The Oz Club has published three Baum Bugles every year since 1957. That’s more than 180 issues. Until now, the most popular icon of Oz, the Ruby Slippers, has never appeared on our cover. The image used for our current issue was provided by the Smithsonian to illustrate a feature story about the famous shoes. At the eleventh hour, that article’s writer, Jonathan Shirshekan, was contacted about an additional interview. Bugle editor-in-chief, Sarah Crotzer, opted to publish his work in two shorter pieces so Jonathan could incorporate the new material without further delay of this issue.
Personally, I’m thrilled the Ruby Slippers are finally the “cover story” of the Oz Club’s journal and astonished that it didn’t happen many years ago.
One of Sarah’s intents as editor is to always have the front cover illustrate a feature story, and to use the back and inside covers to extend other content. For this issue’s covers, there’s also a stage set designed by our “Adventures in Oz” contributor, a page advertising books Bill Thompson has covered in an extensive bibliography, and one of the fun pieces of original art recently exhibited at the Animazing Gallery in Las Vegas.
Additional stories include a report from a 1939 MGM publicity tour. Did you know the two ponies that pulled Dorothy’s carriage through Munchkinland toured the country? Jay Scarfone and Bill Stillman did, and they’ve provided Bugle readers with previously unpublished photos from the tour. Past Bugle editor Scott Cummings continues his Oz Under Scrutiny series with an intriguing look at a “tea party” Reilly and Lee hosted for Ruth Plumly Thompson. You’ll also find the conclusion to some research I did a while back about Oz puppetry (Part One was in the Spring 2018 Bugle*), as well as timely news and reviews sections—although one review by Michael Patrick Hearn, of Behind the Iron Curtain, is as long as a feature story!
Included in the mailing are two other pieces. The Oz Gazette is our children’s newsletter edited by Nick Campbell, and Dave Kelleher provides another delightful children’s project in an ongoing series of hands-on fun.
You’ll find an apology from Sarah in her letter from the editor tied to this excruciating delay. As president, I believed for the best while she climbed hurdle after medical hurdle these past months. We’ve never tried to institute a “Plan B” to keep the Bugle on schedule when its editor is down for the count. Shared files, more rigid deadlines, and “stocking up” on finished content that to use as needed are steps we’re taking behind the scenes in that direction.
For now, we are working to get the Autumn and Winter 2018 Bugles on the fast track. You’ll be relieved to know a good 20 pages of Autumn is already in layout, and Sarah has lots of content for Winter in hand. Wish a little Oz magic our way and we should have delivery lining up with appropriate seasons before your 2019 memberships are up.
If you have an idea for an article to contribute—be it one page or 10—drop Sarah a note at BaumBugle@OzClub.org and make the suggestion. We want the Bugle to appeal to our wide and diverse Oz-loving membership; your contribution might be exactly what will help that happen.
*Puppet fan? There could be an entire book about Oz puppetry! I had no idea how much there’d be to share. Too much, it turns out for the Bugle. We uploaded a few topical pieces as Baum Bugle Extras to our website if you’d like to read more.