Tag Archive for: Judy Garland

Judy Garland’s Ruby Slippers

Judy Penz Sheluk

Something you may not know about me: I was named after Judy Garland. In fact, my real name is Judy (not Judith). My mom, Anneliese, (who everyone called Ann) was a practical woman who determined that no one would shorten Judy. Of course, she was also the first person to call me Jude (before you get any ideas, I do not take kindly to the abbreviated version of Judy and under no circumstances should you sing “Hey Jude” to me).
Anyway, this month, the Stiletto Gang is celebrating our new logo and so I thought it would be the perfect time to share some fun facts about Judy Garland’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz.

  1. In Frank L. Baum’s book, the slippers were silver. They were changed to ruby red for the movie to show up more vividly against the yellow brick road.  
  2. The ruby slippers owe their glitter to burgundy sequins.
  3. Several pairs were made for the movie; the exact number is unknown as studio records have long been destroyed. There were four pairs known to survive, only three pairs remain.
  4. A well worn pair was donated to the Smithsonian in 1979; the bottoms have felt soles to muffle the sound of Judy’s dancing footsteps on the yellow brick road. They are size 5.
  5. In 2005, one pair of ruby slippers, on loan to the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, were stolen. They were recovered on Tues. Sept. 4, 2018 — details have not yet been released, but keep watching the newsfeed!
  6. Actress Debbie Reynolds owned an off-screen test pair, which she purchased for $300. She sold them at auction in 2011 for $690,000 to a private buyer at auction.
  7. Lady Gaga was given a pair of ruby slippers in 2011 for her 25th birthday.
  8. In 2012, Steven Spielberg and Leonardo DiCaprio purchased one of the four remaining (known) pairs of the ruby slippers from an auction house, and donated them to the future Academy Museum (opening in 2019). The price paid was never disclosed. 

Do you know any more Ruby Slippers trivia? If so, share your knowledge in the comments below and start clicking your heels.
PS: I think Judy Garland would approve of me telling you that my latest mystery, Past & Present, will be released on Sept. 21, 2018. Pre-order the trade paperback at all the usual suspects or pre-order on Kindle for the special introductory price of $2.99 (reg. $5.99) and thank you! 

I’m Gleeful for Glee

by Evelyn David

I’m not a teenager. Heck, at this point, even my kids aren’t teenagers. So what is it about Glee, the must-see TV show that has me glued to my DVR each week, humming top-40 hits that would be otherwise completely unknown to me, and scanning YouTube for videos of this ragtag group of fictional high schoolers? Yep, I’ve been bitten by the Glee Bug.

I was late to the party. I didn’t tune in until my daughter moved home after college and immediately revised the family DVR taping schedule. Sure, the Barefoot Contessa of cooking fame is still on the list, but she’s been supplanted in my affections by Glee, a weekly musical about high school outcasts who burst into song at the drop of a pencil.

It reminds me of those old Judy Garland/Mickey Rooney musicals of the 1940s, where a group of kids with marvelous voices all lived on the same block and were forever breaking into song or chirping, “let’s put on a show.” In those movies, unlike the television show of today, you didn’t see the full orchestra playing backup. Here, a fun part of the conceit of Glee is that they show the professional musicians walking the halls of this high school to immediately back up any student who starts warbling. And Bob Fosse would swoon over the choreography on the show. In an interview I watched of the making of the show, it’s also one of the inside jokes that the best dancer of the group is the actor who is playing the part of a paralyzed teenager and confined to a wheelchair.

But for all the over-the-top humor, improbable plot lines, and subtle teasing of pop culture and its stars, the show has also shown a sharp insight into the concerns, interests, fears, and desires of today’s adolescents. Bullying, teen pregnancy, sexual orientation, the show has dealt squarely with all of these topics and more. It’s a modern day morality play – but with a hip-hop beat.

And as an added bonus, watching Glee lets me share something special with my daughter, an avid fan. It’s a doorway into her world, into a world that on the surface I have outgrown. It makes me feel younger, “with it” (which by using that phrase, automatically banishes me from the cool kids table).

I don’t know what will happen with Rachel, Finn, and the rest of the gang, but I’ll be checking in each week to find out.

How about you? Do you watch Glee? Why?

Marian, the Northern half of Evelyn David

Brianna Sullivan Mysteries – e-book series
I Try Not to Drive Past CemeteriesKindleNookSmashwords
The Dog Days of Summer in LottawatahKindleNookSmashwords
The Holiday Spirit(s) of LottawatahKindleNookSmashwords

The Sullivan Investigation Series
Murder Drops the Ball (Spring 2011)
Murder Takes the CakePaperbackKindle
Murder Off the BooksPaperbackKindle
Riley Come Home (short story)KindleNookSmashwords