Archives for posts with tag: L.Frank Baum


(Photo: Andrea Andrade, Teaneck, New Jersey, via New York Times)

Jasper is wearing his life vest, ready for Hurricane Sandy.

Little Jasper reminds me of another canine who faced a terrible storm — the stalwart Toto from the Wizard of Oz.

“Hour after hour passed away, and slowly Dorothy got over her fright; but she felt quite lonely, and the wind shrieked so loudly all about her that she nearly became deaf. At first she had wondered if she would be dashed to pieces when the house fell again; but as the hours passed and nothing terrible happened, she stopped worrying and resolved to wait calmly and see what the future would bring. At last she crawled over the swaying floor to her bed, and lay down upon it; and Toto followed and lay down beside her.”

From The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. FRANK BAUM


…Oz got into the basket and said to all the people in a loud voice: “I am now going away to make a visit…” The balloon by this time was tugging hard at the rope that held it to the ground… “Come, Dorothy!” cried the Wizard. “Hurry up, or the balloon will fly away” From Chapter 17 of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

For More: Read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz at Project Gutenberg, where you can download the book for free in many forms (including Kindle). 

Trivia Note: L. Frank Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz while living in Chicago at 1667 N. Humboldt Blvd — just a few blocks from where I grew up.

Illustration: Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier (brothers from France) invented and manufactured the first montgolfières, or hot air balloons, in the late 18th century.


“If we walk far enough,” says Dorothy, “I am sure we will sometime come to someplace.”

From The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

(Photo by Silver Birch shot in Griffith Park, Los Angeles)


Riverview Park bloomed on the shore of the Chicago River from 1904-1967, and inspired many an aspiring writer with its strange and wonderful sights. Perhaps Ray Bradbury walked its odd paths and saw freaks and geeks for the first time there. I love the above photo because it shows the magic — in this case, Aladdin’s Castle — in the midst of typical North Side Chicago residences. It’s possible that Bradbury and the other visionaries — Philip K. Dick and L. Frank Baum — who spent time in the Windy City felt their imaginations soar because they lived in a place that welcomed weirdness.


I have often pondered the Chicago connection of three visionary, genre-changing writers:

  • Ray Bradbury was born about 40 miles north of Chicago in 1920
  • Philip K. Dick was born on the South Side of Chicago in 1928
  • L. Frank Baum, wrote The Wizard of Oz in Chicago, where he lived from 1891-1910

Photo Credit: Martin Addison (street art, Barnet, Great Britain). For more info, visit this link.