Usually my "card carrying" memberships are for organizations that are considered to be at least mildly subversive, but here's one that is mostly just unusual. It's for the Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, North Carolina.
Ava Gardner was a leading Hollywood actress and made a lot of movies for MGM. I frequently travel through Smithfield, NC, and kept noticing the museum carrying her name. I finally went in there one day and discovered it to be much nicer than I ever expected.
Once each year, the museum hosts a weekend celebration called "Ava Fest." During the fest, you can see many of her movies in the same movie house in which she saw movies as a child and young lady. There are tours of nearby places she lived as well as her grave site. The museum has on display lots of things from her life and career. It's all rather fun.
I most remember Ava for her leading role in the film The Night of the Iguana. In this riveting film, she played alongside such heavies as: Richard Burton, Deborah Kerr, and Sue Lyon. I've seen this film many many times. I swear it has saved my life more then once over the years. It's like good mental therapy to me.
The museum just sent me some swag for 2010. Here it is!