Friday, March 30, 2012
Life as an Oz Boy
Sigh . . .
Anyway, one of the ways I felt comfortable reaching out of my little oblong fairyland was by showing off my Ozzy treasures to anyone who cared to look at them. Sometimes this meant dragging house guests into the so-called "Oz museum," but I also used the collection as a social crutch of sorts by hosting the occasional Oz party or offering to show my collection at local libraries and things.
I recently found a little stash of photos from one of the better library displays I set up. These are from a display at the Golden Valley Public Library in Minneapolis - part of the Minneapolis Public Library System. I must say that I think my collection wasn't so shabby, considering I was only nineteen years old.
I had all forty Oz books by this time and several fairly nice first editions. The Hill Wizard above is a little beat-up and is a second-state copy, but I'd gotten it at my first Winkie Convention when I was fourteen for $56, so who's complaining? The seemingly very nice copy of Ozma of Oz was great for displays - sadly there is a bullet hole right through the middle of all the pages. I guess someone set the book up on a fence - covers open - and used it for target practice. The copy of Little Wizard Stories of Oz was one of the few ultra-bargains I ever found. I got it from a local woman for fifteen bucks at a book show.
My first edition copies of Emerald City and Marvelous Land were a bit on the shabby side.
I liked mixing up the displays with a little of everything. So we get a copy of Patchwork Girl, my playing pieces for the 1921 Parker Brothers Oz game, and a miniature version I had made of the game.
I found Dick Martin's Cut-and-Assemble the Emerald City great for displays. The little buildings could always fill a dull niche. The original drawing from Forbidden Fountain of Oz was a gift from Dick Martin at my first Ozmapolitan Con.
Another mixed shelf of Oz stuff. The blue thing is a yo-yo from the Banner Elk Land of Oz theme park.
From my mid-teen years I had a strong interest in foreign editions - at last count I had about three hundred and fifty. The hard-to-see map in the background is also from the Banner Elk theme park, which I'd visited when I was thirteen.
I made the little Oz flag when I was fourteen. You can read a blog about it by clicking here, if you like. I always found pop-up books worked well in displays, too. The paper Gump (another present from Dick Martin) is a favorite, though I don't have him set up anywhere at the moment. He lives flat these days.
So here I sit - decades later - and Oz still plays a huge part in my social life.