Your Town: An inside look the Matilda Joslyn Gage Center Step inside the Matilda Joslyn Gage Center. One of the first things you’ll notice– the rules — and yes — they are different. “Write on the walls, sit on the furniture, eat and drink, take photos post them please on Facebook and wherever,” Sally Roesch Wagner, Executive Director, explained. Roesch Wagner invited us into the place where Matilda Joslyn Gage once lived with her husband and four children back in the mid 1800’s. Gage’s daughter married L. Frank Baum, the author of The Wizard of Oz. Inside her home, you can find the Oz Parlor which tells their love story. This is the only home in the country where Baum lived that’s open to the public. “Matilda we say is the wonderful Mother of Oz because she is the one that told her son in law that kept going bankrupt write those stories the boys love,” Roesch Wagner said. Baum listened and later published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Five Best: Deborah Levy on Books That Open the Mind I read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at the age of 9, before I saw the film, and am glad that is so. The imaginative reach of L. Frank Baum’s mighty story is still lively in my mind. No Harry Potter, Dorothy hasn’t got a wand—but does have magical silver shoes and the comfort of her beloved dog. “It was Toto that made Dorothy laugh, and saved her from growing as gray as her other surroundings.” The idea that the much-feared Wizard of Oz was a whimpering weakling was subversive to me, but not as thrilling as Dorothy being asked to wear green-tinted spectacles so as not to be blinded by the light of the Emerald City. Baum created a glittering literary eclipse and made humble Dorothy the most powerful character in the book.