Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for January, 2020

Clark Gable Museum Celebrates Star’s Birthday

Clark PictureVisit the birthplace of the most popular figure on the Hollywood screen from 1936-1960. Clark Gable was born in Cadiz and grew up in Hopedale, Ohio. See his humble beginnings at the Clark Gable Museum in Cadiz…the only Clark Gable Museum in the world.

Clark Cadiz Sign   The museum came about after a deejay from Illinois called the Cadiz postoffice on February 1, 1983, and asked them if they knew whose birthday it was. The postman said he had no idea. The deejay told him Clark Gable and asked him what they were doing to celebrate his birthday. That was the last time “nothing” was the answer.

Clark childhood home

This postcard shows the house where Clark grew up in Hopedale.

   William Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901, on 138 Charleston Street in Cadiz. His parents felt he was the apple of their eye. But unfortunately, his mother died when Clark was ten months old and his father then moved down the road to Hopedale, where their home is today a private residence.

Clark teen

Clark Gable poses as a teenager.

   His stepmother played piano and gave Clark lessons at home. He picked up brass instruments as a result and was the only boy in the Hopedale Men’s Band at the age of 13. Also, at this time he had a deep interest in literature and enjoyed Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Clark Family Picture

This family portrait shows Clark in the front and his father to the far left.

   His father insisted he engage in some more masculine activities so Clark became very adept at fixing cars. When they moved to Ravenna a few years later, his father wanted him to help on the farm. Clark went to work at Akron Tire and Rubber Company instead. But he seldom worked a full day as he would leave to go to the theater. Even if he went as an usher, at least he was where he loved to be.

   Clark worked his way west from Ohio by riding in boxcars and worked in the oil fields in Tulsa, Oklahoma along the way. He ended up in Oregon working as a salesman of ties in a department store.

Clark Poster

A lifesize poster of Clark hangs in the gift shop.

   But that was a good stop for him as he met his first wife there. Josephine Dillon, his wife and coach, saw that beneath his uncultured look there was the potential for a strikingly handsome man. So she had his bad teeth fixed and strengthened his undernourished body. His voice was rather high-pitched and she coached him how to lower it to a deeper resonance.

Clark Gift Shop Walls

Walls at the museum are covered with pictures of his many movies.

   Clark went on to Hollywood to begin his career there as an extra in silent movies. He eventually appeared in 67 talking movies and was called The King of Hollywood. Some of his movies include “It Happened One Night,” “Call of the Wild,” “San Francisco,” and the immortal “Gone With the Wind,” which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1939. 

   So it seemed strange that his birthplace of Cadiz, Ohio would not have a display of some kind to acknowledge this famous celebrity. For years, the only things existing on the location where he was born in an upstairs apartment were a garage and flower garden. The house had been demolished years before.

Clark Monument

This monument to Clark was the first move to honor him in his hometown.

   Once the town decided to honor Clark, the first thing to be erected was a monument at the place of his birth. Then in 1998, the house was reconstructed. It has been furnished in the style of the day and has several of the King’s belongings on display.

Clark Home Upstairs

This is the reconstructed house on the spot Clark was born.

   Carole Lombard, Clark’s wife, is honored with a large display that was provided by a fan of hers, Norm Lambert. When Carole died in a plane crash while returning from entertaining the troops during WWII, Clark decided he would enlist in the Army Air Force as a tribute to her.

Clark Air Force

He served in WWII as a cameraman and gunner.

   During WWII, Clark Gable served as an aerial cameraman and bomber gunner in Europe with the Army Air Force. He enlisted as a private in August 1942 and was relieved from active duty in June 1944 at his request since he was over-age for combat.

Clark Cadillac

His ’54 Cadillac can still be seen as part of the tour.

   Inside you will find Clark Gable collectibles as well as “Gone With the Wind” displays. Books and pictures are on display from his childhood to stardom. In the garage, you will even find one of his cars, a classic 1954 Cadillac de Ville.

Clark Nan Mattern

Nan Mattern, director of the museum, displays a picture from “Gone with the Wind.”

 

    Since it has been opened, over 150,000 people have stopped by to share their stories and see the treasures. They are made welcome by Nan Mattern, the director, and a dozen ambassadors who help with tours of the facility.

   A lady from Portland remembered seeing Clark in his first performance on stage in Oregon. A man recalled his dad telling him the story of riding in a boxcar with Clark Gable as he headed west. His dad had given Clark five dollars for food. Years later Clark came back to that town and wanted to repay him for what he had been given. Many heartwarming stories are shared.

   Clark Gable was always humble about his good fortune. He commented, “I’m just a lucky slob from Ohio who happened to be in the right place at the right time.”

Clark Back Entrance

This is the back entranceway to the upstairs apartment where he was born.

   Clark Gable Museum is located at 128 Charleston Street in Cadiz. It is closed December through February, except for Clark’s birthday. The remainder of the year it is open Wednesday through Friday 10 – 4. But if you wish to stop down at a different time or have a group that would like to visit, contact them for an appointment. Call the museum at 740-942-4989 or Nan at 740-942-2505.

