Frankly my dear … let’s celebrate!
You are cordially invited to attend a celebration in Cadiz on February 1, 2011 in honor of the 110th anniversary of the birth of native son, the late Clark Gable.
The public event will be held in the recreated birthplace of this movie legend which is located at 138 Charleston Street in Cadiz, which is also home to a museum and gift shop honoring the late actor’s life and legacy. The Clark Gable Museum site is home to the annual cake and coffee celebration hosted by volunteers who are members of the Clark Gable Foundation, an event always open to be shared with the general public.
“The weather can really be bad at this time of year, but we hold this cake and coffee celebration to help remind people that Clark Gable was a very real person, a very humble man,” shared Nan Mattern, a Cadiz resident who serves as Executive Director of the Clark Gable Foundation.
Immediately next to the museum is the Clark Gable Bed and Breakfast, which features several rooms with individual decor appointments selected to highlight a specific major success in the celebrated actor’s unforgettable career.
Monies generated through the operation of the bed and breakfast also help keep the doors of the museum open, according to Mattern.
The opportunity to step into this world class collection of Hollywood memorabilia is a strong enough draw that loyal fans of Gable have made the trek to his birthplace from across our nation; beyond our national borders; with some having even come from across the ocean in order to step into the second floor apartment where the iconic actor was born.
Yes, that’s right, the star dubbed “the King of Hollywood” thanks to such timeless movie classics as Gone With The Wind and It Happened One Night; just to name a few of his successful ventures, was a native son of Cadiz.
An unforgettable Hollywood icon, his fame has yet to wane on a national or even international level, yet many area residents have not taken advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a great slice of movie history simply by heading to 138 Charleston Street in Cadiz – the home where he was born – which now also houses a one of a kind collection of memorabilia that is not only quite large, but offers a great variety in its inventory, according to Nan Mattern.
Items available to the public for purchase in the Clark Gable Gift Shop on the first floor of his childhood home can appeal to any budget, as prices begin at a dollar and go up from there, according to Mattern.
“One of the best things about being able to operate this museum and the bed and breakfast in Cadiz where we can honor his accomplishments is that even well after his death Clark Gable’s accomplishments still help bring positive things to his hometown” offered Mattern, referring to the reality that tourism dollars from outside the region are a source of new income to many aspects of the region’s badly battered economic community.
The foundation’s efforts to bring additional tourism dollars to the community via projects highlighting the Clark Gable connection have been getting solid support from a growing number of local entities, but particularly from recent mayors of Cadiz; Don Bethel and Ken Zitko, offered Mattern voicing the organizat5ion’s appreciation.
As is often the case, connecting residents of a local region to a national and international tourism draw such as this is, can often to be among the most frustrating of goals to reach for entities such as the local residents who founded and who work in support of the Clark Gable Foundation.
Foundation committee members in addition to Mattern include: Dr. Gary Barker, Jackie Rocchi, Janet Jacobs, Scott Blackburn, Brooke Bovenizer, Mary Jane Wood, Norman Lambert, Mark Statler, Terry Galey, Chuck Peterson, Mark Beethan, Mike Cope, Guy Merryman, and John Migilore.
The three founding members of the organization were Cope, Peterson and Jon Kirkland.
Not too long ago, there was nothing in Cadiz to even put the information about Gable’s personal ties to the region before the public in any kind of organized way. Through efforts led by the three men, that reality has been forever changed.
Various projects taken on by this foundation and its supporters have literally brought Hollywood elite to the local community as movie industry stars, and seen them leave Ohio’s hillsides behind them having made what are often lifelong friendships and associations of a type rarely found in today’s overly digitized world.
Unfortunately, local interest is often difficult to secure and maintain.
It could be said that the Clark Gable Museum and the Clark Gable Bed and Breakfast are among the region’s best kept secrets when it comes to the tourism business; but this is one secret that can only be improved upon by being shared whether on a person to person basis or via a large group.
They are always continuing to reach out to the world via electronic avenues within the social networks available to today’s movie fans, regardless their age or level of interest in a star or movie.
Organizers of efforts to keep the memory of Clark Gable’s life as a Cadiz native and as a Hollywood icon alive and well admit it can be tough to bring in tourism dollars in a down economy, but there is a recent effort underway putting this piece of Americana movie history before the millions who prefer cyber space connections to more traditional methods of sharing fan information. .
“He was so humble,” shared Mattern, referring to the star’s own view of his place in the world.
“He described himself as ‘a lucky slob from Ohio’,” she said “He was a very real person.”
The Clark Gable Museum can be reached at 740-942-GWTW (4989).
Loccisano may be reached at email@example.com