Gingery Highlights From The 10th Annual TCM Film Festival

Monday, April 15, 2019

It's the day after my first time at the TCM Film Festival held annually in Los Angeles, California and I have been reflecting on my experience. Unfortunately, no Ginger films were being shown this year, but that did not stop me from shining the spotlight on her during the many conversations I had with the many new faces I met. The Ginger Snap pins I designed were a hit, and as I handed them out I received incredible feedback not only on the pins, but on Ginger herself as well. So many people's first reactions were, "I love Ginger!" and that warmed my heart to hear each time. Some complimented my blog (which was surprising to me as I did not expect the tremendous amount of praise I obtained, I am truly grateful and appreciative), and some shared stories of their love for Ginger. I met attendees of all ages and backgrounds, all more than happy to discuss their favorite works of hers and how talented of an artist she was.

With this festival, I was forced out of my comfort zone quite a bit. I am a very shy, introverted person, and nerves were amplified as I introduced myself to a community of people whose blogs I admire. However there was no reason to be nervous, as everyone I met was so gracious and welcoming and easy to talk to.

with Jessica from Comet Over Hollywood

with Danny from
Apart from meeting friends and acquaintances from Twitter, I also connected with many kind strangers while waiting in line for screenings. I helped a friendly Australian couple remember the title of the Ginger film that they enjoyed the most, Bachelor Mother, and even had a wonderful chat with a lady who had actually been working as a staff member at a film festival held in Ginger's honor when she returned to Independence, Missouri for her 83rd birthday in 1994. The woman was Jane Bartholomew, who works at the Kansas Silent Film Festival. She told me that at the time, the line to see Ginger in person wrapped around the block. They would try to get her to move along but Ginger was eager and determined to chat with everyone. She said that Ginger was taking her time because she was so thankful for their support over the decades, that they were her fans, and they were the reason she had become so successful. One can understand the profound love Ginger had for her dedicated admirers  simply by reading one of the final chapters in her book in which she discusses this, but it was another thing to hear a first hand account in person.

A neat addition to the first outfit I wore on the first day was that I tied one of Ginger's personal scarves into a bow at the top of my ponytail. A group of people touched it for good luck, and I was happy to tell others about this acquisition by showing them photos of her wearing it in the past.

Ginger in 1992 at the 9th annual American Cinema Awards

The major Ginger related highlight for me was something I have done multiple times and that was pay her a visit. Anyone who has lost a loved one knows the feeling you get when you bring flowers to their resting place. They may not physically be there, but you still feel a sense that they know you've come and that somehow they are still there in spirit. I may not have known Ginger personally, but that feeling is still there. Life has been a roller coaster for me this past year, so the last time I had made the trip up to Oakwood Memorial was last August. No matter how busy I became at the festival, I was determined to travel an extra 30 or 40 minutes north to Chatsworth to pay my respects. After all, she is the reason I am where I am today. I hadn't visited in so long that after visiting Fred, who was laid to rest in the same cemetery, I was hit with a wave of emotion as I headed down the road to Ginger's plot. She has given me more confidence and inspiration than she will ever know, and the simple act of placing a fresh bunch of roses of various shades of pink on her and mother Lela's shared headstone was something I needed to do. There obviously isn't much I can do to thank her personally, but I hope that wherever her soul may be now, that she is smiling down and knows how much she is still loved by so many today.

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  1. What lovely memories you have made for yourself and for others by sharing Ginger at this year's TCMFF.

  2. Visiting Ginger - and Fred - is on my Bucket List. I aree with you on all points@!

    Kerry aka oldhollywoodpangurban on Tumblr and Anonymous_1701 on AO3


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