On Watching The Wizard of Oz


For all my passion and admiration of classical films, I think it’s unbelievable that The Wizard of Oz has never been in my collection of DVD’s, especially since it’s always been one of my favorites.

In fact, back when I was still acting, I performed in a professional children's theater production of The Wizard of Oz and portrayed the character of Oz.

When I was a kid in the 1960's, The Wizard of Oz was shown on television only once a year and usually between Thanksgiving and Christmas; therefore I have always associated the film with the holidays.

So, do you know what I bought myself for Christmas this year?

That’s right, The Wizard of Oz! I purchased the 2-Disc 75th Anniversary Edition, which contains not only the movie but also a bonus disc of special features, such as: documentaries on the making of the film, outtakes, deleted scenes, and much, much more. I spent Christmas day watching SIX HOURS of The Wizard of Oz.

I laid on the floor in my warm, fuzzy bathrobe and OD'd on Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. And oh my...was it ever fun!


What blows me away about The Wizard of Oz is the time in which it was made (1939), and how technically advanced it was for a movie back then. And what's even more impressive is that it was done without the use of digital photography or CGI. It was all created using film, clever special effects, and hands-on experimentation by some of the greatest Hollywood technicians, costume designers, musicians, and makeup artists of that time.

It is truly a masterpiece.

After watching the documentaries on the making of the film, I realized how challenging it was to get it made because they had so many setbacks with hiring different directors, accidents on the set, recasting, and difficulties in post-production. Yet, The Wizard of Oz ended up being a smashing success and one of the most beloved MGM movies ever produced.

I think this film has remained many people's favorite, not only because if the magical visual effects, but more so because of its heart-felt message. And it's a message that perhaps we don't quite catch when we are children because we're so caught up in the visual aspects that the message goes unnoticed. That is, until we're a bit older and understand its meaning.

Life is a journey of self-discovery. A journey that takes us to new places but ultimately leads us back to ourselves - home.

And that all the answers we ever need, lie within us.

Please enjoy some memorable moments from The Wizard of Oz...




More than the Wicked Witch of the West, the Flying Monkeys scared the hell out of me!


"Poppies...poppies will put them to sleep..."



"Just tap your heels together three times..."


"There's no place like home...there's no place like home...there's no place like home..."


Have a magical Monday, y'all!
X
P.S. Happy New Year!

54 comments

  1. Lovely post, Ron. You've got me longing to see the film again. You're right about youngsters not getting the meaning of it.... all the more important for them to watch it again when they're older. I didn't realise the film was made in l939, the start of WW2. Gosh, I feel ancient now!


    Happy Monday and a Marv New Year x

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  2. As an adult, I appreciate what a masterpiece it really is. As a child, I hated it! I thought it was scary, creepy, and a sensory overload. I think the tornado bothered me more than the witch, etc. I was surprised when I met my spouse and discovered his family were big fans of the movie growing up. They had Wizard of Oz toys and Xmas ornaments.

    I sure missed you over the past few weeks! We get used to your twice a week posts!

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  3. Oh, what a great Christmas present! And what an excellent post!


    Like you, I grew up with this movie, Ron, and I didn't really appreciate it's heartfelt, beautiful message until I was much older.


    The film has a genuine sense of magic and wonder that is sadly lacking in today's CGI-filled extravaganzas. There are times when I really wish I could click my heels three times and go back to the home of my childhood. It's impossible, of course, but this wonderful post brings me back to those simpler, more innocent times!


    Take care, buddy, Happy New Year, and watch out for the flying monkeys!

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  4. Oh Ron, I have missed your posts! I was so glad to see you in my reader this morning. I love this movie and haven't seen it in ages. You're right, it is a masterpiece! My favorite character is the Cowardly Lion, he's so cute! I remember seeing The Wizard of Oz when I was younger and being scared when Dorothy threw the bucket of water on the witch and she melted.


    I love the animated pictures you used. The one of Dorothy tapping her heels together is so cool!


    Fun post, Ron. Have a wonderful week and New Year! x

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  5. What a great post, Ron! I've seen this movie many times and never tire of it. It's one of those films that I think you appreciate more and more as you get older because you have such respect for the craftsmanship that went into it. Did you know that they made a 3D version of this film? I've not seen it, nor want to, because the charm of this film is in its original format.

    "More than the Wicked Witch of the West, the Flying Monkeys scared the hell out of me!" Lol. Me too!



    Fly! Fly!

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  6. Oh I love that film, I remember my Mum and Dad taking me to see it when I was a little girl! I always wanted some Ruby Slippers!

