This memory of mine is one that I’ve recalled quite a few times over the years since it happened. I recently learned that my memory of this particular event, as it exists in my mind, can not possibly be correct. Thinking hard about it, my memory of when this event occurred was most likely sometime between 1993 and 2003.
Here’s the memory exactly as I recall it, bearing in mind I’ve just learned that what you are about to read contains factual errors:
Except… the facts don’t add up.
[li]Judy Garland ‘Dorothy’ died June 22, 1969.[/li][li]Frank Morgan ‘Professor Marvel, The Gatekeeper, The Carriage Driver, The Doorman, The Wizard of Oz’ died September 18, 1949.[/li][li]Ray Bolger ‘Hunk, The Scarecrow’ died January 15, 1987.[/li][li]Bert Lahr ‘Zeke, The Cowardly Lion’ died December 4, 1967.[/li][li]Jack Haley ‘Hickory, The Tin Man’ died June 6, 1979.[/li][li]Billie Burke ‘Glinda’ died May 14, 1970.[/li][li]Margaret Hamilton ‘Miss Gulch, The Wicked Witch of the West’ died May 16, 1985.[/li][li]Clara Blandick ‘Auntie Em’ died April 15, 1962. (suicide)[/li][li]Charlie Grapewin ‘Uncle Henry’ died February 2, 1956.[/li][li]Terry ‘Toto’ died in 1945[/li][/ul]
If we try to squish together my memory of the news story, the subsequent newspaper cartoon I saw and the real world facts, it would suggest that what I am recalling must be the death of Ray Bolger, the Scarecrow, in 1987, and it’s simply a case of my memory of when this all occured is just out by a few years. Except… there’s just no way known Bolger’s death, and subsequent news media, could be what I am recalling. I would have been four years old in January 1987, and I can’t remember squat from that time relating to newsworthy items, and certainly wouldn’t have understood the meaning of the cartoon I saw even if that was what I was recalling.
So my question is… what on earth is the event that I am remembering from sometime between 1993 - 2003, relating to the Wizard of Oz and the passing of a “last surviving” main character? What was the tribute cartoon I saw in relation to?
I’ve tried altering a minor fact here or there to make the story fit (maybe it was the author’s death I am recalling? Checks on Google. Nope.)
A puzzled mind would like this one solved. What on earth is it that I am remembering?