Laura Ingalls Wilder From The Prairie to TV to...Twitter?

BlogHer Original Post

What do you think of when I say "Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder?"  Do you think of summer afternoons reading about little Laura, her family and their adventures on the prairie?  Do you think of the TV show starring Michael Landon, Melissa Gilbert and Melissa Sue Anderson?  Do you think Twitter

Yeah, you heard me, Twitter.  Hold onto your bonnets, people 'cause you remember sweet little Laura?  Well she's a 21st century lady now and that means she's on Twitter.

HalfPintIngalls is her name and tweeting is her game.  Half Pint, which was Pa's nickname for Laura, writes about life on the prairie, Ma, Pa, and sister Mary, but she also gives us a subtle take on modern issues as well. Here's a little sampling of her tweets:

  • Anything more than 140 characters is a waste of lamp kerosene anyway. 11:07 PM July 27th 
  • That Almanzo, I'd sure like to go hunting around HIS creek bottoms. 11:11 AM Jul 30th
  • 60 followers? My land, I think the entire population of De Smet must be reading my Twittergraphs. 5:45 PM Aug 21st
  • I know my doll isn't really a doll, just a corn cob wrapped in a handkerchief. So why won't it STOP STARING AT ME? 1:23 AM Sep 6th
  • That lady governor from Seward's Folly spent an awful lot at the dressmakers and still she claims she isn't a town girl. Such nerve! 5:27 PM Oct 23rd 

That lady governor sound like anyone you know?

As a big fan of the Little House books when I was a kid, I found HalfPintIngalls strangely compelling---with an emphasis on strange---but amusing as well.  I always loved the Little House books because they were about family and adventure and written by a woman with the sensibilitiies of a girl.

Of course looking at it now, we all know that frontier life was no picnic.  There were long winters with no food, long summers with no water, wild animals, floods, snow storms, drought and death from any number of diseases that today could be cured by a trip to Walgreens.

And that was if you were white.

That cynicism is one reason I picture today's HalfPintIngalls on Twitter as a 20 year old frat boy at Barnard with too much time on his hands.  But no matter.  That doesn't in any way diminish my memories of Laura and that of so many other women and girls.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Frontier Girl Site has a video tour of a rebuilt replica of the cabin on the prairie, and it's a nostalgic walk down memory lane.

Only Laura is a blog that's about...only Laura.

Dean Butler, who played Almanzo Wilder, Laura's future husband on the TV show, has his own blog Legacy Documentaries where he writes about all things Almanzo.  (Thanks to fellow CE Sassymonkey for this link.)  Dean's also narrated a DVD called, "Almanzo Wilder:  Life Before Laura" which has a trailer up on YouTube. 

Sassy Canuk at Five's A Party recounts her memories of reading the books as a child:

They captured my imagination and I have loved most things pioneer since then. Now, I am reading the series to my children. They are greatly captivated by the descriptive flow of the events and places and people,
even though the books are about a *GIRL*.

Scomerican Girl at Scomerican Tales: An American Girl In Scotland also treasured the stories of Laura and the Ingalls family.  In her post "All You Need Is Imagination," She writes about recently watching some of the old "Little House" TV shows.  Oh, and she also thinks Pa Ingalls is hot:

It has been a blast from the past of the most bizarre kind.  I remember some scenes of some of the episodes but I’ve forgotten a lot.  But the thing about this show is that it makes me cry.  ALL THE TIME.  I’m serious, all the time.  I have a tendency to cry at movies and tv shows anyway, but this show has just influenced my tear ducts in a way that nothing ever has before.  EVER. 

The family at 10 Questions About actually visited the Laura Ingalls Wilder Park and Museum in Burr Oak, Iowa:

Laura and the Ingalls lived in Butt Oaks when she 9 years old. They worked in the hotel and we toured the hotel.

The going rate in the day was $.25 per night – but there were 3 people to a bed and you didn’t necessarily know your bed buddies. We saw a replica of Laura’s first doll – a corn cob husk with a face painted on it. We also learned that you can make checkers by slicing up a corn cob and coloring half the pieces black and half red.

Girl Mogul at the Girl Mogul Blog recently did a post about how "Little House on the Prairie" is worth a re-read:

A far cry from Gossip Girl or 90210 (though Nellie Oleson does
function at the rich, gossipy foil to Laura's 'good girl) Little House on the Prairie is full of stories of hard work, family values and of self-reliant women -- before we had too many questions about working mothers, to work or not work, we have these women - whose work both inside and outside the house - is vital to the family's survival.

If all this is a little too puppy dogs and lollypops for you, there's also Alison Arngrim's, one woman standup comedy routine about her experiences playing Nellie Oleson on the TV show, "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch." 

And what would a modern day spin on a classic be without a lawsuit.  The producers of the TV show are suing the owners of the non-profit Little House on the Prairie Museum in Kansas for trademark infringement.  Ryan Gile, a trademark attorney in Las Vegas, writes about all the legal ramifications, and the UnBeige Blog has some anti-corporate thoughts about the suit.

None of that should matter however to all the little girls out there who fantasize about what it was like to live on the prairie and the adventures of pioneer life.

So here's to Half Pint and all the girls who grew up loving her, and all the girls yet to discover her.

 

Megan Smith is the BlogHer Contributing Editor covering Television and YouTube and she wants to remind you about her DonorsChoose Handbag Raffle Page. You have until Friday to donate $10 to a worthy public school project and enter a raffle to win a new handbag.  Her other blogs are Megan's Minute, quirky commentary around the clock, and Video Runway.

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