When the project began a little less than a year ago I was looking for a catchy title (I like catchy phrases and titles) as I tend to think in sound bites, and I thought it would help build brand and get the project noticed. I had no idea how much notice the project would get and that it would go from 750 “likes” in June to its current number of just under 20,000. The phrase “Saving Tara” has become a battle cry, a website and…if I said yes to some of the recent marketing ideas,…a coffee mug, a tee shirt and a breakfast bar (with nuts). But the more I hear from those who have an affinity for the story in Gone with the Wind, the characters and of course Tara, the more I wonder just who is saving who? (or whom for you intellectuals).
Every day I can guarantee at least one message telling me of the love my readers have for Tara. I can also guarantee at least one story a day about the connections to family and how someone named a child (or was themselves named) for a character in their mother’s favorite book or movie. I dare say that a fellowship among those named Tara would have to be held outside on a piece of ground the size of Texas (USA) and “Lord Knows”, we would never find enough chairs to seat them all.
But the connections go further than just a name or a love of a book or movie. I have heard the stories of families who saved up to go together to see the movie and how the now grown children remember that outing. I have heard from those who have found themselves in hardship and watching the movie gave them a little extra courage or a few moments of solstice or an idea and encouragement to keep trying as Scarlett does again and again. I myself have experienced days of trial and grief that have been soothed with a few moments among the pieces of the O’Hara’s home. I cannot go to the dairy barn to work without crossing the gate where my beloved little Sheltie died in my arms a few months ago. But even though Buddy is gone I still connect with his memory as I head down to the barn to continue the work of “Saving Tara”.
So I guess my point is that maybe while we are “Saving Tara” she has been “saving us right back” as we say down here in the Georgia Piedmont. Maybe like two old married folks enjoying a walk in the garden, it is not clear who is helping who over the rough spots. But, so be it,….the Tara façade has given us her name, her story and a place to come home to,…and we are going to continue to give her our love and support and skilled hands to repair her damage and preserve her weathered countenance.