A Chill Over The Rainbow

I was doing a little preemptive research on something we tentatively have coming up in a few months (I’m sure there will be pictures) and I came across an interesting article. A question had come up about Dorothy from The Wizard Of Oz and what her middle name was. Well, any Wizard Of Oz afficionado should be able to rattle off that information in less than a heartbeat. Do any of you know it? Well, just in case you need to think about it, I’ll let you think while I tell you about that article.

Lyman Frank Baum, the author, who prefered the initial “L” as his first name, was married to Maud Gage and together they had four sons. They lived in Chicago. That really has nothing to do with the story, other than just an FYI. They never had the daughter Maud always longed for. Maud’s brother, Thomas Clarkson Gage and his wife, Sophie, who lived in Bloomington, Illinois–again, not relevant–had a baby girl in June of 1898 and they named her Dorothy Louise. Dorothy Louise Gage was only 5 months old to the day (June 11-November 11) when she died. Maud Baum was grief stricken over the loss of her niece.

As the story goes, when L. Frank Baum was putting the finishing touches on the classic story, he found a way to both comfort his grieving wife and immortalize the family’s loss by naming the book’s heroine, Dorothy and he dedicated his masterpiece to Maud.

Any number of reasons could be possible how Gale became Dorothy’s last name, but there is one that rings with a great deal of chilling romanticism. It may have been an intentional alteration of his in-law’s surname, Gage. Perhaps the second “G” in the name was replaced by an “L” (for Louise), thus forever giving life to an unfortunate baby girl. And curiously, the name Gale wasn’t used until Baum’s second book of the series.

It’s a wonder then, what name we might be calling our beloved cyclone-swept Kansas farm girl had Baby Dorothy Louise Gage lived.

Okay, pencils down, Dorothy has no middle name.

Let’s see, today is January 22 and I still have not marked up my 2010 wall calendar. Perhaps I can steal the fifteen minutes it will probably take me at some point over the weekend and get that taken care of. I can only imagine what important events I might have missed up until now. Well, nobody’s called to chew me out about anything so I guess I’m safe, but I know we have our first weigh-in after our first intensive week of Project Rejuvenation. Have a great weekend everybody.


Note: the information above about The Wizard Of Oz, was taken from an article written by Elaine Willingham found in the Archives tab on Beyond The Rainbow To Oz.

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