2012 Winkie Convention

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The 2012 Winkie Convention was held July 27-29 at Asilomar, CA. Judy Bieber and Davis Maxine co-chaired and the guests included a double-dose of Dorothy.

The 2012 Winkie Convention Program Book

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Winkie Convention 2012 Newsletter Report

This is the newsletter written at the 2012 Winkie Convention by Laura Gjovaag.

Friday at Winkies

Friday at Asilomar... the sun broke through the usual overcast sky for a few short hours as Winkies arrived and either joined David Maxine and his crew in setting up or sat in the courtyard and chatted. The main room was divided by the decorators into two sides. The side nearest the fireplace was decorated with pink streamers, the side by the doors in blue streamers. The back wall was dedicated to a large collection of Ruth Plumly Thompson books and artifacts, including her typewriter. The research table sat in an alcove with stories and works printed for people to read and art set out for people to view. Blue and pink balloons floated above the chairs in the main hall. People wandered in and out freely.

The giant version of The Wonderful Game of Oz appeared in the courtyard again, and people started playing. Kabumpo also appeared in the courtyard and stood elegantly for pictures. Various little pieces of blue and pink paper were found by people arriving, each was of a patched Oz character. A board in the corner of the courtyard held halves of characters, and everyone was invited to "unpatch" the characters. Each person also got a patched character in their registration packet later.

The root beer floats also were set up in the courtyard, replacing the still-missed Oz-ade. A friendly guy served all comers for the duration of the meet-and-greet, which started at roughly 3:30 p.m. and ended when people headed to dinner just before 6 p.m.

Registration started at 4 p.m. Everyone got either a pink or a blue badge, lanyard and bag. Each bag contained the excellent program book and other goodies. Peter Hanff, manning the registration table, gave people room assignments and meal tickets. Two bins, one pink and one blue, contained various bits and bobs in their respective colors for people to wear. The usual people bingo was also set out on the table between the bins.

Also at the line of registration tables was guest Caren Marsh-Doll, who worked at a stand-in for Judy Garland. Advertised on the registration tables was a new book about Martin Gardner, "A Bouquet for the Gardener: Martin Gardner Remembered".

Asilomar has made more changes since last year, including new signs around the conference grounds. The most depressing change for the newsletter editor is the complete and utter lack of chocolate milk in the dining hall. The layout has changed a little, and dinner is served by everyone going straight in and into a line to get their dinner plate, then going to sit down. The self-serve milk and chocolate milk is gone, and every table has only a pitcher of iced tea. Water or milk must be requested from the servers.

The food was much the same as in past years, and a big birthday cake for Ruth Plumly Thompson was set out for dessert. The Winkies were seated in the old side-hall nearest the ocean that they used to get a long time ago. Yes, deer did wander past the large windows as the group ate.

The evening program started at 7:30 p.m. in Fred Farr Forum with an introduction by David Maxine and a scramble to get contestants for the later game show. The Oz fans were welcomed to the convention by programming chair David, who mentioned that we had three fans from outside the U.S. this year and a number of first-time Winkie con-goers.

The first presentation of the night was a tour through Ruth Plumly Thompson's life by Jared Davis. Through a slide show with audio clips, Jared took the group from her youth until her death. The presentation was well appreciated.

Next up was David Maxine doing a presentation on Caren Marsh-Doll's career in the movies, including short clips of many of her roles. The presentation was plagued by the usual technical problems, which is only to be expected. David overcame the issues and then did a live interview with Caren.

Caren asked if the audience understood what a stand-in is, and then explained that she got to go down the Yellow Brick Road, then go down the Yellow Brick Road, then go down the Yellow Brick Road... while the technicians set up the lighting. When they had it perfect, Caren went off the road and Judy Garland came on and got filmed. "So, I got to do all the work," she said. She said the stand-ins have to work for hours, and during that time Judy would be doing her homework.

Caren thanked everyone in the audience for all their kindness and said David's presentation, which was put together by Eric Shanower, was the most clips of herself she'd ever seen. She also told an amusing story from her book ("Hollywood's Babe: Dancing Through Oz") at the urging of David. Asked if she had any souvenirs from the movies she worked on, particularly "The Wizard of Oz," she said they considered it just a movie.

