Family Life / Humor

Revisionist History?

When I was a girl, “The Wizard of Oz” aired every year on CBS (I think), and every year I watched it, and every year I was traumatized by the flying monkeys and the hideousness of Elvira Gulch turned Wicked Witch. When I was a girl, we didn’t have a color television set, so Oz didn’t look appreciably different from Kansas to me, and Dorothy’s slippers sparkled like malachite more than rubies . That all changed one Sunday evening. Mom and Dad had been invited to a light supper and bridge game at Harold & Helen Hanson’s. (you can’t make these details up, folks) Of course I went along — I always did — and watched, you guessed it, “The Wizard of Oz.” In color. The opening scenes were familiar — Elvira Gulch on her bicycle and Dorothy’s pristine goodness symbolized in her sparkling white blouse and light-colored jumper while everyone else wore dingy farmers’ attire. But Oz! It actually was an ’emerald city’! And there really was a yellow brick road! And don’t even get me started on Dorothy’s slippers!! Oh my…(obviously, this is how my love affair with shoes began…)

And then, the Wicked Witch. I never knew until that moment that she was a hideous shade of green, and when I saw her I ran, screaming into the kitchen, tears of terror welling up in my eyes. Elvira Gulch had morphed into a green monster (OH! JEALOUSY! I just this moment realized…) and my trauma was magnified beyond reason. Even the Cowardly Lion and the happy ending that I knew would come couldn’t ease my unease. I suffered through it, of course. What else would I do at Harold and Helen Hanson’s besides watch TV? Watch the foursome play bridge?!?!?

“The Wizard of Oz” aired for a few more years, I suppose, and I suppose I even watched it again, though I never became a fan. When the “Wicked” craze swept the stage, I couldn’t get on board with that, either. Revisionist story-telling. Don’t get me started.

And then, this:

Finally. A bit of revisionist story-telling, shoe-exalting hilarity that I can appreciate.


9 thoughts on “Revisionist History?

  1. This is way before my time but I can understand the significance of how much black and white movies were and how eye-opening it must’ve been for people who had to make the transition throughout.
    But I love the fact that you mentioned your parents friends’ names, because of my day-job, I deal with old client information and every once in a while I get those very similar names. It’s cute considering the times, I’m sure there were enough people with the same first name.
    – Krys

    • The greatest generation was filled with people with wonderful names that reflected their heritage so clearly. My growing up years were blessed with people with strong names, nearly always indicative of their strong character! As for black and white TV, I laugh every time I think about my maiden voyage with Elvira turned green! 🙂

      • Haha I’m sure that was quite an gawking experience. But you’re really right about people with strong names, it just closely links them to the stronger character, upbringing and the generation they were part of.

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