Margaret Mitchell wrote her great epic novel, Gone with the Wind, in 1936; the film debuted in 1939. Seventy years may have passed, but folks in the South have long and loyal memories; they’re still not over the Civil War, so they certainly haven’t forgotten Miss Scarlett.
I’ve had three sightings in as many days, so I thought it must be time to make my first mention of Scarlett O’Hara (full name Katie Scarlett O'Hara Hamilton Kennedy Butler) on this blog. Since she was of French-Irish ancestry, and since she is the quintessential steel magnolia, I’m sure she’ll appear often in these South ‘n France posts. She certainly pops up often enough in my daily life here at the Bon Bon Factory:
Scarlett Sighting One:
Last month while reading the wedding announcements in our local paper, The Star-News, I happened across my favorite announcement to date
- The Kot-White wedding. I simply adored this photo of the blushing bride and the description of her wedding gown: “The bride wore a sleeveless gown modeled on the dress worn by Vivien Leigh at the Twelve Oaks barbecue in the motion picture Gone with the Wind…” Does it get any better than that? I photocopied the article to save in my files and came across it again while cleaning up my desk this weekend. Mrs. Kot-White, you are gorgeous!
Scarlett Sighting Two: Last night, I picked up one of my favorite books about the South, Queen of the Turtle Derby by Julia Reed. Julia hails from Mississippi, and currently lives in both Manhattan and New Orleans. Her brilliant observational essays perfectly capture the unique personality and charm of the South. I opened the book with the intention of reading one essay for a little dose of inspiration. I ended up re-reading the entire book, including her musings on Scarlett: “Scarlett possessed in equal measure both grit and vanity. She would literally throw herself into the fields at Tara, but we also saw her clock plenty of quality time at her dressing table brushing her hair. In the end, that is the kind of woman, I think most of us, at least secretly, want to be. We want to be resourceful enough to rustle up a stray pig for our starving kin’s dinner. Or to create a useful gown out of our last useless vestiges of grandeur. That kind of woman, with all her strength and flexibility and passion and will, is not only interesting to men as wild and brave as Rhett, but to women as good and quietly as Melanie. That kind of woman retains a remarkable hold on the public’s imagination.”
Scarlett Sighting Three: For years, I have collected quotes. Last year, my friend, Matt, gave me the most wonderful gift; he created a day-by-day calendar with quotes he had been finding and saving just for me. This morning, I turned the page on my calendar to find this quote: “You still think you’re the cutest trick in shoe leather” -Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) in Gone with the Wind. Of course, he was speaking to Scarlett.
I have no doubt I’ll see signs of Miss Scarlett’s influence again very soon. After all...tomorrow is another day.