2013 Winkie Convention

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The 2013 Winkie Convention Program Book

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Winkie Convention 2013 Newsletter Report

This is the newsletter written at the 2013 Winkie Convention by Laura Gjovaag.

Friday at Winkies

In an unusual start, the Winkie Convention unofficially began Thursday night with about 40 people, many of whom had attended the International Wizard of Oz Club's board of director's meeting earlier in the day. At about 8:30 p.m. people gathered at the BBQ pit near the dining hall and had s'mores. The weather was clear and warm during the day, but by evening a cold breeze off the ocean meant some people held themselves very close to the fire.

Asilomar has put in brick sidewalks around various areas. The BBQ pit, which used to be a dirt area, is fully paved with a nice wall around it with a lovely pit for the fire and various picnic tables strewn about. The guests did not quite fill the area, but it was a lively group speaking happily about Oz subjects while teaching our foreign Ozians, Colin and Sam, how to make s'mores. The group also enjoyed hot cocoa.

Unfortunately, ye ol' newsletter editor and husband had to leave before the party was over to find the hotel they were staying in for the night, so any further adventures must be told by those who stayed until the party was over.

With so many people already arrived, the gathering in the courtyard of the Fred Farr Forum on Friday started a bit earlier than usual and the decorating was a bit more calm and casual than some past years. There was a significant crowd by noon, with more arriving every few minutes. The weather was by turns overcast and sunny, which continued until evening. As more and more people arrived, the getting-to-know-you chats and people bingo got going full speed. There was an Easter egg hunt, with eggs appearing and reappearing as the afternoon wore on. The swap table was up and running and doing brisk business with people finding new treasures and leaving old pieces.

The giant version of The Wonderful Game of Oz was set out, and Merry Go Round and Victor Columbia Edison appeared for photo ops. The Forum was decorated with lots and lots of Woozys, and a collection of Eliose McGraw's book. Root beer floats were served as the gathering reached its peak.

Registration opened at 4 p.m. and the gathering thinned as people went to find their rooms and get settled. Eventually the group broke up to go eat as the Asilomar dinner bell rang out. Dinner was a choice of pork chops, fish, or stew with polenta... however, the dining hall ran out of pork chops as the last of the Winkies arrived. Still no chocolate milk either.

A note on Asilomar this year... the social hall (registration hall) has been renovated again. The nice chairs and tables are still in the center, but where the offices used to be there is now a cafe with two televisions showing sporting events. As Asilomar is known for no TVs, this is a fairly dramatic change from the past. The registration desk is much larger than before, as well. The staff are every bit as friendly as in the past, and many are genuinely sad that poorer groups are being driven out by higher costs. Editorializing, I suppose that Aramark's ultimate goal is to make Asilomar turn a profit on the back of corporate groups willing to pay outrageous prices. However, they haven't succeeded yet, because the Winkies are here and sharing the Fireside area with a group of carousel fanatics, appropriately enough for a Winkie Convention partly devoted to the 50th anniversary of Merry Go Round in Oz. The other group invited the Winkies to see their carousel horse during the afternoon gathering time.

The after dinner program started at 7:30 with an introduction by David Maxine of various people at the convention, including members of the board. David then gave a preview of the location for next year's convention with pictures from other conventions. The audience, one of the biggest Winkie groups in years, seemed to appreciate the preview and the extra events David has planned for next year (August 8-10, San Diego).

David then turned over the program to Colin Ayres, who provided a look at Merry Go Round in Oz from a British perspective, including commentary on language and the meanings of certain words. Then he explained how he became an Oz collector and how difficult it was to get some of the books as an Oz fan in England. He answered some questions and his speech was well-received.

Next up was Eric Shanower giving a presentation on Eloise Jarvis McGraw. He expressed amused disbelief that Grandpa in Oz was McGraw's favorite Oz book. He described Merry Go Round in Oz as a very Thompsonian book, but well-crafted. He noted that Thompson and McGraw both got published in Jack and Jill magazine, apparently at the same time. He also brought up McGraw's other works, but didn't go into great detail because they aren't Oz-related. McGraw's first mention of Oz in print was in her only non-fiction book. Then he explained how McGraw came to write an Oz book, starting with her efforts to learn more about Baum. He continued the history, up to the connection with the Winkie convention and beyond. Eric almost broke down crying as he described his own relationship with McGraw and her final book.

After Shanower's presentation came an intermission with time for people to check out displays and the research table. And to subscribe to the newsletter.

