Saturday, September 28, 2013

Who do you represent?

On the way to work this morning I heard the radio host ask a question of the interviewee, "Who do you represent?" I don't know what the answer was because in my head (that scary place, again) I heard "We represent the Lullaby League, the Lullaby League...", and then "We represent the Lollipop Guild, the Lollipop Guild.... which took me right to Munchkin Land.
I started thinking about The Wizard of Oz (the 1939 Judy Garland movie version) and thought about how pervasive it has become in our culture. For example, when our dog Mandy sticks to me like glue and when  the ladies refer to something I should do they often add "and your little dog, too" in that Wicked Witch of the West voice we all know and love.

There are other lines from that movie that I hear from time to time like "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" or "Lions and tigers and bears, oh, my!" often with different subjects. "Follow the yellow brick road" is another great adaptable piece of advice.  "Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore" My personal favorite is this,
I could wile away the hours
Conferrin' with the flowers
Consultin' with the rain
And my head I'd be scratchin'
While my thoughts were busy hatchin'
If I only had a brain

I'd unravel any riddle
For any individ'le
In trouble or in pain

With the thoughts you'd be thinkin'
You could be another Lincoln
If you only had a brain

Oh, I would tell you why
The ocean's near the shore
I could think of things I never thunk before
And then I'd sit and think some more

I would not be just a nuffin'
My head all full of stuffin'
My heart all full of pain
I would dance and be merry
Life would be a ding-a-derry
If I only had a brain

I saw two of the pikes carried by the Winkies (O-Ee-Yoh! Eoh-ho!" or something like that), the wicked witch's guards, be appraised for $15,000 each on Antiques Roadshow the other day. The flying monkeys scared the crap out of me when I was 5 and it was probably 10 years before I could watch that part again.

This year was the 75th anniversary of the movie and hopefully, there was a special celebration at the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. It is Judy's (Francis Gumm) childhood home, and I am ashamed to say I have never been there. And then this evening what should I see?

At least there was no tornado.


  1. The Wizard of Oz is such a strange movie. It must have seemed so ahead of its time when it came out.

  2. I read recently that one of the last (if not the last) surviving midget from the Munchkin scene passed away. Her obit mentioned that she was paid less than the dog, Toto, for her part. "The dog had a better agent," she was quoted as saying. (Also a bigger part.)--"And Toto too!" Another great line, if only because of the delivery.

  3. Oh, those flying monkeys were so scary. Kids today see so much scary stuff in videos, television, movies and real life that they must wonder what was the big deal. I always was amazed at how the black and white movie became color when they landed in Oz. Love that double rainbow. We had an amazing sky here last night, but no rainbow! Thanks for sharing yours.

  4. I've never seen The Wizard of Oz in its entirety (just snippets of it, enough to know that it's a big part of American culture).

    Consequently, I wouldn't have thought of the movie if I heard a radio interviewer ask this question. However, I would have shouted out (if someone had been with me) that it should be Whom do you represent?


  5. You're in luck Jono. I read where there is going to be an iMax 3D release in celebration of the 75th anniversary.

  6. It was such a big deal when that movie came on TV when I was a kid. It showed up once a year and I ALWAYS watched it. Ah, the days before video and DVD and Netflix!! It was a special event with the Wizard of Oz came on.

    Just the other night, our young friend was calling his Mom "The Wicked Witch of the East." I said, "You mean west! The witch from the east was Glinda, the good witch!" :) i know his mother. She really is more like Glinda!

  7. irbii, it was quite original as a film in 1939 and is still one of a handful that has such a large influence.

    Donna, I have heard several interviews with the Munchkins. What a great bunch of people they were.

    chlost, I wonder what today's kids would think of Alfred Hitchcock?

    PP, Whom, indeed!

    Mr.C, it might be worth driving 5-1/2 hours to the nearest IMAX.

    Knatollee, I had a crush on Glinda at age 10, right after Annette Funicello.

  8. The Wizard of Oz is one of my favorite films. I always liked Ray "Scareceow" Bolger a lot. Eemember his sitcom on TV in the 50s or am I horrendously old? LOL

  9. Kay, that show ended in '55, but I am just a couple of years younger than you. Truman was still president when I was born.