Dorothy Knight Burchett

When I was a little girl, my mother subscribed to a magazine for me called, “Children’s Digest.”

I looked forward to getting it in the mail every month. It had lots of stories, puzzles and even a little recipe or two. There was usually a story that was told in cartoon panels, too.

I still remember some of the stories that were in those magazines, although I don’t remember a lot of details.

“The Wizard of Oz” was one of the cartoon panel stories, and it was spread out in serial form, over a matter of months. It didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me and I really didn’t like it.

When my children were growing up, “The Wizard of Oz” would be on television once a year. The children would sit glued to the TV screen, while I would find work to do in another room of the house. I wanted no part of it.

So now, let’s fast forward to 2021. Our niece is heavily into local theater. She was going to be the Wicked Witch of the West in a presentation that was coming up. Sweetheart and I wanted to show our support and we also wanted to see how good she was at acting.

As we were eating supper at a restaurant near the theater, I saw two young men to whom I had taught religious education many years ago. It turned out that the daughter of one of them had the role of Dorothy. That was another incentive to watch the play.

I decided I had not given the play a fair chance in the past, so I decided I would this time. After all, it was better than watching it under protest.

I was astounded at the quality of the performers and their performances. If I had known how good the play could be, I could have enjoyed it years ago.

The Wicked Witch appeared to be thoroughly enjoying her role even though it was completely out of character for her. Although 14 years old, the young lady who played Dorothy was second to none.

Their performances were not marred by the fact that they both had colds. “The show must go on,” was not just a cute slogan for them.

Local talent can have the same quality as the big headliners you see on television or hear on the radio, whether it is music, theater or other forms of entertainment. You don’t have to be famous to be talented.

We all have talents, even though they may not be in entertainment. If we use them to the best of our ability, the world will be a better place.

(Dorothy Knight Burchett is author of “Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together." Contact her at

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