Hi, I'm Charlie

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Hi, I'm Charlie

Joined: 03 Apr 2011, 21:11

03 Apr 2011, 21:24 #1

Hi! My name is Charlie Richards and I live in South Florida (does this make me a Munchkin or a Quadling?). I've loved the Oz books for most of my life - first remember reading "Patchwork Girl" (strange one to start with, but it was the only one my local library had) when I was about seven (of course, I had already read "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"). I joined the Oz club in 1985 and remained a member for several years, but then let my membership lapse. In the early 90's I left my Oz collection with a friend when I moved to a tiny apartment in San Francisco. Unfortunately, a flood destroyed all the books in her house - including my Oz books. After that I've showed occasional interest in Oz again, but without access to my books it was kind of painful to think about it. I've recently re-acquired all forty and am beginning to read them all over again - also re-joined the club. Can't believe I've let my Oz fascination lie dormant for so many years - glad to be back in America's best fairy country! Hope to connect with other Oz lovers again. 

Joined: 19 Jun 2003, 20:14

03 Apr 2011, 22:56 #2

Welcome back to Oz and the Oz Club, Charlie!


Eric Gjovaag
Joined: 18 Jun 2003, 23:38

03 Apr 2011, 23:10 #3

Hi, Charlie. Trust me, you never really left Oz. You just never knew it. Are you still in the San Francisco area? If so, you should definitely consider coming to the Winkie Convention this summer, just a few miles down the road from you in Pacific Grove.

Joined: 20 Apr 2005, 23:03

04 Apr 2011, 03:26 #4

Welcome, Charlie! Are you a Winkie or a Quadling? This is one case where you can call it yourself.

Joined: 07 Dec 2007, 07:07

04 Apr 2011, 07:42 #5

Welcome (Back) to the Oz Club, Charlie (the name is nice and young sounding)!

Sounds like you've made a nice return to Oz . . . Image

Joined: 03 Apr 2011, 21:11

04 Apr 2011, 10:09 #6

Thank you for the welcome! I no longer live on the west coast (more's the pity), and am sorry to see that there seems to be no plan for a Munchkin convention this year. I went to a Winkie convention in Asilomar in 1985 and loved it - I even met you there, but I doubt you'd remember it because I think we only talked for about fifteen minutes. I miss your old Tik-Tok Talk list which I occasionally contributed to, but I understand your reasons for shutting it down. Nice to see that there's another forum up now.
Love having Oz as a large part of my life again!

Joined: 19 Jun 2003, 03:51

04 Apr 2011, 13:40 #7

... but where are you?  Our other 2011 event is in Banner Elk, North Carolina on the grounds of the old Land of Oz Park. I'm especially pleased to hear from David Kelleher, Michele Naylor, Mike Bosworth and other "Munchkins" who haven't attended anything IWOC for years that they'll be with us in Banner Elk.  In 2012 we'll have an event in Macatawa that will be more Baum-ish. 

There are huge public festivals that attract Oz fans, including plenty of Club members. First up will be in Baum's birthplace, Chittenango, NY's, event the first weekend of June. The Judy Garland event in Grand Rapids, Minn., also is in June. September has the Chesterton, Ind., event, and in October there's Oztoberfest in Wamego, Kansas, and the public festival in Banner Elk they call Autumn in Oz. If you're on Facebook, friend just about any of our names from this forum (I'm Jane Albright) and you'll quickly get plugged into the greater Oz community with notices of productions and events popping up all the time. And have Blair add you to the Ozmapolitan Express mailing list for a quarterly email that lists events and occurences fans might want to know about.

The IWOC events are the ones more likely to emphasize -- or at least include -- Oz other than the MGM film. But even the public festivals these days include Bob and Clare Baum, Roger and Charlene Baum and the occasional other bookish touch.

IMO, the emergence of the public festivals are largely to blame for the loss of our Ozmopolitan and Munchkin conventions. With so many free options fans can attend around the country (I didn't rattle off smaller ones, but they're out there, too) for a big dose of Oz fun and vip meeting, it became harder and harder to attract new people to our conference. Our events are self funded (registration fees have to cover all the expenses), and are too small to attract sponsors willing to cover VIP guests. These days we also find that most convention-based hotels need chunky deposits up front. With registration usually being something people don't think to do until just a few months before the event, coming up with thousands of dollars almost a year out becomes a huge obstacle. Quite the conundrum.

Winkie continues strong and I never hear rumors of any annual public Oz events considered along the west coast. It was a terrific, strong base of people within driving range who can bring in the the stuff it takes to make a terrific convention; the rest of us then fly into San Francisco or San Jose and either rent cars or caravan down. Can't go wrong with Winkie, particularly if you're a fan of the Oz books.

Our other Club event either goes somewhere most Oz fans have wanted to see, or is tied to something like an academic conference where we can partner with someone who can afford to underwrite everything. It was informal in 2007 going to the Eric Carle Museum for an Oz art exhibit. 2008 we went to the Gage Foundation (Maud Baum's mother's) in Central NY state. 2009 we celebrated the MGM 70th anniversary in Kansas with K-State having a conference the weekend of the aforementioned Oztoberfest -- a double dose of underwriting by others, and for 2010 our then-Club president Angelica Carpenter hosted a lavish conference with the Arne Nixon Center for Children's Literature on the campus of UC Fresno.

So there you go, Charlie. Lots of ways to dive right deep into Oz now that you're back!

Joined: 03 Apr 2011, 21:11

04 Apr 2011, 14:42 #8

Thank you all for the warm welcome! Feel like I just came home.

Joined: 17 Apr 2011, 18:19

17 Apr 2011, 18:22 #9

Welcome Charlie- Happy to have you here!

Ozzily Yours-

Marc Baum