In the mid-90s, I worked in Raleigh with a guy named John who was the caretaker for this HUMONGOUS plantation in Knightdale called Midway Plantation. It was stunning. Catherine Bisher, an architectural historian, described it once as a characteristically restrained example of Greek Revival style with generous proportions and unpretentious portico entrance. (Sometimes I can geek out on some architecture.) Although it had alot of land behind the main house and the outbuidlings, the house was right on the side of Highway 64... which probably wasn't an issue when the plantation was built in in the mid-1800s, but it was definitely a problem in the mid 1990s. But god, it was so beautiful. And the huge old magnolia trees in the yard provided great shade for afternoon get-togethers. I remember thinking that the rooms were enormous... I feel like you could've fit my entire house in one room of Midway.
John lived there with his wife and their two kids. His wife stayed home with the kids and developed beautiful gardens on the property. When their family went on vacation, John would ask me to house sit for them: just feed the cats and water the garden. I always jumped at the chance to do it. I loved it. It felt so decadent. There was one night I was staying there and the wind was blowing really hard and it was storming outside and the house was creaking and I was trying my best to find ghosts, but alas none were found. I did kinda spook myself out though.
Anyway, I discovered today that there is a film about this plantation called Moving Midway. It's being screened at Full Frame this Saturday at 12:15pm. The documentary tells the story of the history of Midway and how the owners decided to MOVE it away from the side of the busy Highway 64 to a new location away from the Raleigh sprawl. I cannot wait to see it.
There are alot of other amazing films being screened this weekend at the film festival. Ross McElwee is being presented with a Career Award and lots of his films are being screened. I wonder how many films I can cram in between Thursday and Sunday. Woo hoo!