Steve Swope, the deacon who is overseeing the late Joseph Mitchell's multimillion-dollar "Gone With the Wind" bequest to the Archdiocese of Atlanta, discovered quickly that Mitchell's munificent gift was going to take him into uncharted territory.
"I received a call a couple of weeks ago from someone who learned that we were going to conduct an auction so that some of Mr. Mitchell's various personal possessions could be sold. He asked if the auction would take place at our office or at Tara," Deacon Swope said in a telephone interview from his office in Atlanta.
"When I asked him what he meant by Tara -- since there are shopping centers and movie theaters called Tara -- he replied, 'You know, Tara, down near Jonesboro in the book.' I think he was very disappointed to learn the truth -- that Tara, like Scarlett, Rhett, Mammy, Ashley and the rest, is simply fiction."