    I just want to take this opportunity to wish you a very Happy, Healthy and hopefully Prosperous New Year Ron and thankyou for being my blog friend for so long.xxxx

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  7. Good morning Valerie!

    " You've got me longing to see the film again."

    Right before Christmas, I suddenly got the longing to see it again as well. And I got very lucky because they only had ONE copy of it in the video store I shop, so I grabbed it. :)

    " I didn't realise the film was made in l939, the start of WW2."



    Yes, can you believe that? It was right around the time when "Gone With The Wind" was made. In fact, one of the directors (George Cukor) of The Wizard of Oz was simultaneously directing Gone With The Wind.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady. Have a grrrrreat week!


    X to you and Joe!

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  8. " I think the tornado bothered me more than the witch, etc."

    HA! Yes, I agree, the tornado scene was VERY scaryI Especially the part when Dorothy was looking out the window and saw the witch flying by on her broom!

    " They had Wizard of Oz toys and Xmas ornaments."



    Ironic you mentioned Xmas ornaments because I had a friend in Florida who had his entire Christmas tree decorated in The Wizard of Oz theme every year.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. I'm so glad to be back blogging again.


    Have a faaaabulous week!
    X

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  9. Hey there Rob!

    Right before Christmas, I suddenly got the urge to watch The Wizard of Oz, so decided to buy myself the 75th Anniversary Edition. And I got very lucky because they only had ONE copy left :)

    "The film has a genuine sense of magic and wonder that is sadly lacking in today's CGI-filled extravaganzas."



    I agree. And in as much as I appreciate and respect what CGI can do for a film, it's such a treat to look at movies from the past and see how they created visual effects without it. And it amazes me!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a SUPER week!


    Happy New Year!
    X

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  10. Hola Denise!

    Aw, thank you :) I've missed blogging this past week.

    "My favorite character is the Cowardly Lion, he's so cute!"



    Mine too! Bert Lahr was HILARIOUS as the Cowardly Lion! if you're interested, I placed a movie clip on my sidebar this week of a scene from the movie with the Cowardly Lion. It's so funny!


    I found those animated pictures online last week. Aren't they cool?


    Thanks so much for stopping by, girl. Have wonderful week too. And Happy New Year!


    X

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  11. Hiya Matt!

    "It's one of those films that I think you appreciate more and more as you get older because you have such respect for the craftsmanship that went into it."

    I agree. I have such respect for the amazing craftsmanship that went into this movie. Especially since watching the documentaries!

    "Did you know that they made a 3D version of this film? I've not seen it, nor want to, because the charm of this film is in its original format."



    Yes, I knew that they had made a 3D version of this film. In fact, I saw a trailer for it on You Tube last week. And agree with you, I don't think I'd want to see it because it looks as though they altered it too much.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy! Have a fabulous week!

    X

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  12. Hello there Pearl!

    " I remember my Mum and Dad taking me to see it when I was a little girl! I always wanted some Ruby Slippers!"



    OMG...you are so lucky because I have never seen this film on a BIG screen, but would love too. I bet it was amazing!


    Thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet words, m'dear. And I want to say thank YOU for being my blog friend for so long. Gosh, can you believe that we've known each other for EIGHT years now?


    Happy New Year! And have a great time on your trip tomorrow!


    Cheers and X!

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  13. Merry Christmas Ron! I played a munchkin in the Wizard of Oz play when I was 5! I don't remember all that much but that is where my love of acting began. I really should re-watch the classic movie that started it all for me :)

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  14. Ron, this post brought back so many memories for me as child, and also as a parent watching my own children enjoy it. The Wizard of Oz is almost a rite of passage that continues to live on and on through each generation.


    Delightful post! You put so much time and care into your posting and I really appreciate that.


    Happy New Year!

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  15. "I played a munchkin in the Wizard of Oz play when I was 5! I don't remember all that much but that is where my love of acting began."


    OMG...that is SO cool, Shae! That's right, I forgot you also acted! I used to work with a wonderful children's theater in Florida many years ago. I was also in Cinderella and Babes in Toyland. I had such a blast!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Hope you had a great Christmas! And Happy New Year!


    X

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  16. Hello there Elaine!

    " The Wizard of Oz is almost a rite of passage that continues to live on and on through each generation."



    I LOVE the way you said that because it's SO true! Brilliant! The Wizard of Oz IS almost like a rite of passage that continues with each generation!


    Thanks so much for stopping by and for you sweet words, my friend. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!


    Happy New Year!


    Cheers and X!

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  17. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comDecember 29, 2014

    Agreed - this is an amazing story and a great film!

