Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘Clark Gable’

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. 

 

Cambridge Glass Goes Hollywood

Hooray for Hollywood and Cambridge Glass!

Betty

Betty Sivard. a long time volunteer, tells visitors about Cambridge Glass used in Hollywood and on television.

It’s not surprising that the famous Cambridge Glass has been used in countless movies over the years as it exudes glamour as well as beauty. Several of these pieces are being featured in two large showcases  at the National Museum of Cambridge Glass  in Cambridge, Ohio, along with photos and cards designating the movies and stars.

Throughout the display of over 6,000 pieces of the collectible Cambridge Glass, other references to Hollywood movies and television shows appear frequently. A few years back a member spotted a piece of Cambridge Glass being used in a movie. After reporting this to the group, all eyes became focused on glassware used in movies. You’ll be surprised  at how often Cambridge Glass appears.

Elvis Presley

This beverage set was used on Elvis Presley’s plane, The Lisa Marie, which was named after his daughter.

This locally made fine glassware isn’t seen only in older movies. Recently, The Astronaut Wives Club toasted a special moment with Cambridge Rose Point Stemware. In the current series, Empire, stars used an Amethyst Decanter and Sherries.

White Christmas

Bing Crosby holds an engraved Bexley champagne glass in White Christmas. It’s a museum favorite!

It’s impressive to think that local men and women had a hand in producing exquisite glass items that are fine enough quality to be used in Hollywood and television. A favorite on display shows  Bing Crosby holding an engraved Bexley champagne glass in the year-after-year favorite of White Christmas.

Cambridge Glass Hollywood Stars

When group tours request a Hollywood program, these volunteers represent White Christmas (Cindy Arent), Astronaut Wives Club (Sandi Rohrbough), Mae West (Sharon Bachna), and Gunsmoke (Sarah Carpenter).

If you are interesting in the Hollywood presence of Cambridge Glass, arrangements can be made by tour groups to have volunteers entertain in costume and even break into song. Groups might hear The Haynes Sisters sing, “Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters…”  Or meet Mae West as she flings her boa and entertains the crowd.

The museum has created a DVD showing some of the movies as well as the Cambridge Glass used, so you know what to look for throughout the museum. The volunteers will then serve as your guides for your stay at the museum.

The Sting

On each end of the bar, The Sting used a Crown Tuscan Flying Lady Bowl filled with peanuts.

These guides not only know their glassware well, but they tell interesting stories along the way. An example would be the story of the Crown Tuscan Flying Lady Bowl used in The Sting.

In the early days of Cambridge Glass Co, a circus came to town. Several of the glassworkers attended the event. One of those had artistic talents and drew a picture of the trapeze artist performing that day. That picture was taken back to a talented mold maker, who developed this artistic Flying Lady Bowl. What talented men!

Even the western television shows used Cambridge Glass for a touch of glamour. In an episode of Gunsmoke, a little girl was casting her eyes on an etched Portia Doulton water pitcher. The Wild Wild West used a Cambridge Glass perfume atomizer as part of its background.

Clark Gable

This beautiful Royal Blue Luncheon Set was a wedding gift to Clark Gable and Carole Lombard.

A personal favorite was the Cambridge Royal Blue and Crystal luncheon set that Clark Gable and Carole Lombard received as a wedding present from a friend in Ft. Wayne, Indiana back in 1939. Nice to know the stars actually used this fine glassware in their homes as well as in the movies.

Prizzi's Honor

This eye-catching Royal Blue pitcher with silver overlay was used in Prizzi’s Honor.

While there are too many to list in this short article, a few favorites have been mentioned. Perhaps they will give you a desire to search out more Hollywood appearances throughout the museum yourself.

You’ll be impressed.

The National Museum of Cambridge Glass is located at 136 S. 9th Street just a half block off Wheeling Avenue in downtown Cambridge, Ohio.

 

 

 

 

Get Your Kicks on Route 66 in Oatman, Arizona

Spectacular Route 66 takes a lot of twists and turns as you travel through the breathtaking mountain vistas from Kingman to Oatman, Arizona.  Around every bend there is another beautiful view and not many cars, so you can move at a leisurely pace and even stop for pictures.

Best place to park is on either edge of this living ghost town and then enjoy the walk down the street. You will find many unique stores along the way such as: New Diggin’s, Classy Ass, or White Buffalo Trading Post.  Today there are only about 100 people that actually reside in the town although in its gold mining days population reached 3500.

“Get your kicks on Route 66” is a familiar saying, but here in Oatman you have to be careful it isn’t a burro kick! Wild burros eating from your pockets or purse make it a challenge just to walk down the streets of Oatman, Arizona. That is the reason nearly every store has available carrots or “burro chow” at a small cost. The burros are descendants of the pack animals used by early miners in the area and turned loose in the 1940’s.  They are today protected by the US Department of the Interior.

An old adobe two story building, Oatman Hotel, is the oldest building in town, having been built in 1902.  Now it is especially remembered as the honeymoon suite of Clark Gable and Carole Lombard in 1936.  Often they returned here for some peace and quiet, and Clark liked to play poker with the local miners. Their ghosts are said to frequent the place as witnessed by many guests.

On the weekends, you might be lucky and see a “Wild West” show on the streets. While visiting there, they held up a tour bus (they called it a stage coach) coming to town.   Stopped the bus with gunshots from the middle of the road, then boarded the bus to rob the passengers.  All in fun of course! This was followed by a gunfight in the street.

Lucky to have found a place to step back in history and get the feel of the Old West.  Wonder if my luck would continue in the nearby gambling town of Laughlin, Nevada?  Taking the shortcut over a thirty mile dirt road,  should be there in about an hour.  Hop in Lady Luck, let’s go for a ride!

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