My photo
Kill Devil Hills, NC, United States
Trying to connect my present with the past in order to fly through the future.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

L. Frank Baum

Today marks the 91st anniversary of the death of  L. Frank Baum. He was 9 days short of his 63rd birthday when he succumbed to the effects of a stroke he had suffered the day before. His dying words, "Now we can cross the Shifting Sands" refers to the deadly desert that surrounds Oz and cuts it off from other lands.

Because of success of the 1939 movie, "The Wizard of Oz", many do not know that Mr. Baum wrote 13 Oz novels, 6 short stories and 27 comic strip stories. After his death, many authors took up the fantasy of Oz including Ruth Plumly Thompson, who wrote 19 stories herself. 

Something else you may not know about the author, "Oz" was not his only subject. His first published work was titled Baum's Complete Stamp Dealer's Directory, which he wrote, as well as published and printed himself. In fact, Baum wrote 22 stories, 37 short stories, 5 miscellaneous topics, 15 stage plays and 30 other stories under 7 pseudonyms.

Although he died in Glendale, California (he was working in the movies) he was born in Chittenango, NY where Mom and I were pleased to take a couple of hours to visit during our annual visit to the area for a family reunion. They have embraced Baum by painting the sidewalks yellow and having several business named in honor of their most famous resident and his popular novels. Sadly, we never located the museum, which had recently moved. 

I understand that the first weekend in June (5th-6th) Chittenango is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the publication of the 6th book in the series "Emerald City of Oz". We will be in the area for a wedding, maybe we will see you there!

No comments:

Post a Comment