|Jennifer, Mom, Kimberly, and Patty at the pageant|
|TV cast interview at the pageant|
"Little House On The Prairie."
|Almanzo, Nellie, and Ms. Beadle|
|Grace, Grace, John Jr., Eliza Jane, Alice Garvey, and Carrie|
|Eliza Jane Wilder|
|Nellie showing off her wig (Almanzo laughing)|
|Tia with a bonnet and Kimberly|
|Mom, Patty, Jennifer, Kimberly, and Tia|
|trying out the pump organ|
|visiting the dugout replica|
|Our set of books from our childhood (Patty's writing)|
|Little House books from our childhood|
|Tia in Japanese clothing (from Patty)|
For about an hour before the actual pageant, the stars answered questions from the audience. It was so fun to hear the stars talking about their experiences on the show and lives afterwards. It was also interesting seeing what the stars look like now!
There were some very sweet comments from the audience. Many talked about how they faithfully watched the show as a family every Monday night when they were growing up. Some grew quite emotional. It was also emotional for the stars. One of the girls who played Grace got all choked up when she told the audience this was her first time in Walnut Grove. Grace and Grace have their own website: http://www.pioneerontheprairie.com/babygrace/bio.htm that is full of neat "Little House on the Prairie stories." Part of what I liked about Brenda and Wendi is that now they are just regular working people who love being moms. And, they were born in 1977, just like me!
One of the girls who played Carrie talked about how she can't bring herself to watch the very last "Little House on the Prairie" episode because parts of the town are blown up in that show. Both Carries talked about how good Michael Landon (Pa) and Karen Grassle (Ma) were to them. They joked around a lot about which twin got to play certain scenes.
Nellie was very funny! She is now a comedian and has written a book. She is also very involved in AIDS awareness. We found out that Steve Tracy (Percival, who was Nellie's husband) died from AIDS. Nellie's favorite episode was the one where she went down the hill in the wheelchair! We also enjoyed hearing her comments about the Nellie character vs. the Nancy character. She felt that Nancy was a bit more crazy and cruel.
Eliza Jane Wilder and Miss Eva Beadle seemed like sweet ladies with fond memories from the show. To top off our girls weekend, my sisters and I watched the episode where Eliza Jane falls in love with Harv (and Almanzo and Laura get married). Eliza Jane had talked about that being her favorite episode. Someone asked Miss Beadle if she had ever smelled Lemon Verbena and it turns out she has enjoyed soaps, lotions, sachets, and bouquets of Lemon Verbena all her life.
Most of the cast would not name a favorite episode. But, Almanzo talked about one episode that he thought could have been omitted. It included an orangutan and Mr. Edwards. Almanzo was definitely the expert on all things "Little House." He has narrated a number of documentaries about the show and about the real books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Almanzo also did an excellent job of graciously describing other actors, particularly Melissa Gilbert (Laura). Laura was only 15 when she had to begin playing romantic scenes with 23 year old Almanzo. He said it was all very professional and that Laura did an excellent job of changing from her role as a little girl to her role as a grown woman. I got to see Melissa Gilbert two years ago in the production of "Little House on the Prairie, The Musical." She played the part of Ma. It was thrilling to see her.
My sisters, mom and I had a great time recalling favorite and least favorite episodes of "Little House" during our road trip. We have seen ALMOST ALL of the TV episodes. Patty's favorite was when Almanzo and Laura began dating. I like the stories that center around the one room schoolhouse, particularly the one about the girl who lisped and the girl who sold her hair to get her mother a new dress. Mom's favorite was when Ma used the beautiful blue material (that was supposed to be for her own dress) on dresses for Mary and Laura. Least favorite episodes included the one where Ma is going crazy because of blood poisoning (and tries to cut herself), and ones that involved kidnapping, drowning, and death. The show where Alice Garvey and Mary's baby die in the fire affected us all. We also laughed about the episode where Pa falls from a high tree and walks away without a scratch directly after an episode where someone else did the same fall and died! I guess the show wasn't perfect!
All four of us have read or listened to Mom read ALL the original books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In this blog I have included pictures of the yellow books that we shared. They are well loved. On the top of the box you can see where nine year old Patty wrote "Kimberly and Patty and Jennifer and..." Then if you look very closely you can see that she had written the word "Pamela" under Jennifer and then erased it. Mom was expecting another baby at the time, and Patty was confident that another sister was on the way. Mom and Dad had told her that if it was a girl she would be called Pamela. That June Mom had a baby BOY and named him David, so Patty had to erase Pamela. I've always loved that little story. My sisters and I would have loved Pamela, but I'm glad Mom and Dad had David instead. He'll always be our favorite brother!
I've always been a "Little House" fan, but this "Little House" experience will go down in history as one of my favorites...because I got to share it with Patty, Kimberly, Mom and my niece Tia. I'm thankful.
|Driving home after our time in Walnut Grove|