After the break, Atticus Gannaway got up to tell the group about the life of Dick Martin. Atticus first went into Martin's history, including his relation to Emily Dickinson and how he got his name (which is far more odd than it looks from the shortened version). The details on Martin's life were fascinating, including his military service. A picture of Martin in an Egyptian outfit as a nightclub performer interrupted the proceedings as everyone laughed in disbelief. He covered Martin's connection with the Oz Club and how he became the artist for the Baum Bugle and co-editor, and eventually an important part of the club, including as an auctioneer at conventions. The presentation ended at about 10 p.m. and "It's the Baum!" started.

The game pitted the Horners (Robin Olderman, Jim Vandernoot, Miriam Goldman, John Bell) against the Hoppers (Freddy Fogerty, Glenn Ingersoll, Shawn Maldonado, Anil Tambwekar) with Eric Gjovaag serving as host again. The game started with a new animated opening featuring a ticking bomb. There was a short demo with Eric Shanower guessing as David Maxine gave clues. In the first round the Horners got three points to the Hoppers two. The Horners added five more points in the second round with the Hoppers getting four more, leaving the Horners with a two point lead.

Horners added another three points in the third round and the Hoppers only earned one. The score was 11-7 going into the final round. In the last round the Horners added two points and the Hoppers got three more to make it 13-10 going into the Boom! Explosion Round!

The final round was a tight one, the Horners added four more while the Hoppers added seven for a TIE! And the evening finished with Ozzy comraderie.

There may have been private parties following the evening events, but the newsletter editor was too busy sleeping to pay attention...

Saturday at Winkies

Saturday morning came far too early. Breakfast was pancakes and bacon (and eggs and oatmeal and fruit and hot cocoa... but no chocolate milk) and as the early birds came back from the meal they passed the later risers headed down.

At 9 a.m. people gathered for the Costume Parade and contest. The carousel group (Carousel West 2013) was waiting for the costumes to appear as they had apparently put the Winkie costume contest on their own agenda to make sure they could see the event, so the crowd was huge. Luckily, there were also a good number of folks in costume as well! The first contestant happened to be the only juvenile contestant as well. Kayla Mason of the Hollister Clan was dressed as Dorothy and chatted with Master of Ceremonies Lee Speth for a bit before the parade of adults started. Kayla was slightly taken aback at the crowd, which was pretty large even for a Winkie Costume parade, but soldiered through it.

The first adult costume was a fantastic Scraps by Linda TerBurgh, who declined to break into verse at Lee's request. Then Colin Ayres showed off his Patchwork Boy costume, cheered by the crowd. General Jinjur (Irene DuBois) then attempted to kick MC Speth off the stage. Gita Morena showed up as Dorothy and Parker Linekin showed as the Tin Woodman.

Susan Hall took the stage with assistance from Lee to explain how she is a Nanny from the Land of Good Children. She suggested that everyone take a nap. Sam Milazzo explained that he was dressed as Patchy, another patchwork cousin. Then the giant, Mr. Yoop (Jared Davis) took the stage, stating that he hoped Glinda wasn't around to lock him up again. In the audience, Glinda raised her eyebrows, and Mr. Yoop pulled out the Cowardly Lion and held him hostage in his hands.

Next up was another Scraps (Marilyn Carlson), who was afraid she wouldn't be able to get on the stage, but Lee helped her up. Dame Margolotte (Karyl Carlson) showed off her patchwork cat that she made to replace her lost cat. She said she hoped Glinda wouldn't hear, but she was going to make Dr. Pipt make some new powder of life to bring it to life... in the audience, Glinda again raised her eyebrows. Then Dr. Pipt (David Baker) said hello to the audience, who cheered and clapped.

The next contestant was Glinda herself (Amanda Spencer), who stepped carefully up onto the stage and gave a regal nod to all the assembled crowd, sparing extra careful glances at Mr. Yoop and Dame Margolotte before stepping down. This version of Glinda was based on the one in the recent movie "Oz the Great and Powerful". Up hopped a Hopper (Eric Gjovaag) who declared his name to be "Dennis" which caused a ripple of groaning laughter.

Last and least was Freddy Fogarty, who said he wasn't wearing a costume. Freddy was in his wonderful Dorothy outfit and cracked jokes with Lee for a moment before stepping down. Ballots were then passed out to the audience and the party broke up slowly. In addition to costumed people, the wonderful Oz flamingoes also appeared in the forum courtyard for the contest and parade.

After the Hopper had hopped back to his room, the Quizzard (Eric Gjovaag) emerged a bit later and the quizzes began in the main hall. Eric would like to thank John Bell for his efforts in making the quizzes a success this year, along with Crystal Blodgett who wrote the rookie quiz (but could not attend the convention). As is the custom, three different quizzes were given. A rookie quiz was presented to anyone who had never taken a quiz before. The standard quiz was for most others. The masters quiz was presented to those who have already won three standard quizzes.

