6/13/08

Remembering The Wizard of Oz


"The Wizard of Oz" is one of those shows that was shown annually on television beginning in 1959, except, interestingly enough, the year I was born, 1963.


But I am sure, from the time I could watch tv, I watched it each year it was on, if I could.


I'm not sure what year we had our first color television, but I am sure the impact of the show was even greater when all of sudden Dorothy opened that door, and she was in a world of color.


Dorothy and her story of her journey were the seeds of many skits I wrote and performed over the years.


While in high school, some friends and I were rather obsessed with this particular movie. I'm not sure what fueled this obsession, but, before VCR's and DVD's, my friend JB had his mom tape record the entire movie from the television on a cassette tape. In looking at the Wikipedia site, this would have been the 1981 broadcast on CBS airing Friday, February 27 at 8 p.m.


The following Monday, JB and I, and perhaps LR sat in the Kellogg High School cafeteria in the morning and at lunchtime, listening to this tape recording of "The Wizard of Oz", and saying the dialogue and singing the songs right along with the recording.


My now sister-in-law LR reminds me of this incident every once in a while. She remembers walking through the cafeteria and hearing us singing along to the tape, and I believe she may have even stopped and joined us for a while.


But those are my childhood memories of "The Wizard of Oz". The sibling assignment that Raymond Pert gave us a couple of weeks ago, and that I am now finally getting around to writing was this:


"What do you understand about The Wizard of Oz as an adult that you didn't understand as a child?"


I think I understand more today that often what we want out of life, and don't think we have, we have had all along.


Such as Dorothy. She got mad and wanted to run away from home because she thought no one understood her. But then she realized that home wasn't such a bad place, and that "there's no place like home".


The Scarecrow thought he didn't have a brain, yet he showed his cleverness and smarts all along the yellow brick road as he helped his friends get to the all powerful Wizard of Oz.


The Tinman claimed he didn't have a heart, but he had the most compassion as they traveled the road to the Emerald City.


And the Cowardly Lion, one of my favorite characters in the movie, thought he lacked courage, yet was the bravest of them all.


I think most of us go through a period in our lives when we don't like our home, our family, we want to get away...which part of that is a natural progression of growing up and needing to move away. But then we move away, get some perspective, and realize what a wonderful home we truly have.


And, like the Scarecrow, we often feel pretty stupid. We lack confidence in the things we know, which often keep us from doing things we are able to do, but we think we are too stupid, so we don't even try. But then, we do venture out, our confidence grows, we start realizing the things we are smart at, and we realize we can do some things really well.


Fear often leads us to those times when it seems like we have no heart. We go through a period when we are kind of mean, and we just think about ourselves. But, like the Tinman, we realize we had a heart all along, and that love and compassion for others grows, because we quit focusing on ourself all the time, and start realizing there are people out there who have needs, and need the love of someone else to help them in their lives.


And, like the Cowardly Lion, we think we can't do something because we fear we will fail. But then all of a sudden we are faced with an obstacle, and usually it involves helping someone else we love, and, low and behold, we realize we have


Courage. What makes a King out of a slave? Courage.
What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage.
What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist or the dusky dusk?
What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage.
What makes the Sphinx the 7th Wonder? Courage.
What makes the dawn come up like THUNDER?! Courage.
What makes the Hottentot so hot?
What puts the "ape" in ape-ricot?
Whatta they got that I ain't got?


Dorothy & Friends: Courage!


Cowardly Lion: You can say that again.



But, in the end, the lion was very brave, because he had someone else to look out for besides himself. And that gave him the courage he needed.


As the Wizard so wisely told them all at the end, it was inside of them all of the time.

1 comment:

Inland Empire Girl said...

After we watched that movie a thousand times, it is amazing that the true lessons didn't hit us until we were adults.