When I began the Saving Tara Project over a year ago now many folks clamored to come over and see what it was all about. A number of historic sites contacted me saying that they wanted to bring over their whole staff and give me feedback and make suggestions. Many a hoop skirted reinactor vowed, “as god is my witness” to expend their last breath to see that Tara no longer languished in a dusty old dairy barn on the south side of Atlanta. Movie writers and producers from Pinewood Studios made contact with me and promised “men and material” to show that Hollywood cares about its past. I even received contacts from the children of those who produced, designed and built Tara and created the cinematic juggernaut that rests in the old barn.
Well this Thanksgiving will be a year since my friend, Talmadge Patriarch and protector of the Tara façade, the late Gene Talmadge left this earth (may he rest in peace),….and many of those people who claimed to be so ready to help have yet to show up and even donate the $20.00 it takes for the two hour tour. Oh, I’m sure some had other things take up their time (don’t we all) and some had new jobs elsewhere and others lost (or found) new loves…but considering the number of those who called to proclaim their undying devotion to the cause, I think the lesson to be learned is one that Margaret Mitchell, David O. Selznick and even Scarlett herself would understand… The undertaking of a project may yield a lot of lonely hours when all the army of helpers fails to materialize on the field of battle.
But today, for those who may still want to help financially I do have news. I have created a non profit called sharethehistory, inc. It is a 501c3 certified nonprofit that will allow me to take tax free donations and designate them for the Saving Tara Project. Now, sharethehistory, inc will be involved in other projects such as providing historical presentations in schools, video resources for other nonprofits and history sites and support to others trying to create interest in the great tales of this great country. But, for those who donate money for the Saving Tara Project, you can be assured that it will go toward the work of preserving and presenting the Tara façade…and you will get a personal thank you from me saying such and satisfying any at the IRS who care to take a look.
The sharethehistory.org site is ours but is not up for viewing at present so any questions you have will have to be sent here or to my mailbox at peterbonner.com. I was considering using a kickstarter but frankly there will be more money going to the project if we simply take donations thru paypal, credit cards and personal checks (and yes, I can accept cars, boats, planes and historical items from guns to antiques). You can also continue to purchase copies of the Official Guide to the Saving Tara Project and bring a group to see Tara as the work continues in the old barn. One day soon, there will be a better building and Tara will share its story alongside the Fitzgerald House,…and while on the property visitors will tour the Crawford-Talmadge House (another option just presented to us) and learn of the Talmadge family thru the stories of Governor Talmadge, Senator Talmadge and his wife (Mrs. Betty) who took on the challenge of preserving Tara and the Fitzgerald House for generations to come.
I’ll be looking for you up at the gate.