OZ, Another Side of the Story
Posted by: Coronado Arts 7 years, 2 months ago


OZ, Another Side of the Story
On August 3, 2014, as part of the celebration called OzCon in Coronado, several members of the Coronado Scribes wrote their side of the Wizard of Oz story. The enthusiasm and appreciation of these creative individuals was great and we’ve made these writings available for your enjoyment. A big thank you goes to this group for putting so much time giving readers such enjoyable moments.

The Wizard….written by Jerry Greenspan

You can call me The Wizard, The Wiz or Freddy, but never, never use my given name. I’m sure my parents must have had a terrible argument minutes before they chose to inflict upon me Oscar, Zoraster, Fredring, Isaac, Norman, Henkel. How would you feel when your first grade teacher asks you to recite your full name. I was the only kid in class who read his name off a piece of paper. How many of you have 4 middle names? Did you ever need a piece of paper to announce Oscar, Zoraster, Fredring, Isaac, Norman, Henkel? It can mark you for life. Imagine asking a girl out, in the hope of having your first date. After introducing yourself as Freddy, she asks your real name. Now you pull out the piece of paper that says: Oscar, Zoraster, Fredring, Isaac, Norman, Henkel. The girl says “huh, Could you say that again” she starts laughing hysterically and walks away. You know she will share my ridiculous name with every one. There goes dating for the next 100,000 thousand years.

I was born and raised in Omaha. Mine was an unhappy childhood. Being short and chubby, with a high-pitched voice, the other kids would tees me. I warned them that, as the son of Waldo the Wondrous, I had been taught many magic spells. Why I could turn them into frogs, if they didn’t stop teasing me. Instead of being frightened they just nodded and walked away. The next day, just before the teacher came in, a dozen kids stopped by my desk, leaned over, and each dropped a frog. First I shrieked, than Ms Silly, our teacher, came in and she shrieked. Next Ms Silly ordered the boys to get a pail, remove the frogs and than write 100 times “I will not make fun of Freddy ever again.”. Now I was really in trouble with the guys, and I carried the label “Freddy the Frog” until I finished High School and began to work for my dad’s circus.

But my real story began in Kansas, and that’s where I meet the bane of my existence: DOROTHY. As you know in the Emerald City I reign as the “Great and Powerful Wizard” . But these folks don’t know I was kicked out of Kansas. Yeah, those folks in Kansas finally didn’t understand my magic. They thought I was pulling a fast one. It wasn’t true. No one ever got sick from my magic elixir. How could they? It was mostly water, with a tiny bit of chocolate syrup? But I alone could see that some folks were sure to come down with a very strange illness. It would cause their hair and tongue to fall out and their toes to turn purple. I implored soon-to-be victims to start my elixir immediately. At first they were very grateful, and happily paid the $10. for a weeks supply, but when Dorothy, in her sweet angelic manner, started asking them “how did you know you had been cured of an illness no one in town had ever heard of, much less experienced” That did it! It started lots of talk and I had to leave Kansas in a hurry. How could a little girl figure out my con?“ And now that little girl ,Dorothy, has landed here, in Oz.

She will find me out! Then what? Back to Omaha. Dad was the best circus magician in Omaha and a bit of a drinker. His stage name was Waldo, the Wondrous. One evening, after a few elbow-benders, he tried the sword swallowing trick. Waldo put the blade on his tongue, and reached for the hidden button on the handle. It would cause the blade to drop into the handle if he had the right sword. I wasn’t there, but I was told his eyes started to bulge when, unable to locate the button Dad, who strongly believed the “show must go on”, went on and gone.

I think it was Dad’s spirit that told me to pack his trunk of tricks, a microphone and costumes, for when my balloon landed in the Emerald City’s town square. I was able to inform the town folks in a deafening micro-phonic voice, that the spirit of the Waldo the Wondrous had brought me to Oz. I told them that I was called by that great spirit to teach and lead the people of OZ to greatness--- and it worked--- at least for me.

But now that great spirit of Waldo must save me again, because DOROTHY is here, and I must find a way to escape her magic powers. Or it’s back to Omaha, because I’m not welcome in Kansas. But I am Oscar, Zoraster, Isaac, Fredring, Norman Henkel. The Wizard of OZ.

