As many of you know, one of my favorite movies is The Wizard of Oz. The highly acclaimed film, which hit the silver screen in 1939, was based on the children’s novel, written by L. Frank Baum. It was originally published on the afternoon of May 17th, 1900, which happened to be a Thursday. Baum dedicated the book “to my good friend & comrade, My Wife”, Maud Gage Baum.
The L in Baum’s name stands for Lyman. Lyman Baum. Lyman Francis Baum. Frank sounds a bit better, although it is another name for a hot dog, or wiener.
Anyhow, the book was published in 1900, but it went through several draft changes as spelled out by the George M. Hill Publishing Company of Chicago.
Some notable changes to the earliest manuscript:
Dorothy’s name was originally Maud. Surrender Maud had quite a different ring to it… so that got nixed.
The little dog was not so little the first time around. It called for a standard bulldog named Harry. Once again, not the same appeal as a scruffy little Toto leaping into baskets, and open arms, and such.
The Emerald City was The Ruby City the first time around.
And…..the Ruby Slippers were originally……. The Emerald Slippers.
Again, the Hill Company thought the two iconic details should be switched.
Personally, I think it was a good call.
I am getting consumed with relaying the details of this. I just LOVE W of O Trivia. But… last little tidbit. L. Frank Baum had a bulldog when he was a boy. He trained him with little sausage links….. Which he called “Weenies”….. And he would always say to his pet dog Harry…. “Old boy. Always…. always boy, remember…..HOME is where the WEENIES ARE!” and he’d toss him a little sausage. Sooooooooo…… in the original manuscript, Maud clicked her Emerald-Slipper-Clad-Heels three times, and proclaimed. “Home is where the weenies are. Home is where the weenies are. Home is where the weenies are.” (This phrase now appears in many other modern day books as a literary tribute…. most notably a Dean R. Koontz novel called “Watchers”) But again, this particular expression got canned from Baum’s original writings, and now we ALL know Dorothy, Ruby Slippers in place, clicking and repeating… “There’s no place like home.”
Makes no difference to me tonight. After a brief visit…. to a foreign land…. in a far away place…. I am sitting at my very own kitchen table snacking on sausages. With my little dog too.
Home is where the weenies are.
There’s no place like home.