12 August 2014

Wrapping Up the Winkie Convention, part 1

I’ve rarely updated this blog over the past several weeks, though not because I didn’t find topics I wanted to write about. Rather, I didn’t have the time to gather and express my thoughts because I was helping to organize the daytime programming at this year’s Winkie Convention in San Diego. “Winkie” as in the western part of the land of Oz—this convention was originally organized for Oz fans in the western USA.

The 2014 Winkie Convention was the 50th annual, as well as falling during the 75th anniversary of MGM’s Wizard of Oz. Retiring chairman David Maxine was determined to make it one of the busiest Oz events ever. He also wanted to serve the local children’s-writing community with some publishing workshops and panels. And that’s how I first got drawn in from afar.

As the San Diego Union-Tribune reported, the convention took place this past weekend. And it feels like a rousing success: nearly 400 people attending, a delightfully sung performance of The Tik-Tok Man of Oz presented in the city for the first time in a century, and the first-ever meetings of the authors and illustrators of three Oz books. Most people were pleased, and some pleasantly surprised, by how lively the panel discussions were.

We were adjusting the convention schedule up to the last minutes, so for the historical record I decided to compile what actually happened and who was involved, starting with the convention events for Friday, 8 August.

Friday, 7:30 am
Trot & Cap’n Bill’s La Jolla Kayak Tour at La Jolla Kayak

Friday, 10:00 am
So This Is Your First Winkie Convention with volunteers Eric Shanower, J. L. Bell, and Lee Speth
What to See in Coronado with local arts officials Heidi Wilson and Kelly Purvis

Friday, 11:00 am
Golden Age of Hollywood Costumes with researchers and collectors Christian Esquevin, Michael Siewert, and Aljean Harmetz
Creating Oz Comics with creators and publishers Anna Warren Cebrian, Mark Anthony Masterson, and Eric Shanower
Walking Tour of Coronado with the Coronado Historical Association
Oz Research Table, Art Show, and Swap Table Opens

Friday, 12:00 noon
Oz Show-and-Tell moderated by collector Freddy Fogarty
A Career in Fantasy Illustration with artist William Stout
Display of Judy Garland’s Movie Costumes with Michael Siewert
Dealers’ Room Opens

Friday, 1:00 pm
A. Arnold Gillespie: The Wizard of Special Effects with biographer Robert A. Welch
Fashioning Nonfiction that Fascinates Kids with authors Kathleen Krull, Paul Brewer, Edward Einhorn, and Angelica Carpenter
The Wizard’s Workshop: Arts and Crafts Activities led by Margaret Koontz

Friday, 2:00 pm
Fifty Years of the Winkie Con with longtime attendees Peter Hanff, Edith Hollister, Nathan Hollister, Lee Speth, and Susan Hall
“The Making of ‘The Wizard of Oz’” Documentary with movie historian Aljean Harmetz—shown publicly for the first time since the early 1980s
Conversation with Author Sherwood Smith with interviewer J. L. Bell

Friday, 3:00 pm
Emerald City, Suffragette City with writers Caroline Spector, Angelica Carpenter, Rachael Anderson, Miriam Esther Goldman, and Gita Morena
Meet the Wicked Witch! with performer Kurt Raymond

Friday, 4:00 pm
Speedy’s Adventures in Masculinity with blogger J. L. Bell
Conversation with Author Edward Einhorn with interviewer Michael Cart

Friday, 5:00 pm
Professor Marvel’s Hot Dog & Burger Cook-out with dancing by Moreton Bay Fig Morris

Friday, 7:30 pm
Welcome from convention chairman David Maxine
Video Welcome from MGM Munchkin Jerry Maren
Conversation with the Wicked Witch of the West with performer Kurt Raymond and interviewer Batton Lash
The Making of The Making of “The Wizard of Oz” with movie historian Aljean Harmetz
L. Frank Baum and the San Diego Connections with scholar Atticus Gannaway

And then came the big day.

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