It was a beautiful morning on Friday, July 13, 2007, at approximately 8am we departed for our journey to Lancaster, NY for their Wizard of Oz Festival. I was highly anxious, this was my first Oz Festival and it was coinciding with the release of my book! This was going to be a huge weekend for me.
We made great time as we journeyed through my state of New Hampshire and we quickly found ourselves crossing borders. After a short lunch break and 7 and a half hours of driving, we arrived in Lancaster, NY.
My team and I checked in to the hotel and settled down for a quick nap, which lead to numerous other activities, all nothing like napping. After playing some wiffel ball and resting off the long drive, we went to sleep in anticpation for Tomorrows festival.
In the morning, we headed down to the Lancaster Opera House and stopped in for a bite to eat at the Broadway Deli. To my surprise and amazement, we discovered two munchkins! Tom, the Director of the Lancaster Opera House, introduced was to Meinhardt Raabe and Karl Slover. I would also eventually meet Ruth Robinson Duccini and Donna Stewart-Hardway, but that's later in the story.
While enjoying sandwhiches with the Munchkins, Karl told me many stories from the many travels that he has been on. He had done some pretty incredible things, but the best part of his stories were the more personal aspects. He even told a story about Meinhardt whilst Meinhardt was sitting there unaware. The Munchkins are some of the best people I've ever met and I can only pray that I get to spend some more time with them.
After lunch was over, it was time for business. We headed inside and set up shop. I met a few of the other Festival Frequenters who all brought a smile and a positive attitude to my weekend! Oz is truly a happy place, the festival goers thought so as well. By the time the weekend was over, I had sold out of books and made some wonderful friends.
John Fricke, an "Oz Legend" if you will, gave me some great advise about writing that I someday might share. Little did I know that I had read some of Mr. Fricke's work before ever meeting him. I had purchased a copy of 100 Years of Oz at an antiques store in my hometown of Nashua. It was an excellent read but I paid no attention to the authors name. It wasn't until yesterday that I discovered Mr. Fricke had already influenced me without my knowing it!
It's a small world and Oz makes it that much better! Thank you Lancaster. I'll never forget my first festival.
(PICTURES OF THE EVENT COMING ASAP)