Completed: Go to the Judy Garland Museum (carried over since 2013)
In addition to the fact that it has the largest daily attendance, one of the other reasons I wanted to go to the Minnesota State Fair is because it’s only 3.5 hours from Grand Rapids, Minnesota, home of Judy Garland’s birthplace and museum. I could finally knock this one out after three years.
I landed in Minnesota, rented my car, and immediately headed north.
The museum was heavy on Wizard of Oz, but showcased artifacts and pictures from her entire career.
Here’s Frances “Baby” Gumm (Judy Garland).
Yellow cement road:
Posing in front of Emerald City background. If your observation is that I look like I’ve been crying tears of joy, you’d be correct.
Newspaper clippings from Judy’s homecoming journey in the ’30s were the highlight of the museum. She wasn’t in Grand Rapids for long before her family moved to California. Though the museum shared information on Judy’s father, I don’t believe they included the reason for why they left Grand Rapids, which happened after rumors that Frank Gumm made sexual advances towards male ushers employed in their theater. Judy’s life started off and remained eventful to say the least. If you want to read a good bio, check out Get Happy. Also, read this Vincente Minnelli bio. Anyway, when she visited when she was a teenager, after she had become moderately famous in Hollywood, she wanted to see her old house, her best friend, and the doctor who delivered her. She accomplished all three. It was a sweet look at her life before she was super famous and a snapshot of a different time.
After the museum, I went to the downtown area to get some food and discovered this mural. Self timer pose.
2016 has been the year of Judy Garland. I visited her final resting place in New York in March…
… then visited the Land of Oz theme park… and now this!
*If you’re a fan of classic movies stars, you might also be interested in the time I visited the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pennsylvania in 2012.
**If you want to hear the talent of Judy at a mere 13 years old, listen to this: