I have been a huge fan of “The Wizard of Oz” all my life.
As a tail end member of the Baby Boomers, I was lucky enough to have experienced seeing the movie when it was on TV only once a year as a very special event. My memory of hearing the announcer say, “The following program is in living color, the first portion is in black and white…” still gives me goosebumps.
Those deliriously anticipated annual telecasts in the 1960’s led me to discovering the Oz books by L. Frank Baum at my local Library. The illustrations of W.W. Denslow inspired me to become an illustrator myself.
Visit my Illustration Page to see Oz drawings and others in my portfolio.
Autographs and Signatures
When I was in High School, I wrote letters to Margaret Hamilton, Ray Bolger and Jack Haley. I included a photo I wanted them to sign, a self addressed stamped envelope, and a fan letter. I put all this into a big manila envelope that I illustrated with images of them in their characters, hoping to give my letter an edge in getting their attention. It worked! Ms. Hamilton surprised me with extra photos “in case you didn’t have these.” What a great thing to do and how delighted I was, just thrilled when I got it in the mail.
For Ray Bolger, I not only drew on the envelope, but I included a full color portrait of him as the Scarecrow inside. I also included, a photo to sign and fan letter. Mr. Bolger replied and included an extra photo too! In his letter to me, he told me that he loved the portrait and that he was going to have it framed and put in his office. Incredible.
Jack Haley… sadly, shortly after I sent the letter, he died.
HOWEVER, just today, August 14, 2017 my friend Christopher White sent me a signed check of Jack Haley’s. I couldn’t believe it! He had an extra one in his collection and knowing I collected Oz, he sent it to me!!!
Judy Garlands autograph
My friend John Michael surprised me with this. Judy’s authentic autograph on a piece of sheet music. I asked him how much he paid for it and he said that it wasn’t that much. This is my theory. First of all, the music is from a movie she was in, but she didn’t sing the song. Also, the autograph looks like it was done quickly as if someone in a big crowd of fans, presented it to her and she signed it. Pretty cool to have this, appraisal and all. Click the image to see it up close.