The Royal Magician of Oz Trilogy is a 3 volume tale of magic and wonder that recalls the cherished values of friendship, loyalty and courage. This timeless tale of Oz reminds us of the value of overcoming our deepest fears and conquering the challenges that might otherwise defeat us.

Volume One; Magician of Oz, Volume Two; Shadow Demon of Oz and Volume Three; Family of Oz are now available for your reading enjoyment, as well as The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu.

The Emerald Slippers of Oz
, featuring an Introduction by Roger S. Baum; great grandson of L. Frank Baum, as well as Tails of Oz are also
available for your reading enjoyment.

The newest adventure in Oz, entitled: Nomes of Oz is now available and fast becoming a best-seller in the Land of Oz.

All are available in both paperback and Kindle.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Munchkins, Tornados, Oz-Stravaganza! 2010, oh my!

As the title implies, Oz-Stravaganza! 2010 was an adventure beyond belief and almost beyond words, but I'll do my best to convey the joy and happiness that was Oz-Stravaganza! 2010.

Several months ago, I was invited by the Oz-Stravaganza! 2010 committee to attend this event as a featured author in Author's Alley. This was, as told to me, a new addition to the already well-known and established Oz-Stravaganza! event. This was to be the 20th anniversary of the first Oz-Stravaganza! and I was assured that a splendid time was guaranteed for all. As the months wound down to mere hours, my wife and I made preparations to attend. I was pleased that Shadow Demon of Oz, my second book of the Royal Magician of Oz Trilogy was going to be available for the festival.
As we live in Indiana, we chose to make the trip in 2 days and do a little sight seeing. After a night in Erie, Pennsylvania, we made our way into New York state, did a little jog north of Buffalo and found some little waterfall that seemed of interest.

Turns out there were two to be seen...

Of course, it's Niagara Falls and this was our first time here. What a sight!

Still though, our final destination was Oz and we soon made our way across New York state, despite the irritating toll roads that nickled and dimed us to death!

Once in Chittenango, it became very apparent that we weren't in Indiana anymore.

Our first stop was Chittenango High School for the opening program of Oz-Stravaganza! 2010. Upon pulling into the parking lot, our first sight was a familiar one, the Beast of Anfuso!

If you want further details about this legendary beast, you'll have to ask Dennis Anfuso as he is the caretaker of the beast. We also saw a wonderful sight that my wife Amanda, creator of the legendary Potato Soup really enjoyed.

Once inside, we were greeted by the Cowardly Lion.


... and the Tin Man!

After our initial set-up, we had the opportunity to meet Joshua Patrick Dudley and his friend, Laura Coleman.

His exuberance and enthusiasm was quite infectious and I found him to be a credit to Oz. Ahhh, the joys of youth!

After a time, we decided to pack up and attend the evenings festivities. This included a rather unique performance by Marc Baum and friend (I didn't catch his name; Sorry about that) in tribute to John Fricke and his twenty years of devoted service to Oz-Stravaganza!

I now know a new word for future use. It's "Fricke-riffic!" It was very apparent the love and admiration these folks have for each other and it made my wife and I feel nice being in the presence of it. John Fricke also did a very nice introduction of all the authors of Author's Alley and made us feel very welcome. After that came a wonderful stage appearance by the Munchkins, all of whom told wonderful stories and recollections of The Wizard of Oz.

Jerry Maren did a wonderful performance of "We Represent the Lollipop Guild" and got a standing ovation from the crowd.

Although there was a performance of The Royal Historian of Oz and The Woman Behind the Typewriter-Family Vignettes with L. Frank & Maud Gage Baum, performed by Robert & Claire Baum, along with fireworks afterward, the day's journey had done it's worst to us and we retired to our hotel, The Craftsman Inn.

