Remember VHS? The way kids used to watch movies. I had a copy of The Wizard of Oz that I played so much the color ran out of it, or at least the tape became so worn it had lines going through it. My earliest memories was watching Wizard of Oz, and sometimes asking my Dad to fast forward to the colored part. My mom would French braid my hair and I’d call it “Dorothy hair”. Surprisingly I never dressed up as Dorothy for Halloween, but I do have a collector set of all the characters. A lifelong fan, I’ve seen most OZ related material expect Wicked, I just can’t bring myself to endorse it. For kicks and giggles, I’ve even searched Ebay for first editions of Oz books by Baum.
In Wamego Kansas there is the OZ Museum. The largest collection of OZ collectibles in the world, I had to see this treasure of Kansas. First this museum is legit, its not just one musty room with a few items behind glass. The OZ museum is a well thought out and executed extravaganza of everything OZ. From the moment you walk through the front porch doors, you seriously don’t feel like you’re in Kansas anymore. Greeted by an alcove with a Dorothy statue, to the left of it is early editions of the OZ books and history on Baum and his career. Then moving through the museum, a new character alcove at every turn, the history of the MGM production unfolded. Describing casting choices, directors – which apparently the film had 5, and evolution of the OZ world over the decades.
They really created a fun atmosphere for any OZ fanatic. My favorite land till this day, I’ve always felt a little like Dorothy. Possessing a desire to explore, see new things, experience absolute wonderment; and in the end still have an inkling to go back home. In later books for non-OZ fans, Dorothy goes to OZ when in distress or when OZ needs help. Oz is a second home, because in the end home is just where the heart is.
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS FROM TIME IN KANSAS/ KANSAS CITY, MO
- A flight at the Boulevard Brewery, cost $5 for four samples, and they know how to brew. Oatmeal stout was like a cowboy in a cup. A delicious blend of what tasted like tobacco, coffee, leather, and the old west – yum.
- Kansas City was made of brick. Spotting old worn away painted signs on the buildings, my favorite was advertising a “Fire Proof Hotel”
- We ate at Cracker Barrel for the first time. Yummy food at a reasonable price, if Bowerbird’s Mom was a restaurant she would be the homey goodness that is Cracker Barrel. We ordered fried chicken, broccoli, mac and cheese, with biscuits; an honest mid-western dinner.