There is sidewalk art on King Street, depicting a yellow brick road. It’s advertising a free evening movie in the park next to Roy Thompson Hall. I was thinking it would have been fun to take my girls to see The Wizard of Oz in a park when they were small. But then again, neither was a big fan of that film. Kelsey wasn’t much up for malevolent looking green witch faces, or clowny scarecrow ones for that matter, despite how kind the bloke is. And Carly was less than impressed – the technologies of her day rendered old movies fake looking and therefore not believable. Besides, she’d heard the little people in the film had been abused, and even if that story about the little guy hanging himself on set was an urban myth, my little social critic was jaded.
Had I had the breadth of entertainment available to me when I was her age, I suppose I would be too. Nevertheless, I can still drum up the escape into Frank L. Baum’s world I experienced just from seeing that old movie on a small, black and white screen (unless we got to go to Aunt Martha’s and see it on their colour console) all these decades later.
So I was charmed to see people walking on the narrow strip of yellow brick road along the wide King Street sidewalk this morning. Maybe it was subconscious – their feet just following the obvious path. I was kind of hoping some of them were imagining they were walking into a world far away from their offices and meetings. Hanging around with weird creatures and rediscovering oneself while defeating witches could be considered a favourable alternative to another day of spreadsheets and emails; for a few days anyway.
I was thinking that as I noted some feet in high heels stepping purposefully along the yellow brick road. The woman in the sharp suit attached to those feet was wearing a hint of a smile, her thoughts seemingly not anywhere near King Street. “Carry on!” I thought, pacing my walk to the tune of the Yellow Brick Road song running through my head. I just know she was walking to the same tune.