America Was Right


Being a fan of music from the ‘60’s and 70’s, America was one of my favorite bands. Many of you may be familiar with their songs “Horse With No Name,” or “Ventura Highway.” “Tin Man” was my favorite then and has continued to resonate with me for over 40 years. Actually, it wasn’t the song in total, but rather one line…”Oz didn’t give nothing to the Tin Man that he didn’t already have.”

If you are not familiar with the song, but have watched “The Wizard of Oz,” please continue by closing your eyes and picturing some of those iconic scenes. As I remember one scene, I can see Dorothy and Scarecrow coming upon the immobile Tin Man in the forest. Even though the Scarecrow doesn’t have a brain, between them, they figure out that Tin Man is rusted. Together, they use the oil can to give Tin Man what he needs. Next thing you know, they are skipping along, soon to meet the cowardly Lion.

Now, let’s fast forward to when they finally meet the Wizard, a con man and more importantly—not a wizard. He has no special powers and yet he is able to grant their wishes. Or better stated, help them realize they already had what they thought they needed.

The dream of Stone Soup Literacy, an effort to grow literacy in our region, is that we, as a community, respond to the literacy needs of our community – that we function as both the oil and the wizard. Our need as citizens is to make informed decisions when we shop, read, vote, teach, donate, etc.. Our responsibility as citizens is to decide if we want to promote good decision-making in future citizens. If the answer is yes, then that’s where the oiling and the “wizarding” come in.

Are you someone who spends time with children – as a Sunday School volunteer, health care professional, receptionist...o you work in retail, a restaurant? Do you employ or work with parents or grandparents? Whether directly or indirectly interfacing with children, you have an impact on future families, consumers, leaders, neighbors and voters.

Literacy, which is simply the ability to make sense of information, is how we grow responsible citizens— and you can help mobilize those efforts. Your efforts may be as small as a drop of oil, but a few drops here and there can make a powerful difference. Just ask Tin Man.


To learn more or to share ideas of what we all  can do, respond to The Express (online or by phone at 570-748-6791), or visit Stone Soup Literacy on Facebook or at