Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Wizard of Oz ... a few memories

I learned two things this year, at the Oscars.

     *I learned that it is the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz. I loved the movie montage that they put together.

     *I learned of the singer Pink. She was sharing the stage with musical heavy weights, U2 and Bette Midler.  And, wow, did she ever steal the show with her beautiful rendition of  Somewhere Over the Rainbow. It was stunning. (I gave her a standing ovation)

I have several memories of The Wizard of Oz that came to mind ...

     *Memory #1 ~ When I was in the 4th grade, our family (minus my brother, Tom, who spent the summer at a farm with some friends) packed a few bags and moved into two dorm rooms at the University of Washington in Seattle.

In preparation for our move to Viet Nam, my parents were taking classes at the Summer Institute of Linguistics. 

My sisters, Sue, Ruth and I, were busy with our Barbie paperdolls, playing pick up sticks and attending classes for the kids.

We had projects, swimming, and field trips, but our favorite part of the day was when one of the girls gathered us all up and read aloud ... The Wizard of Oz. We were spell bound.

     *Memory #2 ~  Dave traveled often when the girls were little and we passed a lot of that time watching great movies and reading amazing books. (we loved the library)

One of our many favorites that we watched over and over was The Dreamer of Oz, the fascinating story of Frank L. Baum, who authored The Wizard of Oz.

John Ritter played Mr. Baum and his wife was played by Annette O'Toole. (who was in another of our favorites, Girl of the Limberlost) We loved this creative true story.

Of course, my girls read the book many times, too.

     *Memory #3 ~ Who could forget the day Mister Rogers had "the wicked witch of the west" as his guest, to show kids that under all that crazy makeup, there was just a nice sweet girl.

     *Memory #4 ~ And with my name being Glenda, I cannot count the times I have had this conversation: (including just last week with a Starbucks barista)

barista: Can I get your name for this order?

me: Glenda

barista: Isn't Glenda the name of one of the witches
in The Wizard of Oz?

me: Yes, only she spelled it Glinda.

barista: Was she the good witch or the bad witch?

me: (with a tiny bit sarcastic smile) Glinda, was the good witch, of course.

So, the moral of this story ...

     *read tons of good books aloud together
       when your kids are still at home

     *watch tons of great movies together

You will create wonderful memories. And, thanks, Frank L. Baum, for one of our favorites! 

ps. Now, we live in Chicago, just blocks from the home Frank L. Baum lived in while he wrote the wonderful and wacky The Wizard of Oz.

pss. And, thanks Pink, I find myself humming Somewhere Over the Rainbow, 
several times a day. What is it about this song that tugs so on the hearts strings.

image credit 



  1. I first saw "The Wizard of Oz" as a young child. I remember being back home and thinking that one day our black and white t.v. would suddenly turn into a color t.v. just like the movie!! I loved Pink's rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" but my favorite is Iz Kamakawiwo'ole's. My son and DIL chose it for their first dance at their wedding. You are close enough to visit Gene Stratton Porter's home in Wabash County, Indiana. It's called Limberlost Cabin.

    I keep waiting for news of that baby girl's arrival!!


  2. Loved reading this (and now I want to see the movie you mention!). I remember that I never got to see The Wizard of Oz when I was growing up, because it always was shown (once a year) on Sunday night while we were at church. The one time I was home, I had the chicken pox (which was an acceptable reason not to be at church!). However, back then though, Mom believed an old wives' tale that if you watched TV while you had the chicken pox you would go blind. I vividly remember "listening" to the movie but had to have my back to the TV and was not allowed to watch!

  3. You are correct in your assessment--Pink did an amazing job with that song. I think it's the rainbow that pulls us into it--all those tomorrows and possibilities...
    And hey, there's a MOVIE of the Girl of the Limberlost? Only my second favorite book ever. How do I find it?

  4. Had you never heard of Pink before the Oscars? She's an AMAZING singer (perhaps a little too raunchy for you in some of her songs). She sings the type of song I like to sing from the top of my lungs when I'm in the car!

  5. I have a daughter-in-law who is mad about the Wiz. She has a dining room filled with posters and paraphernalia...just not the red slippers.

  6. Such a fun post Glinda, oops I mean Glenda :) I think all of us (at least us oldie moldies :)) have fun memories of The Wizard of Oz.

  7. What wonderful memories ~ you know I don't think I have every seen this entire movie ~ I must change that! I love Pink ~ her stage show is amazing as she does a lot of acrobatics and is in amazing shape. I did not hear her rendition at the Oscars ~ i will have to look it up on youtube.

  8. I liked the red shoes best! Enjoyed reading your memories. My niece's school put it on (in Chicago) one year and we loved seeing her in one of our favorite stories (she was the wicked witch).

    I loved Gene Stratton Porter's books, too. My favorite was Keeper of the Bees.

    Still praying for the baby!

  9. We just watched the Wizard of Oz last weekend. It's an enjoyable film! (=

  10. Catching up a bit. Somehow I missed this post. I loved walking down memory lane with you. Every movie and book you mentioned is a favorite. Our now-grown daughter always remembers how scared she was of the witch in Wizard of Oz when she first saw it. My sweetheart had to take her in his arms and hold her close while he whispered that it was just a nice lady dressed up to look like that! Reading is such a wonderful gift to share with our little ones. Now you and I have the fun of reading to grandchildren!


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