The absolutely killer master quiz received no perfect score (in fact, none of the quizzes did). The winner of the Master Quiz, Susan Hall, received only 23 out of 32. Jared Davis conquered the standard quiz and Miriam Goldman was the winner of the rookie quiz. All three winners are expected to write next year's quiz at the level they won.

While the quizzes were finishing up, Show & Tell started in the Embers' living room. Highlights included two pages of original Neill artwork brought by Peter Hanff, with a story to go along with them. Bill Thompson had a restored copy of "By the Candelabra's Glare" numbered (#3) and signed by Baum. David Maxine showed off a German Fairuza Balk Return to Oz Dorothy doll. Freddy Fogarty showed off a souvenir umbrella from the Land of Oz section of Universal Studios Japan. Eric Gjovaag brought a votive candle with a frame of film from the Wizard of Oz. Tim Tucker showed off a first edition, secondary binding (in tan cloth) of Patchwork Girl of Oz in terrific condition. Jared Davis had both versions of Aunt Jane's Nieces in the Red Cross, one still in dust jacket.

During the quizzes and Show & Tell, the swap table was doing a brisk business. Business picked up considerably when Robert Baum brought over two boxes of Oz books (the Mundus printings with Robert Baum forwards) to swap. The books, and some scarecrow doorstops he also brought, went fairly fast, with fans mostly making monetary donations to cover the swaps instead of leaving other items. However, enough new items arrived to make the inventory constantly changing. The swap table will be available again at the 2014 Winkie Convention, to be held August 8-10 at the Town and Country Resort in San Diego. Everyone needs to gather all the stuff they don't want but other people may want, and bring it to the convention next year!

Lunch was salad, and not a lot happened during it.

The business meeting started about 2 p.m. David Maxine reported that the Winkie Convention will soon have a committed website which will allow members to pay for the convention online (through Brown Paper Tickets). The convention made a tentative approval of Freddy Fogarty as the chair for the 2015 convention, which will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Return to Oz, the 40th anniversary of the Broadway production of "The Wiz" and the 100th anniversary of Scarecrow of Oz. The group also tentatively approved holding the 2015 convention in San Diego, partly because the Scarecrow of Oz starts there. There was no disapproval of the idea from the attendees, but David wanted to get the opinion of other Winkies who didn't attend this year and open up a longer discussion because the group does not have to make an immediate decision in order to get contracts signed.

Finally, Karyl Carlson donated a new Winkie Podium Banner to the convention, which was auctioned off for $65. The banner shows the Winkie country, and is made with the usual high quality people expect from Queen Ann Sewforth.

Then the auction began in the main hall. A display room had been set up in Oak Shelter for various folks to see what Oz dealers have available. The swap table continued to do brisk business as the auction continued. Asilomar staff brought out brownies, cookies, lemonade and iced tea for people to enjoy and the local squirrels and birds darted around trying for snacks. Later, the open bar was set up in the courtyard and when the auction had a break, the bar stayed very busy for a half an hour. With bar-type snacks available, the local fauna was out in force, sneaking up behind people and snagging treats from unprotected bowls of nuts and pretzels.

The auction ended with a flourish, getting a gross total of $5,724, and after consignment payments the Oz Club earned $4,585. Everyone rushed to get ready for the Saturday night formal dinner. Choices were chicken, roast beef, or a stuffed pepper. The dessert was a fantastic patchwork cake that had a mild Van Gogh vibe to it. Peter Hanff said getting the designers to understand what the convention wanted in a cake was a bit difficult. A picture of patchwork was sent, but the decorators replied that the image was too small to print out to put on the icing. Peter explained that he wanted the designer to use the image as inspiration, and they replied that they didn't have enough colors. Somehow they still managed to figure it out and the result was very beautiful. When the cake was cut, it was delayed slightly as people quickly took last-minute pictures. Then there was slight confusion as the two servers cut pieces, until finally pieces were delivered to people who lined up, many to get pieces for themselves and others. The pieces ran out just as the line ran out.

Wildlife report: returning from dinner, some Winkies spotted a confused fawn stumble across the driveway while a jitney driver watched to make sure no one ran into it. The little animal managed to find its way to a grassy area and stared at the strange creatures who pointed cameras at it.

The evening's program began with the presentation of awards, which David Maxine tried to get through quickly because of a late start and a full evening program. Somehow the research award winners were left out, and will be presented on Sunday...

