The show started off with Bob & Clare Baum, along with Eric Shanower discussing various Oz things with John Fricke, the evenings excellent host. Somehow, my photos of them looked really bad, so I'm not posting them here. They just weren't Fricke-riffic!
Of course, there were Munchkins and Munchkins-by-Marriage on stage, including (right to left) Karl Slover, Margarette Pelligrini and Myrna Swenson, as well as Caren Marsh-Doll, who was the stand-in for Judy Garland during filming of MGM's 1939 The Wizard of Oz. Ms. Doll also served as the Grand Marshall for the following day's parade.
As always, Margarette stole the show with her wonderful banter and exchanges with John Fricke, who seemed to really enjoy himself. Karl Slover gave us all a wonderful performance of "We're Off To See The Wizard," which always gets a huge round of applause. Both Myrna and Ms. Doll were equally entertaining with their insights and stories of Oz.
The following morning saw my wife and I strolling about the grounds and marveling at the abundance of Oz all around.
We then found ourselves at the local church next door, enjoying a wonderful pancake breakfast with Dennis and Linda Anfuso. It was nice to finally catch up and visit for a time.
Afterwards, I set up in Glinda's Royal Tent for my appearance in Author's Alley and a day full of Ozian madness!
There was, of course, the parade, which was wonderful and very interesting. Sadly though, no photos from Amanda as our camera batteries died. Afterwards, I did a quick replacement and we were back in the photo business!!!
I made a quick dash back to the All Things Oz exhibit down the street to attend some matters and met up with Michael Siewert, who was just setting up a display of Judy Garland dresses. I was very pleased to finally meet him as we only knew each other from Facebook.
I also had a chance to meet up with Bob Baum, the great grandson of L. Frank Baum. We've met several times before and, as always, he was very kind and generous with his time and praises.
I was always very pleased to spend a moment visiting with Margarette Pelligrini, who is best known as the Flower-Pot Munchkin from the movie and I took a moment to do a bit of sleight-of-hand for her, which she seemed to enjoy quite a bit.
The remainder of the day was filled with sales, autographs and lots of interactions with fans of Oz from all ages. Amanda and I were totally spent and were unable to stay for the evening's music in the park.
The next day (Sunday) was much like the day before with lots of visitors, fans of my writings and many other happenings.
My wife was particularly pleased when Margarette Pellegrini came by to say hi and reacquaint herself with Amanda. They had met last year but Amanda was not quite well and Margarette had a bum wing!
Margarette made my wife feel very much at home and was very kind to her. Words cannot express how much that means to me.
As the Grand Finale quickly approached, we looked about one last time and found a most interesting sight.
Finally, the finale... and it was quite grand to say the least. Here, the members of Author's Alley who had remained are seated and waiting the festivities. They include (from left to right), Gwendolyn Tennille Adams, Ron Baxely, Jr. and James C. Wallace II (me).
Moments later, the rest of the special guests arrived and I certainly felt like royalty among the elite of Oz.
They include (from left to right); Eric Shanower, Michael Siewert, Karl Slover, Margarette Pelligrini, Myrna Swensen, Clare Baum, Robert Baum, Caren Marsh-Doll and John Fricke. The Three Stooges of Oz, that being Gwen, Ron and myself and sitting behind them. We are, of course, in total awe of where we found ourselves.
After another lampooning of John Fricke by Margarette Pellegrini, which John always takes with great joy and affection;
there followed the usual thank-yous and such and ended with a great sing-along of Somewhere Over The Rainbow.
After a few lingering farewells to this Motley Crew of Oz, Amanda and I hit the road for a 13 hour journey back to the Land of the Hoosiers!
Reflecting on our time in Oz, I would say that Marc Baum, who was my primary contact and the facilitator for Author's Alley, did a stunning job! As good as last year was, despite the tornadic winds and such, Marc made this year even better. He listened to our suggestions from last year and implemented them with ease. The tent was great, our location within was great, our time onstage and in the parade was great... In fact, it all was great!!!! Barb and Colleen were equally great in working with us, even on a moments notice!
In all, I made some wonderful new friends, reconnected with some great old friends, sold quite a few books, met an elder magician and colleague of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and managed to spend a week alone with my wife. What more could a Royal Liaison ask for???
James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma