…And then Ozma got married…

Off to the party

The Oz Club’s board of directors’ meeting and OzCon International timing gave me a perfect excuse to stay in the Los Angeles area and attend the unforgettable wedding of Emma Ridley.  In 1985 she was the young actress cast as Ozma in Disney’s live-action film, RETURN TO OZ.  Since an invitation to Ozma’s wedding doesn’t come along every day, I determined to accept. I’m so glad I did.

Emma and I have been Facebook friends since I stumbled into her page when looking for her birthday to include in an Oz Club calendar.  I finally met her in person at Oz: The National Convention in 2017. (Actually, I helped her get into her Ozma costume for the event, but that’s another story.) She was thoughtful enough to include me with a handful of Oz fans on her guest list. 

Of course, my first problem was finding a wedding present. How does one shop for Ozma? Nothing I thought of pleased me until I contacted Bill Campbell. He and Irwin Terry make wonderful stained glass through Century Studios in Minneapolis.  In the film, Ozma was trapped in a mirror; there had to be something Bill could do with that.

I loved the result, and when a delighted Emma shared it on Facebook it was clear she did, too.

Cut to the wedding day. Morning dawned bright and beautiful in sunny California. I arrived and slid into a pew with other Oz fans. The church was filled with flowers, friends and family wearing their finest. Darling flower girls came down the aisle in Ruby Slippers. Soloists and choirs sung. I remember “Amazing Grace,” “At Last,” “Young and Beautiful,” and of course, “Over the Rainbow.” Vows were shared, rings exchanged, man and wife were pronounced and kissed. Emma couldn’t have looked lovelier, nor her groom Michael Carter more pleased.

We showered them with rose pedals and sent them off in a horse-drawn carriage fit for a princess.

A fantastic party followed at their home that lasted well past midnight. The living room, like the church, was alive with pink flowers. The dining room was a buffet of cakes for high tea. The bar was stocked and drinks kept coming.  Emma’s personal dance studio was transformed into a photo booth.  Dinner was served in a sprawling outdoor tent.

Music was everywhere — a pianist in the front room, a harpist playing on the veranda, a live band and soloists set up near the pool house.  “Over the Rainbow” was performed again, once as a song and once as an aerial performance. Emma changed dresses a time to two.

I gave in to my curiosity and — often with an Oz friend or two in tow — looked around the house for signs of Oz.  Success!  The Ozma doll Ace Genaro made for her, which was presented last summer at the Oz Club’s convention, was in the dance studio off the bar. Photos of her from RETURN TO OZ were in the hallway. Her Ozma glass panel was high in a living room window.

It was a wedding — and party — we’ll all remember. All my thanks to Emma and Michael for giving your guests such a marvelous day. And a toast to your future happiness!

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IWOC Board Meeting 2018

The Oz Club’s board of directors met Thursday, August 9, 2018. These annual all-day meetings give us time to hear from each officer, editor, appointee, and committee chairman.  It’s our chance to learn—in person—how various directors and other volunteers have been assisting the Club.

We bring to the group plans and ideas for what we’d like to introduce in the year ahead, propose nominees for the next term’s board, and approve the budget.

Picture 20+ people around tables that line a big room, with an open phone line in the center that allows those unable to join us in person to at least dial in, report, and participate.  While we’re all friends and Oz fans, we do take Board service seriously. Roberts Rules of Order are followed; minutes are recorded.  There are regular needs to refer to our bylaws and to make, second, and vote on various motions from the floor.

By the time we wrap up we’ve solved some problems, shared our ideas for reaching new members, and made suggestions for what more we can do as a Club. We’ve tapped a few new volunteers, and inspired one another to volunteer our time in the months ahead.

You can see a list of who currently serves on the Board and in what capacity in the About Us section of the Website.