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‘Progressive Dinner' to mark birth of Margaret Mitchell

By Ed Brock

Margaret Mitchell would have been 105 this year and Jonesboro will be filled with activities to honor the woman who brought the world “Gone With the Wind.”

On Nov. 11 Stately Oaks and Historical Jonesboro/Clayton County Inc., the Greenhouse and Ashley Oaks will hold their second “Progressive Dinner” to mark the occassion of Mitchell's birthday.

And on the same day at the Road to Tara Museum in the old train depot on Main Street there will be new exhibits, new costumes and special guests.

Last year was the inauguration of the Progressive Dinner, something the organizers “just came up with last year,” said Pat Arnold, past chairwoman for Historical Jonesboro.

“It went off well so we thought we'd just do it again,” said Arnold.

For $50 each, participants will start with winter salad and assorted bread with herb butters in the Bethel Schoolhouse at Stately Oaks on Jodeco Road. Then the diners will be taken to Ashley Oaks on College Street for the main course, pork loin in peach pecan sauce with vegetables and rolls. The tour finishes at the Greenhouse across the street with assorted desserts and exotic coffees.

“It's all cooked on site,” Arnold said.

Last year 47 people came to the dinner, nearly buying out all 50 tickets.

Hugh Waddy will provide music during the dinner. Tickets are on sale at Juddy's Country Store at 100 Carriage Lane in Jonesboro. Call (770) 473-0197 for information.

At the Road to Tara Museum, activities for the day will begin at 10 a.m. when the museum opens with free admission for that day and the following Saturday, said Stacey Dickson, CEO of the Clayton County Convention and Visitors Bureau that operates the museum.

“About 75 percent of the exhibits have changed,” Dickson said.

Dickson said that, with the coming of a commuter rail line that will need the depot, the museum plans to move to a yet unannounced new location.

“In anticipation of this move and expansion we have been creating new costumes,” Dickson said. “This will be a small sneak peek at those new costumes.”

They will include a dress worn by the character Belle Watting, the “Madam of Atlanta,” and a fur-trimmed dressing gown worn by Scarlet O'Hara.

Also at 10 a.m. Marianne Walker, author of the Margaret Mitchell biography “Love Story,” will be on hand to autograph her book.

At 1 p.m. the museum will introduce a new exhibit in its section dedicated to actual history. The exhibit will be on African American history from the 1870s to the 1940s and will feature pieces from Denise White Fields' collection of African American historic memorabilia.

Members of the Atlanta Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen will also attend the opening of the exhibit and the museum will show the movie of their story that afternoon.

Call (770) 478-4800 for more information.