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Nostalgia

Here it is a Saturday night and I can think of a few perfect ways to spend it - having a cosmopolitan and dinner at the River Tavern, munching on extra buttered popcorn at a great movie, snuggling up with John and a great bottle of wine. Tonight the choice was made for me, however..... The Wizard of Oz, is on television. Truthfully, now that I think about it, that's right up there, too.

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Who doesn't remember, as a child, being mesmerized (and perhaps traumatized) by the film? When I was young, trying to watch it on t.v. was always somewhat of a disappointment because it usually began at eight o'clock and I had a mother who strictly adhered to our bedtime, no matter what special movie was on television. God only knows how old I was before I was able to watch the movie in its entirety. Perhaps that's why, now as an adult, I love it so. Little did I know then that the movie I so wanted to see was already 20 years old.

It came out in August of 1939 and I remember talking to my good friend, Tom Wells, who lived across the street from us here in Killingworth, about the first time he saw it. He was 19 and viewed it in a small movie theater up at Lake Winnepesaki in New Hampshire where his family spent the summers. It reportedly was the first movie in color and he explained how it began in black and white and then burst into a blaze of color when Dorothy stepped out of her house in Munchkin land. The audience gasped, he said.

The movie really is genius. The lyrics to the songs are clever and amusing, the characters endearing and cast perfectly. While they all hope for that one thing that will make them "perfect," they turn out to be true, unshakeable and steadfast friends to Dorothy in spite of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.

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And is there anything more frightening than the Wicked Witch of the West and her monkeys spying on Dorothy and her friends in the crystal ball or the sky full of flying monkeys that attack the traveling party, tossing the Tinman in the air like a tin can, stomping on the Scarecrow and throwing his stuffing all over, and carring off Dorothy and Toto? And dont forget her marching Henchmen, "Oh--Eee-oh...Oh, Oh!" Truly scary.

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In spite of her fear of the witch, separation from her aunt and uncle in Kansas and the increasing improbability she will ever get back, the movie does offer a happy ending and some memorable observations:

Oh, joy, rapture, I have a brain." (Scarecrow)
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"Shucks folks, I'm speechless." (Lion)
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"The heart is not judged by how much you love, but how you are loved by others." (Oz to the Tinman)
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And so here I am, reliving a bit of my childhood...this time with a glass of wine...and John. And, as Dorothy reminds us every year, "Remember....there's no place like home."

P.S. And let us not forget Frank Baum (1856-1919) who did not live to see the ultimate success of his story.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 11, 2006 9:24 PM.

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