I receive at least one, “when are you going to be finished”, comment per week which I of course feel obligated to stop and answer and explain that the Saving Tara project is not a rebuilding of Tara using the original pieces,…but preserving the original pieces to keep them from rotting to the ground, documenting their use in the film along with any stories surrounding that piece and then procuring a proper museum (hopefully) to display these wonderful artifacts. And I do that while keeping up a blog site, setting times to conduct tours of the current Tara display in the Dairy Barn/ Museum and selling copies of the Official Guide to the Saving Tara Project to continue to fund the work….oh and answering questions like, “when are you going to be finished putting it all together”.
The honest truth is that I will probably NEVER see the “finished product” of the Saving Tara Project that I created over two years ago. There is still much to learn and catalogue and there is still much more of the pieces of this wonderful house to find and put back together. AND….if we get the funding or are given a space somewhere (hint, hint) there will be a lot of work to be done in displaying each piece properly to tell the story of this great film and the original story (remember we also have the Fitzgerald House which was Margaret’s model for Tara) which Margaret gleaned from the lives of her family and friends. So, please do not ask me to give you a “finish date” because I no longer stop to answer that question any more.
A friend of the work of the Tara façade had gone thru the same life experiences as myself,…had seen some success in a multitude of jobs and had over the last few years found recognition as a sculptor. He had met with me a few weeks back and toured the Tara façade and was kind and encouraging of the work I am doing to save this piece of movie art known as Tara, ….. and he had even offered space in his studio complex to possibly set up a display. Saturday, in the midst of the accolades and the successes his life was cut short by a drunk driver and the work he had begun most recently stopped forever. So, there is no guarantee that I will be here to finish the race, nor that you will ever have a chance to see the Tara façade as it is today or if and when the project is finished,…we can only stand to our feet and take on another day, another moment and be glad for the time we are given.
I will go back to my research today and hopefully later this week I will travel to the spot in Alpharetta where the Tara façade was stored in two old “car sheds” from 1960-1980 when Betty Talmadge bought the façade and moved it to her home south of Atlanta. I have a copy of the original map and address and hope to retrace Ms. Betty’s steps as she sought to discover this movie prize rotting away in a barn north of town. Along the way I will probably think on the life of my friend and note once again that no matter how large our circle or how bright the light within, we are all subject to the fragility of life and thus we had better make the best of it.
The next tours of the Tara façade in the old dairy barn in Lovejoy, Georgia will be Saturday, July 25, August 1, 15, 22. I begin the tours at 9:00 AM and they last two hours at a cost of $20.00 per person. If you are interested in taking part, please contact me via the contact button on this site. I am working with my web hosting to provide a better system for sign up and hope to have that up along with a calendar of dates very soon. For those who would like to own an autographed copy of the Official Guide to the Saving Tara Project you can purchase those by following the link at the top of the page.
I will be looking for you up at the gate.