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Little House on the Prairie: Pa, Ma and That Mime That Raped Sylvia


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#31

OHNicki

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 7:50 PM

the girls make maple candy by drizzling maple syrup over snow, allowing it to harden. I tried that with snow and Log Cabin Lite syrup, but it never hardened!


It has to be real maple syrup. We used to make it when we were kids and it was fun.

People never looked good in those old pictures. They used to clamp your head into a stand and you had to sit perfectly still and not move for up to an hour. I have some scary photos of old relatives that are daguerotypes and they all look that bad.
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#32

Liquidsunshine

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 9:19 PM

I remember being vaguely disappointed by pictures of the real family too. Pa looked like a member of ZZ Top, Ma was fat and kind of severe-looking, and Mary wasn’t all that pretty, like Laura made her out to be. I thought Laura was cute though.


I think Laura is the best looking one in the family. After years of reading about Mary being so beautiful, I was disappointed with her. Although, I do remember reading somewhere that she'd had a few illnesses as an adult and they left parts of her face distorted. Oh, and the picture of Carrie, Laura, and Mary (the one where Laura is tightly clenching her fist) taken shortly after the Long Winter, Mary's hair is dark like Laura's. It's always been said she had "golden" hair that Laura envied.

I worship these books. I've read them approximately 26 million times. Like some of you, I sometimes wished I could go back and live in those times. (I remember thinking the birthday party with all the cool kids in Little Town on the Prairie sounded fun and gosh I wish I could be friends with that Cap Garland!) But then five minutes later, I'd snap back in to reality and realize you couldn't pay me to live in those times. Can't vote, have very little rights, all that manual labor, be expected to have babies and that's it, etc. Meh.

As I got older, I delved more into Laura's real life, read a few biographies, and was interested to learn a few things. Sorry if this has already been talked about here (I'm too lazay to scroll back) but I was interested to learn that:
--Laura had her eye on Ben Woodworth originally. She also found Cap Garland pretty intriguing. Almanzo later grew on her.

--The character of Nellie was actually a culmination of three different mean girls that Laura came across. I'll have to find the particular book I read that in (it actually named the other girls), but apparently, as she sat down to write the Little House books, she decided it would be better for the stories if she stuck to one villainess.

--Laura was apparently quite a dish in the town of De Smet. In addition to Almanzo liking her, there was a young lawyer in town who had his eye on her, too. He was too chicken to ask her out directly, so he tried doing it through Pa and it didn't work.

--Almanzo had two other siblings besides those mentioned in Farmer Boy. There was Laura, the oldest and Perley Day, the youngest child. Apparently, Laura Wilder worked as a seamstress right along with Laura Ingalls in De Smet. In order to avoid the confusion of having two Lauras in the family, Almanzo nicknamed Laura Ingalls "Bess", which was a variance on her middle name, Elizabeth. That escalated into Bessie and "Mama Bess" as her own daughter Rose use to call her in the later Little House books.

--in interviews and verbal conversations, Laura called her parents "Mother" and "Father", but when writing, she referred to them as "Ma" and "Pa".

Edited by Liquidsunshine, Jan 3, 2004 @ 9:48 PM.

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#33

Dani257

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Posted Jan 3, 2004 @ 11:17 PM

Well, they did keep the detail of Almanzo calling her Bess in the tv show. Topic! Sneaky! Or did he call her Beth on the show? And, I don't remember what reason TV!Almanzo gave for the nickname.
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#34

tv eagle

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 7:15 PM

I believe in one episode he did leave Harriet and if memory serves me correct the townspeople were like "its about time".
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#35

J19

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 9:14 PM

TV Alamanzo called Laura, Beth, from her middle name Elizabeth. This arose after she called him Manly (she was smitten/nervous/tongue-tied and had trouble with Almanzo. And, I think she was thinking he is manly.). In order to make her feel better for this slip, he wanted a special nickname for her, just for themselves, hence Beth.

Edited by J19, Jan 4, 2004 @ 11:58 PM.