"We didn't know it was going to be a hit," she said. "I would have grabbed a pair of shoes and run!"

After a break, the program started again with a memorial for Patrick Maund, who passed away in February. Judy Bieber started the memorial with a review of Patrick's life and how it was similar to L. Frank Baum's life. Peter Hanff continued the memorial with the memory of a trip that Peter and Patrick took to Europe and how Patrick remembered the event when Peter had Thanksgiving dinner with the Maund family last fall.

Peter then talked about "The Cyclone on the Praires" and how it was created. He described an exhibition on the book that was held, with lots of pictures. During the exhibition, a number of Oz fans came out and also visited the bindery where the book was being prepared. Again, lots of pictures.

After Peter's presentation, David gave his memories of Patrick. The two knew each other via telephone long before they met face-to-face. There was laughter as memories were recounted.

David somehow managed to gracefully move to the game show, "It's the Baum!" starring Eric Gjovaag as the host. It was a guessing game that pitted the blues against the pinks. The teams worked in pairs, with one of the pair able to see the answer (along with the entire audience) and the other ignorant of what was on the screen behind them. The team member able to see the answer had to give clues, without using parts of the words, that would lead his or her guesser to the right answer.

Team Ghip-Gisizzle (Sam Milazzo, Susan Johnson, Mike Pennick, Atticus Gannaway) started with three right, Team Rosalie (Susan Hall, Freddy Fogarty, Jared Davis, Colin Ayres) started with... one. Barely.

Team Ghip-Gisizzle got five in the second round. The pinks only scored two.

The blues earned a disputed three in the third round after a clue was repeated and that point was disputed and dropped. Team Rosalie earned four in the third round.

The Ghippers got four in the fourth round while the pinks got five, leading to a score before the BOOM! round of 15-12 for Team Ghip-Gisizzle.

The blues earned 4 in the bonus round while the pinks scored only one in a round that made everyone nearly die of laughter. That meant the champions were Team Ghip-Gisizzle, the blues.

Things we learned: Hi-Coco Lorum is apparently not a breakfast drink and bell snickle is "a sound and a thing." Also, Freddy is Gayelette.

After the game show, the Winkies left the main room to disperse to bed or to room parties, and the newsletter editor prepared to send out this report.

Saturday at Winkies

Saturday morning dawned cold and gray, and people fuzzily stumbled down to breakfast after the long night previous. The meal was sparsely attended, and more changes in the way meals were served led to more consternation and a bit of whining. While the staff could not supply chocolate milk, they did manage some hot cocoa.

After breakfast people gathered in the courtyard for the costume contest. Asilomar staff set out coffee and pastries, which was consumed by people who had missed breakfast by sleeping in. Edith Hollister's cookies also appeared around this time, in a myriad of Oz shapes.

There were an even dozen entries in the costume contest this year, four in the children's category (who naturally gathered the most photo opportunities). The youngest entry was Jasmine Maiolo, one year old, who dressed as a parrot while her mommy Lea Maiolo dressed as Trot. Kayla Mason was a classic Dorothy, Robert Bienvenue dressed as Button Bright (complete with umbrella) and Catherine Maund also performed as Trot.

Among the older "children", Susan Hall was playing the Queen of the the Blues and Karyl Carlson playing the witch Rosalie. Jared Davis was an enthusiastic Monarch of Mo and Rick Wiegand dressed as Cap'n Bill. Gina Wickwar played a Pinkie servant. Eric Gjovaag showed up as an adult Button Bright who was looking for his umbrella. Veronica Maund and Ruth Bieber-Stanley had a joint costume as two patched people.

Many pictures were taken, and voting began as soon as all the entrants were introduced.

After the costume contest, the quizzes started in Fred Farr Forum. Ruth Beiber-Stanley presented the Rookie Quiz, Jared Davis gave the Standard Quiz and Susan Hall was the devious mind behind the Master Quiz. People finished in good time, and people moved to the Afterglow living room for Show and Tell, hosted by Freddy Fogarty.