Dorothy’s side of the story….written by Karen King

When I said I wanted to fly over the rainbow, I wasn’t thinking I’d do it in a house.
And nowhere in the song do I recall involuntary manslaughter being mentioned.
But yes, my house fell on a witch, killing her.
Thank goodness for the munchkins. Instead of throwing me in the clink, they showered me with thanks.
Who would have thought!

But am I really on the other side of the rainbow?
The wicked witch of the west looks suspiciously like that mean old lady who took Toto.
Maybe it’s Halloween and nobody told me.
Nope, too many munchkins.
Guess that I must be in the land of OZ after all.
A bit too crazy for me though.
I want to go HOME.

So who comes to my aid? A good witch. Good witches? I thought they all were evil.
She was very nice though and gave me the wicked witches’ magic slippers.
Too bad she didn’t show me how to use them. Instead she sent me off to the Emerald City to see the Wizard!
She tells me to follow the yellow brick road. Who ever heard of a yellow brick road anyway?
Maybe she’s a sneaky witch.

On the way to the Emerald City, I come across a corn field!
Is this some kind of joke?
Have I stumbled upon “A taste of Kansas”?
Where’s the corn-on-the cob booth? I’m getting hungry.
No booth, just a brainless scarecrow.
He needs a brain, I need a home
I invite him to come along.

I’m still hungry so thank goodness the road leads us to an apple tree.
A talking apple tree. I shouldn’t be surprised. If a scarecrow can talk…
This tree is very rude. My friend the scarecrow comes to my defense.
He gets the apple tree man so mad that he starts throwing apples at us.
Pretty smart I’d say. But he keeps insisting that he’s brainless.

I’m crawling on my hands and knees in search of an apple.
When I come across a tin foot.
Yes a tin foot attached to a tin man.
After we oil him down, he tells us his sad story.
He doesn’t have a heart.
Clearly you don’t need to have a brain or a heart to talk.
Yes, he can talk too. And joins us on our quest.

The road leads us through a creepy forest.
And we get attacked by … wait for it.
He’s just as rude as the talking tree.
He badgers the Tin Man and the Scarecrow.
But when he goes for Toto that gets my dander up!
I run up to him and give him a good slap on the nose.
Teach him to pick on a poor defenseless puppy.
Turns out he’s all TALK and no action for he burst out in tears.
He lost all of his courage and can’t figure out how to get it back.
Wizard time gentlemen! To the Emerald City we go.

We’ve finally make it out of the forest and the Emerald City is in sight!
Just need to traverse through this field of poppies.
I take a cautious step. Wouldn’t want to offend the poppies.
Whew, no protest. They don’t talk. Yes!
We’re halfway there and I find that I can’t keep my eyes open.
Must rest. After all, I’ve been on the road all day.
No! Yells the Tin Man. No! Screams the Scare Crow
I’ll join you offers the Cowardly Lion.
Next thing I know, it’s snowing and everyone is urging me to get up.
The Emerald City is within our grasp!

Green… or Emerald if you please.
That’s the best way to describe The Emerald City.
Everybody dresses in green.
Every item of furniture is green.
The citizens of the Emerald City are not green.
However the Wicked Witch of the West is green.
She just wrote an ominous message in the sky above the Emerald City.
Is she a rogue Ozite? Or is it Ozian?

I was hoping that the Wizard of OZ would be a hottie.
I would have settled for nice looking, but a fire breathing Humpty Dumpty on steroids?
And did he grant us our wishes? No.
He sends us on a suicide mission.
Lovely man, that wizard.
Is he in cahoots with that sneaky “good” witch?

Well what choice do we have?
Got to nab that hooked nosed wicked witch of the West’s broom.
Have no fear! I’ve got my buddies, the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Oops wrong story. I mean, the Lion, the Tin Man and the Scare Crow.

We’re almost to the witches’ castle.
But we come across yet another creepy forest.
There’s a sign that says it’s haunted.
Really? They can’t psych us out!
Oh wait, what just happened to the Tin Man?
Are those flying monkeys overhead?
Uh Oh…

All is lost.
I’m captured and the wicked witch is trying to figure out the best way to kill me.
Without ruining the sparkly shoes on my feet.
She torments me with images of my Auntie Em.
At least Toto escapes! Go Toto!

