“Paging Joni Mitchell, paging Joni Mitchell…”

Paging Joni Mitchell of the Day

Peekskill, NY’s city historian John Curran has been fighting city hall for nearly a decade in an effort to obtain funding to preserve what he believes is the actual “yellow brick road” that inspired the one in L. Frank Baum classic children’s novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Though much of it has given way to progress, a small stretch of the once yellow-hued Dutch paver road has been converted into a parking lot for downtown-area shoppers.

Baum arrived in Peekskill at age 12 to attend its military academy, which, according to Curran, was situated at the edge of the road. Though nothing of the sort was documented by the author, Curran says Baum likely asked for directions to the academy, and was told to “follow the yellow brick road.”

An authenticity study conducted in 2005 found the road was, in fact, made of Dutch pavers, and that Baum would have had to walk along the road to reach his school. However, town officials remain reluctant to provide Curran with the $225k necessary to restore the road to its former glory.

“I don’t want to be too pushy, because I’m the artist,” says sculptor Richard Masloski, who is seeking private funding for restoration from Peekskill Military Academy alumni. “But c’mon, Peekskill, get off your butt and do this, I don’t want history to die.”

Via The Daily Whatwsj,  gizmodo

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~ by The 1955 Hudson on June 2, 2011.

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