PIQUA — Piqua-born author Jack Snow achieved success as the author of two books in the popular “Wizard of Oz” series, an acclaimed writer of short stories of speculative fiction, a pioneering reviewer of early radio programs, and the man who came up with the name for Dayton’s radio station WING. But Snow, who died in 1956, is little known in his hometown.
An effort to draw long-overdue attention to Snow’s accomplishments will take place during a memorial dedication and headstone unveiling on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. in Forest Hill Cemetery, 8660 N. State Route 66, Piqua, where Snow is buried. The ceremony also will mark the 110th anniversary of Snow’s birth.
Speaking at the ceremony will be a representative of the Snow family; James C. Oda, director of the Piqua Public Library; and Michael Gessel, a researcher on Snow’s life and officer of The International Wizard of Oz Club. Attendance is free and the public is invited to attend.
After graduating from Piqua High School in 1925, Snow wrote features and a weekly radio review column for the Piqua Daily Call.
He is best known as the author of two books in the “Wizard of Oz” series — “The Shaggy Man of Oz” and “The Magical Mimics of Oz,” which tell the further adventures of Dorothy, the Wizard, the Scarecrow, and other fanciful characters from the wonderful Land of Oz created by L. Frank Baum. Snow also penned a reference work, “Who’s Who in Oz,”and began a biography on Baum, which was never completed.
Snow was one of the foremost experts on Baum, and he assembled an outstanding collection of Baum first editions and Oz rarities. His work to promote Baum and Oz led to the founding of The International Wizard of Oz Club the year after he died.
He also achieved acclaim in science fiction circles. Snow published short stories of speculative fiction, some of which continue to be reprinted in anthologies of great works of the genre.
In addition to Oz, radio was a lifelong interest for Snow. While attending Piqua High School, he wrote what is believed to be the nation’s first regular newspaper column of radio reviews for the Cincinnati Enquirer. As publicity director for the Dayton radio station WSMK, he came up with the idea for the new station call letters, WING, which are still used today.
Snow also wrote short stories of speculative fiction for Weird Tales magazine. These and others were included in an anthology, “Dark Music and Other Spectral Tales,” which was published in 1947. Some of those stories have been reprinted in modern anthologies of great works in the genre. Snow’s circle included many of the top science fiction writers and editors of the time, including Ray Bradbury.
In 2007, the Dayton Metro Library held an exhibit of Snow’s books and Oz memorabilia to mark the centennial of his birth.
For more information, contact Bev Drudy by email at email@example.com.