The Real Deal

March 26, 2008

More than twenty five years later, I wish we had done a better job of capturing Laura’s growing maturity in her transformation from girl to young woman in that arc of shows. I think we did nice job and I’ll always be proud of that work, but we could’ve told those stories much more thoroughly and I have no doubt that the audience would’ve absolutely loved it. Despite the relatively brief courtship we presented on television the audience was right there with us filling in all the blanks with their awareness of Laura’s beautifully written autobiographical story.

The above is taken from the blog of Dean Butler, whose effort and integrity continues to impress me in his quest to understand the hearts and minds of Laura fans. He embraces the books and their fans not as an opposition to the TV show, but as the catalyst behind it. He doesn’t have to dig in this way. He wants to. Finding the roots of the characters he would portray and interact with isn’t something that’s going to further his celebrity (well, not much) or land him a reality-show gig. He’s doing it because he wants to, and his honesty shows.

If you’re looking for evidence of harmony between the opposing corners of the Little House books and the TV show that was, sometimes recklessly, spun from them, you’ll find it threaded evenly through the life and work of Dean Butler.


Laura and women’s right to vote

March 25, 2008

Part of being a Laura Ingalls Wilder fan is, to me, to be open to all opinions about her, whether or not I agree with them, as long as they are well thought out and intelligently presented. She was a human being after all, not a deity, and it can admittedly be easy to get caught up in the fantasy of fandom. To that end, I’ll share this detailed commentary I came across regarding Laura’s Ruralist column about women earning the right to vote (recently reprinted in Stephen Hines’ newest collection).

Salt pork for thought, anyway.

Back on Schedule

March 24, 2008

I’ve just returned from the very unLauralike vacation of a Caribbean cruise. I do think Rose would have quite enjoyed it, now that I consider. She would have reveled in the port stops most of all, I think, mingling with the locals and enticing them to share their cuisine and customs. Can’t you just see her bargaining with a street vendor and having a marvelous time of it?

Hiatus until March 24

March 14, 2008

I’m embarking on the very unLauralike activity of a spring break vacation. My family and I are heading to the open water for a while. Posting will resume when we return.

Have a wonderful week!

Pomona Public Library Blog

March 11, 2008

The Pomona Public Library in Pomona, CA, hosts an annual Gingerbread Sociable every February in honor of Laura’s birthday in its Laura Ingalls Wilder Room.

Did you know the library has a blog?


Come in and see the original manuscript of “Little Town on the Prairie.” Sometimes I think that our original manuscript is the best kept secret in Pomona.

“Caroline Ingalls” Performs in Bay Area Play

March 9, 2008

Any Bay Area-based Laura Ingalls Wilder fans have a play to see: “Southern Comforts” at the Lucie Stern Theater in Palo Alto, California. The New York Times calls it “a delightful, even sneakily sexy, romance.”

Which is fabulous, considering it stars Laura’s famous TV Ma, Karen Grassle.

Grassle attended the University of California at Berkeley and is a Bay Area native. Here’s an interview where she talks about the play, as well as her defining role as everyone’s favorite Ma, Caroline Ingalls.

I still think Karen Grassle could have wandered into the Little House books at any moment and been perfectly at home. Caroline was one of the few people in the “Little House on the Prairie” TV show who was, in my opinion, impeccably cast.

More on Malone’s Anniversary Event

March 7, 2008

Looks like Malone is the place to be in June. The unofficial word is that longtime Laura expert William Anderson and Barbara Walker, author of the long beloved Little House Cookbook, will all be visiting the Almanzo Wilder Farm on Saturday, June 21.

Dean Butler will also be on hand filming new footage for his “Life Before Laura” DVD, but perhaps not available to the public to the degree he was last September. 

We’ll let you know when “unofficial” transitions to “official.”