TYRONE POWER, JR., & THE BAGHDAD BAZAAR
Several of you have asked how come there’s a picture of Tyrone Power, Jr., in our Photo Gallery. First off, no, Tyrone Power never did attend the Baghdad Bazaar, although that is not to say that we’ve never had any famous people show up in Baghdad on the second weekend in June. The best way to explain his picture is by telling you about a certain field trip our teacher Miss Spivey took us on back in 1938.
I don't recall by what means we got to Claytonville the time Miss Spivey took us to the Dixie Way Theater to see Suez, starring Tyrone Power, Jr. It had to be early in the school year because it was still hotter than blazes outside, and the Dixie Way was newly air-conditioned. By the time the picture was over, I wished I had a sweater. In Suez, which Miss Spivey wanted us to see for historical purposes, Tyrone Power plays Ferdinand de Lesseps, the Frenchman who built the Suez Canal. He does a lot of standing around in the desert wearing tight pants tucked into knee-high boots, with one of those little veils that Arab men wear fluttering around his shoulders. My brother Force was with us that time, Lord knows how or why. He and Ralphord and Arnie Lumpkin's little sister Alma happened to be sitting in the row right in front of me and Miss Spivey. When Force turned his head to ask Ralphord and Alma to kindly pipe down at the very same moment that Tyrone Power turned his head to gaze out over the desert up on the screen, putting him sort of nose-to-nose with my brother Force, I heard Miss Spivey take a sharp little breath.
After the picture was over, she asked me, quietly, if I noticed a resemblance between Tyrone Power and my brother Force, and I said, yes, ma'am, I surely did. Everybody did, ever since we saw Ladies in Love, which was Tyrone Power’s first picture. To be fair, my brother strongly favored our daddy also, who was a handsome man in his own right. Both Force and Daddy had the square jaw and the lovely mouth--that's the only word for Mr. Tyrone Power's mouth, which looked like it could turn your heart one way or the other without saying a single word--but my brother also had the wavy black hair and dark eyebrows, one of them always pointed like a little tent over one or the other of his blue, blue eyes. Both Force and our daddy were quick to smile, easy to laugh. About Tyrone Power's disposition, I don't know.
As I recall, Force didn't care all that much for Suez. When Miss Spivey asked him what he thought about the picture while we waited out on the sidewalk for our ride, Force said, in an effort to be diplomatic, "Do the men"--he meant the Arabs--"still wear them dresses like that over there?"
Miss Spivey told him that loose robes were the most sensible way to dress in a climate where the temperature routinely reached 120 degrees--in the shade, if you could find any--and that if he ever found himself in the Arabian desert, she guessed that he would happily exchange his shirt and long pants for one of those "dresses." It was kind of an odd moment when she said that, everybody staring at her and Force, and all of us probably doing exactly what I was doing in my head, which was picturing my brother in a long robe with his handsome face and blue eyes looking out from under one of those fluttery veils and maybe wondering, too, why he was here with us and not at school in Milledgeville. I believe that may have been the moment when Miss Spivey first conceived of the Baghdad Bazaar as a kind of Arabian pageant with costumes, starring my brother Force in a role that would require him to take off his shirt and long pants and slip into something more comfortable.
MORE QUESTIONS FROM YOU ALL
Bruce from Va Grove Studio writes to ask us for a map of Piedmont County. It looks like he tried to use his GPS to find us and got nowhere. My grandnephew Sam has one of those built into his car. Personally, I can’t abide a little voice telling me where to go every minute of the day—turn right! turn left!—makes my heart beat fast as a little bird’s. The easiest way to get here, if you’ve never been, is to Google up the library in Gordon, take a right turn out the parking lot, and just keep on Gordon Hwy until you run into the signs for Baghdad. It’s State Hwy 243 you’ll be riding on. The signs are only up in June.—G.C.
A 2008 visitor gets acquainted with some of our staff.
The Arctic Circle
featuring cool treats and hot eats on the corner of Spring Street & Main
Cailiff & Peacock Auto Repair and Detailing
The Baghdad, Georgia Chamber of Commerce