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Of Wizards and Men


In front of them, and at the end of the road of yellow brick, was a big gate, all studded with emeralds that glittered so in the sun that even the painted eyes of the Scarecrow were dazzled by their brilliancy.


“Nobody gets in to see the wizard. Not nobody.”


“The Oz himself is the Great Wizard” answered the Witch, sinking her voice to a whisper, “He is more powerful than all the rest of us put together. He lives in the City of Emeralds.”


Who the real Oz is, when he is in his own form, no living person can tell.


I have been to the Emerald City many times, and it is a beautiful and wonderful place; but I have never been permitted to see the Great Oz, nor do I know of any living person who has seen him.


“I am Dorothy, the Small and Meek. I have come to you for help.�


The eyes winked three times, and then they turned up to the ceiling and down to the floor and rolled around so queerly that they seemed to see every part of the room. And at last they looked at Dorothy again. “Why should I do this for you?” asked Oz. “Because you are strong and I am weak; because you are the Great Wizard and I am only a little girl.”


“If you wish me to use my magic power to send you home again you must do something for me first. Help me and I will help you.�


“I am only a Scarecrow, stuffed with straw. Therefore I have no brains, and I come to you praying that you will put brains in my head instead of straw, so that I may become as much a man an any other in your dominions.” “Why should I do this for you?” “Because you are wise and powerful, and no one else can help me.” “I never grant favors without some return.”


“I am a Woodman, and made of tin. Therefore I have no heart, and cannot love. I pray you give me a heart that I may be as other men are.” “Why should I do this?” demanded the Beast. “Because I ask it, and you alone can grant my request,” answered the Woodman. Oz gave a low growl at this, but said gruffly, “If you indeed desire a heart, you must earn it.”


“I am a Cowardly Lion, afraid of everything. I came to you to beg that you give me courage, so that in reality I may become King of the Beasts, as men call me.” “Why should I give you courage”, demanded Oz. “Because of all Wizards you are the greatest, and you alone have power to grant my request.” The Ball of Fire burned fiercely for a time, and the voice said, “Bring me proof that the Wicked Witch is dead, and at that moment I will give you courage. But as long as the Witch lives, you must remain a coward.”


“Which road leads to the Wicked Witch of the West?”, asked Dorothy. “There is no road,” answered the Guardian of the Gates. “No one ever wishes to go that way.”


“We have come to claim our promise, O Oz”


“..and the next moment all of them were filled with wonder. For they saw standing in just the spot the screen had hidden, a little old man, with a bald head and a wrinkled face, who seemed to be as much surprised as they were. The Tin Woodman, raising his axe, rushed toward the little man and cried out, “Who are you?”


“I have been making believe.” “Making believe!”, cried Dorothy, “Are you not a Great Wizard?”


“Not a bit of it, my dear; I’m just a common man.”


“How can I help being a humbug,” he said, “when all these people make me do things that everybody knows can’t be done? It was easy to make the Scarecrow and the Lion and the Woodman happy, because they imagined I could do anything.” “I am tired of being such a humbug.”


“Oz was not such a bad Wizard, after all.”


“I am sure I can tell you of a way to get back to Kansas.” Then Glinda the Good Witch added, “But, if I do, you must give me the Golden Cap.”


In homage to the original story, “The Wizard of Oz” written by L. Frank Baum, this pictorial essay illustrates in allegoric form the archetypal narratives portrayed by US Presidents. The Wizard of Oz was written in 1900, yet its truth remains timeless, as the Wizard symbolically represents the American political legend through the peek of power, disappointment and decline, followed by regeneration.

© Deborah Leydorf photographer: dleydorf@yahoo.com


Photography. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

Front of the Whitehouse. Photographer unknown. Nixon campaigning. Photographer unknown. Clinton during Presidential campaign. Photographer unknown. George W Bush, author unknown. Nixon campaign. Photographer Al Fenn. Copyright Time Life magazine for personal and non-commerical use. Clinton with the people. Photographer unknown. George W Bush close up. Vietnam war. Photographer unknown. Bill Clinton speaking at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. Photographer unknown. Bush with soldiers. Photographer unknown. Nixon during Watergate. Photographer unknown. Bill Clinton during scandal. CNN. American soldier in Iraq. Photographer unknown. Nixon during Watergate. Photographer unknown. Clinton during Monica Lewinski scandal. Photographer unknown. George W Bush. Photographer unknown. Nixon. Photographer unknown. Bill Clinton. ABC World News. George W Bush. Photographer unknown.


Of Wizards and Men