When explaining my decisions regarding the preservation and presentation of the Tara façade I often remind folks that I don’t have a marketing or public relations degree,….so my methods may seem somewhat unorthodox.
When I started my company (Historical & Hysterical Tours) over 25 years ago, it was after “testing” the waters for a few years as an itinerate storyteller sharing Civil War tales in the local Confederate Cemetery…for tips. From there I got hired to speak at a number of corporate events, historic sites and I even did a little television spot or two. I have been shot, stabbed and executed (all staged of course) and have sung and danced my way from one end of the red clay road to the other. But always with the plan to get the word out to the masses because I believe that there is a great story to tell (as Margaret Mitchell proved) and that even someone as short on talent as I can get the job done…
So, as the project of preserving and presenting the most iconic movie set of all times continues,….I have to find ways to get out the word that Tara was not burned down by the Yankees in Hollywood,…it’s not still standing on a back lot in Culver City covered over by a western motif…and (heaven forbid) it’s not standing in the lobby of a casino in Dubai….Tara is being cleaned and counted and catalogued as loving hands seek to put here myriad of famous parts on display. She is where she has been for the last 25+ years,… in a dairy barn south of Atlanta, Georgia (where Margaret Mitchell said she should be) and not languishing away waiting for rot and decay to destroy her but being talked about, posted, photographed and admired. Her story has brought over 23,000 folks to her media pages and has been told over the last two years to well over 5 million readers in over 20 publications around the world.
The next step in the process is simple, we (the volunteers and I) keep cleaning and sorting and putting things together. We continue to tell the story to anyone who will listen and I keep sharing the stories and information gleaned from my research on sites such as this….and I say “YES” to any and every group who would like to have me come and speak about this most amazing story.
I hope to have a number of locations to share soon where you can come and meet me, purchase a book, shake my hand and share in the work. I hope to have more video clips of the work up on the sites soon and…..I hope to show you all how the bricks of Tara were made and then how the brick panels were attached to the 2×4 walls. I hope to do that and then be able to mount one of the original windows within the wall so that Tara’s visitors can see one more piece of the puzzle.
But make no mistake, as the work continues there is one abiding lesson that I have learned from the beginning of this quest and I continue to learn from those who contact me daily to share their love of the story,…a truth that will Tara was NOT just a brick and mortar manse. It was more than a location, setting on a hill a short distance from the Flint River on the red clay of Clayton County, Georgia….it is a dream remembered a mindset and a place to call home.
I look forward to meeting you up at the gate.