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  18. We looked forward to watching The Wizard of Oz every year! And then there was "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"!
    Don't you just love a jammy day of watching old movies? It's my most enjoyed kind of day off!

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  19. Hi there Fiona!

    Isn't there something very 'special' about this film?

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a fantabulous week!

    X

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  20. Hey there Suzi!

    " And then there was "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang"!"

    OMG, love that one as well!

    "Don't you just love a jammy day of watching old movies? It's my most enjoyed kind of day off!"



    Yes, it's the absolute BEST! And I haven't done that in some time, so it was just a treat!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a terrific week!


    X

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  21. I know I saw this film as a child, but I didn't know it was that old! Wow! The song that stood out for me, as a child, was Ding Dong The Witch is Dead.


    It's one of the greats :)

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  22. Fabuloso post, Ron! I own a copy of The Wizard of Oz, but not the 75th anniversary edition with 2 discs. Thanks for sharing the link because I plan on ordering it. Wow, and what a great price! Everything you said about this movie is true. It's a masterpiece that will remain a classic forever. They made not have had CGI back then, but how they created what they did is pure genus. I love how the movie starts out in black and white, then goes to color, then back to black and white. Technicolor made the land of Oz look so magical!



    I think it's so cool that you were in a theater production of The Wizard of Oz!


    Enjoyed the clip on your sidebar. Hysterical!

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  23. " but I didn't know it was that old! Wow! "

    Yes, Babs, can you believe that? 1939! And what's amazing to me is that it still remains one of America's best loved films. It's timeless!

    "Ding Dong The Witch is Dead."

    HA! Yup...the munchkins sang that one!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a lovely week!

    X to you and Mo!

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  24. You are so welcome, Robert! And yes, can you believe that price?! I didn't purchase my copy through Amazon, I got mine at FYE and paid $20.00, which I didn't was bad at all, considering it's a classic.

    "I love how the movie starts out in black and white, then goes to color, then back to black and white. Technicolor made the land of Oz look so magical!"

    I too love how it went from black and white to color! And when you think of how technicolor was so new back then, it makes the movie even more amazing!



    I used to work for a children's theater company in Orlando, Florida, and they put together some of the most wonderful productions. I loved doing children's theater!


    Yes, is that clip not hysterical? I laugh every time I watch it. I love the Cowardly Lion's Brooklyn accent. And if you look real close, you can see Judy Garland start to laugh in the clip. It's around 1:02


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have a super week!


    X

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  25. I love that movie. And also remember waiting each year for it to be shown. Especially that magical moment when she steps out of the black and white house into color! I always liked the flying monkeys myself - they were victims of their circumstances! But you know what scared me - those awful animated trees that threw their own apples. Creepy! The other thing I really liked in the movie was when the munchkins sang their welcoming songs. "We represent the Lollipop Guild..." And the tiny ballerinas. I was just enchanted by all that as a kid.

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  26. " And also remember waiting each year for it to be shown. Especially that magical moment when she steps out of the black and white house into color!"

    Yes...that was SUCH a magical moment, wasn't it? I remember how anxious we were each year when the movie came on TV. It was like a monumental moment every year!

    "I always liked the flying monkeys myself - they were victims of their circumstances!"

    There was a part in one of documentaries that explained how they got the monkeys to fly. I was so interesting!

    "But you know what scared me - those awful animated trees that threw their own apples. Creepy!"

    OMG...you're right! They were BEYOND creepy because they had such angry-looking faces!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a super-duper week!

    X

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  27. Ron, thanks for pointing that out to me because I didn't notice the video at first. What a great scene! I love when he wipes his tears with his tail. Lol

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  28. Isn't it hilarious? And if you look real close, you can see Judy Garland starting to laugh. They actually mentioned that in the documentary because Bert Lahr always made her laugh.

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  29. Bless the souls who posted before me. LOL. Now I'm not alone in showing my age.
    And yes, definitely one of the treasured movies of all time. The scariness wasn't just attached to the monkeys...it happened early on in the film with that mean 'witchy' lady down the road snatching up the dog, the impending storm, the twister and bizarre moments as people and things whizzed past the windows, including the cow. LOL. But the witch tossing fire on the scarecrow, the creepy orchard trees....toss in flying monkeys, and poor Dorothy being stuck in Oz forever. Holy moly, small wonder I turned out so maladjusted. :-/
    And I couldn't wait to watch it again.
    And I knew the songs by heart.....and line after line...
    LOL. Definitely maladjusted and in good company!

