A February tradition for foundation

I remember walking up to the Smithfield Theater with a friend on a Saturday night to see the movie “Gone with the Wind” when I was about 9. Since the movie was so long, my mother got worried and drove up to the movie house to check on me. I remember watching the scene where Rhett is driving a horse and wagon through burning Atlanta and seeing my mom standing there. It scared me at first. She never came after me, but didn’t realize the movie was so long and was worried.

Long movie short, she let me stay until the end, and someone in a row behind me volunteered to drive me home.

That is my first memory of GWTW, as some of the fans who come to the Clark Gable Foundation events call it.

I remember it making a comeback sometime in the early 1970s, and Lamont and I as a married couple bundled our two youngsters in pj’s and took them along, hoping they would stay asleep.

The noise from one of the fighting scenes woke them up, so one sat on each of our laps and closed their eyes when a fight scene appeared. But they did go back to sleep before the movie was through.

Now I attend all the celebrations that the Clark Gable Foundation provides and have met some interesting actors who appeared in them.

I was thrilled when I was seated by John Clark Gable, Gable’s son that he never got to see as he was born after his father’s death. He had dedicated the house that was built on the same scale as the one built in the 1880s where his dad was born. Rather than pursuing an acting career like his father, he was more interested in the racing circuit in this country and Mexico.

John Gable brought with him a handcrafted piece of pottery that he had fashioned, and the other was a personal canceled check signed by his famous father.

Nan Mattern, Joyce Klinger and some of the 20 volunteers who help out with benefits were present to give tours.

On June 26-30, the Gable foundation is sponsoring a trip to Nashville to see the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville Nightlife Dinner Theater, guided tours of Nashville and Belle Meade plantation, Country Music Hall of Fame and admission to the Grand Ole Opry behind-the-scenes tour. A ride on the Delta Flatboats will be part of the trip as well. The cost is $589 for the five days and four nights for hotel double occupancy. Call Mattern at (740) 942-4989. That’s GWTW if you forget the last four numbers.

There is a story in the Frankly My Dear newsletter about Clark and some of his buddies from the Army Air Corps taking tea with some young English ladies seated on their terrace minding their own business when a car rolled up and Gable and his friends, a scriptwriter and photographer from GWTW, got out of the car.

“He was a very quiet, retiring sort of chap. Even though he was already a well-known star, he didn’t want to be recognized at all,” Lorna Sloan, one of the gals from the tea, said many years later.


I met a dear 94-year-old gentleman, Edward Bass of Watertown, N.Y., who was going to be celebrating a 75th year anniversary from his enlistment in the Marines in 1942.

He was going with relatives to Hawaii to see the sunken U.S.S. Arizona, something he had on his bucket list for ages. It will be a somber occasion for him as there were Marines who were killed in this ambush battle that happened Dec. 7, 1941.


Congratulations to Linda Yanda who retired from the U.S. Bank in Smithfield after 20 years of handing back cash for my paychecks with a nice smile. She was a second-place winner in our Holiday Cookbook Contest with a delicious gnocchi soup. Maybe now she will have more time to enter the contest. Think about it, Linda.


We have always known that our mayor of Smithfield, Diana Holcombe, was a talented artist and taught classes at the Center of Music and Art, winning many awards for her work.

Diana brought an oil painting of the Smithfield Elementary and Smithfield High School at a time when it was filled with students who were learning needed subjects to go out and be a part of the world. Generous person that she is, she donated the artwork to the Friends of Smithfield group to use for a fundraiser. Anyone who has a special place in their heart for their learning years, and I know there are many, would love to have this remembrance of their school years.


If you haven’t read any of Mike Mathison’s sports columns where he talks about good sportsmanship, understanding parents and polite athletes and then the other side of the coin, you might get an idea of what he is saying by these 10 commandments from the Spectator, the Smithfield High School newspaper. It does not have a byline, so I don’t know if the sports editor was the origin of these words or not.

The Ten Commandments of Sports:

¯ Thou shalt not quit.

¯ Thou shalt not alibi.

¯ Thou shalt not gloat over winning.

¯ Thou shalt not sulk over losing.

¯ Thou shalt not take unfair advantage.

¯ Thou shalt not ask odds thou art unwilling to give.

¯ Thou shalt always be willing to give thine opponent the benefit of the doubt.

¯ Thou shalt not underestimate an opponent or overestimate him.

¯ Remember that the game is the thing, and he who thinks otherwise is not a true sportsman.

¯ Honor the game thou playest, for he who plays the game straight and hard, wins even when he loses.

If you know who had the sports page in the journalism class in 1956, will you please let me know?


Tuesday is Valentine’s Day. Do you write your own cards or buy expensive ones? I wrote poems and made the Valentines for my grandchildren one year, and they liked them better than those purchased in the store, probably because I told about their value to me and how I like some of the things that they did and were becoming as they grew up.

May Cupid draw his bow and arrow and win your heart. I didn’t want to say hit your heart. That sounded like something I am trying to do away with.