Yay! My friends have come to my rescue… but are caught.
Now we’re done for.
The wicked witch has us trapped.
The scarecrow is the first to go.
Fire will be his fearful end.
Wait! A bucket of water.
Don’t worry Scarecrow I’ll save you!
I save the scarecrow! But kill the witch.
Another sad case of involuntary manslaughter.
What is it with me and witches anyway?
Pretty soon I’ll get the nickname
Dorothy the Green witch slayer!

The Witches henchmen must be related to the Munchkins
For instead of taking out their revenge on me for killing their leader
They thank me.
Whew! They even let me have her broom.
I already smell that raising wheat.
Yes, I know that’s from Oklahoma
But Oklahoma doesn’t have the corner on wheat.
Don’t you know.

We’re back in OZ and ready for our rewards.
Come to find out the Wizard is not really a Wizard.
He’s just an old carnie from Kansas.
Boo Hiss!
He grants my friend’s wishes with trinkets and fast talk.
But they’re happy and that’s all I care about.

Trinkets and fast talk won’t bring me any closer to Kansas though
The Wizard reassures me that he’s got just the thing for me.
And what might that be?
A hot air balloon!
I should have known. The wizard has always been full of hot air.
And it says Omaha on it.
At this point I don’t care, Nebraska’s close enough
Just get me out of OZ!

Finally, I’m on my way home. Toto and I are in the balloon.
The balloon is about to take off and what does Toto do?
Spies a blue eyed feline, who needs to be chased.
Can’t go home without Toto!
The chase begins and the balloon takes off without us!

Now I’m stuck here.
Thanks a lot Toto!
Can’t stay mad at him though
I resign myself to a chartreuse life
When who should appear? The Good witch
You’re a bit too late lady!
But no she tells me that my shoes were my ticket home all along.

All I have to do is tap them three times
And say…
There’s no place like home.
There’s no place like home
There’s no place like home
But Oz ain’t too bad either…Tornado anyone?

Glinda, the Good Witch….written by Toni McGowan

Welcome to the Oz Tourist Center. I am Glinda, the Good Witch. I volunteer here at
the Tourist Center once a week. For the most part, I enjoy it, though it
would be easier if I were a Wicked Witch. The problem with
being a Good Witch is that tourists who come to Oz just
don't take me seriously and wander off into trouble, making
me look incompetent. Wicked Witches get more respect. All
they have to do is enforce the rules. No tours. No cheery
entrances. Scare the tourists into behaving.

Not me. I must bubble in, literally, my home is a bubble you
know…cheerfully give a bit of sage advice, like, "it is
always best to start at the beginning, and the magic is
already inside you........yadayadayada." Then point my wand
toward the clearly marked, in fact, unmistakable, "Yellow
Brick Road" knowing within minutes the discombobulated
tourists will disregard my directions and tromp all over the
poor screeching flowers. Infuriating.

The most memorable tourist ever to visit Oz happened to come
on my shift. Her name was Dolores...oh my, I'm not sure that
is the correct name....anyway...she caused trouble from the
second she landed with a horrific accident that killed a
long time resident, a Wicked Witch. That rocked the entire
witch community for decades. I lost a promotion because of
that fiasco. That was about 70 years ago now.... I think. My
memory does fail me sometimes. I am getting older too you
know. Almost green. Not quite be Wicked yet….. darn it.

You may know who I mean. The girl borrowed my very expensive
pair of ruby red shoes sparking a universal trend when she
took them over the rainbow.

Oh the girl was miserable here. Whining continually about
home. "I want to go home, I want to go home"...gads. Who in
their right mind would want to leave this marvelous place
where anyone can be anything they wish and every tomorrow is
today wrapped up in polka dots and ribbons of light.

Who in any land under all the suns in all the skies would
ever choose a predictable, reliable, stay put sort of life
...the kind of life one can have whenever and wherever one
wishes without even trying.

Daphne..or Doris?? Ohhhh. Why can't I remember her name?
anyway...she soon found three hapless souls creating the
perfect storm in Oz.

The Lion, who's name also escapes me, confused courage with
bullying. All he needed was to keep his paws to himself.

The Tinman, wanted love..... if he were smart he would have
appreciated not having to suffer heartbreak. What he needed
was to loosen up and play the field.

The Scarecrow freed from a life of bondage on a stick in a
cornfield wanted to be smarter? Knowledge means little in
Oz, Backwards, upside down thinking, full of color, magic,
and music...that's what's interesting in Oz.

