Oz in the News 10.4.16

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What do you do if you live on Yellow Brick Road or Penny Lane? Don’t worry, be happy Jon Rockwood has lived on Yellow Brick Road since 1993, so he is well-versed in the looks, questions, and chuckles when people see or hear his address. “They say, ‘Come on, really?’ ” he said. “I’ve heard all the jokes … and, no, my wife isn’t Dorothy and my dog isn’t Toto.” The list of named private roads in Whatcom County totals 860, with most of the names standard fare. That’s what makes roads with unusual names – including Yellow Brick Road, Jimi Hendrix Way, and Fat Dog Lane – such eye-catchers. Besides being popular with movie fans and pop culture mavens, Yellow Brick Road also has been a favorite of small-time criminals. Yellow Brick resident Ray Denson said he made about six wooden signs with the road’s name over the years. Each was stolen. So about 10 years ago, neighbors anchored a heavy-duty steel pole in concrete deep in the ground, and topped it with the road’s name on metal. “You’re not wiggling that,” Denson said. “Even the Jolly Green Giant can’t get that out.”

Garland tribute a family affair at Feinstein’s  He’s such a knight in shining armor about the Gershwins, Berlin, Porter, Harold Arlen, of course, and others, that we sometimes take for granted that his most effective argument for preservation is his voice, a polished, pure and perfectly controlled instrument that was on full display Friday night, Sept. 30, as he led a kind of family tribute to the career of Judy Garland. His club, Feinstein’s at the Nikko, was packed and with good reason. Not only was the boss in town, but he’d brought one of Garland’s daughters along for a couple of songs — Lorna Luft — and the other one was in the audience. Would she perform as well? Feinstein is a savvy showman. He drew things out just long enough before introducing Liza Minnelli and helping her onto the stage, where she arranged herself on a director’s chair, Feinstein went to the piano, and they did Berlin’s “I Love a Piano.” It was an unforgettable moment, no matter how much of a cliche that may seem. One song was absent from the program, of course, and that’s as it should be. Judy Garland owned a lot of songs, but none as much as “Over the Rainbow.” Her daughters left that one for Mama, and no one in the audience seemed to be complaining.

 

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