Sunday, July 18, 2010

I will be reading from my Master's thesis and doctorial dissertation

First things first I have walked between 10,500-13,800 steps each of the past three days. Go Me!
Second things second, the sheets did not pop off! And I didn’t sleep well, but I was shocked when the alarm went off.
At breakfast, I asked about the linens without a good answer. I was with some Board member and gave some comments as they were discussing things for next year. I wasn’t criticizing, but we were talking about things that can only be learned by doing something once to see what happens and where the holes are.
The first speaker was Bill Anderson. He had a slide presentation of the home sites in the 70s and color photos of Laura. He mentioned that in his interview with Rose’s friend Helen Boyleston, she said that Almanzo was a world class cusser. She thought she knew all the swear words and he taught her some. I found it interesting during the authors panel, on some questions the authors would just pass the mic down to him as he was their source. Rebecca, Jonni and I were wishing to spend an afternoon reading scribbled notes and seeing never published photos that are in his basement. He did mention in October – December UM Dearborn is going to be having a display – I will get there. Some people may not know it yet, but we will be going.
There were simultaneous sessions next. Big surprise I went to the crafting one. Those women were just way more talented than I could hope to be. I loved seeing it.
At lunch, I ate with the woman from supper last night who still claimed she had never heard of Dean Butler before and is not on Facebook. OK, I believe she’s not on FB, but having never seen the tv show I find highly doubtful. The other two at the table were born in Japan and moved to Toronto in 1985. They had questions about current US politics, and it was an interesting discussion.
I went to the make and take crafts. Yesterday I had picked up the stuff to make a tin pail with candy, button string, and flour sack embroidery. Today I made 4 namecards and a corn husk doll. However, I was running late and missed most of Pamela Smith Hill. Bummer. It was announced that they were cutting the dinner to half an hour so that we could see both of Butler’s documentaries.
Sarah Uthoff was next talking about book design and the publishing industry. A little nerdy. I would have loved it to focus more on the graphical design and marketing, but again I’m a marketing major with librarians. I feel like I’m saying that a bunch, but it’s just that I know my perspective is different because of that background.
Kay Weisman discussed illustrating the books and the change from the Helen Sewell illustrations to the Garth Williams illustrations and the later small chapter books. It’s an interesting change how it goes from the adults and yeah there’s a child there as well to focusing on Laura and that the family looks like they are waiting to wait on her.
Gayle Abrahamson and Jane Palmer discussed temperaments and Sensing versus Judging and Thinking versus Feeling and classifying Laura and Rose. It was a little dry and I think they ignored how bull headed and stubborn both women were.
Emily Wooster presented and Gender and the books by comparing the description in Little House on the Prairie to women’s diaries from the Oregon trail. Interesting to an extent, but it included a lot of reading from her doctorial dissertation.
Next was a panel about Indians and the books. They first played a video of an Osage historian, who is 1/8 Osage. He thinks the books are factual and from a white little girl’s perspective influenced by said little girl looking back 60 years later. I did like his comment about “Did the Osage wear fresh skunk skins as Laura said?” His response was to think of fresh skunk skins as breech cloths? My goodness, they were human and no one in their right mind would do such a thing. That got a big laugh. Next was a guy who talked about the Minnesota Indian Wars. It would be nice if he had connected that to the books. Finally, the speaker was a woman who talked about the American Indian Movement occupying the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1972, and the press coverage. She did saying “I will be reading from my Master’s thesis and Doctorial Dissertation” at the beginning. This to me announces that we could take a nap. Then she talks and talks, as we watch dinner time creep up. She says “In Conclusion” and keeps talking and then says “Finally” a minute or two later she ended after cutting into our dinner time. We rushed to dinner.
I ran back to my room for my camera and newly charged batteries. The Almanzo DVD is really good. I may have cried when Father gave him Starlight. It was all filmed in New York and had a Morgan horse expert. The comments about the food are interesting. Then Dean Butler took questions. I’ll say he has a different perspective than most about the lawsuit between Friendly Productions and the Little House on the Prairie, of course consider he knows the Friendlies. Michael Landon did not have a beard because he didn’t want you to not fully be able to see his face. That the play may permanently go to Branson, and if it does there’s a good chance he will be playing Pa (Opposite Melissa Gilbert’s Ma?) These Happy Golden Years is his favorite for obvious reasons, though he does like the Long Winter as a book the best. I took several pictures because on the screen they looked so dark, but Rebecca was next to me doing the same thing. The next was the Laura DVD. I cried during it as well, when she died. The 15 year old that plays her in the De Smet pageant played her in it, and was so good. Many of the illustrations were done by the woman who did the coloring books, and were so good. I want a copy so bad!!! But it’s not on sale yet. He’s looking for a distribution channel. He financed the Almanzo DVD himself, and it’s only sold through the home sites in small quantities. He thinks this one may be of interest to the Hallmark Channel or History Channel or something that would repay him the $200K it costs to make. And of course he can’t sell it to us before those things happen. I really hope it happens quickly!!! One thing, I knew but I never heard the comment stated like this. After 4 years of grasshoppers, the Minnesota governor declared a day of prayer. It was very shortly afterwards that the grasshoppers took to the air and left. The show received a standing ovation and choked the director up. I will say this as well. He got rid of the bad 70s haircut, but he has put on some weight in the past 30 years. I know people want to know details, and I will, but I’ll add, I’d like to meet the person who hasn’t put on weight in the last 30 years.
I called home and took a walk afterwards, because it was only 9. I’ve downloaded my pictures, and typed this out, and it’s now 11:50, so I think I’ll sign off to make sure I’m ready for the Walnut Grove field trip and pageant tomorrow!!!
Does anyone have questions that I haven’t covered?

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