I cannot confirm what happened to that lot, but I heard
through Munchkins they all returned to their mundane lives.
Scarecrow rejoined the crows in his field. Lion the forest,
and Tinman had his heart broken, naturally....rusting him
stiff again

And Dorothy...that's it, Dorothy! She went back to the
gray side of the rainbow where there was a big fuss over her
miraculous homecoming and my big red shoes.

She became quite the celebrity. With movie and book
deals that earned her an Emerald Mansion where she became an
intolerable bore who gave dull parties and never blossomed
into any sort of a Witch at all.

I love being a Witch. Looking forward to my graduation into
green Wickedness.....finally! No thanks to Dorothy.

My bubble is all the home I need. I can take it with me
wherever I go - in or out of Oz. I rarely leave, but if I do
I go somewhere, it is always anywhere I have never been

I must admit, I peeked over that rainbow just once after I
first came to Oz myself. A long long time ago. That
was enough for me to decide to stay right here in Oz, where
I, unlike most tourists who come here, followed instructions
of a kindly Good Witch who pointed me towards the yellow
brick road and said, "if you keep looking forward, you
cannot trip over your own big feet." I do have quite large
feet you know, which is a very good thing in Oz. Ruby
slippers run quite large here.

The Tin Man….written by Mary Beth Dodson

Don’t make me cry. I rust. My jaws rust shut. I cannot tell anyone what I need. No. Don’t make me cry. Make me laugh. Tell me jokes.
Like: Did you hear the one about…?
Two antennas meet on a roof, fall in love and get married. The ceremony wasn’t much but the reception was EXCELENT!
And then there was this one…..
Doc, I can’t stop singing “The Green, Green Grass of Home.”
“That sounds like the Tom Jones Syndrome.”
“Is it common?”
“…Well…It’s not un-us-u-al…”
Oh, and an invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were not much to look at either!

(aside) Did you get a look at that witch? She put the UG in Ugly. (rolls his eyes, chuckles).
Oh, back to business. Nick Chopper…that’s my name. How many of you know I was an honest to goodness flesh and blood man at one time. I am a native. I was born here, son of a woodchopper, and my dad’s right hand man. He taught me well.

I had dashing good looks. But I was irresistible to the WRONG women. It was a curse to be so good looking.

Oh, yes. Red haired girls, raven-haired vixens. Dance hall ladies could NOT keep their hands off of me.

They were bold. They were possessive. Oh, they turned my head, that’s for sure. I was tempted. I may have to admit that I was a playboy for a while. Wouldn’t any young man be with so much temptation?
That is in the past.

After my parents died, I found myself lonely. I determined to find someone to love and marry. And I did. I think I fell in love with Aimee, a very beautiful Munchkin, the first time I met her. She was one in a million. A real lady.

Aimee worked for the Wicked Witch of the East. Doing slave labor. The Witch overheard our plans for marriage and, not wanting to lose her free help, put a spell on my axe, so that whenever I tried to chop a limb off a tree, it slipped and chopped off one of my limbs. Clop, there went the left leg. Clunk, there went the right. Crunch, one arm, then the other.

Luckily Ku-Klin, the tinsmith, was a genius and put me back together piece by piece. He was a combined internist and prosthetic engineer. You could say I was the first BIONIC MAN.

I am completely made of metal. That is why I need oiled constantly. If you don’t have STP, Crisco will do. I am quite BRIGHT. You might say I am a POLISHED GENTLEMAN!

It is true if I am afraid, I tremble and I clatter. When I need oiling, I find even my voice squeaks. It squeals.

Others make fun of me. Rude! The Wizard called me a clanking, clunking, chattering collection of caliginous junk. The Lion said I was a shivering junkyard. They did not see how I started out, years ago, as a handsome ladies’ man.

But now I have discovered I have a talent I did not have before. I always knew how to play a tin whistle. Now I am a one man band! I can bang my arms and legs together. I am in demand for parties! I can do parades!

When our little group reached the Emerald City, I asked the Wizard for a heart. Why didn’t I have one, you ask? When the enchanted axe chopped my torso in two, my heart fell out, so now I am not capable of loving anyone, even Aimee. She professes that she loves me more than ever, that I am the perfect man, never needing food or clothing. She won’t have to cook for me or wash my clothes. I can be out in the forest chopping wood, giving her lots of time alone. And she could use my shiny torso to see to apply her lipstick. But, alas, without a heart, I am not capable of loving anyone. Even her.
The Wizard said he was short on hearts. At one time, he had had kind ones and loving ones, but all he had left was one kind one….”Take it for leave it,” he told me. I passed. I need a loving one for that is the only kind to have. When I was in love, I was the happiest man in the world. I had both a brain and a heart when I was a flesh and blood man, and let me tell you, the heart is the most important. The brain does not make one happy… and happiness is the best thing in the world.