The costume contest winners were:

  • Juvenile division: Kayla Mason (Dorothy) who was presented the patchwork cat made by Dame Margolotte/Karyl Carlson/Queen Ann Sewforth
  • Adult division: Marilyn Carlson (Scraps)
  • Theme Prize: Marilyn Carlson (Scraps) who won $50

The quiz winners, all "It's the Baum!" participants, and costume contest winners received a print of an advertising poster by Dick Martin of the white editions of the Baum books that came out in 1963 when Merry Go Round came out.

Kayla Mason also won the Treasure Hunt, conducted by the Easter Bunny, Kevin Thomas. Kayla managed to find half the eggs that were hidden. This gives (returns) the 2014 treasure hunt duties to the Hollister clan.

Winning the Winkie Award was Anna Wyatt, who was described by Peter Hanff as the turncoat Munchkin. Anna expressed shock and pleasure at the award, which is well-deserved.

David Maxine presented the L. Frank Baum memorial award to Eric Gjovaag, who was completely and utterly speechless and asked, "Seriously?!??" about five times before he managed to sit again. A standing ovation for Eric was started by none other than Robert Baum. Eric mentioned that he'd been talking about the award at dinner, with several people who knew he was this year's winner. Eric had said he thought that doing more presentations and attending more conventions might give him a chance to win the award some time in the next 30 years. He also thought that maybe his work with the board, including being on a committee, might earn him a chance at the award in a few years. His shock at getting the award this year was total.

Next, the original Kabumpo sketch by John R. Neill provided by the Farnsworth family was auctioned off to Jane Albright for $850, proceeds going to the Winkie Convention.

Joe Cascone and David Haines started the regular evening program with a quick piano piece, then Cindy Ragni started a potpourri of presentations on the Patchwork Girl of Oz with an overview of Patchwork Girl works. John Bell came up next to speak on Ojo, and his imperfections. Joe & David performed another piece, called "Scraps & Scarecrow" from the unproduced 1913 musical "The Patchwork Girl of Oz". The David Maxine explained the origin of the piece and what happened to the stage musical. Maxine's presentation was punctuated with a performance by Joe & David at the end.

Eric Shanower then presented a piece of the illustrations in the Patchwork Girl and Little Wizard Stories, focusing on the reuse of art between the works. Joe & David then played "The Tottenhots" song from the 1913 musical. Freddy Fogarty presented a bit on the Patchwork Girl-related products, including a whole lot of different editions of the book and lots of rare toys. Then the audience heard "I'll Sing a Song of Ozland" by Joe & David. David Maxine talked about his favorite character, the Woozy. There was a great picture of Robert Baum's father and a Woozy. Joe & David sang the "Don't be Woozy" song that was part of a gum advertisement that suggested that being square and woozy was bad and may have been an inspiration for the character of the Woozy.

Then the group was treated to a short video of the "Rainbow Road to Oz", the Patchwork film that wasn't. Joe & David gave a quick overview while the video was prepared. The Disney piece showed the Patchwork Girl meeting the Scarecrow as the two characters sing. Joe & David sang a few songs from the abandoned movie that were released by Disney on various records during the years it was in production.

Then it was time for a pleasant ten minute intermission.

The second half of the program started with "Dear Old Hank" sung by Joe & David. They explained that they were singing the song because it was used with Patchwork Girl. Then they introduced the silent movie that the attendees were about to see (after popcorn was handed out to the entire audience). Joe & David played the music from the original score while the movie was projected from a real life movie projector. With the smell of popcorn in the air, the Winkies saw the movie as it was originally intended, complete with second reel replacement done in the dark while Joe played the piano to stall for time.

If anything happened after the movie, the newsletter editor hasn't a clue about it because she was unconscious, snoring peacefully in the comfortable Asilomar rooms.

Sunday at Winkies

Sunday dawned cold and damp, with a heavy mist that turned into a light sprinkle as weary convention-goers made their way to the dining hall for breakfast. The chill Asilomar summer had returned. Exhaustion was evident on most faces as Winkies trudged into Seascape and settled into the important task of getting enough fuel to last the rest of the morning.

Breakfast started at 7:30 a.m., room check out needed to be done before programming started at 10 a.m., so most people returned to rooms to gather their wits and their swag and get packed up.

An audio adaptation of "The Golden Goblet" by Eliose Jarvis McGraw started in the main room about 10 a.m. and people remained in the courtyard enjoying each other's company. The swap table was set out and a little flying monkey that had joined the swap table at some point screamed across the courtyard as well. At one point, Eric Gjovaag could be heard yelling, "Monkey in the hole!" before it flew into the air.

