Friday, January 13, 2012

Rachel Cosgrove Payes in "Oz: The American Fairyland"

In June, 2008, I got a message from a YouTube user. They've since closed their account, so there's no point in saying their screen name, the only name I knew. By this time, my Wonders of Oz and other Oz videos had kind of made me a go-to-Oz guy on YouTube. I've more or less relaxed since.

Anyway, this is what they said:
A cousin and I have been researching or family tree and we just found out that we are related to Rachel C. Payes. I thought let me give it a shot and type the name in youtube...this is you have any other info on her?
Also do you know where I can find the film OZ: The American Fairyland? 
 Unfortunately, I didn't know more about Rachel Cosgrove Payes at the time. I do now, however. And I didn't own Oz: The American Fairyland, either. However, I looked for the videotape and eventually purchased it.

Oz: The American Fairyland was an excellent (if a little dull) documentary about the origins of Oz and a look at the phenomenon as a whole. There was an odd focus on Oz dolls in the second half, and I've spotted one factual inaccuracy.

Since it was 2008 and VHS was getting harder to use, I needed to convert it to a digital version quickly. Fortunately, I had a couple other Oz transfers I needed to do so I already had most of the stuff I needed. I needed to upgrade my system, which I did in early 2009, and finally got a transfer finished.

The user contacted me again and I said I could try to get a DVD to them, but they never contacted me with their address.

Well, instead of putting it on a regular DVD myself, I burned the video file to a DVD-R as a data disc with some other things and then put it away.

However, as my family will tell you, I have THOUSANDS of DVD-Rs of data on them. And I'm VERY bad at labeling. (In fact, my brother says that is "extraordinarily true.") So, when I was re-reading Rachel Cosgrove Payes' Oz stuff for my FF+ blogs, I did want to see her interview again, but I couldn't find my video transfer. I had the VHS, but I'd upgraded my computer again and my old transfer hardware was incompatible.

Finally I managed to recover the file earlier this week and watched it again. I don't know if that person who'd contacted me is still looking for this, even if they were for real. I edited the clips of Rachel into a single video, though cutting it with VirtualDub was a little rough.

The factual inaccuracy was in that clip. John R. Neill's last Oz book was Lucky Bucky in Oz, not The Scalawagons of Oz.


Glenn Ingersoll said...

Thanks for posting the clips, Jared. I've never seen this documentary, nor can I recall ever having seen Rachel Cosgrove but in photographs.

Unknown said...

Hi, its funny I was looking through all my books and come across all my grandma Rachel Cosgrove Pages she gave me. Im actually very moved that as I look through the internet, how love she was for the oz series and others that she has written. Thank you from her Granddaughter.