My new friends, the Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion and I decided to try college together. The Scarecrow went into Agriculture, but I was more inclined to be a machinist. I knew about metals by this time, and I learned how things fit together from the tinsmith who created my new limbs. I became an inventor of sorts, learning how to find ways to create robots and machines to till the Scarecrow’s customers’ fields. It was very satisfying, to create new machines.

We miss Dorothy, but a crow brought a message from her that she was thinking of visiting soon…it will be good to see her again. Things are much calmer here now, with the Wicked Witch settled down. All I am lacking is a loving heart so Aimee and I can marry. As it is, we remain friends; speak politely when we meet on the street. Someday…someday….

Oh dear. See, I feel like crying again. Tell me another joke please….

Cowardly Lion…. written by Thomas Leary and Sherril (Romero) Alstadt

THE SET: A table with chairs on opposite sides, angled so that people seated can address each other and the audience. Also a large banner that says “30 Minutes” (or however long the program will run).
THE CAST: A small blonde woman, and a creature with wild yellowish hair, a dirty brown seat suit and big mittens that hide the hands.

LS: “Good afternoon. My name is Leslie Steel, and we have a very unusual guest on the program today. The lion seated here grew up in the Land of Oz. His parents, Rip and Tori were longtime residents there and our guest was brought up in the usual way. He ate the scraps that his parents provided and tussled with his brothers and sisters. No one paid much attention. But, people have recently noticed that there’s something different about him. He doesn’t roar, but speaks politely. In fact, he seems so mild that people have started to call him ‘The Cowardly Lion.’ It’s a pleasure to have you on our program.
CL: “Thank you, Ms. Steel. I’m pleased to be here.”
LS: “Do you mind it when people call you ‘The Cowardly Lion?’”
CL: “You can call me by any name you like.”
LS: “Do you think you are really cowardly?”
CL: “No.”
LS: “Then, why don’t you roar like the other lions?”
CL: “I don’t want to scare people away.”
LS: “Why not?”
CL: “I might like to have them over for lunch.”
LS: [startled] “You mean as guests or the main course?”
CL: “I mean as guests to share a meal WITH.”
LS: “Don’t you miss the thrill of the chase?”
CL: “You don’t know much about Lions, do you?”
LS: “What do you mean?”
CL: “I’m a male lion. Boy lions don’t chase things: girl lions do. When they catch something, the boy lion eats first and then takes a nap. In fact, we’re asleep a good part of the time. When we roar, it just means we’re happy, or under contract with a movie studio.”
LS: “Don’t you ever fight?”
CL: Well, we boys fight sometimes over mating privileges, but I don’t want talk about these matters on a family program.
LS: “Let me ask you about your family. Where in the Land of Oz do you make your home?”
CL: “My wife and two children have a nice place just outside the Emerald City. We grow our own food, compost, rely on solar energy and in harmony with the Land.
LS: “A change in the subject. Do you stay in touch with Dorothy, the young lady who traveled to OZ years ago?”
CL: “Yes, I do. In fact, I very fond of her, she’s a very smart girl and taught us many good things. Dorothy changed my dining habits altogether.”
LS: “In what way?”
CL: “Well you know a diet of furry creatures can get pretty tedious, even when seasoned by the occasional missionary. Dorothy introduced us to delicious treats, much better than anything found in OZ before. I became so fond of the “M & M” variety, I had a health scare.”
LS: “Oh, are you better now?”
CL: “Yes, thank you. My diabetes and other health issues have been reversed. Once Dorothy returned to Kansas, I enrolled in the Golden Brick University. My roomies were the Tin Man and the Scarecrow. I took a page out of Scarecrow’s play book and changed my diet once again.”
LS: “Really, and it reversed diabetes?”
CL: “Yes, a 100% Vegan lifestyle does a body good!”
LS: [choking a bit] “A, a, a Vegan? You’re a Vegan now?”
CL: “Yeah, I learned so much from the “ag” studies Scarecrow was focused on, and made the switch. I had my energy back, and left on the tour.”
LS: “Left on a Vegan tour? I’ve never heard of a Vegan Tour.”
CL: “No, but I bet you have heard of the Grateful Dead? I put on my Earth Shoes, I dropped out, dropped in, and made a living selling the authorized concert tee-shirts. Oh, those were the days. I learned we have to respect my body as a temple and the Mother Earth. Do you compost?”
LS: “No, but I do recycle.”
CL: “Take a look at this picture, talk about “Throwback Thursday.”
LS: “Dreadlocks?”
CL: “Yes, yes indeed. I cleaned up my look, become respectable ya know. It’s all about family now. Teaching my offspring to leave Oz better than they found it.”
LS: “Your presence here on “30 Minutes, or so” has been a delight. It has been a pleasure meeting you.”
CL: “Oh, I appreciate the opportunity to address any rumors out there about me ‘being polite or not roaring fiercely’. Because they are not rumors, it’s the truth. I have embraced our world and its beauty. I welcome the company of others and want them to feel at ease. Hey, come to think of it can you stay for lunch? It’s almost lunch time now. Can I interest you in some tofu-chicken gluten-free wraps?
LS: “I’d like that. I’d like that very much. This is Leslie Steel, more on “30 Minutes” when we return after these messages.”

