There  was never a moment in my life I wasn’t aware of  the story of Dorothy and The Wizard of Oz.     In that quiet time  when the evening becomes a silvery twilight, and I was very very young,  my Mother would read to me.   It was the children’s hour.  This slender  book.  This fairy tale of witches and wizard.  This story of a brave girl and her trio of unlikely saviours became an integral part of both my childhood  and my adult years.

My own copy of the book,  The Wizard of Oz,  was long lost.   For many  years I  searched for it.    I few weeks ago I discovered a copy of the book  waiting patiently for me on a Thrift Shop shelf.  Not just any book but but one published in l931. The book cover was a little worn.  The edges of the  pages  a little foxed.  But the coloured illustrations are as bright and vivid as I remembered them.

The movie The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939.  Up until that time our Saturday afternoons movies (generally Westerns)   were in  black and white.   To sit and watch the Oz movie turn from black and white to magical, brilliant colour was an experience I will never forget.   I really was in the land of Oz.  And all those years later Oz is still very much a part of me.

Nine years old and I would settle for nothing but red shoes.    I was obsessed with the ruby slippers Dorothy wore  in the movie.   In the 1940’s children’s shoes were special occasion black patent Mary- Jane’s  or  brown leather lace ups for school.  There was very little choice in  small town in Northern Saskatchewan.  I found red leather shoes in our only department store – Eaton’s.   Unfortunately a size to large.  I was  desperate for them.  My obliging Father had a shoemaker sew  a strap on  so I wouldn’t walk out of my  beautiful red shoes.

I still love red shoes ;  loafers,  sandals, pumps,high heels, court heels,  shoes with red beads, with gold buckles,  with velvet bows.   All a version of those famous ruby slippers

Then there was the Siamese cat.   In the last scene of the Wizard movie Dorothy holds a Siamese cat.  I wanted a cat with blue eyes .   That exotic breed did not exist in our northern town.   Twenty years later my first Siamese purred his way into my heart.  In the years that followed there was always one or two of these elegant creatures ruling my home.

Dorothy’s  journey to  the Great Oz takes her through a dangerous but glorious  field of fiery red poppies.   The image remained with me through the years until finally I was able to  grew my own field of poppies in our home in the country.

Finding one’s heart desire is not the easiest of tasks.   Finding a Wizard who can grant it is even harder.  L. Frank Baum wrote fairy tales that were also very much parables.  In these modern times it appears we need them more than ever.

“Home – and I’m not going to leave here ever, ever again, because I love you all.  And  – oh Auntie Emm,  There’s no place like home.”

Indeed.  There is no place like home.







    • Dear Mrs Twinkle. I am so happy you enjoyed my tale. I am obsessed with books and I have been tracking down books that I remember from my childhood. I couldn’t believe it when I found the Oz book. It was exactly like the one I had lost. Cheers Virginia

  1. It was certainly no accident that it was you who found this book in the thrift shop. So happy you have it again…along with so many wonderful memories. (Your father was a true gent to have those straps put on!)

    • Dear Gaye, This is the second childhood book I have tracked down, and has proved the most elusive. There are many copies of the Wizard of Oz, but I was looking for a very early copy. And yes, my wonderful father rather indulged me. Cheers Virginia

    • Dear Janet, I believe I have gathered all my childhood books, but that will not stop me from haunting used book stores and thrift shops. Perhaps I’ll find more vintage books that my great-grand children will enjoy. It can’t always be about Bob The Builder. Cheers Virginia

      • I have our old Childcraft volumes that have poems and stories and all beautifully illustrated. I also have boxes of books from when the girls were little, some of which were also my favorites when growing up. Not always a fan of the modern stories/books, although there are, of course, lots of good ones as well.

      • Janet how absolutely lovely to have this books. I lost almost all of very old, but oh so beautiful, children’s book. They were impossible to replace. So I’m grateful when I do find books from my childhood. Cheers Virginia

  2. You find the best treasures in thrift shop! How wonderful to find a book just like you had – the illustrations are lovely. I have a few books that I had as a child and treasure them. Not everyone can carry off wearing red shoes with panache but there you did it as a child. You make me want to go out and buy a pair of red ones! Siamese cats were always my favorites and had them as a child and as an adult. Sadly, I don’t have any cats right now but a neighbor has a beautiful Siamese that I enjoy seeing.

    • Dearest Jo Nell, The Oz books were such an important of my childhood. The Wizard of Oz was my book, It was a regular Saturday visit to read the rest of the ten or so Oz books. I loved the library. The smell of the books. The way the old wooden floors creaked. The newspapers held firmly in wooden sticks fascinated me. To my annoyance I wasn’t allowed to read them. Too young! Blame it on The Wizard. XXX Virginia

  3. Ah Virginia such a lovely tale of your love for that movie…I loved it too…”I’ll get you and your little dog too!” ; the munchkins, the slippers…sigh. I do so enjoy your writing. ❤

    • Dear Miss Wonderful Wilma, How could we not love such a grand movie. Its influence allows us to see magic. For me a rabbit in a red velvet coat that lives under the cedar hedge and joins me for erudite conversations and a glass of wine. I linger long over your art and as you have probably noticed slip into the images for a journey to another place. Cheers Virginia

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