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The Red Shoes

March 20, 1988

Several years ago in San Francisco I had an opportunity to ask Liza Minnelli about the ruby slippers worn by her mother Judy Garland in "The Wizard of Oz" ("The Search for the Ruby Slippers," by Rhys Thomas, March 13). Supposedly, while Liza was appearing in Las Vegas, a gentleman who had purportedly purchased the slippers at the MGM auction came backstage and asked if she would pose in them for a picture. She obliged.

"As soon as I put them on," Liza said, "I realized that they were the shoes that belonged to my mother's stand-in. You see, both my mother and I had the same shoe size and those that he had did not fit my feet at all. I didn't have the heart to tell him that he had paid $15,000 for a stand-in's pair of shoes. He left with a picture of me and the shoes feeling that his were the ones worn by my mother."

Naturally, Liza may be mistaken. After all, her mother was young at that time and may have had a different shoe size. Or, as Thomas' article suggested, her dancing shoes may have been larger to accommodate swollen feet.

In any case, just thought I'd add to the lore of this "absolutely unimportant" pair of shoes.

JOHN JENSEN

Arcadia

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