[caption id="" align="alignright" width="254"]!["Portrait of L. Frank Baum by the Illinoi...](images/L._Frank_Baum_portrait_in_The_Wonderful_Wizard_of_Oz_1900.jpg ""Portrait of L. Frank Baum by the Illinoi...") "Portrait of L. Frank Baum by the Illinois Engraving Company, Chicago, which made the plates for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, 1900" (Photo credit: Wikipedia)[/caption]
Speaking of authors who shaped my childhood, it would be wrong of me to let today pass without comment. L. Frank Baum would have been 156 today, and Oz is one of the places where I spent a lot of my childhood.
I had a very complicated relationship with Oz. I remember being utterly terrified of both Oz movies - both the Judy Garland one and the 1985 Return to Oz. But at the same time, I would watch them at rapt attention. For many years, The Wizard of Oz played every Thanksgiving, and I still associate it with that holiday.
Have I talked about how Loki first came to me in the face of Jareth, the Goblin King? (If not, hey, now I have something else to talk about with the letter J...) Odin has come to me using the faces of two fictional characters. One of them is Ray Bradbury's Professor Dark. The other is the Wizard.
I still associate Odin with the Wizard (which is something I'll probably write more about later) but today I'll drink to the original humbug, who knew at the last that he was called across the Shifting Sands.