After Gone With the Wind’s Atlanta premiere, Clark Gable and wife Carole Lombard returned to their Encino, California ranch. There the couple wondered how they could show appreciation to Margaret Mitchell for her kindness during their visit to The Peach State. After all, no run-of-the-mill gift would do for the creator of Rhett Butler. So the couple decided to send a taste of The Golden State: chickens.
At their San Fernando Valley home, Mr. and Mrs. Gable operated a working farm that boasted citrus groves and a barnyard for Clark’s collection of 600 chickens. Carole chose four ready-for-the-oven hens, packed them in dry ice and shipped them to Mitchell with a note explaining, “Some chickens from the farm, to tempt you to come out & visit us.”
On January 10, 1940, the author sent a letter to the Gables, thanking them for the chickens and for having come to Atlanta and managing “an unprecedented situation with such grace and charm and warm humanness.”
She ended the letter with a suggestion that she and her husband, John Marsh, might visit in the future once the Gone With the Wind excitement died down. “But we would not be coming to see the famous Carole Lombard and Clark Gable. John and I both liked you as people, two very fine and real people, and it would be a pleasure for us to see you again.”
Happy 75th Anniversary, Gone With the Wind!
Special 75th Anniversary Offer for Gone With the Wind fans: free personally inscribed, autographed bookplate for readers of The Complete GONE WITH THE WIND Trivia Book. Details here: http://paulinebartel.com/blog/?p=1793
Blog Bio: Pauline Bartel is the author of The Complete GONE WITH THE WIND Trivia Book (2nd edition) and an expert on the film and its history. Visit the website (www.paulinebartel.com/resources/books/books-available) for further information. Follow her on Twitter @PaulineBartel and “like” her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/TheCompleteGWTWTriviaBook).