    Do I own the DVD?! Nope. I enjoy the wait, truth be told. Even that's nostalgic, yaknow?
    Oh, but what an awesome prezzie for yourself.
    WHY am I not surprised you were the Great and Powerful Oz?! LOL
    Lotsa blowing smoke and a whole lot of noise...I've been likened to the Wizard on more than one occasion, go figure. ;-)

    Welcome back!! And Happy Almost New Years!!

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  30. "Now I'm not alone in showing my age."

    HA! No, you're not the only one, Mel! And even my readers who are much younger than me have also shared what a treasured movie this is. I think The Wizard of Oz is one of those films/stories that's ageless.

    "... the creepy orchard trees...."

    OMG...one of my other readers mentioned those and I completely forgot about them. You're both right...those orchard trees were CREEPY!

    Isn't it funny though how even with all the creepy and scary things about The Wizard of Oz, it's still regarded as a sweet and heart-felt film?

    "Lotsa blowing smoke and a whole lot of noise...I've been likened to the Wizard on more than one occasion, go figure. ;-)"

    Yes, must be a "Libra thing" hu? HA!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady. Have a SUPER-DUPER week! And Happy Almost New Year! Can you believe it's almost 2015!?!

    X

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  31. For years I've owned a copy of the Oz DVD which I have yet to open and watch. Guess it's because I've seen it so many times in my lifetime starting as you did watching the yearly showings on TV in the 60's.


    Funny, but I too played the Wizard character for four seasons in a touring stage version of the story. Our production incorporated stage illusions as special effects. Some of the best years of my life. During the decade I toured with the company we also did staged versions of Snow White, Pinocchio, and Cinderella as well as a very brief run with an arena extravaganza featuring Flash Gordon.


    Nice to make your acquaintance.


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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  32. Geraldine H.December 30, 2014

    A beloved movie for so many people (young and old) that's for sure. Great post Ron. Not one of my personal favs but I sure do like those magical red shoes. I'd like a pair like that myself. ;-)

    Have a fabulous New Year Ron and may all your wishes come true in the months ahead. It's going to be a great year, I just know it! Hugs, G

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  33. Am so happy to hear you had a wonderful Christmas with Dorothy and her wonderful friends. I love this film for the reasons you mentioned. Isn't it true that those which had the most difficult times to make (e.g. Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, and so many others, turned out to be the greatest?)
    p.s. My niece always kids about how looking back as a child she'd throw her arms around the television while watching, and say "I love you Doroty" was a clue to her lesbianism.
    I helped raise her, and it was her absolute favorite film, and, yes, she was in love with Dorothy.
    It's hard to believe we'll be ringing in the New Year. Wishing you the very best for 2015, Ron! :))

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  34. "but I sure do like those magical red shoes. I'd like a pair like that myself. ;-)"

    Aren't they faaaaaabulous, Geraldine? Apparently they made several pairs to use during the filming; some of which went on auction. And I can only imagine how much they were worth!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Wishing you a HAPPY NEW YEAR! And yes, I have a feeling it's going to be a great year too!

    Cheers and X!

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  35. Hello there Petra!

    " Isn't it true that those which had the most difficult times to make (e.g. Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, and so many others, turned out to be the greatest?)"

    Yes, you are absolutely right! They had such a difficult time making Gone with the Wind as well, and it turned out to be one of the greatest!

    "My niece always kids about how looking back as a child she'd throw her arms around the television while watching, and say "I love you Doroty" was a clue to her lesbianism."



    Oh, how funny! And it's exactly how I felt when I saw James Garner in a film and felt the same way. Hubba-hubba!


    Can you believe it's almost 2015!?! OMG...this year just flew by!


    Happy New Year, dear friend. Wishing you the very best!

    Cheers and X!

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  36. Ron, that is so funny! I never even noticed her laughing when I've watched the film before. I played it over a couple of times to just to see!


    Happy New Year!

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  37. For as many times as I've seen this film, I too never noticed it!


    Happy New Year, buddy!!!!

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  38. Oh, it is so very magical! And none of the remakes compare to the original. Sounds like a super awesome day! Glad you gifted yourself. I wanted to wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR! I look forward to blogging with you in 2015! :-D

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  39. Mark PetruskaDecember 31, 2014

    I've got that same 75th Anniversary DVD, Ron. It truly is a remarkable movie, and has held up surprisingly well. A couple of years ago Tara and I went to see a Pink Floyd cover band, and they performed "Dark Side of the Moon" live, with The Wizard of Oz playing on a screen in the background. What a great night! Have a happy new year, my friend.

