My Mom thought movies were tools of the Devil. At the best, they were a waste of precious time that could be better spent working or learning; at the worst, they filled heads with scary nonsense.
She was, as always, half right.
“The Wizard of Oz” used to air once a year on television. “You’ll just have bad dreams,” Mom would tell me. “You’ll be too scared,” my sisters said, “just like last year.” It didn’t matter. I was going to watch it this time, from start to finish, from Danny Kaye standing on the rainbow explaining why part of the movie was black and white, through Almira Gulch on the bicycle, past the tornado, the shoes, the monkeys. This time I would make it.
But then, as the tornado blew Dorothy away, and Almira turned into the witch, I would run crying into the kitchen to hide my face in Mom’s lap.