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Memories Of My Day With The Last Surviving Wizard Of Oz Munchkin

jerry-maren
Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media

In case you haven’t heard the sad news, Ruth Robinson Duccini, who was the last of the original female Munchkins from “The Wizard of Oz,” passed away. She was 95 years old.

There were 124 Munchkins in the original movie, according to a report at msn.com, and now only one, Jerry Maren, remains. A few years back I had the incredible honor of spending an afternoon with Jerry, and it was an amazing experience.

As Jerry and I sat in my office. I couldn’t believe that I was sitting there talking to a guy who actually was on the Yellow Brick Road. He told me stories of how nice Judy Garland was to him, and told me what was going on behind the scenes when some of the most famous movie scenes in the history of the world were being shot.

It was one of the most surreal feeling to be getting firsthand stories about “The Wizard of Oz”, Then Jerry spotted my humidor and, being a bit of a cigar guy like me, asked if I wanted to head outside to smoke a cigar together. I told him I’d be honored and asked him to help himself. He chose a Macanudo, but decided to smoke one of his own and save the Macanudo for another day. He’s a member of the Lollipop Guild, so he can do whatever he wants, right?

I haven’t spoken to Jerry since that day,  but I think of him and that day often. And with the sad news about Ruth Robinson Duccin’s passing on my mind, I wanted to take a minute to wish Jerry health and happiness and let him know how amazing it was to spend some time with a legendary guy from the most legendary movie ever. Thanks Jerry!

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