Happy Birthday, Dorothy.

I should be working on my October columns for Dallas Christian Family Magazine. To be fair, the singles column is halfway written in another window. But most of my attention is elsewhere. Besides blogging, I’m watching The Wizard of Oz.

It’s been my favorite movie since I was a little girl with two bright blonde pigtails. I don’t remember the first time I saw it but I do remember the Technicolored landscape filling my imagination. And it has permanently biased me against Kansas. But as one of the residents of the Emerald City would say, “That’s a horse of a different color.”

The point where Dorothy opens the door of her dismal, dingy house and steps into the magical Munchkinland always gives me a sense of wonder. The transformation from black and white to vivid hues is dazzling. No wonder Dorothy always speaks in such breathless tones!

I don’t know if I could pick a favorite moment. I love the Scarecrow for his zest for life and courage. He’s probably my favorite character. The Tin Man comes in second with his voice patterns. I tried talking like him – then people told me to cut it out and talk normal. Come to think of it, all of the characters have unique vocal patterns. I laugh when I see the flying monkeys. I remember my uncle once telling my cousin she was named after the head flying monkey. She didn’t laugh but I sure did. It’s still a family joke.

When I went to DC, I went to one of the Smithsonians just to see Dorothy’s ruby red slippers. No joke. I spent a good seven minutes trying to get the perfect picture of them. I went to see the Wizard of Oz in the theater when I was a teenager. It was magical seeing it on the big screen. I don’t have many Wizard of Oz collectibles – but I do have the 3 dvd collectors edition. Love, love, love it. I’m transporte back to my grandparent’s house, sitting on the tan rug, eating cut up apples and forgetting to blink because I was so enraptured with the movie.

I do admire Dorothy’s pluckiness. She just does whatever it takes to get the job done. She’s flawed – why does she want to go back to Kansas? – but she does the best with what she has. Her biggest flaw is her love for her family. Which isn’t always unhealthy. I do wonder what would have happened to her if she were older when she came to Oz. Would she have been so anxious to return? Would she have taken advantage of her hero status and taken over Oz? Would she have ended up falling in love with one of her traveling buddies?

Who knows. Who cares. The movie is brilliant and still good 71 years later.

Happy Birthday, Dorothy.


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