TinMan & girlfriend IMG_2189

Goodbye Oz: The Tin Man has moved to Abilene, KS

Dear Mom,

In several polls to determine readers’ favorites from Dorothy’s traveling companions in THE WIZARD OF OZ, Tin Man is often in third place. Sometimes he even comes in fourth, behind Toto, her little dog.

But no matter. In this blog, this week, The Tin Man is our featured star. He’s in love! Really. We don’t know his girlfriend’s name, but you have to admit, they make a shiny couple. If we can’t quite see the attraction, we’ll chalk it up to love being blind. As Albert Einstein said, “You can’t blame gravity for falling in love.”

We can give the credit for the creation of Tin Man and Dotty (I named them that) to the staff of the Dickinson County Transfer Station near Abilene, Kansas. Their creation is not a monster made of body parts dug up in cemeteries like Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN, but a fun couple made of disposable electronics recycled into something new.

In THE WIZARD OF OZ, two of Tin Man’s lines make him my favorite character. The first is when he’s about to lose his friend Dorothy: “Now I know I’ve got a heart, ‘cause it’s breaking.” The other is his wisdom about the measure of love: “It’s not how much you love, but how much you are loved by others.”

That’s the quote I dedicate to you, Mom. You have always had a tremendous capacity to love others, to respect, accept, befriend and help them. And now, at 94 when your dementia, frailty and confusion limit the love you can offer others, the Karma of love has come full circle back to you. Can you feel the love, Mom? I hope so. It’s there.

grandma kiss Gannon

Mary Shepherd sharing love and hugs with great-grandson, Gannon.
(all photos by Marylin Warner)


Our nation dumps between 300-400 million electronic items per year, and less than 20% of that e-waste is recycled.

junk in landfill



Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, friends, importance of doing good things, making a difference, memories for grandchildren, memories for great-grandchildren

36 responses to “YOU CAN’T BLAME GRAVITY

  1. juliabarrett

    The Wizard of Oz is one of my very favorite movies. And you’ve written one of my favorite quotes – A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others. I’ve always loved the Tin Man. He’s such a softie! Of course the Scarecrow gets the best song.
    What a beautiful photo of your mother. She does remember love.

  2. Thanks, Julia. This was taken just a few days ago when we all drove 400 miles round trip to decorate her apartment for Christmas, have a picnic-style late Thanksgiving dinner with her, and her great-grandchildren gave her many hugs and kisses. It was a VERY long day, but one we’ll all remember…even if she wasn’t quite sure who we were.

  3. The Tin Man did get the short end of the stick–everyone loves the Scarecrow and the Lion. But I think you elevated his status nicely with this post. 🙂

  4. Lovely thoughts, as always. Womderful photo as well. Which of the characters from OZ does your mom remind you of? I see there is a new movie coming out very soon…”Oz, the Great and Powerful.” Looks like the Wizard is lost in a tornado, lands in Oz (as seems typical of folks from Kansas) and he ends up being enlisted to fight the wicked witch. Cutie pie good witches fill the void, and he ends up on a more than reluctant hero’s journey in a more than technicolor world of incredible effects as he keeps insisting he is probably NOT the wizard in the prophecy… not the guy for the job. Looks fun and is another step in the evolution of Kansas icons delivered by tornadoes. Your mom is a icon, too, thanks to your writing. She doesn’t have to tote a wand, or wear twinkly gown…or even preside in a crystal palace or have ruby slippers. She has a true heart, the best of a hero’s assets. And, as Dorothy knows, sometimes you get confused, and can’t find your way…but those you love take care of things, and all is well. Yay to you and your mom!.Yay to your writing! Hugs!

  5. Gads, again, sorry for typos. You’d think I have mittens on…do you suppose the Wizard will give me fingers that know what to do? At any rate…I am glad to have fingers even if they Snoopy Dance a little oddly on their own. 😉 Cheers!

  6. Jim

    About the picture of Gannon with his great-grandma, I hope you don’t mind your hubby passing on a little additional info to the blog. I remember your telling me that just before you took the picture, Gannon went over to his great-grandma, totally of his own volition, and said, “I love you with my whole heart,” just as he started hugging her. And Mary answered, “I love you with my whole heart,” as she embraced him. I’m wondering If their spoken “heart” is what gave you the inspiration to connect Gannon and Mary’s picture with the picture of the cute Tin Man couple in Abilene and therefore with Oz’s Tin Man to remind us of the importance of love in our lives. This could be my favorite blog post yet. Well done, honey.

  7. I wasn’t sure where you were headed when I first began reading this post and I sure love where it ended. What a perfect quote to use to honor your mother. 🙂

  8. nancysaltzman

    Your column always brings a smile to my face and a tear to my eye. I look forward to every column.

  9. Alice

    Love the recycled Tin Man and Dotty. Thinking maybe your mama IS the heart.

  10. Hi Marylin,
    Love, love, love oozed out of your beautiful post.
    So glad to hear you drove so far to be with your mom.
    The photo of her brought tears to my eyes.
    Be blessed, today! 😀

  11. It was a very long day, but by the end of the day, we were still telling all the good stories of all we did with the kids’ great-grandmother, and how much fun they had making things nice for her. It was a very special visit with her.
    Thanks, Tracy.

  12. I’m not sure who I’d pick as my favorite. Each had a different appeal. They were loyal friends in tough territory. I do love the quote you gave from the Tin Man: “It’s not how much you love, but how much you are loved by others.”
    Your photo perfectly captures how much your Mom loves, but also how much she is loved. Based on Gannon’s comment and open-hearted love, I’m betting your Mom does feel the love. (Loved your story, Marilyn)

  13. petit4chocolatier

    One of my favorite lines from the movie!

  14. Molly


    • Molly

      Now, it is Molly. 🙂 Gannon wanted to make sure that he left a reply on this blog. The day that we spent with Grandma was wonderful…we each got to snuggle her, she showed love to each of us in her own way, and we got to make the memories together!

      Gannon was definitely the most outwardly loving to Grandma, and she just loved it! I would like to know that she “knew” who he was, but more than likely it was her just knowing that she really does love all children…but we won’t tell Gannon that!

      The tin man has always been my favorite character from The Wizard of Oz, perhaps that is why I have always loved my kiddos so much, so that tTHEIR hearts could be measured by how much I love them! Again, I think that is a trait I got from MY Grandma!!

      Wonderful post, Mom! You have done it again….it is a winner!!

    • Hi, Ganno, this is Mor-Mor writing back to you. And I love YOU, sweetheart, and your sister Grace, too, with my whole heart.

  15. Reading this precious post and all the comments (especially Gannon’s) made my cozy, rainy Sunday even better.

  16. Teresa Cleveland Wendel

    Oh, how I LOVED this post. And now I must watch The Wizard of Oz anew to gain appreciation for the under-appreciated Tin Man.
    I hope your Mom’s feeling the karma of love.

    • I hope she is, too, Teresa. For sure, long after she’s gone her great-grandchildren will know more about her and feel the love others had for her. We’re keeping all the posts and comments for them.

  17. I think I need to give the book a chance because I really don’t like the movie but this sounds interesting enough to know more. Poor tinman.

  18. The karma of love is alive and well. in your home .. 😉

  19. It is, and it began with my mother.
    Thanks, Elizabeth.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s