Carl Manning | National Post
WAMEGO, Kan. (AP) – Those who think that The Wizard of Oz is the story of a Kansas farm girl singing about rainbows and skipping down a yellow brick road in red slippers should think again.
There’s a lot more to the world of Munchkins and witches than most people realize, as a trip through the Wizard of Oz Museum in this rural town shows. The fascination for all things Oz goes back more than a century but was boosted by the 1939 movie classic.
Oz festivals are scattered around the country, including one here in October. Oz collectibles are big business. Scores of websites are devoted to Oz, and there’s even the International Wizard of Oz Club.
As just about any Kansan knows, mention the state beyond its borders and there always seems to be some obligatory Oz reference, such as this one, spoken by Dorothy to her dog, Toto: “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.”
“The mystique is that Oz is the good place, where people are happy and differences are respected,” said Oz scholar Stephen Teller, an English professor at Pittsburg State University. “The place was the American utopia.” (continued…)
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See also: Behind the Green Curtain
Posted Sat Oct 22nd, 2005