Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Most Expensive Ruby Slippers in the World


One of my favorite cartoons is titled Alice Meets Dorothy. Dorothy Gale looks pleased and Alice of Wonderland fame exclaims "Where'd you get those shoes?"

There were several sets of slippers employed in the making of The Wizard of Oz (the movie, I mean; the slippers in the book were silver), and one pair wound up in the Smithsonian, where they're one of that institution's most popular attractions.

Contemplate that for a moment. In a museum that contains the Hope Diamond, the flag that inspired The Star Spangled Banner, the Spirit of St. Louis, and artifacts from every great figure in American history, one of the most popular attractions, and by some accounts the most popular attraction is... a movie prop.

This is proof, if any were needed, of the power of a good story.

And these thoughts were occasioned by...

I saw a small item in the morning paper noting that the National Museum of American History is trying to raise three hundred thousand dollars to conserve Dorothy Gale's single best pair of shoes. Three hundred thousand dollars for a single pair of used shoes.

That's the power of a good story.

You can read what the Smithsonian has to say about the ruby slippers (and watch a video or two) here. You can read the StarTribune account of about the fundraising here. And if you want to contribute money for their conservation, the Kickstarter page is here.


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