I have always loved cookbooks. I recently purchased a very unique cookbook entitled FIDDLE DEE DEE RECIPES: A TASTE OF “GONE WITH THE WIND.” It was written by Terry Lynn Crane, the widow of actor Fred Crane. Fred, along with George Reeves (later known as Superman), played the Tarleton Twins in the movie, “Gone With The Wind.” Fred’s character, Brent Tarleton, is remembered for speaking the opening lines of the film.
Fred and Terry Lynn Crane purchased and restored a Georgian Revival home which was on the National Registry for Historic places and had served as a Confederate Headquarters and hospital during The War Between the States, circa 1849. They opened Tarleton Oaks Bed and Breakfast in June of 2000. The home also housed the Gone With The Wind Hall of Stars Museum which displayed “Gone With The Wind” memorabilia, including costumes owned and worn by Vivian Leigh, Leslie Howard, and Clark Gable; autographed photographs and personal items belonging to many of the stars. The bed and breakfast is no longer open, but during its tenure, the guests were treated royally to delicious breakfasts, high tea, personal tours of the house and museum as well as an evening hearing behind the scene stories by actor Fred Crane. The cookbook is filled with these special recipes and so much more.
Terry Lynn was gracious enough to allow me to interview her. I hope you enjoy reading her fascinating story.
1. FIDDLE DEE DEE RECIPES: A TASTE OF “GONE WITH THE WIND” is not a typical cookbook. Tell the readers what is included in addition to the recipes.
Thank you, Kerrin, for including me and “The Baby” in your entertaining blog. FIDDLE DEE DEE RECIPES: A TASTE OF “GONE WITH THE WIND” is filled with behind the scene stories from the filming of “Gone With The Wind,” rare photographs and information about many of the cast members, funny anecdotes that happened at Tarleton Oaks, rare autographs, scenes cut from the movie as well as some of my original artwork.
2. You have referred to FIDDLE DEE DEE RECIPES: A TASTE OF “GONE WITH THE WIND” as “The Baby.” What was the process to write and publish it?
Kerrin, yes. It took over 10 years to complete the book and the process was likening to birthing a baby! I wanted it to be special and something so different so I put a lot of thought, effort and love into every single page. To make a long story short, I had the conception for the book while Fred and I owned and operated Tarleton Oaks Bed and Breakfast. So much had been written about the movie, but, unfortunately, they contained errors; so, since Fred was a cast member and was one of the few members of the cast who was actually there and still living, we thought we could “set the record straight” and tell the true stories about the cast and behind the scene stories along with some historical recipes from that period as well as recipes we served at Tarleton Oaks Bed and Breakfast. Like the movie, there were many obstacles to overcome in getting this book published. But, in the end, the book came out exactly the way I had conceptualized it. Fred helped me from the Other Side, quite miraculously, which is a story in itself! With all the blood, sweat and tears I put into the completion of the book, it had become a part of me—like birthing a baby!
3. Fascinating! How did your late husband help you from the Other Side?
Kerrin, I was in Danville, Kentucky mailing a wedding gift to my son and daughter-in-love. Afterwards, I was going to the grocery store for a few items when, all of a sudden, I heard my late husband’s voice just as clearly as if he was sitting right next to me. He said, “Terry Lynn, you need to go over to the little antique store on Lexington Avenue right now.” I thought I was imagining it; so, I continued driving to my destination. Again, I heard his voice again. “Terry Lynn, you need to go NOW to the little antique store on Lexington Avenue!” He was so adamant about it and it was so strong that I dutifully drove all the way across town to the little antique store—although I didn’t need any furnishings or anything. It had been a couple of years since I had shopped there. I went inside and walked around. I really didn’t see anything that caught my eye until I almost got up to the front counter. On the floor, was a basket of books. The top book was THE ART OF GONE WITH THE WIND by Judy Cameron. It was a beautiful coffee table book. The book had been written by a friend of Fred’s and was gifted to him by the author. I had the hard bound version of it in storage back in Georgia. I picked up the book and knew it was out of print so I thought, “$4.99. I’ll buy it!” I took it up to the cashier. There were two couples there who had just paid for their goods. I laid the book on the counter and the cashier exclaimed, “Gone With The Wind! That’s my favorite book and movie!” I smiled and agreed, “That’s mine, too, but I might be a little biased. My late husband was in the motion picture!” The man, who