I grew up reading Oz books that we had at home. Once I realized there were more, I began the hunt to complete my set. I could borrow other titles for reading, but I wanted my own. How could I know I was innocently stepping right into an abyss?
From Oz, to Baum, to Denslow and Neill and Thompson–I was still in high school when my desire to read had somehow morphed into the need to acquire. After college I met Tod Machin, who had little interest in Oz books at that point, but had the most jaw-dropping, eye-popping collection of vintage dolls and toys and valentines and and and and… There was a whole world of Oz things to look for that I had been overlooking!
As you can see, it pretty much went to seed from there (there are five cases of books in that back right corner that remain dear to me):
With nearly 50 years of accumulating Oz under my belt, I listened to our Baum Bugle editor Sarah Crotzer, tell me what she had planned for the Winter 2018 issue honoring the 100th publication anniversary of The Tin Woodman of Oz. I offered to add a collection of Tin Men. Surely will a little digging I could round up one hundred of them.
Clearing a double bookcase that was only about half-Oz anyway, I began to pull Tin Woodmen from every nook and corner of my Oz collection. Books, figurines, dolls, a chair, a snowboard, a marionette. Muppets, puppets, and wind-up walkers, a Wogglebug Lesson Card and a Tin Grin t-shirt. I wanted the rarer, unusual ones, some common favorites everyone would remember, and important stage/screen appearances.
The shelves filled up and I began to count. How did “too many” happen? Editing followed–anxiously lamenting each that had to go–to ensure I’d hit exactly one hundred. That left pouring on lots of light for a photo, reviewing, tweaking so every little Veggie Tale Tin Man could be distinguished, then a little Photoshopping to lessen the appearance of the underside of higher shelves.