With fall approaching and Halloween only a few weeks away, folks are once again asking if I have found any ghosts among the pieces of the Tara façade; and my answer is always the same, “the ghosts are everywhere”. But not the ectoplasmic disembodied forces that say, “boo”….but the markings of the carpenters and creators of Tara,….the imprints of their work that turned a bunch of 2×4’s and plywood covered in clay tiles, into a “brick” two story mansion housing the O’Hara clan.
From the first time I walked into the old dairy barn to begin my work of preserving and presenting the Tara façade I did feel the hair on the back of my neck stand up but not because strange voices warned me to, “go away”, it was the anticipation of what I would find and the opportunity to share the story with the world. Tara is not a scary place for me for I feel my work in the barn is that of helping an old friend get the credit they deserve, the recognition that they have long been denied.
To walk into the old dairy barn is to walk amongst those who brought Margaret’s story, and Selznick’s interpretation of it…to life. To walk in the dairy barn is to look out amongst the pieces of the Fitzgerald House and its hand hewn logs and compare them to the bigger, grander Tara that she spawned…understanding that both are there because together they connect the story that so many clamor for. It’s a story of gumption and passion for life that has captured more than one generation and reached across the world. The ghosts among the pieces are the markings of the storytellers of the past; a foundation for us to stand and catch our breath as we take stock of our journey.
No, there is nothing to be afraid of in that old barn, for the ghosts that are there are bigger than those that hide in closets or go “bump in the night”.
I’ll see yáll up at the gate.