Scarecrow…written by Mike Lavin

Wonderful people of Oz, thanks for showing up tonight. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you what the old “Scarecrow” has been doing since traveling with Dorothy’s 0crazy journey up to visit the Wizard some 70 years ago. Can you believe it, 70 years?

You might remember that it was a beautiful late fall day in Munchkin Country. The gilded-Gold Brick Road was quiet for that time of the morning.

I was hanging out in my cornfield stuffed with hay,
Dressed to scare those crows away. As I do every day.

It did not take long for a crow to blow my cover
Those birds laughed, mockingly,
Oh, how irritating that can be.

Crunching away unstoppably, eating that corn so
Before Jays and mice discover
Making my scare that much tougher.

All of a sudden, a young girl comes charging down the brick road, wearing shoes that glistened- red, followed by this small yapping dog. I give her a wink as I do most strangers walking through these parts. She sees me hanging on my pole and introduces herself: “My name is Dorothy and this is Toto, my dog. Both of us are from Kansas, spun here by cyclone. We are very lost, and want to find our way back home.” All of this was a puzzle to me. What is a Kansas and why did Dorothy want to leave Oz? It was such a golden place for me. Nothing can beat a fantasyland. Dorothy goes on, “the word on the street,” in the Munchkin Village is that there is Wizard living up there, at the end of the golden brick road, that can grant wishes and will help me and Toto get back to Kansas.” There must be something you want, Scarecrow, beyond just standing in that boring cornfield frightening no one?” I thought for a moment. Living in Oz has been sweet, I do not have to eat or sleep. However, I mentioned to Dorothy that there was something; I would love to have a brain like everyone else. I am just not smart; the birds make fun of me. “Travel with me, Scarecrow man, and let’s see if our visit to the Wizard in Emerald City can fix us and get you a brain and I can find a means for me to go back home.” It only took a few Munchkin seconds to say yes. Dorothy took me down from my pole and off we went. We picked up a couple of needy characters on the way, a heartless Tin Man and cowardly Lion, The journey was horrifying; we escaped swarms of bees, wild monkeys, good and bad witches, and finally we met the Wizard.

You know the story. I am quite sure there was a book written about this and a movie too. The Wizard was an out and out fraud, but it was the journey with Dorothy and the gang, that gave me the insight. I always had brain and did not need a new set. It was not just a brain but a darn good brain, good enough to be a mayor of the Emerald City, a gift from Queen Ozma. That leadership job was not for politics, too much way and me too much stress. My GP, Dr. H. Arlen who doubles as OZ’s music composer. Everyone around these parts keeps singing Arlen’s “Over the Rainbow” over and over much to my chagrin. Arlen suggested I back off politics and find a less stressful means of employment.

With a brain, you need to learn so off to school I would go. I attended Munchkin Land grammar and high school and did well. School helped me to write, do math, and read. I learned the capitals of all the Oz kingdoms and could remember all our regal rulers going back to the beginning to Queen Moses. I next applied to Oz Junior College where I majored in business administration. Using that OJC degree, I landed a job at the Lollypop Distribution Guild. I learned how to eat in college and unfortunately gained far too much weight at the Distribution Center: The habit of eating a 5lb Snicker bar every day did me in. Exercising and eating healthy food brought my straw back where it belonged.

