There’s no place like Main Street to remember Meinhardt Raabe In a downtown lined with cream-colored brick buildings from the mid- to late 1800s, murals depicting the past and Mullen’s Dairy Bar, nostalgia is easy to come by here. That’s why Wednesday’s event to remember Meinhardt Raabe on what would have been the 100th birthday for the late “The Wizard of Oz” star and former Oscar Mayer pitchman seemed to fit right in on Main Street. The Wienermobile was here, some came in costumes of their favorite “Oz” characters and the theater’s lobby was transformed into a small museum featuring photographs of Raabe as the Munchkinland coroner and in his work as Little Oscar, a position he held for 30 years for the Madison meat company. A 12-foot yellow brick road and a five-foot tornado made of cotton welcomed the nearly 200 guests who almost filled the theater’s largest auditorium for a free showing of “The Wizard of Oz.”
Munchkin coroner recalled on 100th Bill Bedford, event coordinator, came up with the idea of celebrating Raabe, who meant so much to the local area. Born in Watertown on Sept. 2, 1915, Raabe was raised in the Town of Farmington, attended high school in Johnson Creek, went on to attend the former Northwestern College in Watertown and later graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an accounting degree.
75 Years Ago, ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ Helped Cure ‘War Nerves’ This Mason City Globe-Gazette article from Sept. 2, 1939, calls it a cure for “war nerves.” “If it’s relaxation you’re seeking from the headlines shrieking of war in Europe and in Asia, we recommend to appease your desire (in spit of avowed failure of other appeasement programs) “The Wizard of Oz,” which opened at the Cecil Saturday and plays there through Thursday,” the piece reads. Check out the full article below, then head down the yellow-brick road or something.
17 Wonderful (and Not-So-Wonderful) Facts About ‘The Wizard of Oz’ #7) In 1975, former kindergarten teacher Margaret Hamilton was a guest on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. On this episode, Hamilton spoke with Fred Rogers at length about her celebrated—albeit frightening—role, as a way to help children watching at home understand that her playing the Wicked Witch, in the words of a familiar Neighborhood term, was all “make-believe.” Hamilton discussed how kids could better sympathize with the Witch’s perspective by explaining her misunderstood nature: “She’s what we refer to as ‘frustrated.’ She’s very unhappy because she never gets what she wants.” (A prescient Hamilton was also hitting on the concept for the novel—and subsequent musical—Wicked here, 20 years before its publication.) The actress then ended her visit with Mr. Rogers in the coolest way possible: Dressing up in a Wicked Witch of the West costume (sans green makeup) and briefly slipping into her mischievous cackle.
$1M reward fails to crack case of Judy Garland’s stolen ruby slippers A million bucks wasn’t enough to entice someone to turn in a pair of stolen ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the movie “The Wizard of Oz.” The Aug. 27 deadline for the $1 million reward came and went without any credible leads or the return of the ruby slippers to the Grand Rapids Police Department, investigator Andy Morgan said.bThe deadline marked the 10th anniversary of the ruby slippers’ theft from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids.
Odyssey hosts inaugural Midwest Wizard of Oz Fest “This event is a continuation of the Chesterton festival,” said Clint Paraday, Odyssey Fun Farm general manager, about Midwest Wizard of Oz Fest, which aims to fill the void left when the long-running Wizard of Oz Festival in Indiana ended in 2012. “We’re picking up where they left off. Odyssey Fun World is a business that brings family fun and entertainment to families to help create memories and hopefully start new family traditions so when we were approached about a festival, it was pretty much a no-brainer that we wanted to be part of it.” bMidwest Wizard of Oz Fest takes place Sept. 11 to 13 at Odyssey Fun Farm in Tinley Park and features a “Wizard of Oz”-themed Corn Maize, a Yellow Brick Road with different themes from the movie, memorabilia vendors, the Spirit of Oz troupe of “Wizard of Oz” characters, and guest speakers.