When you visit Stacey Morris’ house, you’ll step into her very own Technicolor Land of Oz. You might just find yourself saying, “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
Morris, 48, of Granite Falls, has been a “Wizard of Oz” fan since she was 4 years old. If it has to do with the “Oz” books, the 1939 film starring Judy Garland as Dorothy, or the “Wicked” Broadway musical about the Wicked Witch of the West, she has it.
A Dorothy doll started it all. A 1975 Mego doll, Morris’ Dorothy is made in Garland’s likeness. She is wearing her iconic blue gingham dress and ruby red slippers. The doll has been well-loved: Over the years, she’s lost an arm, one of her braids has fallen out and she no longer carries Toto in a basket.
“My ‘Wizard of Oz’ addiction started when I was 4. I’m not even kidding you, this girl went everywhere with me,” Morris said of the Dorothy doll.
It was an annual event in her family when the movie aired on TV on Easter Sunday. After the film came out on VHS in 1980, Morris could rewatch “The Wizard of Oz” whenever she wanted — and she wore out the tape.
“Now you can obviously watch it anytime you want, but it was a big deal when I was little,” she said.
Morris is not alone in her “Wizard of Oz” love. The movie, which marks its 80th anniversary this Sunday, was named the most influential movie of all time in 2018. Researchers at the University of Turin in Italy crowned it winner after findings showed it had the most references made to it in other films, and the most spin-offs.
After 44 years of fandom, Morris’ Granite Falls home — not just one room — has become a shrine to the L. Frank Baum canon. Each room of the house has been adapted to fit the theme.
She had help: Most of her “Oz” collection was given to her by her aunt. Morris lovingly calls her aunt Judy Cannon, 68, her “Wizard of Oz” enabler.
“She’s the one who taught me how to be a collector,” Morris said. “My aunt and I really bonded over collecting our stuff.”
Aunt Judy sends her all things “Wizard of Oz.” Most, if not all, of the Jim Shore figurines — of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, Tin Man, Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda — on display are from Morris’ aunt. Cannon also picks up original “Wizard of Oz” paintings by Misty Benson for her niece.
Morris has a framed “Wizard of Oz” page from the Saturday Evening Post from Aug. 26, 1936. The frame is made to look like Dorothy’s ruby slippers. She also has a roll of film of the 1939 movie in a domed glass display case. She’s too afraid she’ll ruin it if she tries to see which scenes she bought. She also has a photo of the Munchkins in the Land of Oz autographed by Munchkin Margaret Pelegrini. She’s had it for so long, that the Sharpie is starting to fade.
There’s a “Wizard of Oz” Polly Pocket play set. “The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz” children’s book from 1940. A “Wicked” snow globe. One of each character turned into Barbie dolls, still in their boxes. Precious Moments figurines of the fab four from “Oz.” A “The Wizard of Oz” Monopoly game. Tin lunch boxes and ceramic cookie jars. A 500-piece “Wizard of Oz” jigsaw puzzle.
You get the picture.
Morris said her “Oz” addiction took hold in college because she had money and no kids. As a student at the University of Washington she analyzed the “Wizard of Oz” books and movies in papers.
She keeps a “Wizard of Oz” scrapbook. Each page is dedicated to an “Oz” character. Morris incorporates quotes from the books and movies, as well as Bible verses, musings from her college papers, cutouts from magazines, photos, bookmarks, stickers and more.
Morris also likes to keep movie and show tickets. She saw Seattle Children’s Theatre’s “Wizard of Oz” in 2013 and Broadway’s “Wicked” at the Paramount Theatre in 2015. The “Wicked” show was a wedding gift from her aunt.
“I’ve only seen it once. I wish I could have seen it 50 times, but, I mean, tickets are ridiculous expensive,” Morris said.
Her husband and four sons were the ones to get her to email The Daily Herald about her “Wizard of Oz” room(s).
“It was getting to the point where it was like, ‘Somebody should see what you have,’” her husband, Charles Morris, said. “She has some pretty amazing things here, and she has such passion, that I think somebody should know.”
Charles Morris, 47, said he’s even helped add to his wife’s collection. Every Christmas since they’ve been together, he gets her a new Jim Shore “Wizard of Oz” ornament for the tree.
Stacey and Charles Morris married in 2015. They each had two sons from their previous marriages. There is Christopher, 24, Jackson, 21, Mason, 17, and Marshall, 15.
Whenever her aunt has “Oz” stuff to send from Caldwell, Idaho, she’ll call and tell her niece she’ll have a surprise in the mail.
Now, whenever family and friends see a “Wizard of Oz” trinket, they’ll pick it up for Morris. “Stuff just shows up,” she said. “They’ll say, ’ I saw this and thought of you.’”
Who’s her favorite Oz character? That would be The Wicked Witch of the West, who gets her own bathroom. The “Surrender Dorothy” scene from the film is painted above the sink and mirror. On the walls and counters are all kinds of Wicked Witch collectibles.
“I like my stuff. This is what I like,” Morris said. “I am happy in my house surrounded by my stuff. If you don’t like it, you can go to your house.”
Sara Bruestle: 425-339-3046; firstname.lastname@example.org;@sarabruestle.
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