One of these nights when I crash, I am going to really crash. I’ve barely slept the past two nights. Right now I feel fine though. Last night, my fitted sheet came off my bed. I ended up sleeping on the plastic mattress cover. I think the sheets aren’t extra long. Remember that. I got up/got breakfast. We made our way over to the student center. Amy Lauter’s welcomed us. I realized that I was surrounded by people who were crazy fan girls, like me. Okay some boys, but John Miller even said during his talk that Cap Garland sounds like the frontier hunk. (I might have a small thing for Cap. It’s really too bad that he died in his 20s) Then Amy mentioned being OMG, OMG that Dean Butler came to the ice cream social and talked to her. He and John Schneider were the crushes of her childhood. I was too young I think for that, and most of you know that I was NEVER a fan of the show. But she was talking in the same manner I was last night. I did meet the woman sitting behind me who is an Ingalls and a cousin of Laura’s. “Squeal” in fan girl pitch.
The first speaker, Kelly Ferguson, talked about her upcoming book about traveling to the home sites wearing a pioneer dress. She announced she would be reading from the book. BO – Ooring, but it was hysterical. I think she should do something with Allison Angrim; they would be so funny together.
The second speaker was Ann Weller Dahl about “The Other Laura Ingalls Wilder: Journalist, Philosopher, and Poet. Don’t remember much, but she’s written some curriculums and had lots of questions. However, and I may not win fans here. She struck me as the type who asks questions in a tone that says she’s a teacher which gives her insight that the rest of us mortals can’t have.
The next speaker, Michelle McClellan, was talking about “Place” and how what was at the location was important. I see her point, but I understand in some ways why the locations present themselves the way they do. It is their history not just Laura’s.
Dale Cockerell, a musicologist was next. Interesting. Laura’s memories are so good because they were set to music. I so feel that’s true. In fact, I think I belong to a Facebook group called, “I wish important moments in my life were set to music like in movies.” He mentioned how unusual it was, especially out on the prairie, to be able to here live music daily.
I missed the beginning of the next speaker, Jenna Hunnef. She was speaking about risk in the books. At times, it was a little too angry about white males. I don’t think many of you would be surprised by my stand that yes, bad things have happened in the past, but as they don’t know, move on and focus on the future and making it the best possible one for yourself.
This brought us to lunch. We sat down a table away from the “Reserved” table. Guess who was there? Everyone was talking about how they didn’t expect him to come to anything but the premier of his documentary and the fan girl feeling. The LIWRA gave out its first life time achievement award to William Anderson. I had heard he wasn’t as old as people expected. I, also, knew his first book was published around the time I was born. And that I have at least a dozen of his books, some in more than one edition. (Are you getting the Crazy Obsessive Fan girl thing yet?) They asked Rebecca to pose handing him the award afterwards. I went to get a picture and an autograph on a book I had brought. I sort of managed to make sense when speaking.
After lunch, John Miller spoke. His biographies are probably my favorite, though I’ve not read the latest, though I did buy it. There were many references to the St. Louis Cardinals in his talk. He had strong thoughts about the Ghost in the Little House and Holtz’s suggestion that Rose wrote the books and put her mother’s name on them. And the recent “New Yorker” article that loved the Holtz book, ignored his latest, and called his other one pedestrian. I don’t think he agrees with Laura and Rose on politics, but I think he must know enough people that agree with her. To me, he comes across saying that because of “X and Y they believed Z, rather than look at those bitter people who cling to their guns and their religion” as I read other historians say when deconstructing the past. He does laugh about the fact that Rose if she was alive would be leading the Tea Party, and that Laura probably would appreciate them.
