Let’s face it, none of us would have any sparkle shoes today if it wasn’t for the Ruby Slippers. These dazzlers hit the big screen in 1939 in full glorious Technicolor and in fact, the decision to make this a color film was largely based on these shoes and what a fabulous moment in film history! Since then, both girls and boys from everywhere have spent their lives longing to possess these magical shoes, myself included.
I knew I was obsessed because I can get that way, but I really had no idea that there were so many of us and that it’s been going on for decades. It wasn’t until few years ago when I picked up “The Ruby Slippers of Oz” by Rhys Thomas that I learned about the mystery and intrigue that surrounds the most famous sparkle shoes of all time. What’s explained in the book is that back 1970, there was a general disinterest in Old Hollywood and its artifacts (can you imagine?) so everything was being liquidated. What didn’t sell at auction was destined for the trash. Hundreds of historical treasures would’ve been lost to us if it wasn’t for a man named Kent Walker, a costumer and long time movie fan. Basically, he started stealing the objects and selling them black market to collectors. Because of his daring actions, he single-handedly salvaged many priceless items including set pieces, props and costumes and among them was the legendary Ruby Slippers. Except do you know what he did when he found these glittering treasures? Exactly what any Sparkle Soldier would do- he TOOK THEM HOME! That’s right Soldiers, there’s no place like home- especially when you find the holy grail of sparkles.
There’s more to the story, but you’ll have to read the book. OR, you can do it American style and just watch the videos below from a television special based on the book. I’ve only included parts 2 & 3 because they’re the most exciting, however if you’re a hardcore “Slipperette” like me, you’ll want to put on your favorite pair of sparkle shoes and watch the whole thing.