“Dear Mr. Gable,
I am writing this to you
and I hope that you will read it so you’ll know
My heart beats like a hammer
and I stutter and I stammer
every time I see you at the picture show.
I guess I’m just another fan of yours
and I thought I’d write and tell you so.
You made me love you …”
Women have been falling for the charms of Clark Gable for decades, and even those of us who entered this world long after his heyday still find our hearts set aflutter by that cocky grin and rugged countenance. His films, among some of most memorable in Hollywood history, are a staple on TCM.
Yes, even 50 years after his death, Clark Gable is a ubiquitous presence for the classic movie fan. But sometimes, he shows up in the most unexpected places.
In the photo, Gable stands in front of a venerable plantation house during the filming of Band of Angels (1957) with Yvonne de Carlo and Sidney Poitier. If you zoom in on the picture, you can make out the faint dedication: “To Lucille, Clark.”
I asked Leigh to tell us a little about the background of this amazing find:
“My great-grandmother, Lucille Browning Pourciau, was the head waitress at a restaurant in The Bellemont Hotel in Baton Rouge, LA in the 1950s (it’s no longer in operation, but you can find photos here). Because she was the head waitress, she always served the VIP’s. Occasionally, this included Hollywood actors and actresses who filmed movies in the area. In the late 1950s, this included Clark Gable…Apparently Clark Gable was kind enough to sign an 8×10 for her. My grandfather, her youngest son, said that she did not, however, have a high opinion of Yvonne de Carlo. Apparently, she was a snob.
She also had the pleasure of serving actor Marion Robert Morrison, known to us as John Wayne!
Maw Maw Pourciau and her husband (my great-grandfather) went on to own and operate their own restaurant–Frenchie’s in Baton Rouge.”
You never know what you’ll come across on any given afternoon!
Thank you, Leigh, for sharing this with us!
Brandie Ashe is a writer and recent escapee from graduate school. She is now in hiding on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Brandie and her blog co-authors Carrie and Nikki recently celebrated their 100th post on their blog True Classics: The ABCs of Classic Film, where they share their love of Alfred Hitchcock, screwball comedies, Katharine Hepburn, and all things old-school Disney. Visit their Facebook page here.