Freddy himself starting the action with a Swedish title card for an Oz show and a French magazine. Jared Davis had a re-bound book with a story about the book and a rainstorm. Mike Pennick had a hand-puppet with four heads. Susan Morse, who provided the singing voice of Dorothy in the 1964 Wizard of Oz cartoon, popped up to share the original sheet music she sang from. Tim Tucker brought "The Bride: Her Wedding Book" which has John R. Neill artwork that was later reused and reworked for Tik-Tok of Oz. Bill Thompson brought a signed copy of Mother Goose in Prose, inscribed to Ver Beck, illustrator of "A New Wonderland" (Magical Monarch of Mo), and son. Bob Baum had pictures of another woman in L. Frank Baum's life, Agnes Hallock. Bob made the packed crowd guess who she was after he passed the pictures of her around. He explained that he can find very little information about her, and would love for people to find out more about her.

David Maxine interrupted the meeting to introduce Brian Farnsworth, grandson of John R. Neill to Bob Baum, great-grandson of L. Frank Baum.

David then showed a signed first edition of Shaggy Man of Oz. A discussion of signed Jack Snow books ensued. Eric Shanower showed off a first edition of "The Wizard of Oz", in terrible shape, all loose pages, that belonged to Anna Laughlin, who played Dorothy on Broadway in 1903. Rei shared a DVD of Japanese version of "The Wizard of Oz" performed in 2005 by Fruits Basket. Carrie Hedges had a box that plays "Hail to the Chief" Ellen St. Clair brought Rob Roy McVeigh paintings. Rick Wiegand brought "Finding Oz" by Evan Schwartz. He also brought some adaptations of Oz books that were a promotion at Chick-fil-A long ago that he got at Half-Price books.

Richard Green had a DVD of the 1990 Oz cartoon and some Oz audios, including one read by Judy Bieber. Atticus Gannaway then read the inscription of his copy of Jack Snow's book and told how he contacted the person the book was signed to because the seller of the book thought it was signed to Snow's granddaughter (it wasn't). Colin Ayres had an oz book from a friend he met in Mallorca and a letter in Italian from that friend that he can't read (because he doesn't understand Italian). Kevin Thomas brought sketch cards from a Wizard of Oz collectible card set with oz characters on them. Caroline Spector presented Oz Cardboard Heroes that were never mass-produced. Stan Sieler had several dozen Oz related games and stuch for the iPad. Joel had pictures of the San Francisco symphony's Wizard of Oz, where he'd been Friday night (link to picture in next newsletter). Judy Beiber told everyone about a Wizard of Oz ballet to be performed in Albuquerque in February 2013. More information will be in a future issue of the Winkie Newsletter.

The meeting broke up as it was almost lunch time. The crowd wandered to the dining hall, where there was still no chocolate milk. The food was not bad, but the changes in serving were jarring. The big event after lunch is always the auction, which starts with a preview, registration of bidders and then the business meeting.

News from the business meeting started with next year's theme: the centennial of "The Patchwork Girl of Oz." David Maxine also explained that despite valiant efforts the convention will not be in July next year and will be held the weekend of June 20-23, which correspond with the old Ozmapolitan dates. Because of the board meeting being held on Thursday, David said they were considering adding a day to the convention and asked if there was any interest. Many people raised hands at the possibility. David also mentioned the Winkie Award ballots and said people could deposit filled out ballots after the awards that night.

For the next few hours, people participated in the auction, watched movies, visited the dealers room or hung out in the courtyard where the swap table was set up. At 6 p.m. dressed up Oz fans made their way down to Saturday night's dinner.

After dinner the evening's programming began with the presentation of awards.

Research table winners were announced by Karyl Carlson and Eric Gjovaag, who first explained how the revival of the event came about as they drove home from the Winkie Convention last year. The plan was to give judges plenty of time to review works of fiction or non-fiction by using the magic of the internet to provide copies to judges ahead of time. Of course, some judges preferred to wait until the convention and read the pieces there. In any case, the research table will be back next year, and the deadline for fiction and non-fiction next year is April 30. Art needs to appear at the convention and does not need to be finished until then, but entries must be registered by the deadline.