The next two were right up my alley. I think several of you know that I find the apologetics of the Bible fascinating. These two speakers basically talked about the apologetics of the Long Winter. The first was Jim Hicks, a physics teacher who found the settler who sold Cap and Almanzo the wheat. He’s pinpointed the date as 2/14/81-2/16/81, as there was a full moon at the time. He measured the speed of horses, angles, weights, co-efficient, friction and decided that the settler was probably 6-10 miles away, rather than the 15-20 in the book. However, we know Laura was way off on the distance of the Prairie house to Independence. She gave the name of the settler as Anderson, that he might sow oats the following year, and some nearby ridges. When he looked that distance from town, he found a settler named Neils Anderson, who filed the claim in the beginning of 1880, planted 10 acres, the following year planted oats AND he bought out the claim and filed on the next section, like he came into some money, by I don’t know selling some wheat, he was working in the Great Lakes the next summer (didn’t have time to get seed?) The next was Barbara Mays Boustead from the National Weather Service, who studied all the data to see if the winter was the snow Armageddon that Laura describes. From Minneapolis, SD army forts, Omaha, Des Moines, and El Paso all say it was one of if not the coldest & wettest winters. And that blizzard before meant a torrent of something, but after 1881 was used almost exclusively for snow. She pinpoints the date of the seed wheat trip to probably 2/16/81-2/18/81, but the comment was that look how close those dates are. I think it’s the accountant in me, but I wanted copies of their talks.
Next was a homesites panel. They need more money, they have plans, nothing earth shattering to me. Some details about past lawsuits. I think some people don’t understand and it reminds me of some Miami Alumni stuff, that these are businesses. Yes, they can apply for grants, but that money has to come from somewhere. There’s part of me that would love to have a Laws Hall & Associates type class develop a plan for them. I think a lot of the fans and volunteers are librarians and teachers, who haven’t learned about public relations/accounting. This starts to get on the authors panel. I understand how Laura left Rose the rights. Rose left them to Roger Lee MacBride, her adopted/honorary grandson. He left them to his daughter. This outrages some people, but I understand that it was their property to do as they wish. It might be nice if they would do some things, but I don’t really see that they have a moral obligation to do so. As well, some people seemed to think that the Iowa School for the Blind is sitting on records about Mary. Why would they have kept them? The off chance in 50 years her sister would be famous? There was a suggestion by the author’s that Holtz’s conclusions in Ghost shocked MacBride into being tighter with the source documents.
I followed Rebecca and Jonni out after it. They were talking about dinner. I was going to tag along to the dining hall. They had a special dinner to go to for board members. I’m not a board member (whine, not that I’ve done anything to be invited) I went to dinner with some people I had talked to before. Fun, but I did find out that the Dean Butler who is my Facebook friend? That’s not a professional page, it is his page. This means it is possible that he has read us joking about me getting my picture taken with him. Not crazy obsessive stalker fan girl at all. And long story to digress from here, but some can tell you that I greatly fear appearing as crazy obsessive stalker girl about a variety of things at times. I did find out the woman sitting next to me had never seen “Who’s the Boss?” (Seriously how has one never seen it? Classic 80’s tv), so she didn’t remember him playing Mona’s much younger boyfriend.
Next we had a reception to meet the authors. I bought a book about Pepin that is autographed, and a Little House coloring book autographed. I had two authors autograph the program. Two authors were autographing and giving away the pamphlet. I bought two CDs from the musicologist and had them autographed. I had John Miller autograph a book I had brought from home. I mentioned that we follow the Cardinals, but to make sure that they stay behind the Reds. We talked for a few minutes about baseball and the similarities between St. Louis & Cinti. I liked that because I think he’ll remember me as not just someone who liked LIW. Then I went to get in the long line for Dean Butler, everyone all day was talking about it. It just seems weird that this Hollywood celebrity would want to hang out with us in Mankato, but he was at all the sessions. And yes, I have a picture!!!! Then I found out the Board dinner was with him! Jonnie was talking about how she was good during dinner, but hyper aware that he was sitting next to her. But she saved the fan girl behavior until this time, I figure at least it’s got to be good for his ego.
We came back, and I went to get new towels as the website said we wouldn’t be brought new towels, but that we could go get them. I went because I had showered with the washcloth so using it to wash my face just grosses me out. The guy at the desk told me that we weren’t entitled to them. I may tell Amy about that tomorrow. Anyway, I decided to go buy towels (yes literally this is how much it would gross me out) Target closes at 10, I was there at 9:50 buying three sets of towels and an extra long set of sheets. It looks like it fits the bed better, let’s hope they don’t pop off.
I think that’s everything. I’m still looking for a way to get online, but I’ll post this as soon as I can.