The death scene of the Wicked Witch of the West left an indelible image on my memory. As a child in a three-channels TV world, the yearly showing of the Wizard of Oz was a huge event in our small town lives. I loved the story from start to finish, but that wicked witch stole my heart and impressed me with wonderful terror year after year. Her first, clever guise of mean old neighbor taking Toto. Her laugh. My God, that laugh. Her caressing her long chin as she considered how best to kill Dorothy. Those winged monkeys––who thought of those? All I know is that she was the real juice of the story, the bitter around all that saccharine sweet about home and Toto and friendship. You never knew when she was going to pop up and set fire to something, like Scarecrow, but, by God, you knew she was going to make an entrance somewhere, and you were going to shiver at the depth of her wickedness. And her death: water, for God's sake. How simple. How profound. Ding dong, the witch is death. The mean old witch. The wicked witch. She's the pulsing heart of that story, and in my mind, she never died. In fact, as I've gotten older, I've learned some tricks from her. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.....where are my winged monkeys?