Rachel Cosgrove Payes

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Rachel Cosgrove Payes
(1922-1998)

Any mention of Rachel Cosgrove Payes must surely begin with “Oz is for children!” It was her constant motto, repeated endlessly and with spirited conviction both in private conversation and in crowds. Rachel was a Royal Historian of Oz, having written the novel The Hidden Valley of Oz. She also allowed the International Wizard of Oz Club to publish her second Oz novel, The Wicked Witch of Oz, with illustrations by Eric Shanower in 1993.

Rachel loved cats, rats, and witches, and she filled her Oz stories with them. The Leopard with the Changing Spots is probably Rachel’s most beloved character, and she wrote more about him in “Spots in Oz” for Oz-story Magazine.

A regular at the Munchkin Conventions for many years, Rachel made a lively participant with her good humor, lively wit, and directness. She attended the Ozmopolitan Convention in 1993, cheerfully signing copies of The Wicked Witch of Oz in her bright red witch’s cap. If you have one of those delightful signed editions, check; she probably added a note with her name urging you to remember that “Oz is for children!”