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Clark Gable Birthday To Be Celebrated

SOURCE: The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register
PUBLISHED ON: January 30, 2008

CADIZ — The birth of a baby boy born Feb. 1, 1901, in Harrison County will be celebrated Saturday.

A forum, continuous appetizer buffet and auction of memorabilia will be staged from 2-6 p.m. at Sally Buffalo Park, Wallace Lodge, for the most famous native of Cadiz — Clark Gable.

It is on this occasion that fans of the King of Hollywood will be meeting Kayley Gable, the 21-year-old granddaughter of the actor. She is the daughter of Gable’s only son, John Clark Gable, who was born March 20, 1961, five months after the death of his father.

Kayley Gable, who is beginning an acting career and is in the process of writing a book, said she is looking forward to seeing where her grandfather began his life. She is being promoted by her stepmother, Lexe, who is now divorced from John Clark Gable.

Nan Mattern, executive director of the Clark Gable Foundation, said in speaking with Kayley on the telephone that there was something in her voice that sounded like her famous grandfather.

John Clark Gable has made three appearances at the foundation’s birthday celebrations. In 1998, he dedicated the rebuilding of the birthplace of his father on Charleston Street. Reconstruction of the two-story frame house, razed in the early 1960s, began in July 1997 and has seen many Gable fans during the past 10 years.

The first floor has a gift shop, and the second floor is where William Gable and Adelia Hershelman Gable lived. And their child was born on a cold February day. At that time, Tom and Jennie Reese were the downstairs neighbors.

The museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, the actual day of Gable’s birth. There will be birthday cake to celebrate the occasion throughout the day, and the museum will be open again Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Kayley will be meeting with visitors who have been fans of her grandfather through the years, some starting with the movie “Gone With the Wind.”

The famous auction of Gable memorabilia will be held again, and the foundation is asking for crafters and vendors with memorabilia to sell. For information, call (740) 942-2505 or (740) 942-4989. There is a cost for a vending table and a cost for attending the birthday event. The foundation is asking for tickets to be purchased in advance, but there will be tickets sold at the door as well.

Through the years, the parties have seen appearances by members of the “Gone With the Wind” cast such as Fred Crane, who spoke the opening lines in the nearly 70-year-old movie; Patrick Curtis, who was baby Beau Wilkes and went on to become a director; Ann Rutherford; Frank Coghlan Jr.; Butterfly McQueen, Prissy, the young girl who was to assist Scarlett during the birth of Melanie’s baby; Cammie King Conlon, who portrayed Bonnie Blue; Daniel Mayer-Selznick, son of the academy winning film director David O. Selznick; and Joan Spreckles, Gable’s stepdaughter, to name a few.

The actor who referred to himself as “just a poor slob from Ohio” still has many fans and his movies have lived on, according to celebration organizers.

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