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#36

Liquidsunshine

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 9:28 PM

And I believe in real life, Almanzo told her that his nickname was "Mannie". (in fact, Royal called him that once in Farmer Boy: "Mannie, you're going to get an awful whipping!") Apparently, Laura misheard him and thought he said "Manly" and it stuck.
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#37

ubi

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 9:38 PM

Which reminds me, why the heck did he stay with Harriet? What a shrew that woman was.

That just wasn't done back then, was it?

As for fantasizing about how fun it would have been to have Laura's life (minus the outdoor plumbing), I hope you're kidding. It was brutal and difficult and while the books have romanticized some of it, and they certainly did have good times, it was not a fun life.

As semi-staged as it was, 1800 House and the sequel in rural Montanna provided a fascinating insight into life in those times. Tres sucky.

It has to be real maple syrup. We used to make it when we were kids and it was fun.

I'm not sure I'd do that today; who knows what that snow picks up from the air?

On topic? Is there anything new about the remake of LHotP?
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#38

hkk02

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 9:44 PM

For the TV nicknames, they happened when Eliza Jane first introduces Laura and Almanzo when he's picking her up from school. She tells Laura that she calls her brother Manny. Laura, with stars in her eyes, thinks she said Manly and it sticks. He asks Laura what her nickname is and she says her Pa calls her Half-Pint but she doesn't like it because it's a name for little girls. He say okay then, I'll call you a woman's name. He asks her middle name and shortens it to Beth.

I agree with OHNicki that the family may not have been as bad as it looked. I haven't seen many people who look "beautiful" in those old pictures.
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#39

meldogg1978

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Posted Jan 4, 2004 @ 10:10 PM

I always thought Jonathan Gilbert aka Willie Oleson was cute, especially in the last few seasons.

Ranking the Little House Series Books
1. The Long Winter-survival themes, can't imagine having to deal with that.
2. Little Town on the Prairie-Laura growing up, just a good story
3. These Happy Golden Days-Loved reading about Laura's teaching jobs, especially the first one with the Brewsters.
4.-Plum Creek-Walnut Grove in the house. Loved the house in the side of the hill.
5. Little House in the Big Woods-Laura as a little kid, life was so simple then.
6. Silver Lake-All the moving around
7. On the Way Home-liked following the caravan to Missouri
8. Little House on the Prairie-Never warmed up to this one.
9. The First Four Years-Just found it kind of meh.
10. Farmer Boy-Kinda throw in there for Zaldamo. Word on the Wilder's meals. Holy crap. I just liked reading about the Ingalls more.
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#40

Brn2bwild

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 1:16 AM

Just wondered: does anyone know why Michael Landon set LHOTP in Walnut Grove, as opposed to De Smet or one of the many other places the Ingalls lived?
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#41

PandaX

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 3:13 AM

Because they were, early on, trying to keep to the incidents in the books. There's a number of episodes that bring up incidents from "on the banks of plum creek" in the first season. That book was set in Walnut grove. As things got more and more far afield from the books, I imagine it seemed pointless to travel to desmet.
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#42

hkk02

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 10:23 AM

I also think logistically it would've been difficult to keep changing sets for the show each time they were supposed to have moved. Also, the audience didn't respond as well when the Ingalls did move those few times on the show. "Gold Country" has never been a popular episode. I've also heard fans complain about the Winoka episodes, although I thought they were a nice change. I'm one of the few who enjoyed Albert, though, so I'm weird.

This morning when I was braiding my daughter's hair I was thinking to the post a few pages back about how Laura wore her braids longer on the show than in the books. I was thinking that was probably because she would've looked pretty silly (on the show) going to school in a bun. To me, that bun really signified Laura growing up on the show, and if they would've done it any sooner it would have been strange. She did wear her hair down a lot more those last 2 seasons before Sweet Sixteen. Thanks goodness they didn't make her wear those silly flipped braids with the blue bows for church anymore. I must admit that I wore my hair like that a few times, though! And now my daughter wants her hair like that too because one of the American Girls has braids flipped up, too. Yikes, history repeats itself!

