Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 26th - Stealing the Ruby Slippers - Amanda Michelle Moon & Jazz Garland Tribute - Josh Gallagher

As an added note to this blog, we would like to confirm that it's true - there will be a dive by the Itasca County Sheriff's Dive Team in the Tioga Lake mine pit to search for the Ruby Slippers during the Wizard of Oz Festival. This dive is being conducted because of credible information that the famed slippers were thrown here after the theft some ten years ago.

The dives will take place on Thursday, June 11th at 10 am and 1 pm and on Friday, June 12th at 10 am and 1 pm. To learn more and for a map to the area, please visit the Judy Garland Museum site: 

Stealing the Ruby Slippers – Amanda Michelle Moon

Amanda Michelle Moon is the author of the fictional work, “Stealing the Ruby Slippers.” She’s always wanted to be a writer as long as she can remember. A lot of people think she knows who stole the Ruby Slippers. About that, she says, [|] lived in Nashville, Tennessee when the theft of the Ruby Slippers happened. I heard about it the next morning, watching the news coverage of Hurricane Katrina. The two events were permanently linked in my mind.”

Amanda grew up in Hill City which is really close to Grand Rapids, just about 15 miles away. “There have been a lot of people who have insinuated that somehow I know what happened to the shoes,” Amanda told me recently. “This is usually said by people who haven’t read the book. It’s widely believed the thief was from the Grand Rapids area, … it’s not entirely unreasonable that I might know the thief, [but] just to be clear, I don’t. At all. No idea what happened to those shoes!”

About the forthcoming news that there will be a "Ruby Slipper Dive" in a Tioga mine pit lake where the slippers are thought to be, Amanda says that's "awesome" but she is as surprised as anyone. Even though her latest book, "Finding the Ruby Slippers," refers to the slippers being thrown in an iron ore mine, she used that information based on the many rumors being reported in the area. The forth-coming news about the scheduled dive on  June 11th and June 12th , which will take place during the Wizard of Oz Festival, should be out any day now.

During her growing up years, Amanda Michelle Moon wrote all the time, however, she’s only been writing professionally for the last year and a half. “Stealing the Ruby Slippers,” a complex mystery of many layers, was her first work. This year, just as the search for the real Ruby Slippers intensified, Moon released her second book, “Finding the Ruby Slippers.”

These titles sold extremely well in the Grand Rapids area, but to take them out of “women’s” genre, the author found it necessary in releasing the books on a wider scale to change their titles. Recently, the books were re-released under the titles: “The Thief” (aka Stealing the Ruby Slippers) and “The Damage” (aka “Finding the Ruby Slippers). Although the works are fictional, Amanda says she researched the story extensively, reading every article she could find and interviewing people in the Judy Garland Museum. “Everything else was made up, based on my experiences growing up in the area…I love taking what is real and spinning it to keep the reader guessing.” She’s working on two more mysteries now and, like the Ruby Slipper books, they are inspired by true events: “Clouded” and “The Cast.” With all the excitement surrounding the slippers, we think Amanda Michelle Moon will receive some attention as well.

Amanda Michelle Moon will be in the Judy Garland Museum Gift Shop on Friday, June 12. PLEASE NOTE - Amanda has changed her signing back to Friday, June 12 from 12:00 Noon to 1:00 pm in order to accommodate those who already had these times. Come and meet her and buy her books!

Stealing the Ruby Slippers - $14.00

Stealing the Ruby Slippers from the museum was easy. Jared broke in, smashed the case, and got out without leaving any evidence. But when Hurricane Katrina wipes out the buyer he had lined up, he's stuck. The country's most famous shoes are hidden in his dirty laundry.

Finding the Ruby Slippers - $16.00
Kelly was dating Jared when he stole the Ruby Slippers, and Eric helped hide them in an abandoned iron ore mine. When Jared died, Eric was almost killed looking for the shoes, and everyone was sure Kelly knew more than she was admitting. She didn’t…until the morning she finds the backpack the shoes were hidden in while scouting a different mine. In a split second decision she takes the shoes, determined to figure out a way to return them without drawing suspicion to herself. Before she can devise a plan, Private Investigator Mark McDonald joins the case. He’s charming and gorgeous, but his interest in Kelly seems more than professional, and his motivations less than sincere. Kelly’s receiving intimidating phone calls, her company is being threatened, and Eric warns her Mark isn’t who she thinks he is. She has to figure out who she can trust and how to protect her family, or whether the best thing might be destroying the shoes completely. Visit: Amanda Michelle Moon  http://www.amandamichellemoon.com

To learn more about the Wizard of Oz Festival, please visit: http://www.judygarlandmuseum.com

Joshua Gallagher 
A Jazz Tribute to Judy Garland

Joshua Gallagher has been visiting the Judy Garland Museum at Festival time for several years now. On a June afternoons, walking through the house or around the garden, visitors have remarked upon the beautiful music coming from the baby grand in the front parlor, a room where Baby Gumm (Judy Garland) is said to have sung her first notes. Those sounds came from the playing of Josh Gallagher.

Now, after his numerous visits to Grand Rapids, we are happy to announce that Josh will take part in this year’s Festival. His “Jazz Tribute to Judy Garland" will take place  Thursday evening, June 11th at 7:00 p.m.,  followed by Joan Beck Coulson’s “Remembering the Judy I Knew" at 8:00 p.m. These two programs will serve as the grand opening for this year's Wizard of Oz Festival.

Gallagher, a native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin began studying classical piano at the age of 4. In high school, he studied jazz with Laura Caviani, a Minneapolis-based jazz pianist. After high school, his music studies led him from Eau Clair to Boston, Massachusetts where he attended Berklee College of Music on a full scholarship. After two years of college, Josh had the great good fortune to be  selected as pianist in the Brubeck Institute Jazz Sextet. During the period 2004-2005, he performed with guest artists Bobby Watson Rufus Reid, Jimmy Heath, Artistic Director Christian McBride and the Institute’s founder, Dave Brubeck himself. In recent years, Josh Gallagher has performed on a cruise ship with the Marquez Jazz Trio and in New York City. Currently, he serves as the music director and organist at St, Mary’s Catholic Church in Altoona, Wisconsin.

A fan of Judy Garland’s for the past decade, on Thursday, June 11th, Josh Gallagher's  solo piano performance will include his own jazzy renditions of favorite Garland songs. Expect a varied selection, including: Over the Rainbow, Get Happy, Friendly Starr, Sewanee, Ballin’ the Jack and many more.

Festival tickets maybe purchased online at:

Don’t Miss Out on a Prize!!!

Young singers, from six through eighteen are wanted for the Judy Garland Museum Singing Contest, Saturday June 12 at 5:00 p.m. You only have two weeks to get your applications in. All Applications must be in by JUNE 6th! Don’t miss out!
For further information, please call: 218-327-9276


Here are a few of the special items in our gift shop. In additition, we have loads of hard to fin books, DVDs, VHS, CDs and record on Judy Garland and The Wizard of Oz.

Don’t forget to “LIKE” us on Facebook!


Thank you and see you soon!

Come and visit the Museum.
Festival Dates: June 10th - June 13th.

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