updated 07/29/1996 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 07/29/1996 AT 01:00 AM EDT
A Scarlett woman since she flounced away with an O'Hara lookalike competition, to mark the 50th anniversary of Gone with the Wind, in Jonesboro, Ga., at age 15, Meadows attends conventions, greets visitors and is on the must-film list of visiting TV crews. Charging up to $500 an hour, she's so busy these days—with a client list that includes Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, the Canadian Olympic Association, the state of Georgia and the onion growers of Vidalia, Ga.—that she has had to deploy a small but select army of confederates, including her sister Marti, 26, to handle the extra workload. "You can find people who look like Scarlett," she says, "but so many of them don't have charisma. They're flat."
Meadows's mother, Donna, a tax preparer and former mayor of Jonesboro—seat of Clayton County, where Margaret Mitchell set the fictional Tara—now works full-time in the Scarlett business as dressmaker, dresser and driver. So far she has made 15 costumes, all painstakingly copied from Vivien Leigh's Gone with the Wind wardrobe. The frocks weigh up to 22 pounds without the underlying hoops and pantaloons, take 20 minutes to put on and make stairs, car travel and trips to the bathroom an ordeal.
"The best part about playing Scarlett is the people I meet," says Meadows, who hasn't yet met her Rhett but isn't letting it bother her. "I don't want to get married," she says. "Maybe when I get older." Or, as someone once said, "I can't think about that now.... I'll think about it tomorrow."