Brightmore residents traveled to Smithfield, NC last week to visit the well-known Ava Gardner Museum and what a treat it was for all of us! We all seemed to know a little bit about Ava Gardner, but were pleasantly surprised to learn that what we knew was just a small piece of her life. We started our visit with a 20 minute film about her life from the day she was born in the very small town of Smithfield, NC. It traced her life as a child growing up on a tobacco farm in a poor family and being recognized as a teenager for her beautiful looks. She was hired for her first movie just from her looks (they stopped her reading portion because they could not understand her through the thick southern accent). Her life then began and it was a “roller coaster” of a life that she would never change! Noted as the “Most photographed movie star”, married to many famous men such as Mickey Rooney, Artie Shaw & Frank Sinatra, and her best friend being Gregory Peck, her life was full of glitz & glam! The museum opened in 1980, and Ava visited in 1985! She died five years later in 1990 and was laid to rest in Smithfield, NC beside her parents. Ava left a legacy for all, being cast in over 50 movies and nominated for one Oscar in Megumbo. It is definitely a landmark everyone raised in NC should visit!