Well yesterday I finally became a member of the International Wizard of Oz Club!
You would have thought that given I have been a major lover of all things Oz since I was about 5, I would have joined the Oz club sooner rather than take 28 years. Well I did nearly join on a couple of occasions but ultimately I never got around to it.
I think this has a lot to do with feeling a little disconnected from other Oz fans, the Oz club was there online as well a few Oz fans, but I never really felt a connection with the Oz Club in the UK, there are not so many of us who are fan's of the Oz series of books in the UK. I'm certainly not aware of any conventions ever happening in the UK, so it can be quite solitary being an Oz fan collector over here.
This changed in September 2010 when I met David Maxine and Eric Shanower at Bristol United Kingdom. This was where I got my first taste of truly being able to talk about all aspects of Oz in detail and not be concerned or embarrassed about being to much of an Oz geek, this was a very liberating experience! This meeting in turn lead to me finally coming over to the US on holiday and spending part of that time at the Winkie Convention.
The final deciding factor was my attendance at the 2012 Annual Winkie Convention in Asilomar, Monterey in California. I now feel more like part of the Oz community and this in turn brings a connection of feeling part of the Oz club, and wanting to contribute in some way.
I met face to face lots of other Oz fans at Winkies many that I have either talked to online such as, Freddy Fogarty, Jared Davis, Eric Gjovaag, Sam Milazzo, Peter Hanff, John L Bell, read or been aware of online Atticus Gannaway, Bill Thompson, Michael Riley, Bob Baum and loads of people for the first time, which added a good 16 people onto my facebook friends list.
Now having the memories of these personal connection's that I have made no matter how brief some conversations were the fact is now I feel connected to a group of Oz fans, especially now I have met so many face to face. That each one was a positive experience from a group of interesting, dynamic, diverse and ultimately kind welcoming people.
I have re-started this blog following the Winkie Convention, as one of the discussions at the convention was around blogging specifically on Oz.
Oz blogging, forums, and Oz e-mailing lists have help me over the years to connect with fellow Oz fans and find new Oz items to collect and expand my Oz knowledge.
So this blog is me taking the time to give something back to all those who have put the effort in over the years, to run all these Ozzy online connections.
I have now started to post links on this blog to the Oz Websites and blogs I use for others to explore, I will add more of these bit by bit as I get the time.
As newly fully fledged member of the Oz club I now look forward to reading my first Baum Bugle hot off the press, the same time as other Oz club members.
Well if like me want you want to join the Oz club I have posted you the link to the International Wizard of Oz club to the right of this page.
If you want to join everyone at the 2013 Winkie Convention here is the link to Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/251619288292950/ to copy and paste into your web browser, where you can get further information to join everyone at the Asilomar, Pacific Grove, June 21st -23rd 2013.