Oz in the News 5.31.11

Historian Believes if You Follow the Yellow Brick Road, You End Up in Peekskill  In “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” the yellow brick road leads to happiness. In this Hudson River town, it ends in a parking lot. For close to a decade, city historian John Curran has been waging an uphill battle to preserve a collection of crumbling golden bricks tucked near a commuter railroad station here that he believes inspired the yellow brick road in L. Frank Baum’s famous children’s novel and in the movie classic based on it. He has pored over maps, lectured visitors at the city museum he runs, lobbied the city council and even contacted the author’s great-grandchildren to convince the town that the 50-foot stretch of yellow bricks he’s trying to memorialize isn’t just a figment.

Andy Williams To Appear At Minn. Garland Festival  Singer Andy Williams will be a special guest at the 36th annual Judy Garland Festival in Grand Rapids. Williams will receive the Judy Garland Lifetime Achievement Award on June 17 during a gala dinner at the Wendigo Lodge. He also will sign his book, “Moon River and Me: A Memoir,” at the Judy Garland Historic House that day.

W.W. Denslow Nursery Rhymes for iPad  Another classic of childhood, Mother Goose, comes alive on the iPad, thanks to developer ustwo in conjunction with Atomic Antelope, who produced the impressive Alice for the iPad. Readers have to shake awake the sun to begin, and each screen continues the physical fun, mimicking old-time novelty books with plenty of swiping and swinging action. Drag Jack and Jill’s bucket up the well shaft and watch it descend again with a splash; propel the little piggy that goes “Weee Weee Weee” all the way home along a spiral path. The vintage illustrations are by W.W. Denslow (famous for his Wizard of Oz work), and the supersized text is integral to the experience, dominating each page and sometimes even becoming one of the interactive elements.

‘Emerald City’ proposed in Humboldt County  In the heart of southern Humboldt County’s prime marijuana growing region, an effort is under way to create a new city. It’s been dubbed “Emerald City,” a name as whimsical as the effort, critics say. Emerald City is the fictional capital city of the Land of Oz, featured in books and in the movie “The Wizard of Oz.” And in pot country, emerald can be a reference both to the green of the marijuana plant and the color of money. “It was sort of an irresistible temptation” to call it the Emerald City, said Jim Lamport, the man behind the effort and who owns a legal document service in Garberville. Southern Humboldt County is at the center of the so-called Emerald Triangle, a prime pot production region that also includes Mendocino and Trinity counties.

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