Surviving Hurricane Irma With Ava Gardner

Life has an interesting way of playing out.

About 3 weeks ago, I had to flee my humble abode due to Hurricane Irma.

Oh, boy.

It wasn’t an ideal situation, but, I made the most of it. My family and I packed up our things, loaded up our cars and took off. We didn’t know exactly where we were going, so, we drove until we couldn’t do it anymore. 2 days and many bags of Doritos and trail mix later, our final destination was Greenville, North Carolina.

Now, I wasn’t too keen on disrupting my life due to a hurricane (very selfish, I know) however, what I got to experience because of it was marvelous.

During this period of adjustment, I had the opportunity to visit a classic Hollywood attraction that not many people are aware of.


Nestled within a busy downtown shopping district, The Ava Gardner Museum is the crown jewel of Smithfield, North Carolina.

When I first walked into that lovely establishment, I was greeted by a ‘larger than life’ sized picture of Ava Gardner as her character Kitty Collins from the hit 1946 film noir The Killers.

That photo instantly caught my attention and set the tone for what was a fascinating look at the life and loves of this remarkable woman.
Picking up my jaw and wiping the drool off my bottom lip after what I’ve just witnessed, I was escorted to a dark room filled with various paintings and movie posters of Ava where I was shown a mini-biography of her life.

The film features numerous interviews and first-hand accounts from friends and family members discussing how Ava affected their lives.

The movie was quite charming and it certainly established the mood for the rest of my tour of the museum.

Following my excursion to the theatre, I was promptly submerged in all things, Ava Gardner. The exhibits ranged from Ava‘s early years growing in Garbtown, North Carolina to her lifelong friendship with Gregory Peck and even a few props from some of my favorite films she starred in.

What I particularly enjoyed about my walk around was how intimate it was. I truly felt like I knew Ava, it was as if I was alongside her through each and every stage of her life. These exhibits transcended her movies, they gave me a glimpse into the world of a Hollywood icon.

If you ever find yourself in Eastern North Carolina, I highly recommend stopping by this hidden treasure. Not only will you find yourself face to face with artifacts of a Hollywood legend, you may end up learning a thing or two and as a classic film fan, it gave me everything I wanted – and more.

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