27 01 2009

Kansas City is so confusing

Truth is the area that is known as Kansas City is actually located in Missouri just over the Kansas & Missouri border. What many people don’t know is that Kansas City used to be known as Missouri City and was the popular hangout for Judy Garland and crew during filming of “The Wizard of Oz”. To escape the trenches of movie making, Garland and the rest of the cast would take a short drive over the state line to enjoy a few screwdrivers at the now famous restaurant and bar called “The Flying Monkey”. You talk to any elderly local from present day Kansas City and they’ll tell you all kinds of stories about Ms. Garland and her tirades about the small town. It was said that at one point Garland and the cast came to the restaurant an astonishing 47 days in a row. You could build a house in a week with all those screwdrivers!!!

Anywho, during filming Garland became so attached to “The Flying Monkey” that one night she told the owner she would figure out some way to write his restaurant into the script of the movie. The writers and the producer struggled with how they could conveniently fit a restaurant just off the yellow brick road. It’s strange enough that Dorothy was hanging out with a scarecrow, tin man, and a lion, and it would have just gone overboard if they plopped a restaurant into the story. But, Garland was a woman of her word, and she was determined to keep her promise.

While filming the scene where Dorothy and her stupid, heartless, and scared buddies are pouncing through the poppy fields on their way to the emerald city of Oz, Judy decided to sniff on some poppy flowers in between takes. Judy became so delusional that she ultimately lost her mind and started shouting for help because she thought she was being chased by, you guessed it, flying monkeys. As unfortunate as this episode became, a light bulb went off in the producers mind to script flying monkeys as the evil pet of the Wicked Witch of the West. Such genius, I know……

The film was released 7 months after Ms. Garland’s poppy debacle. The film received rave reviews and was the talk of every town, especially in Missouri City among the regulars at “The Flying Monkey”. The owner of the restaurant was so proud to have been a part of the film and was truly grateful for his friendship with Judy Garland. He was so grateful that he ultimately felt burdened to repay her for being such a faithful friend.

Well, as luck would have it, it turned out the owner’s brother just so happened to be the Governor of Missouri. So, he went to his brother and asked him to rename Missouri City to Kansas City on behalf of Ms. Garland and the cast of “The Wizard of Oz”. When asked, the brother questioned “Why should I name it Kansas City?” Without hesitation, the owner replied “Because in the movie she was from Kansas. Outside of the film, her home was at The Flying Monkey. She said many times that there is no place like home, and I want Ms. Garland to feel as if she were in Kansas every time she visits The Flying Monkey.” The Governor understood the relationship between Ms. Garland and his brother, so he granted the change of name from Missouri City to Kansas City, the second home of Judy Garland and Dorothy.

The Flying Monkey still exists today, and it welcomes Judy Garland and “The Wizard of Oz” fans from all over the world. Their number one selling food item is the Rainbow Burger with the Ruby Red potato wedges. They also sell quite a few Dorothy Dogs and Auntie Em Omelet’s. Undoubtedly, the best selling drink is their Judy Garland Screwdriver, complete with an extra shot of vodka and a poppy seed topping. A couple glasses of this famous Flying Monkey concoction proves there really is “no place like home”……Kansas City to be exact.




One response

27 01 2009
Dickey T

Being the Tinman on Wizard of Oz, I know this story to be completely true. Those monkeys were hell to work with.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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

%d bloggers like this: