|Patrick Maund (right) in deep Ozzy conversation at a late-night Oz party - mid 1980s.|
I became acquainted with Patrick only a couple months after I first joined the International Wizard of Oz Club back in 1977. I was a young teenager and Patrick was twenty-one. I had seen an ad he'd placed in the old Oz Trading Post and sent for his sale list. He was selling off his entire Oz collection - something he deeply came to regret in later years. I don't recall the specifics, but he needed money - perhaps he thought he'd outgrown Oz. We exchanged several long phone calls talking about books, what I might expect at my first Winkie Convention later that month - he was so warm and friendly I felt like we'd been friends for years. His voice on the telephone was deep and rich - a radio announcer's voice - he sounded much more mature than a mere twenty-one. Patrick had made his first (and at that time only) appearance at an Oz convention in 1975 at the Winkie Con in Yosemite, California at the Wawona Hotel. He was nineteen and his mother had made the arrangements. Patrick talked fondly to me of his experience at Winkies and assured me I'd have a great time - though he had not returned to the convention, and as I mentioned, in 1977 he was on his way out of Oz. I bought a couple small things from him (most of his collection was already sold), and then Patrick disappeared.
Patrick really wanted to go back to an Oz convention, but for some reason the idea terrified him. It seemed to me like he was embarrassed for having left Oz for awhile or not stayed in closer contact with friends he'd made back in 1975. I told him to go and stop worrying. He did. He made a triumphant return to the Winkie Convention in 1982 - alas, I wasn't going west that year so we had yet to meet face-to-face. Well, Patrick fell in love with the Oz Club and the Oz Club fell in love with him. He could hardly wait for another convention! He and a few others began organizing small Oz parties in the San Francisco area, and Patrick decided to journey to the Ozmapolitan Convention in Castle Park, Michigan, in 1983 at least partly so we could meet at long last. It was to be my first time at an Oz Con without my family, so Patrick and I decided to room together.
|Patrick Maund (right) with Fred Meyer at the 1983 Ozmapolitan Convention.|
It was great to meet Patrick in person, but I was very nervous! I was still deeply closeted, not even out to myself at the time, and, well, frankly Patrick was this somewhat older, extremely hot, beautiful man with a big "clone" mustache, and he was from "San Francisco." Well, it made me very nervous! And to top it all off, Patrick slept in the buff and seemed to have no inhibitions whatsoever, yet I was ... uhm ... inhibited. Of course in hind sight it's silly because I'm the one who turned out to be gay and Patrick was straight as an arrow.
We continued to write and call for the next several years and saw each other at Oz conventions pretty much yearly from then on. Patrick rather quickly built up a new (and very fine) Baum and Oz collection. Slowly our high intensity friendship faded as I got too busy in college and graduate school. And soon he was married and had three children. Time was flying by so quickly!
Sadly Patrick and I hadn't talked much in the last few years - we'd had a bit of a falling out over some trivial bit of Oz Club nonsense. I tried hard to get him to return to the Winkie Convention last year - I knew it was just his sort of convention - but it didn't work out that way.
It is very hard to believe a man with so much energy and life, who loved his family so deeply, could be taken from the world in a wink of the eye. I am only one of many who will greatly miss him.
|Patrick Maund (devoted dad) with the twins in 2007.|