Clark Downtown

This mural in uptown Cadiz shows he is remembered as a hometown boy.

   Join the Clark Gable birthday celebration on Saturday, February 1 when the museum will be open from 10 -2 and serve light refreshments. Mark Statler from Jewett will provide entertainment. Clark Gable’s birthday will not be forgotten in Cadiz. 

   Clark Gable Museum is at 128 Charleston Street in Cadiz, Ohio. It is near the intersection of US 22 and US 250. Watch for signs directing you to the museum or follow your GPS. It’s not far from downtown Cadiz. 

 

Billy Jacobs Art Gallery – Home to Country Folk Art

Billy relaxes in his gallery

Billy relaxed in his gallery as he talked about his journey.

A country boy at heart describes Billy Jacobs, a man with a great variety of creative skills. Today he is best known for his rural scene paintings, which can be found around the world and at his studio, Billy Jacobs Gallery, in Navarre, Ohio. (more…)

John Glenn Grad, Chris Jones, Living His Dream

Chris Jones behind camera

Chris Jones worked behind the camera filming “I See You” with Helen Hunt.

When dreams come true, a person’s life becomes more meaningful. Each day has a purpose. Chris Jones never wanted to do anything other than make movies. He wasn’t sure what his role might be in those early years, but he loved movies. His journey from New Concord to Hollywood has been a great adventure.

Chris child

Movies and their stories caught his eye even as a child.

   About the age of nine, Chris saw “Jaws”, which stirred his imagination. A little later, “A Nightmare on Elm Street” made him wonder, “The things are not real, but look real. How did that work? How can make-believe be so real?”

   It wasn’t long before Chris had his dad’s camera on his shoulder and began filming. He and a friend might use gasoline to have a model car explode on their driveway. Fog was created using a humidifier and of course, blood was really ketchup. But Chris liked being in control of the action of the film. At one point in his early years, he had three cameras he could use.

Dad, Chris and Mom

Visited Bob, Chris, and Carol in a casual setting one Sunday afternoon.

   He credits a lot of the reason for his success to his parents, Robert and Carol Jones. “They never for a second steered me away from the process of filming. Thanks to Mom and Dad for all their help.”

Chris High School play

He played an active role in high school in movies and performances.

   Another person that always encouraged him was a high school teacher, Mary Ann DeVolld. “She was super supportive and willing to let me do things that fueled my passion for movies.” Chris made a movie instead of giving his book report, even though he said he received a B for not following directions.

   Mrs. DeVolld remembers Chris in her Media class, where he filmed and edited a video about the senior class. It allowed Chris to do what he loved as he was always talking about making films with his friends. In Mrs. DeVolld’s opinion, “I really believed that if Chris could make the right connections, he could become a serious filmmaker.”

Jones Family

The Jones Family often sang at Muskingum Alumni Weekend.

   After high school, Chris attended Muskingum College for a couple of years but then headed to a film school at North Carolina School of Arts, one of the tops in the world for film making. Here he was able to make practical application of techniques learned instead of just studying about them. Chris wanted the freedom to do his own thing.

   Even the simplest scene takes a lot of craftsmanship and design by the writers. It takes so much work and control to make each scene come alive.

Chris at film festival

Chris was chosen to represent his film school at the Tribeca Film Festival.

   While at film school, Chris wrote and did the cinematography for his own film, “Roadside Convenience”, which was selected to represent the school at the Tribeca Film Festival. Putting a film together in Chris’s eyes is pure magic, “It’s an artistic miracle.”

Jones Cowboys

Chris, Grayson, and Bob donned their cowboy hats at a Salt Fork Festival performance.

   When asked what he does in his spare time, Chris smiled, “Watch movies!” But once in a while he also takes to the ski slopes, does a little white water rafting and has begun working on the engines of motorcycles. Even the things he does for relaxation seem exciting.

I See You

   Recently he was in Cleveland shooting a thriller, “I See You”, which stars Helen Hunt. This film was released on December 6 in a streaming platform. His role this time was the first assistant cameraman, where he had to make certain he captured just the right feeling for the scene.

   It’s especially exciting for Chris to be working just up the road from where he grew up. He’s been working on other films in Ohio, such as “10 Minutes Gone” with Bruce Willis in Cincinnati for prime video and “All the Bright Places” with Elle Fanning in Cleveland to be released on Netflix.

Grey's Anatomy

   He feels so lucky to be working in an industry that he had dreams of working in as a child. Currently, Chris is working as a cinematographer/1st Assistant Camera on Grey’s Anatomy and his first episode has already been televised. Even though he spends many twelve-hour days, he loves the process. Plain and simple, Chris glows when he says, “I love movies.”

Opening 2018 Chris

Chris, with his son Grayson, sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” to open the Salt Fork Festival.

   He’s definitely living his childhood dream. His hope for the future would be in the role of producer. Wouldn’t he be a great asset to a film with all his background knowledge? “Being on set is very exciting. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I never want to do anything else.”

