If I Only Had A Brain, A Heart and Courage

On this 71st Birthday of the movie “The Wizard of Oz.” Something very strange just happened.

A molten steel force of heat slaps the face of a simmering city of Chicago. So three lonely souls spotting separate shady benches in Oz Park, a respite of green on the north side of the city, all take their respective seats, let out 3 sighs of relief and think at the exact same time, “I will sit for a moment. Just to take a breath.”

The first, a non-descript man of indeterminate age, you would pass him and not look twice, takes out a shopping list. Studies it. And wonders what will happen when the money is gone and nothing on this list can be paid for.

The second, a slender blond woman with long legs and big green eyes that are always asking questions, takes out her I-Phone, checks her email, sees there is nothing, knows that he is gone, and then wonders how long before the lay offs come and she’s gone too.

The third, a young man with a moustache, has to be an actor on his way to an audition because they simply don’t wear suits like that anymore. Not since oh, maybe 1900 or so. If anyone was watching, which they aren’t, they’d see that his bench has now vanished. He’s sitting on a chair. On the table in front of him, a typewriter! Right there! In Oz Park! But of course no one is watching him.

The man, L. Frank Baum–he goes by Frank– stops typing for a moment. Looks off into the distance.

Wonders how the scarecrow would make it in all this heat. Knows that it will get worse before it gets better. Way worse.

But then he thinks, what if that scarecrow could sing?

5 Responses to “If I Only Had A Brain, A Heart and Courage”

  1. Paul Haider Says:

    Roger, it is clever to think of the Wizard of Oz while people-watching in Oz Park, and this has been updated for the 21st century. Of course, I always wonder what could have been possible if only George W. Bush had a brain, if only Dickhead Cheney had a heart, and if only Barack Obama had more courage. I am fearing an updated version of the 1980 Presidential election in two years from this November with Mitwit Romney in the role of Ronald Reagan. If only things could be as pleasant as an afternoon in Oz Park.
    Paul Haider, Chicago

  2. Robin O'Brien Says:

    Roger I just want to check in and say I’m enjoying your blog tremedously.
    LOL, Paul…
    Robin O’Brien
    Santa Rosa CA

  3. mom Says:

    Always read you pieces -hooray!! Is there really an OZ park??

  4. DC Says:

    Yes, Virgina, there really is an Oz park. I wonder how many folks think of L Frank Baum and Walt Disney when they imagine Chicago ? City of Big shoulders and Al Capone and Da Boss and Da Bears and the Loveable Losers… But, you know, we’ve done our part to share some dreams – to see through the darkness and bring some light to a world filled with a lot of witches (W W of the Northwest) and maybe helped folks who were on the outside come a little closer to believing that fate steps in and sees you through.

  5. Dale Says:

    It always was a political parable, of course (ask any Populist you happen to see . . . ), but your updating of the story resonates–and shows that the conditional in the title has already been met: anyone who can see this and express it so well clearly has heart and brain. Then it’s just a matter of mustering the will (not courage) to keep on keeping on.

    A wish for reaching Home, soonest.

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