Jerry Maren: Munchkin
How I met Jerry was my friend Ted Zeigler was working on a remake of Truth or Consequences as the announcer and he took me along for one of the first shows. They had Jerry and Billy as the little people on the show and after the first show was over he introduced me to Jerry… well that was that… I came back another time and when the show was over Jerry came up to me and said “he wanted to go to the opening of a movie he was in and he did not have a car…. So, could I drive him… Well of course I said yes… it was at the VA theater in Westwood so at the time it was not that far from where I lived.
We show up and he invites me to go along with him so I did…. We get to the door and we are in street clothes and everyone is in Tuxes…. He tells the guard he forgot his invitation and the guard told him it was OK he knew who he was…… so we go in and find seats … as the movie starts it was for the premier of “SpaceBalls” … we were sitting just a couple rows back from Mel Brooks and his group and no one seemed to mind that we really looked out of place… after it was over I took Jerry home and that is how our friendship began.
My friend Jerry Maren the Munchkin that handed Dorothy the sucker in the “Wizard of Oz” passed away at the age of 98…. Great run for a little person.
I remember going by his house one day and his wife Elizabeth was also a little person so everything was set so they could get to it. That included the toilet … I was just about peeing on my ankles…. The reason I am telling this is later that same day a went to visit my friend Wilt Chamberlain and of course had to take a leak… wilt told me to use his bathroom…. Well the toilet was raised and I almost had to stand on my toes to take the leak…. I must be the only one in the world that had the experience….
Jerry and Elizabeth loved to go to Steward Andersons or the Stake House next to Warner Brothers (the name slips my mind and it is famous) for lunch or dinner…..
Jerry, Liz and I went to see one of the Disney on Ice shows and of course Jerry was the special guest… the funny thing is that most of the people that came up to him thought he was the Mayor since he had a mustache and was old…. They did not realize it had been at that time 30 plus years since he was in the movie. The way Jerry got the job in the Oz was he could dance…. So, he worked with the other two guys to do the dancing and they were all great.
Jerry did a lot of interesting things to make money in his life….. Munchkin, Ham Burglar, Oscar Meyer kid on the truck… (But he wasn’t really a kid f course) A Night at the Circus with the Marks Brothers, Little Rascals, He was a Midget Wrestler, played the horses… there was never a dull moment with Jerry…
Liz liked to be the young child that had spiders crawling up her leg in the horror movies… I think as I recall she was the oldest of 12 children and Jerry was the youngest of 12 children and they were the only little people.