   Keep living your dream, Chris!

Find Handmade Unique Gifts at Jane’s Dolls & Things

Jane Booth

Jane currently has a booth at Deal Busters Marketplace in Byesville.

Dolls, bears, and doll clothes are just a few of the things created by Jane Parks of Kimbolton. When she talks about her creations, you can tell by the sparkle in her eyes that she truly enjoys what she does.

Jane Barbie dress

She got her start at making doll dresses with clothes for Barbie.

   She remembers those first clothes she made back when she was fifteen. That was a time when Barbie dolls were very popular. Jane made clothes for Barbie and sold them to children on the school bus. That year she made enough money to buy Christmas presents for the entire family.

   For a while, life took over and Jane was busy with work and family. She did find time to make some doll clothes for her daughter.

   1978 was the year when she became more interested in making dolls and their clothes. She and her husband, Bill, were at a Steam Engine Show where they saw someone selling doll clothes in one of the booths. Bill told Jane that her doll clothes looked much better and she should try selling hers.

Jane doll dress

Creating a fancy pinafore for an 18″ doll takes much time.

   That next year, Jane took all the things she had made to the Steam Engine Show at Stumptown. She sat on the tailgate of an International Scout with her creations spread on wooden boards between two wooden horses. She charged fifty cents a dress and made $40 in four hours. She was hooked! Her business, Jane’s Dolls & Things began.

   One of the first patterns she purchased was for a Shirley Temple doll as that doll had always been special to her. She still has that doll at home but it looks rather rough compared to what she makes today.

Jane Katie Dolls

Her Katie Dolls are cheerful and soft to hold.

   Her file cabinet is now filled to overflowing with patterns for dolls and dresses. Of course, Jane adds her personal touch to each item. Her biggest challenge is finding just the right peach-colored fabric for skin tones on the dolls.

Jane Memory Bear

These Memory Bears were made from a loved one’s suit jacket.

   Memory Bear might be made from a pattern, but each bear takes on a different presence. These bears are made in memory of loved ones who are deceased. What a comfort to hold a bear that is dressed in the material from a favorite suit, dress, jeans or scrubs of your loved one.

Jane Memory bears.jpg

These are just a few of the requested Memory Bears.

   As a wife and grandmother, Jane has many chores that must be done but she smiled, “I’d rather be sewing.” If she was free, she could make ten Barbie pioneer dresses in one day. Or sometimes with interruptions, she could be working on a Memory Bear for a week. But there are times when she is so busy with orders that she can do nothing else.

Jane My Sweet Baby

My Sweet Baby has four faces that can be turned to match the mood.

   An unusual doll is called My Sweet Baby. This doll has four faces which can be turned to fit the mood of the child…or the adult! The sides include faces that are sleeping, angry, crying, and happy.

Jane dragons

Dragons have become popular with young boys and even teens.

   Jane also makes all the jewelry, shoes, and hats that go on the dolls. One of her most recent creations for the girls is a mermaid dress, which became popular after Disney’s “Little Mermaid.” Boys from child to teen prefer Elliott, the dragon.

Jane Wooden dogs

Layered wooden dogs, which look exactly like your dog or pet, can be made from pictures sent.

   Another recent venture has been making layered wooden animals. People will send her a picture of their dog or horse and she will make a small wooden replica that looks remarkably like the picture. What a talented lady!

   During the year, Jane and Bill set up her display at Roscoe Apple Butter Festival, Utica Ice Cream Festival, and the Caldwell Harvest Festival. Word of mouth from these and other festivals have sent many customers her direction. My first contact with Jane was at her Ohio State Fair display.

Jane Raggedy Sandy

Jane holds her Raggedy Sandy doll, who has a brother Raggedy Sam.

   Jane belongs to the Ohio Canal Doll Club, which makes dolls and clothes for children who have had traumatic events in their life. The Glad Rags of Strasburg usually make doll clothes, but this year they had a special project of making dresses out of pillowcases to send to the young girls in Africa.

   What would a dollmaker collect? Dolls! But she also admits to having an overflowing collection of books. Jane has a great sense of humor about life, as she laughed, “I’m older than dirt and slower than molasses.”

Jane Tea cup doll

This tiny Tea Cup Doll gets its name from its teacup size.

   Her life is a busy one with three children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Wesley Chapel is very important to her and she teaches Sunday School there as well as helps with many of the youth activities.

   Squeezing in time to make dolls, stuffed animals and their clothes is sometimes difficult, but the end result is appreciated by all her customers.

Jane doll in swing

Little girls like to play house with Doll in a Swing.

   Right now you can find her display at Deal Busters Marketplace on 2nd Street in Byesville. If you would like to get in touch with her personally call 740-498-8806 or email her at dollmakerparks9@gmail.com .

   Jane’s Doll’s & Things make so many special items that you’re almost certain to find something that would appeal to someone in your family – children or adults. You’re never too old for a teddy bear!

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