As odd as this will sound, our fondest memory of Oz-Stravaganza! 2010 came during this evening at our hotel.
Once we checked in and settled down, we decided to grab a bite to eat at the Oz-pitality room down the hall, which was made available to us as guests of Oz-Stravaganza! 2010.
My wife and I had started making up a plate of goodies when the door swung open and the 5 Munchkin guests who we had seen only an hour before at the high school came bounding in, full of energy and life and looking for a snackipoo.
As I was surrounded by Munchkins, I looked up to see my wife absolutely dumbstruck by the whole event. She had hoped to see these fine folks and was pleased at the evenings performance earlier but, here we stood, surrounded by Munchkins and feeling like Dorothy in Munchkin City. Everyone was polite, cordial and quite entertaining in their excitement.
I introduced myself and my wife to these wonderful people and they returned the introductions with joy, happiness and genuine affection. Several paid my wife lovely compliments and we left them with our head in the clouds and over the rainbow.
For the next several hours, we couldn't even think of sleeping as we were quite giddy at our chance encounter with these wonderful legends of Oz.

The next morning, my wife was not feeling well, so she chose to stay in as I made my way to the Oz-Stravaganza! 2010 grounds and my date with destiny.
After a brief set-up, I soon found myself ready for the days events.

Here we see the Three Stooges of Oz.

They are as follows from left to right: Moe (Dennis Anfuso), Larry (James C. Wallace II {me}) and Curly (Phillip John Lewin).

The day was hot, humid and somewhat wet on several occasions, although not overwhelmingly so. I went around and took a few shots which I share with you now...

Here is The Magic of Mike Carter, who performed a magic show with "Ozzy" twists and did caricatures for the audience.

The main vendor area...

The Tin Woodman playing a game of Chess with a local inhabitant...

Here is Aadon Blu's Pinwheel Peace Garden. I've made a special connection with these people and intend to do something very special in my 3rd volume of The Royal Magician of Oz Trilogy; Family of Oz. In the coming months, I'll speak more of this but I am very moved to have met these people and shared a bond with them.
I thank Blair Frodelius for his kindness in making me aware of them and their cause.

Next on the agenda was the parade. I was pleased to be in it as I have never been a special guest in a parade before.

Here we come upon the corner onto downtown...

Now we make the turn...

... and downtown now lies ahead of us...

The rest of Author's Alley finally make their appearance!

After a long day of talking to fans of Oz, children galore and parents alike, we turned in for the day and wondered what Sunday would bring...
How little we knew what awaited us in the morning...

Looks like something went through town this Sunday morning...

I wonder what it could be???

Oh... I don't know... Maybe a.....

Tornado!!!!! Or so I've heard....

It was raining at 9am, Sunday morning when we decided to finish up a movie and wait out the rain. If not, we would have been in Glinda's Royal Tent when it went bye-bye. Instead, we chose to leave at 10:30am and what we found down the road was mesmerizing.
My wife was, by now, in the full throes of an allergic reaction to something. What, we know not? We have been told it was Pine Bloom. In Indiana, we call it Pine Pollen and it comes a month earlier. Nonetheless, it's quite effective in its rage.

What was it we were watching, you may ask?

Those who know me know that I subscribe to the Serendipity Effect.

Behold Oz and the Serendipity!

After a tour of town and conversations between us and others, I decided to take my wife home to attend her medical needs. Her needs, as creator of the legendary Potato Soup, are paramount and she must be preserved at all costs. Those who understand, understand.

On the way out, Serendipity once more prevailed.

We found ourselves at the Land of Oz & Ends shop where I ran into Jane Lahr.

It was a pleasant send off from a very pleasant person who made me feel part of the Oz world. She was not alone in this endeavor however. I also ran into Julienne La Fleur there and swapped books with her. Lessons from Oz looks to be a promising read, when time permits. She was also very kind and supportive.

As an educator and former museum professional, I would offer my most sincere compliments to Marc Baum, Barb Evans, Colleen Zimmer and every other Oz person on site. We saw nothing that would indicate any issues or problems visible to the general public. Any hiccups were just that... Hiccups. When I needed a Gator to move stock, it was matter of minutes from request to completion of said task. We were frequently asked for our needs, including food and water. We were consulted and opinions were requested regarding improvements, though few are needed. I felt welcomed and appreciated. I am impressed.

My only regret for the weekend was that time and circumstances did not permit me the chance to meet and speak with John Fricke. Otherwise, my wildest expectations were met and exceeded.

I sincerely hope that I will be invited back for next year's festivities as we had a wonderful time in the Land of Oz.

My report to Princess Ozma will be very complimentary and I'm certain her Majesty will be pleased that her realm has been so warmly and fully represented.

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma

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