|Eric Shanower at the Gates of the Emerald City.|
In many ways I wish I was going. Several close friends will be there, and it would be a great chance to meet some friends I only know from on-line. But I am not going.
While travel funds being tight is certainly a part of it, the biggest reason I decided not to go was that I had gone to the park in its heyday when I was a kid. Frankly, I was afraid of messing with those ever more distant memories.
Many of those attending the con and most actively involved in what remains of the park are too young to have ever gone to this Land of Oz when all was new and vital. For these Land of Oz newbies I suspect it is easy to look at the remnants and see the landscape as one-quarter full. I fear I would only see it three-quarters empty. In any case, I'm unwilling to risk my memories of the functioning Land of Oz park.
|Eric's sister (in red) watches the Magic Moment show.|
I first heard of the Land of Oz park when I was six. My family and I were traveling in Texas to visit my grandmother, and the Holiday Inn magazine had an article on the park. I desperately wanted to go - having no conception that North Carolina was not an easy drive from Lubbock, Texas. I didn't get to the park until I was thirteen, when we were on a family vacation in Atlanta.
I really liked it. It felt like going to Oz - albeit more MGM's Oz than L. Frank Baum's. The trip through the storm cellar during the tornado was very effective and the skewed perspective in the ruined house was really very amazing and disorienting.
|The show in the Emerald City.|
Photographs copyright © Eric Shanower 2011.
I think I might be able to deal with walking thru what remains of the park if I were alone - just absorbing and taking it in. Letting a curve of the Yellow Brick Road bring back a memory. But I'm not gonna risk it with a hundred Ozzy friends. Have fun, guys :)