Oz has a well renowned doctorate school, Golden Brick University. I applied to their agriculture department and, given my exemplary understanding of corn, I was accepted. I lived in the dorm with several roommates, ironically, the Tin Man and the Lion. We spent many hours going over our journey memories traveling with Dorothy. Several months passed and the smell of oil emanating from the Tin Man frightened me especially since the Lion smoked. I found new roommates. My dissertation thesis focused on how to convert corn into human beings. I developed a pill that you could ingest which in several years would turn you into a human, like Dorothy. The experiment was quite a success but no one wanted to change. Even the screeching, thorny monkeys took a pass. An obscure journal in Nepal printed my experiment; very few read it. It is apparent that the all the creatures love OZ and the status quo with little concern about being someone else.
I got married about that time to a crow that I took a liking back in my cornfield days. The relationship was controversial here, in the southern parts of Oz, marrying a Crow was looked down upon given “Jim Crow Laws.” We paid little attention to straw-black bird prejudice, went ahead with the marriage, had twins, and have one on the way. Those kids spent several years learning how to fly. It was challenging for them given their black straw wings. My love for those little aviators was hard to hide as they flew in formation around our home.

I found a teaching position at the local Wizard Ag School. I taught for 40 years before I retired.

Several months back I received a post card from Dorothy. “Glad to be home”, she writes. “Auntie ‘Em and Toto passed.” Dorothy goes on “she loves living alone for sure with here new dog, Sorcerer. I got a great job working for the Weather Channel and cheering for the lowly NY Jets. I love living alone and it is far from lonely; I am happy just being me.” I was not surprised given Dorothy’s Oz- acquired independent nature.

I never changed my Scarecrow name. It was never a name, like Fred or Mary. My Oz name made me comfortable and my Scarecrow moniker remained. I retired from academics and now farm 200 acres in the East County near the Oz river delta where I plant and grow corn. My grandkids fly over on occasion and always great to see them.

Before I close out here, I want to tell you folks out in the audience what I learned from my journey with Dorothy: “Be proud of yourself. All of you out there are sharp-witted and shrewd. No one is dumb, or brainless or crude. I spent many season’s thinking I was shallow and straw-brained but no more. As you travel down your own yellow brick road, remember that we all have brains, brains that permit free control in so many different ways. “

AND TOTO TOO…written by Sherril (Romero) Altstadt

THE SET: Dorothy’s house has just come to rest upon the Wicked Witch of the East (WWE). The munchkins, members of the Council of Munchkins are singing joyously because the oppressive WWE is dead, and Dorothy is fearing being charged with involuntary manslaughter. Running around the scene is Dorothy’s dog, Toto.
THE CAST: The WWE and Toto.

