

Approaching the museum from Peachtree. The view of the residence from the front. 

The back entrance to the museum. (Mitchell's apartment entrance is the lower left side as photographed.)

A view from the courtyard and balconies that face Peachtree. 

The back entrance to the apartments. Mitchell's apartment would be to the left as you walk through the main door.

An exact replica of the carved staircase which guests would rub for good luck. Mitchell's apartment entrance would be to the left then the stairs led to other apartments on the second floor. 

 While waiting on our tour to begin we spent some time in the museum gift shop where you can purchase photographs, GWTW and Mitchell related items. 

I was tickled to see our friend and fellow CMBA member, Kendra Bean's biography on Vivien Leigh, proudly on display in the museum gift shop. It certainly got glowing reviews and high praise from the museum staff and curator. (So proud for you, Kendra!)

 Looking into the gift shop from the now enclosed front porch. 

 Several displays showcasing Mitchell's life and career in the now enclosed front porch.

One of Mitchell's personal photos showcasing her dancing skills. (If you visited during my Georgian Terrace Hotel post you'll recall she has a ballroom named after her there and she did take lessons from Arthur Murray at the historic hotel, also on Peachtree.

 Margaret's time as a reporter is showcased. Or should I address her as Peggy?

 Lots of great photos of Margaret throughout her life.

 A serious journalist!

 There's a special room dedicated to Mitchell's typewriters.

A replica of the wooden icebox which would have been in the apartment. (I assume so. I thought by the 20s appliances would have been a bit more modern.) This sits on what would have been a side porch off Mitchell's kitchen.

 The front entrance to John and Margaret's one bedroom apartment.

 Typing paper and other writing implements are spread out on the window seat where Mitchell spent a lot of her time while writing GWTW. Our very knowledgeable curator, Ann waits patiently for me to take photos. 

 A corner of the living room where Margaret spent a lot of time writing Gone With the Wind.

 The Marsh's small but comfy living room.

 I just had to get a photo of the apartment's ceiling heater.

Another view of the living room and the picture window where Margaret spent a lot of her time.

 The living room is large enough for a separate seating area and a Victrola. 

 Every young woman needs her own sewing machine. 

 The Marsh's bedroom looking into the living room.

A cute little hat sits atop a bookcase in the bedroom by the bed.

 I have a very similar bakelite dresser set that my grandmother gave me. 

 The small little apartment kitchen as it would have appeared while Mitchell and her husband, John resided there during the early 20s.

Once you've finished touring the apartment you're led out into a courtyard and then into a separate building where memorabilia from the film Gone With the Wind is on display.

One of the first things you see is this stunning portrait from the film of Vivien's character, Scarlett O'Hara. It's hard to get just how large it is from the photo but I would guess it's at least 6 feet tall. I think it was displayed in the parlor at Tara in the film. (Perhaps GWTW fans can help me out with that.)

 The actual front doors to Tara from the set.

 Story boards from GWTW.

You can also watch interviews with GWTW cast members, the director and other highlights related to the making of the film. 

 Costume sketches for Rhett Butler and Ashley Wilkes.

 A costume sketch for one of Scarlett O'Hara's gowns. 

A sketch of one of Melanie's more austere gowns. 

It really is a wonderful museum for any film or literature fan. If you haven't had the opportunity to visit I do hope you'll get the chance if you happen to be in Atlanta. You can click the above link for tour hours, pricing and a map.

Right after going to the museum we were just around the corner from the famous soul food restaurant, Mary Mac's Tea Room so we had to stop in there and gorge on the most amazing southern dishes. The staff there are beyond friendly and welcoming. There have been so many famous faces come through their doors over the years as the walls of photos show. I can certainly see why they've been one of Atlanta's most popular restaurants since they opened their doors in 1945. For more info you can click HERE

 The walls are lined with photos of their famous guests from presidents to actors, writers, musicians to athletes. If you get the opportunity to visit Atlanta and you like comfort food then you need to stop by on an empty stomach.

Of course I had to show some food. I went crazy with chicken fried chicken, fried green tomatoes, mac n cheese, dressing and gravy, corn bread and not pictured is key lime pie. Luckily when you stay in downtown Atlanta you get the opportunity to walk a little bit off. 

I hope you enjoyed Part Two of my Atlanta tour. I'll be finishing up at the Fabulous Fox Theater next.

Have a great week, everyone!