March Monthly Gathering – The Land of Oz, The Witch, and My Mom

Until it is deemed once again safe to return to meeting as a group, Southeast Michigan Mensa will be presenting a series of lectures on Zoom. Attendees must pre-register at: The event’s Zoom URL and instructions for connecting will be sent to those who are pre-registered, about an hour before the presentation. The number of attendees will be limited, so please pre-register early.

The Land of Oz, The Witch, and My Mom
Ten Things You Might Not Know about “The Wizard of Oz” and My Mother, Margaret Hamilton

The Wicked Witch of The West was terrifying. Remember the first time you saw that green face? Margaret Hamilton will always be remembered for her role, in the 1939 film classic “The Wizard of Oz.” The movie holds up so well, it’s worth watching annually, or introducing to a young relative who is ready for the rite of passage, or maybe some friend who lived their life under a rock. 

The American Film Institute ranked Hamilton’s Wicked Witch, number 4 on a list of the 50 Best Movie Villains of All Time. And Hamilton’s iconic line: “I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!”, is probably responsible for more childhood nightmares than almost any movie line. The film has thrilled and frightened, in a good way, fans of all ages for over eighty-one years! During that time, the film and Margaret Hamilton’s portrayal of the Wicked Witch, have become a part of our popular culture.

Originally a kindergarten teacher, brought up oh so properly in early twentieth century Cleveland, and a single mother to her son, Margaret Hamilton had a full life before and after taking on the role that defined her public persona. She appeared in 127 TV shows and movies, about 100 plays, and countless radio shows and commercials. An accomplished actress, she was also a classy, kindhearted person, who never lost her dedication to the care and education of children. Probably the only thing wicked about her, was her sense of humor.

So please join us on Saturday, March 20, when Margaret Hamilton’s son, Hamilton Meserve, will be with us via Zoom to share his personal memories of his mother, the making of “The Wizard of Oz”, (Including the scene that almost killed her) as well as events across the many ensuing decades. This will be a great event for all who love this classic motion picture and want to know more about it, and Mr. Meserve’s fascinating mother.

Hamilton Meserve is now retired and lives in Maine with Helen, his wife of fifty-nine years. He’s enjoyed a happily diverse career, working in international banking (opening countries in Asia and the Middle East for Citibank); owning seven community newspapers in New York’s Hudson Valley from the 1980s to the 1990s, and until 2006, working with Helen in Running Battle Antiques for which (from 1990 to 2006) they did up to twenty-five national shows a year. Hamilton is currently a County Commissioner in Lincoln County, Maine. In addition, he is president of Boothbay Harbor Rotary Club, and Treasurer of The Boothbay Region Land Trust and The Friends of the Harbor Theatre, which is, not surprisingly, devoted to classic cinema.

The Zoom window will open at 630pm for mingling. The program starts at 7pm.