Monday, October 26, 2015

The Real Melanie

From Saving Tara:
Melanie’s character is based on Margaret’s cousin Mattie Holliday of Jonesboro. Mattie was in love with her first cousin and although she chose not to marry him (not an accepted choice for a catholic), they corresponded until his death and her witness precipitated his conversion to her beloved catholic faith prior to the end of his shortened life. Many know the story of the star crossed cousins Mattie and John Henry and how Mattie Holliday became a Nun and took the name, “sister Mellie” and John Henry left Georgia because of his poor health and found fame as John Henry (Doc) Holliday of Tombstone, Arizona. But the story has more, “meat on the bone” than that……

After Mattie became a Sister of Mercy she continued to correspond with John Henry Holliday and according to the Obituaries in both Glenwood Springs, Colorado and Tombstone (yes I have copies of both),….when Doc died in Colorado his personal items were sent back to Tombstone due to a trunk there that was filled with letters between he and his cousin, “a Sister Mary Melanie”. When Sister Mellie died in Atlanta as a retired Nun all of those letters were destroyed…but years ago I met a close family member who remembered her and told me stories of visits with the good sister (known among family to be, “the kindest woman they ever knew”…a statement close to that of Rhett Butler). On one visit Margaret (Mitchell) was there and asked, Sister Mellie, “can I use you in my book”, and her response was, “if you use me make me somebody nice”. (Read more.)