Follow the Yellow Brick Road

This weekend we are headed to the Land of Oz in Beech Mountain, NC. I was quite obsessed with the place from the age of three, when I first visited the theme park. We went again when I was four, but it closed down in 1980.

Fast forward twenty years to when I wrote three papers about the Land of Oz during graduate school. I took a Material Culture class, which was the perfect excuse to visit the site once again. I also explored the collection at the Appalachian History Museum, which sadly closed its doors this spring. What happened to their awesome Oz stuff?

The Land of Oz is owned by Emerald Mountain Realty and they host an Autumn at Oz the first weekend of October every year. We have always been busy this time of year, but somehow we managed to squeeze into the schedule. Plus Cama is celebrating her birthday at Oz, so it worked out perfectly.

Lucy is slightly obsessed with the Wizard of Oz now. I have not shown her the movie because I am certain that she would be petrified. We watched a couple of videos from the Land of Oz. She told me she was scared. Then we watched Judy Garland sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” I think she knows all of the words just from me singing it to her. I also showed her the munchkins on YouTube. I bought the soundtrack today for Cama’s birthday. When she heard the lollipop kids, she started jumping up and down.

I am trying to gently introduce the idea of the witch. I quickly say that Dorothy throws water on her, she melts and then Dorothy wakes up because it is a dream. Maybe I will show her the real movie in a couple of years.

But I am concerned about this weekend. Every time I tell her we are going, she says no. More like, “Noooooo.” So… I have been showing her my personal pictures from when I was three and four, a set of Land of Oz postcards that were in pristine condition until yesterday afternoon, and Cama’s birthday present.

I am quite excited and a little apprehensive. I fully expect that someone will end up hanging out in the petting zoo with Lucy. I don’t think that she will make it into the house, nor should she. As much as I loved the Land of Oz, I ended up with an unnatural fear of tornadoes. If there was any type of tornado watch or warning, I would freak out. It could be completely sunny and it didn’t matter. I FLIPPED. I did recover from this fear through tapping, this unconventional therapy. But still. I realized that the Land of Oz was the source of my fear when I approached the basement steps with Rebecca in the late 90s. My chest tightened and I started to sweat. Just as I had suspected.

I really want to experience the full Autumn at Oz. But who can I trust to stay with my child while I go through the house and wind around the back side of the mountain on the yellow brick road? I am not sure that my mom is the right candidate. She said, “Oh, she’ll be fine.” Maybe my dad? We will see what happens.

Look at this home movie I found. Wouldn’t you be obsessed?

Here are scenes from last year.

I must say I love YouTube.

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