Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Posts tagged ‘movies’

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. 

 

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!

Tag Cloud