WWE: “Why did the lights go out? What’s all the singing I hear? Wait, it can’t be! Do I hear those miserable Munchkins singing, “Ding-Dong the witch is dead?” The last thing I recall is there was an awful storm swirling in the sky.”
TOTO: “Roof, Roof” I know I’m talking to myself here because all you Humans hear is “ruf-ruf” but I happen to be fluent in English, Spanish and dog. In fact, my first name is T-O-D, as in dog,-O….not T-oT-o. Dorothy, my owner, is a sweet girl, but not much of a speller. My real name translates to meaning “everything” and T-O-T-O is just a lame top-40’s band from the late 70’s.
WWE: “Help me!” This is not fair, it’s not my time. They are all whooping it up and I’m de-, de-, I can’t even bring myself to say it. Not only did that young woman’s house land on me, she has made off with my ruby-red slippers. If I can just get to my sister’s place the Wicked Witch of the West’s Castle and have my shoes, I can reverse this. I have to work fast, I only have 48 hours. Help, help!”
TOTO: “These reasonably short, polka-dotted boy-band wannabees, the Lollypop Boys are so annoying. I’m adorable to be sure, I’m furry, 4 legged, graceful and these guys??? The one on the far left is at least 150 years old- Lollypop Boys? This super hearing isn’t all it’s cracked-up to be. I am everything and I can hear everything. Ah, finally that incessant singing is done! Who’s that saying, help?”
WWE: “You can hear me?” You can hear me! I need your help.”
TOTO: “Who? Me? No, Dorothy’s my master!”
WWE: “That little train-wreck? First, her house lands on me then she steals my Ozstroms special ruby red slippers!”
WWE: “NMP, what language is that?”
TOTO: “NOT My Problem, NMP. It’s how the kids communicate today, in letters.
WWE: “What if I can arrange to give you the deal only given to cats? I mean, why should they be the only species to get 9 lives?”
TOTO: “9 lives, you say?”
WWE: “Yes, but I need to be alive to work my magic.”
TOTO: “What do I have to do for you?”
WWE: “For starters, I need my ruby-red slippers. And I need to be at my sister’s home, her Castle has powers I need to tap into.
TOTO: “Okay, you were not a model citizen, 9 lives are tempting, but I would be helping the wrong kind of witch.”
WWE: “Oh that. Those days are over.”
TOTO: “I should hope so!”
WWE: “Now, hold still.”
TOTO: “Huh?”
WWE: “Nothing to worry about, just sit still. I just need a second.”
TOTO: “What’s that flash? I can’t see.”
WWE: “You are okay. I told you it was nothing to worry about.”
TOTO: “Your voice is, it’s coming from my collar!”
WWE: “My spirit traveled into your collar’s pendant, so now I go where my special shoes go!” I got those at OZstroms, I’ll never see that brand at that price again! Your precious Dorothy stole them off my feet as my legs shriveled up under the house.”
TOTO: “Hey, the Good Witch gave them to Dorothy!”
WWE: “Semantics. Looks like we are off to see the Wizard. The Castle is on the way.”
TOTO: “And I get 9 lives…”
WWE: “No one will notice a little dog and his stowaway. I need to be at the Castle, once that happens I need to be in the same room as my slippers. Toto, I so appreciate what you are doing for me.”
TOTO: “We must follow the Yellow Brick Road.”
WWE: “So much faster by Broom.”
TOTO: “I’m not going to tolerate a whiny stowaway, try to settle in. We’ll be there soon enough.”
[Slight Pause]
TOTO: “We’re almost there.”
WWE: “About time. Did Dorothy have to keep adding to the guest list?”
TOTO: “Yes, she’s the chatty, friendly type.”
WWE: “Don’t let the sweet face fool you. She kills by the square foot! Who are all these rejects?”
TOTO: “You know, you said your wicked ways are over, that’s going to include having an inclusive mindset. It’s not acceptable to label others based on their differences.”
WWE: “Then how do you tell everyone apart?”
TOTO: “You see their individuality first, their true nature and look beyond the superficial.”
WWE: “Yeah, yeah, yeah—blah, blah, blah.”
TOTO: “You gave me your word. I can get right up to the Castle, and then stop short. I have a wonderful life, maybe I’m just being greedy wanting 9 more.”
WWE: “I’ll change, I mean it. I’m sorry, please don’t let me down.”
TOTO: “Ok, looks like we are close. What do you need me to do?”
WWE: “Just stay close to Dorothy, and get me inside that place!”

[TOTO turns to audience]
TOTO: “And then it happened, we were inside the Castle. Everything was out of control. The WW of the West was on a rampage. She tossed flame onto the Scarecrow and the next thing you know the WW of West met her watery demise. What has never been told until now.”
WWE: “Tell them, tell them.”
TOTO: “Uh, I’m trying to do that. Given the chance I will.”
WWE: “Tell them about me.”
TOTO: “As I was saying…seeing how elated the winged monkeys were to be free of the tyranny of being ruled by such a wicked witch, [points to WWE] you were so overcome by your own history of abusing the Munchkins and so elated with your new life, you have governed the Western Region of Oz with grace and goodness ever since.
WWE: “My new title is “Good Witch of the West.”
TOTO: “There are no more Wicked Witches in the Land of Oz.

Closing words From Oz
Thank you for joining us on this magical trip to Oz. You know, of course, that I am not a bad guy, just having fun. And by way of rewarding your patience with our modest presentation we have a surprise for you.
Today, and today only, we are inviting you to become a founding member and part owner of the Bridge to Oz. Just $1 million dollars, a comically small investment, is all it will take to see your name engraved in Gold Letters atop the new bridge’s entrance. We have just a few opportunities left, so you best hurry to fill out the form I will now pass among you…
Hurry, hurry

The individuals above were joined by Blair Crossman (Toto) and Donna Crossman (reporter).