Norwegian Farmer’s Son…March 10th

March 10th…“WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE AS A CHILD AND WHY?”

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It was scenes like this that made Elliott cover his eyes in fear!  (Note: notice the push pin holes in the corners of this old movie poster of that period.  This old history buff enjoys stuff like this.)

Small hands covered my little boy eyes in fright, yet, I couldn’t help but spread my fingers open, just a crack, to peek through and see the latest scene from the 1939 classic, “The Wizard Of Oz”.  I was tantalized, transfixed, terrified and tickled by all the components that combine to orchestrate any story into a sort of magic that captures and transports you into another realm of life experience other than your own.

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Elliott never tired of seeing and hearing the Munchkins of Oz.

From the fearsome, powerful tornado that whisked Dorothy and Toto (her dog) away to the Land Of Oz, to the petite Munchkins that were so cute as they spoke or sung in their high voices and dressed so colorfully in their extravagant costumes.  From start to finish, this film was easily my very favorite as a little boy….and even today, is up there in the Top Ten of my adult movie listing.

In my own little life and that of our son, in later years, I experienced and saw that  children tend to take their world around them very literally.  So, when it came to watching this amazing movie for the first time or two, I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of all that transpired in Dorothy Gale’s (Judy Garland’s) life in Kansas and then in Oz.

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That tornado scene sure looked real to little Elliott!!!

Take the tornado scene, for instance.  Having been raised in the “tornado alley” of Minnesota, I heard plenty of horror stories from my parents about the horrendous power wielded by a wild tornado wind.  I even saw a photo once of a dead cow after a tornado had passed through a local farm.  There was a 4″x 4″ wooden beam shot through the cow, just like a giant arrow, by tornado winds.  I stared in amazement at that photograph!  Therefore, when I saw that tornado in the film (even though it was only a muslin sock on the miniature set), I was convinced that it really DID lift up Dorothy and her entire house and took them, literally, over the rainbow to Oz.

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Miss Margaret Hamilton (who played the Wicked Witch Of The West) forbid her own child from seeing the film until he was older because she was concerned for him seeing such evil depicted.

When an actress plays her part so perfectly, one forgets that she’s just acting and is entranced that she really IS who she portrays.  Such was the case with Miss Margaret Hamilton who played the part of The Wicked Witch Of The West.  Her every move and facial nuance struck a deep fear within me.  To my little boy’s conscience, she WAS the epitome of evil.  In reality though, as I found in later life, Miss Hamilton was a gentle, Christian soul who loved children very much (she was a certified Kindergarten teacher in her early years) and even taught Sunday School at her church.

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A fascinating book about how this amazing movie was made.

Still a fan, and having grown into my young adult years, I came across a book about my favorite movie that was so fun to read.  “The Making Of The Wizard Of Oz” by Aljean Harmetz is an excellent source of behind the scenes stories of who was in the film and stories of what happened during filming.  Take, for instance, “The Horse Of A Different Color” scene.  “JELLO” powder crystals were used to make the horse change color in each scene of that song.  The only tasty problem was, the horse kept wanted to lick off the “JELLO” 😉

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Interesting, ya?

I’m sure every generation has their film of reference, their story of fantasy that imprints special moments upon their conscience.  “The Wizard Of Oz” was that moment for me.  The uncountable times I’ve seen it, over the years, does not lessen its magic; it only opens an opportunity to investigate the joys once again for this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.

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4 thoughts on “Norwegian Farmer’s Son…March 10th

  1. You did it again my friend ,I love your perception,of childhood memories
    In your short stories
    You always kick in my own memories.
    In a way your memories ,are like mine,because you chose the positive adventurous,and happy side of childhood
    Keep them coming Hugs my friend

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    1. Dear Diane,
      HOT DOG! So glad I “did it again”!! What you share here is what I find the most joy in my writings……..to hear from folk who have a “trigger pulled” to fire off memories of their childhood. AND, it delights me when they share those memories. A regular “happy chain reaction”!!
      Blessings from Hawaii 😉
      Elliott

      Like

    1. Dear Claire,
      You are truly a treasure, you know that? To come along on my gentle adventures here is, by far, a joy par excellence! Most folk don’t say anything, or click anything regarding my writing efforts, so, at times, I feel like I’m typing to the wind. So, to hear from you, at school, and here, makes this old heart smile BIG TIME!
      As my ancestors would say Munga Tusen Takk (Many Thousand Thanks)!!! 😉
      Elliott

      Like

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