The first day I walked into the barn and experienced the pile of go carts and assorted plumbing fixtures piled amongst the pieces of the Tara façade MY EDUCATION BEGAN! At that moment I felt the overwhelming dread of someone who looks at a job and realizes it is way over their skill level and even their physical strength to get it accomplished….but once I got past that fear and looked at it like a long term project, I was able to relax and let the learning begin. So I guess the first step,…is to take the first step.
This morning’s photo features my son in law John, since it is his birthday today I thought it would be nice to post his photo and wish him a happy birthday on my site,…and use him (for free) as an example of what it takes to learn something new. A few months ago we (the volunteers and I) took on the task to move the large pieces of Tara’s ceiling from one part of the dairy barn to another where it would be both out of the way and better suited for display, BUT the roofline was so long (well over 20 feet) that it took all of the volunteers and a few extra folks I was able to enlist at the last minute….and John and my daughter (Jennifer) fit the bill.
The moving of the large pieces was done with brute strength (someone else’s) and a couple of saw horses as we hefted them and then rested and hefted some more. In the photo John is pointing to the unpainted square on the piece of ceiling that turned out to be the “ghost” of one of the brick columns that are seen in the photo of Selznick on the porch (also included in the post). In the photo of John you can also see Sharon, my wife who is also not a professional historian but a willing participant in the adventure that has been the Saving Tara project.
The point of the post today is this, while this project may be very well known, all projects take time and energy and the learning does not end after the first day. Since starting the preservation and presentation of the Tara façade we have learned much about the shape of the Tara façade when it left Hollywood. We have learned of the quality of Selznick’s production based on the handmade hinges and the knot holes placed on the steps and the shutters that are so well made that today they could be hung on a house to keep out the cold. We have learned that the tall shutters in the barn graced the window when Scarlett took down the drapes and the cathedral window was probably taken off the façade to be used in the close up scenes as well. These revelations did not come on the first day but over many visits as the volunteers and myself spent time cleaning, sorting and matching those piles of wood in the barn that together built the most iconic of all movie houses…Tara.
So Happy birthday to John and I wish him many, many more.
And thank you to all who continue to read and support the Saving Tara Project. There is much more to be done and, “miles to go until I sleep” but I am happy for the journey and for the friends I have made along the way. Thank you to the volunteers, who have done all the heavy lifting and been there to help me eat all those bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches. And thank you to all who come and read my missives keep encouraging us in the journey. I look forward to meeting you one and all, up at the gate.