The reason for me traveling to Ohio was twofold: One, to follow in Clark’s footsteps around the state and visit where he was born and where he lived before departing the Buckeye state for good in 1920. Two, to attend the Clark Gable Foundation’s 75thAnniversary of Gone with the Wind event.
We arrived on Thursday, October 2. A lot of people fly into Pittsburgh when they go to Cadiz, because the little town is so close to the Pennsylvania line. We flew into Akron though, because we decided to stay in New Philadelphia, which is 30 miles north of Cadiz. We arrived Thursday night and discovered by our quick trip to Walmart to buy cereal bars and water that we were in Amish country. I didn’t know before this that Amish people could go to Walmart. But they can, as the place was full of them! We don’t have any Amish people in Georgia so there’s something new I learned!
Friday we set out on our many Clark Gable adventures, traveling around Dennison, Hopedale and Cadiz.
Friday night was the dinner at the Cadiz Country Club, which I can’t imagine anybody being able to find without a GPS. It was literally in the middle of forests and farmland. On our way back out, we had to stop the car abruptly so we didn’t hit five deer crossing the street!
The dinner was nice, with Mickey Kuhn (child Beau) and Patrick Curtis (toddler Beau) speaking and members of the board of the Clark Gable Foundation thanking everyone. I hadn’t had much contact with the Clark Gable Foundation before (and I should, we are on the same team here!) and they are all so nice and hospitable.
The dinner included a “mystery play” where you have to guess who committed murder. A bit strange but it was catered to the Gone with the Wind crowd by involving a manuscript being found that was supposedly Margaret Mitchell’s sequel to Gone with the Wind.
Funny story about that night—my friend and I had some time to kill before the dinner and so we camped out at McDonald’s (the newest restaurant in Cadiz, we learned) for a while, having Cokes and checking emails, etc. When we went to leave, a gentleman called out from his car, “Excuse me ladies! I’m lost….” We were all ready to say we weren’t natives and would be lost ourselves without our trusty GPS until he said, “I’m trying to find the Cadiz Country Club for a Gone with the Wind dinner…” We told him to follow us and with that we made a new friend. We introduced him to Mickey and Patrick when we arrived and sat with him at dinner and he was the sweetest man. A big fan of Clark, we talked Gable movies and he admitted to growing a Gable mustache in his youth to try and look more like him. A shout out to Rex, a great new friend we made!
Saturday we woke up and it was sleeting! Luckily for us that day’s events took place inside and just 10 minutes from our hotel, at the Kent State University Performing Arts Center. The events that day included an open forum with Mickey and Patrick, an auction of Gone with the Wind memorabilia (proceeds to benefit the museum), and a showing of the film on the big screen.
I am a bad reporter on the forum because I didn’t go. My friend and I man Mickey and Patrick’s tables for the autograph signing—selling their pictures, etc. So we had to stay behind to sell their wares while they were in the forum. I did hear from several people afterwards that it was a great time and many people who have seen Mickey and Patrick before heard stories they’d never heard before. Mickey and Patrick agreed, saying it was a lively crowd full of great questions.
The auction was next. I don’t buy a lot of things—I don’t like unnecessary clutter—but upon perusing the tables of auction items I saw something I wanted. And I won! An autographed first edition of Judy Lewis’ book Uncommon Knowledge. My previous copy was a tattered used paperback so I am so thrilled to own this pristine signed copy! Plus I got a signed photo of Judy—bonus! Very excited!
They sold a lot of Clark Gable memorabilia—everything from vintage magazines with him on the cover to a Rhett doll I found rather creepy.
After that was the film showing and there was a very good crowd. Mickey and Patrick introduced the film and included a recorded introduction by Olivia de Havilland.
All in all a great event! Always a pleasure to see the fellow GWTW fans I encounter at the events and Mickey and Patrick are such sweethearts.
More on my trip to Ohio coming up!