After the audio, people were ushered into the room for the announcement of the research table winners. It took awhile for everyone, including some folks toting luggage, to settle into the main hall. Eric Gjovaag waited patiently to make the announcements. When the room had calmed, Eric explained how the revival of the table happened and announced the names of the winners, starting with the artwork. He explained that prizes for the research table are $100 for first place and $50 for second place.

  • The Rob Roy McVeigh Prize for Oz Artwork was awarded to Aaron Almanza for his figurines.
  • 2nd prize: David Baker for his paintings.
  • The Fred Otto Prize for Oz Fiction was awarded to Jared Davis for "The Way of a Lion".
  • 2nd prize: Greere Woodward for "The Steady Man".

There was a question on who the judges were, and Eric said the panel was so secret even he couldn't remember who they were. To announce the final research table winners, Eric called up Edith Hollister and explained that the Hollister family supported the prize financially. Edith made the prize announcement.

  • The Warren Hollister Prize for Oz Non-Fiction was awarded to Cynthia Ragni for "In Defense of Denslow".
  • 2nd prize: Robin Hess for "The Inventor of the Powder of Life".

Eric finished the announcements by suggesting that people should start working on next year's submissions, which need to be ready before the national convention next June.

Carrie Hedges, president of the International Wizard of Oz Club then stepped up to congratulate Eric and Karyl Carlson for the revival of the research table. She said that the pair decided to revive the table, came to the board with the idea then did the work themselves. She said that the club needs people who don't just say, "Do this!" but instead take charge and do the work themselves.

After the announcements, a panel on "Oz the Great and Powerful" started featuring John Bell, Freddy Fogarty, Peter Hanff and Caroline Spector. This was the final event of the convention, with lunch right after. The panel discussed a number of aspects of the movie, from gender issues to the reception of the movie. Caroline really didn't enjoy the way the movie tromped on the original story, and eloquently explained her problems with how the movie treated female characters. Peter said he wasn't offended by the movie like Caroline (who responded, "You aren't trying hard enough!") but was amused by a new reason the witch is green (envy) and how the movie skirted around being too close to MGM. Freddy said he wished Disney had worked with Warner to incorporate more of the 1939 movie and make the movies fit better together.

The discussion got very detailed, and opinions were varied. Bell noted that the movie had a 60 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, just barely between a whole tomato and a splat, which means reactions to the movie have been varied. Opinions among Winkies also seemed to vary extremely.

The panel ended with David Maxine noting that the group needed to be completely out of the room in 15 minutes, which meant that a number of people assisted in breaking down the last of the decorations. Many of the Winkies also went down to a final lunch at Asilomar, which was pepper steak and rice. People said their final farewells and left as they finished eating, ending the Winkie Con for yet another year.

Notes:

  • Yes, room parties were held with new cocktails, including "the Woozy" and the "Liquid of Petrifaction". Contact the programming director for more information.
  • Sunday was the only day in Asilomar that wasn't beautiful and sunny well before noon.
  • Sam Milazzo once again traveled from Australia and Colin Ayres traveled from England to attend the convention.
  • If you know anyone who might want to join the winkie newsletter, please send them the URL of the website: http://winkies.oogaboo.org

And lastly, the next regular newsletter will be out around the first of August unless there is a need for a July issue. As always, send submissions to winkies@oogaboo.org where the editor, Laura Gjovaag, will add them to the next issue.

Winkie Con 2013 Prizes and Awards

  • Costume Contest
    • Juvenile division: Kayla Mason (Dorothy)
    • Adult division: Marilyn Carlson (Scraps)
    • Theme Prize: Marilyn Carlson (Scraps)
  • Winkie Quiz
    • Master: Susan Hall
    • Standard: Jared Davis
    • Rookie: Miriam Goldman
  • Research Table
    • The Rob Roy McVeigh Prize for Oz Artwork was awarded to Aaron Almanza for his figurines.
    • 2nd prize: David Baker for his paintings.
    • The Fred Otto Prize for Oz Fiction was awarded to Jared Davis for "The Way of a Lion".
    • 2nd prize: Greere Woodward for "The Steady Man".
    • The Warren Hollister Prize for Oz Non-Fiction was awarded to Cynthia Ragni for "In Defense of Denslow".
    • 2nd prize: Robin Hess for "The Inventor of the Powder of Life".
  • It's the Baum! Horners (Robin Olderman, Jim Vandernoot, Miriam Goldman, John Bell) and Hoppers (Freddy Fogerty, Glenn Ingersoll, Shawn Maldonado, Anil Tambwekar)
  • Treasure Hunt: Kayla Mason
  • The Winkie Award went to Anna Wyatt
  • L. Frank Baum Memorial Award was presented to Eric Gjovaag

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