The winners of the 2012 Winkie Convention Research Table were:

  • Art - Maurine Starkey won with the artwork from the cover of the Winkie Convention Program Book.
  • Non-Fiction - Eric Shanower won with "The Elephants of Oz," a piece appearing in the program book.
  • 2nd Prize winner for Fiction - David Tai for "Diplomatic Immunity"
  • 1st Prize winner for Fiction - Paige M. Davis for "Layover in Oz"

The quiz presenters also presented the winners and provided prizes. The winners of the 2012 Winkie Convention quizzes were:

  • Rookie Quiz - Crystal Ann Blodget was awarded Sky Island soap made by Judy Bieber
  • Standard Quiz - John Bell was awarded a custom Scarecrow action figure with removable hat made by Jared Davis
  • Master Quiz - Eric Gjovaag (who won in a tie-breaker against Lee Speth, just like Susan Hall won last year!) won a copy of "Masquerade in Oz"

All winners are required to write next year's quiz and provide a small prize.

Winners of the Costume Contest were announced next. Lee Speth stated that it was the first time in his memory that two people won for the same character.

  • Child division - Robert Bienvenue (Button Bright) was awarded a parrot puppet
  • Adult division - Eric Gjovaag (Button Bright) was awarded a copy of "Tales Told in Oz"
  • Special Theme division - Karyl Carlson (Rosalie the Witch) was awarded a $50 cash prize

The treasure hunt for the year, the Patch Game in which participants needed to un-patch various Oz characters, was won by Kevin Thomas, who found double his next nearest competitor.

David Maxine awarded the winners of "It's the Baum" game show, Team Ghip-Gisizzle (Sam Milazzo, Susan Johnson, Mike Pennick, Atticus Gannaway), copies of "Tales Told in Oz".

Peter Hanff then stood up to award the Winkie Award for 2012. The winner was a very embarrassed newsletter editor, Laura Gjovaag, who attempted to hide under the table, but was spared the terror of giving a speech.

Up next was the Neill sketch provided by the Farnsworth family to the Winkie Convention. David Maxine explained the circumstances then started the auction for the item. It went for $1,300 to Caroline Spector.

After the auction, David Maxine did a live interview with Susan Morse. She explained how she got the job of being the singing voice of Dorothy and how she had to adjust her New York accent to be a Kansas girl. She then performed some songs with the assistance of Ryan Bunch on the piano, to much applause.

After a 15 minute break, the program continued with Bill Thompson announcing that the auction had earned $4,600 of which the convention will keep $3,800.

David Maxine then announced that he'd forgotten two awards, and provided prizes to the best-dressed blue and best-dressed pink. Susan Hall, who was registered as a pink, won the award for the best-dressed blue and Karyl Carlson won for pink.

All award winners were then invited back up to be presented with the game Oz Fluxx, provided by The Game Habitat in Monterey (ad on page 92 of the program book).

The final presentation of the night was by Eric Shanower in which he described the Baum books written in 1912 with comparisons and contrasts. The books, "Sky Island", "The Flying Girl and Her Chum", "Phoebe Daring" and "Aunt Jane's Nieces on Vacation", were described by the errors which drive the plots.

Shanower's presentation included a audio link with Trot, who told the participants to be friends despite being divided into pinks and blues.

At the end of the presentation, David Maxine made a few announcements, then Susan Morse performed an encore for the crowd. After which everyone dispersed to beds or room parties, at an early hour of only a few minutes past 10 p.m.

Sunday at Winkies

A light mist drifted down on early risers who headed to breakfast on Sunday morning. The attendance was sparse, as usual. With everyone now used to the changes, the meal was the most normal of the weekend. No, still no chocolate milk.

After breakfast, people had an hour to pack and get ready before Sunday morning programming started. Con attendees filtered into the courtyard and at 10 a.m. moved into Fred Farr Forum to watch the Meglin Kiddies "The Land of Oz" from 1932. The live-action movie involved a lot of acrobatics, Jinjur dancing on a drum to summon her army and an utter lack of sound for the second half. There were some good special effects, including a magical fire trapping Dorothy. Attendees supplied their own words for the second half. How the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Dorothy escaped was quite a surprise. The audience was appreciative, with much laughter and a bit of commentary.

Up next was the online oz panel featuring Jared Davis (http://newwwoz.blogspot.com/), Eric Gjovaag (http://blogofoz.blogspot.com/) and David Maxine (http://hungrytigerpress.blogspot.com/) with John Bell (http://ozandends.blogspot.com) moderating.