was standing closest to me, added, “Who was your late husband?” I picked up the book and randomly open it and there was a whole page of pictures of Fred! I replied, “As a matter of fact, here he is!” The man exclaimed, “Fred Crane! Your late husband was Fred Crane?!” I replied, “Yes, Sir.” He held out his hand and said, “Let me introduce myself. My name is Deacon Steve Swope and I’m the President and CEO of Gone With The Wind Partners, LLC. We own all the literary rights to GONE WITH THE WIND.” I said, “How fortuitous! I am writing a book about “Gone With The Wind”—a cookbook which is more than a cookbook. It contains info about the cast, behind the scene stories, rare photographs and much more!” Swope said, “Well, you’ll need our Board’s permission if you want to use Gone With The Wind in the title of your book and if you want to use the character names in your book. We meet next month.” He reached into his coat pocket and handed me his business card. He wrote some additional phone numbers on it and said, “Here’s my cell phone number and my attorney’s name and number. Let!s see what we can do!” I had goose bumps the size of apples come up on my arms! I knew that Fred had sent me there. The amazing thing is that Deacon Steve Swope and his wife had been visiting friends there in Danville and were heading back home to Newnan, Georgia, right after they were leaving the antique store! There was only a very small window of time that I could have met him. I had no idea who to contact for permissions to publish my book. By the way, I also had to gain permission from Warner Brothers because they owned the movie rights and all the photographs. Deacon Swope was a Deacon for the Catholic Church in Atlanta. The property of GONE WITH THE WIND actually belongs to the Archdiocese of Atlanta—the Catholic Church!
4. After Brent Tarleton, who is your favorite Gone With The Wind character?
Well, it would have to be Scarlett O’Hara because I admired her tenacity. She was a survivor.
5. What were some of Fred Crane’s favorite memories about the filming of Gone With The Wind?
Gosh, Kerrin, there were SO many! He enjoyed visiting with Vivian Leigh who he said was so lovely and down to earth—a consummate actress. He described her complexion as having very fine hairs on it like soft, peach fuzz and had such a beautiful smile. He also had fond memories of speaking with Clark Gable, Leslie Howard, Olivia deHavilland and Hattie McDaniel. He had some great times with pals, George Reeves and Rand Brooks. I am editing another book that Fred and I wrote entitled, GONE WITH THE PEN: A JOURNEY TO THE HEART which contains a lot of his memories as well as most of our over 1,600 letters that we had written to each other during our courtship. It will be a while yet before I release it for publication, though.
6. When you and Fred owned and operated Tarleton Oaks Bed and Breakfast, what were your guests favorite recipes?
I believe The Tarleton Oaks Breakfast Casserole, Tarleton Oaks Breakfast Pizza and Bonnie’s Egg Blossoms were some of their favorites.
7. You are a woman of many talents! Besides being the author of several books, a public speaker, an artist, and a radio show host, what other things are you currently doing?
Wow! Thank you, Kerrin! I am enjoying spending time with my family—my precious and supportive husband, Frank, my dear mother who lives with us, my animals—two dogs, a German Shepherd, Anna,,a Coton de Tulear, Mr. Snuggles, a cat, Miz Scarlett, two horses, Farrah, a Tennessee Walking Horse, and Velvet, a young Friesian, who is almost two years old and doting on my new 11 month old grand baby, Sofia Grace. I just wish she, my older son, Jim, and daughter-in-love, Angie, lived closer to us. They are living on the west coast in Washington state. I am blessed to have my younger son, Tray, not too far away from us in Lexington, Kentucky. My husband, Frank, aka my partner extraordinaire, and I also enjoy doing radio together. We own a home studio and internet radio station and have met the greatest people and listeners from around the world—USA, Canada, England, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, The Netherlands, China, etc. We play music continually on our station 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and, then, we do live shows—Cruisin’ to the Oldies, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, Love Notes, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, Motown and More, Country Cruisin’ and also do live celebrity interviews. We have a lot of fun with it! Our station can be accessed via your computer, smartphone or IPad-type device by going to:
8. What is the best way for the readers to purchase a copy of the book?
Thank you, again, Kerrin. FIDDLE DEE DEE RECIPES: A TASTE OF “GONE WITH THE WIND,” as well as my other books and autographed GWTW memorabilia, are available on my secure website:
In the words of Terry Lynn Crane, “Bon appetit, y’all!”