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  40. "And none of the remakes compare to the original."

    I agree, Angelia. There is nothing quite like the original! I do appreciate how they've been able to restore the original through modern technology, however, they left it intact and kept that same wonderful "homey" feel that it was meant to be.

    Happy New Year, my friend. And I look forward to blogging with you in 2015!

    X

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  41. You've got the same one, Mark? How cool! Isn't it awesome?

    "Tara and I went to see a Pink Floyd cover band, and they performed "Dark Side of the Moon" live, with The Wizard of Oz playing on a screen in the background."



    OMG...I bet that was faaaaaaaaabulous!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Hope you're feeling better.


    Wishing you and Tara a HAPPY NEW YEAR!


    Cheers and X to you both!

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  42. Excellent and magical indeed!! Stopping by to wish you a Very Happy New Year Ron!! All the best to you in the coming year! xo Jeanne and the girls

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  43. Hey there Jay! Great to see ya!

    Happy New Year to you too!

    " I have a friend, however, whose surname is 'Dorothy' and she ADORES Wizard of Oz, possibly even more than you do! It's easy to buy gifts for that gal."



    Ha! I had a friend in Florida who was the same way. In fact, every year he decorated his Christmas tree in a Wizard of Oz theme!


    That's strange to hear about you not being able to leave a direct link because my other readers have been able to do so. I wonder if Disqus is having a technical problem today!?! Anyway, thanks for leaving me the URL to your new blog. I will be sure to stop by.


    Have a faaaaabulous New Year's Day!


    X

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  44. Happy New Year to you too, Jeanne!


    Can you believe it's 2015!?!


    Have a super day and thanks for stopping by.


    X to you and the girlz!

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  45. Hi Ron, First of all I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful and peaceful New Year. 2015.

    I remember that wonderful movie and I too used to sit in front of the TV and watch Dorthy and Toto go up the Yellow Brick Road. The flying monkeys used to scare the hell out of me! The Wicked Witch was the second meanest Bitch in the world. (the meanest was my first wife)

    I can remember sitting in the parlor with our family and watching this classic. Momma would make a giant bowl of calamari and we would sit and much and smell like fish. Then came the anitpasto and cheese, what an aroma that built up in front of the old PHILCO.

    As the Tin Man and the Scarecrow and the Lion appeared the plates of pasta and meatballs would magically make their way into our movie adventure. Ah the memories of the good old days. Then just before the Old Wizard ID ed himself we feasted on Cannoli and Angenets.

    After the movie was over we all drew numbers from the brown paper sack to see who would us the bathroom first. 12 people and 1 bathroom. Talking about following the Yellow brick road !!

    Ron thanks for the memories.

    If I only had a brain.

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  46. Jay, I tried finding your blog with the URL you gave me and couldn't find it. So, could you please email me the link? Thanks, my friend :)

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  47. OMG, Dave....I peed my pants reading your comment!

    "The Wicked Witch was the second meanest Bitch in the world. (the meanest was my first wife)"

    Bwhahahahahaha!

    "After the movie was over we all drew numbers from the brown paper sack to see who would us the bathroom first. 12 people and 1 bathroom. Talking about following the Yellow brick road !!"



    OMG...you CRACK ME UP!!!!!!!!!!


    Thanks SO MUCH for stopping by, buddy! Wishing you a faaaaaabulous New Year!


    Cheers and X!

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  48. My wish comes true... Right now I am watching the 1939 film on TV. It is brilliant. Excuse me, I am trying to find an oil can...lol.

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  49. OMG, Valerie....that's AWESOME!!!!!! Yaaaaay...your wish came true!

    "Excuse me, I am trying to find an oil can...lol."

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! I love when the Tin Man says, "Oil can...oil can..."

    Enjoy, dear lady! And Happy New Year to you and Joe!
    X

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  50. It's a favorite in our house too.

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  51. HA! Lisa, I DID Google it and found it! OMG...how AWESOME! And I can't believe I hadn't heard that phrase before!


    Thanks for letting me know, my friend. And thanks so much for stopping!


    X

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  52. OK, will do - and I'll try again to leave a direct link. I just can't see how to do it ... !

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  53. Happy New Year to you too Ron! I always loved the Wizard of Oz too! I always watch It's a Wonderful Life & a Christmas Carol at Christmas time though. And if I can enough time without hubby around - Sound of Music!

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  54. Yes, I also own a copy of "It's a Wonderful Life" and watched it over the holidays. What a GREAT film! Jimmy Stewart is so good in that role.


    HAPPY NEW YEAR, my friend!


    Cheers and X

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