there’s no place like dome

Patty, my wife, is crazy creative. Whether she’s crocheting, scrapbooking, stamping, baking or brainstorming, she’s a real rockstar. It’s one of a thousand reasons why I crush on her every day.

Recently, her architecture firm had their plans approved to finish restoring the Kansas Statehouse. It’s been a 13 year monumental project and its completion deserved a monumental celebration. Patty, and her marketing magic, had to plan the party for her firm’s historic preservation team.

The state of Kansas is known for many things including: its fields of sunflowers, its fields of wheat, and the film, The Wizard of Oz. The movie, based on L. Frank Baum’s novel, is the story of Dorothy Gale, a girl who is swept away from her farm in Kansas by a tornado to the Land of Oz.

Patty was inspired by the 1939 movie and used “Ding Dong! The Design is Done” as the party’s theme. It’s a parody of “Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead,” a song sung by the Munchkins after the Wicked Witch of the East is killed when the tornado drops Dorothy’s house on her.

The iconic scene in the movie is when Dorothy leaves Oz for Kansas by clicking the heels of her ruby slippers three times and repeats, “There’s no place like home.” Patty reimagined Dorothy’s ruby slippers as a pair of ruby work boots for a head table centerpiece. She bought the boots at a local thrift store, glued red glitter on them, and filled them with a bouquet of flowers.

The final phase of the Kansas Statehouse restoration includes replacing the building’s copper roof and dome. Patty tweaked the film’s famous phrase, “There’s no place like home” into “There’s no place like dome” and put it on marketing materials, posters and table tents at the party.

The evening was a huge success. First, the historic preservation team and their spouses toured the Statehouse to see some of the newly renovated rooms. Then, the group returned to The Celtic Fox in downtown Topeka for a prime rib dinner and a Hy-Vee cake shaped like the capitol dome.

The feelings of everyone at the party were best expressed by a quote on one of Patty’s table tents. It read, “Goodbye Statehouse, I’m going to miss you most of all.” It is a twist on Dorothy’s line at the end of the film when she bids farewell to Scarecrow saying, “I’m going to miss you most of all.”

-scott weaver

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