'Gone With the Wind' Inspires Devotees of Book and Film

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MARIETTA, Ga. — It doesn’t take much to talk Selina Faye Sorrow into slipping on her replica of the dress Vivien Leigh wore in the barbecue scene from the film “Gone With the Wind.”

You don’t know the dress? Then you are clearly not a “Windy,” a fan so ardent that recreating the burning of Atlanta in an airport hotel banquet room is not out of the question....

“Gone With the Wind” means a lot in Atlanta. After all, Ms. Mitchell, who published her novel in 1936, lived, died and was buried here. Her story of the South before and after the Civil War is one that Atlantans, who like to joke that they only get burned once, hold as one of the city’s great contributions to American culture.

For the Windies, however, Atlanta is the promised land. Most are already making plans to head there in June for the anniversary. The celebration — events at three Gone With the Wind museums, the premiere of a documentary, a Champagne toast at Ms. Mitchell’s grave — is being billed as “a global pilgrimage to Atlanta.”

Connie Sutherland, director of the Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum, is a student of the Windies. She says they are mostly middle-aged straight women and gay men, and usually white. But a new crop of younger, more diverse Windies is popping up at high schools and colleges, she and veteran Windies said....

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