During the discussion, the blogs of the panelists were shown to the audience on the screen. There was some discussion of particular posts. Jared also mentioned comments and having to remove some of them. Eric talked about getting a lot of Chinese advertisements in comments on his blog, and how he translated "go away, leave me alone" into Chinese and posted it to stop the flood, and it worked.

John encouraged David to talk about theme posts, like the maps of Oz. They also discussed how David covers things that Oz fans take for granted, like the white editions. Asking questions about even the obvious can be a topic for a blog post.

John did searches on Jared's blog and explained how it can be difficult to find particular topics because of the nature of blogging. But along with that, keyword searches are usually easy and pull up the posts a person is interested in quickly, as John also demonstrated.

John showed off other Oz blogs as well (http://ozandends.blogspot.com/2012/07/online-oz-panel-tomorrow.html), using his iPad to navigate around and show off the sites.

John asked the panelists about maintaining a blog, and Eric talked about his blog being general Oz that's slanted more towards popular culture as it's gone along. Eric noted that Jared's blog started by asking the question of whether or not there should be a new Oz movie and grew out of that. Jared also podcasts, and so he mentioned that and explained what it was and how people can get it.

The panel also talked about how quickly information flows on the internet. Used as an example was how David posted a question about the white versions and within hours other people offered comparisons from their own editions.

The panel wrapped up a little early and convention attendees helped to take down decorations before heading out to lunch or home. Lunch was the usual bittersweet meal, the final fling of the convention, with Peter Hanff taking lots of pictures.

As people left, the others said "Good-bye!" and the Winkie Con ended for yet another year.

Notes:

  • Robert Bienvenue was in bed during the awards ceremony and got his prizes Sunday morning. He was interested in the Oz Fluxx game but utterly entranced by the parrot. He *is* only two years old.
  • David Maxine and Eric Shanower invented a Sky Island cocktail for the party Saturday night, consisting of a pink bottom and blue top with a straw with an umbrella around it. Perhaps they will share the recipe if there is any demand.
  • "Laura Gjovaag" got a vote in the costume contest, despite not wearing a costume.
  • Internet access was extremely patchy on Saturday, to many people's frustration. Ironically, the internet was more stable last year, when there was no official internet.
  • Hollisters attended in force again. Yay!
  • The weather was fairly standard for Asilomar, with drizzly mornings and cloudy afternoons with occassional sunbreaks.
  • The newsletter editor was provided with chocolate milk by Stan Sieler after her loud complaints during the first meal at Asilomar.
  • Sam Milazzo once again traveled from Australia and Colin Ayres traveled from England to attend the convention.
  • At least three people signed up for the newsletter during the convention. Welcome new readers!

Winkie Convention 2013 will be held June 21-23, 2013, we hope to see you all there.

And lastly, the next regular newsletter will be out around the first of September unless there is a demand for an August issue. As always, send submissions to winkies@oogaboo.org where the editor, Laura Gjovaag, will add them to the next issue. Submissions can also be sent via regular mail at the address in the newsletter.

Winkie Con 2012 Prizes and Awards

  • Research Table Art - Maurine Starkey won with the artwork from the cover of the Winkie Convention Program Book.
  • Research Table Non-Fiction - Eric Shanower won with "The Elephants of Oz," a piece appearing in the program book.
  • Research Table 2nd Prize winner for Fiction - David Tai for "Diplomatic Immunity"
  • Research Table 1st Prize winner for Fiction - Paige M. Davis for "Layover in Oz"
  • Rookie Quiz - Crystal Ann Blodget
  • Standard Quiz - John Bell
  • Master Quiz - Eric Gjovaag.
  • Costumes Child division - Robert Bienvenue (Button Bright)
  • Costumes Adult division - Eric Gjovaag (Button Bright)
  • Costumes Special Theme division - Karyl Carlson (Rosalie the Witch)
  • Treasure hunt was won by Kevin Thomas.
  • It's the Baum winners: Team Ghip-Gisizzle (Sam Milazzo, Susan Johnson, Mike Pennick, Atticus Gannaway)
  • Best-dressed Pink was Karyl Carlson and best-dressed blue was Susan Hall
  • The Winkie Award went to Laura Gjovaag.

Links