All things Oz

by Teresa Finney

Roger S. Baum is the great-grandson of Frank L. Baum, the man who wrote The Wonderful World of Oz which was later adapted as a small film you may have heard of: The Wizard of Oz.

In the sixth grade, my Mom and stepdad took a trip to Vegas. They met Roger at a book-signing the MGM Grand was having in their Wizard of Oz gift shop. Mom was in awe of Mr. Baum and because she is a great Mom, she picked up his latest book Dorothy of Oz for me. Additionally, she had him sign the book. She told him that I was an aspiring writer and the man wrote a two-page message to me encouraging me to keep writing. To keep my imagination even as I grow up and become a very serious adult. This book and his advice to me was my most prized possession. My Mom was the person who introduced me to the world of Oz when I was very young. It is our favorite movie, which is an understatement. Then in the 8th grade, right before high school we moved to a different house in a different city. The book got lost during the transition and I haven’t seen it since 1998.

Sometime last week I got a crazy idea in my mind (keeping it secret for a while) and as research I’ve begun reading all the Oz literature I can get my hands on. I’ve started with the original Wizard of Oz script, which was fun because I have seen the movie enough times to know entire monologues by heart.

Reading the script reminded me of that signed book and how I have kicked myself for fourteen years for losing it. So, last night on a whim at around 2am, I emailed Roger and asked him for another signed copy. Stay tuned because something magical has been set in motion…