I always thought Jonathan Gilbert aka Willie Oleson was cute, especially in the last few seasons.


Hmm, I was always more of an Albert girl myself. I could never get past Willie's bratty ways. Plus, have you seen any recent pics of Matthew? He is HOT! To be fair, I haven't seen Jonathan in a long time, so he could be, too.
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#43

Love2Hate

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 11:45 AM

Speaking of Laura's braids - I totally coveted Nellie's giant bows.
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#44

Quag

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 1:23 PM

Thanks to a surprise after-Christmas bonus, I was able to get LHotP Season 1 dvd. Yay! I haven't seen the show in years, and I'm savoring each episode, watching one each night. I just finished "The Love of Johnny Johnson." As someone upthread said, the dvd extras really suck. So much potential but nothing done about it. I could get more info at imdb. Sheesh!

I am looking forward to a new mini-series, but I have to admit it will be very difficult not to compare. MG just was Laura, you know? Accepting another 8-year-old might be difficult.


Word! But I'm craving new LHotP and curious about a "new take" on the LIW story. I think what Ed Friendly said about LHotP being Michael Landon's vision was very telling, so I'm interested to see how EF thinks LIW would really want the show to be. I cannot wait for the mini and, possibly, a new series.

Any time the subject of this movie comes up, I say the same thing: John Boy belongs in the mountains, not on the prairie! It's just wrong to upset my TV universe that way.


This is so how I think! Hi-larious!

And Melissa sure does know this! I am convinced that this is the exact reason why she dressed in that cleavage thing at last year's SAG awards.


When I saw her, all I could say was, "Oh, Half Pint, no! WHYYYY?" But I'm proud of MG. She's done well for herself, SAG prez and all.

While we're talking about prairie hair, what about the 70s-style long hair on Pa, Albert, and Almanzo?


Hollywood Hair on the Prairie? It's so funny looking back on Pa's perfectly coiffed big 70s hair!

I tried that with snow and Log Cabin Lite syrup, but it never hardened!


After trying Laverne's milk and Pepsi, I swore I'd never try another TV show food thing again!

As semi-staged as it was, 1800 House and the sequel in rural Montanna provided a fascinating insight into life in those times. Tres sucky.


Ah, good times, and the shows that sparked my renewed interest in LHotP.

Thanks, meldogg1978, for the LHotP book list. Is this list complete? I only read parts of one book when I was younger, but now I'd like to read the complete set.
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#45

formergr

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 1:31 PM

It has to be real maple syrup. We used to make it when we were kids and it was fun.

We tried it once with Log Cabin syrup when we were kids, and shockingly it didn't work. But we tried it again with real maple syrup, and it still didn't work. I'm guessing maybe we didn't let it heat up enough... Any advice, OhNicki? :) "Playing" LHOP or "olden days" was the favorite game of my sister and I growing up. There were Cabbage Patch dolls involved and everything. Even though we'd read the books, our play was more like the tv show (see? topic!).

Sorry if this has already been talked about here (I'm too lazay to scroll back)

Pst! Liquidsunshine, the only thing that the mods hate more than people posting without reading a thread is when they admit to doing it...
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#46

meldogg1978

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 2:30 PM

Quag I believe that is the full list. Laura did write a diary later on about going to the World's Fair-which I have not read. I would highly recommend reading the entire series.

formergr I used to play LHOP as a kid myself. Had old clothes and bonnets and everything.
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#47

SecretOfLife

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 2:32 PM

It has to be real maple syrup. We used to make it when we were kids and it was fun. 


In Fort Worth, Texas (where I grew up) it seldom, if ever, snows. So we tried scraping the frost from the freezer (this was pre-frost free freezer days) and pouring Aunt Jemima's (or was it Mrs. Butterworth....I always got those two ladies mixed up) on it. Didn't work.

As for Laura's hair/braids, it always annoyed me that she was forced to wear the braids while Mary and even Carrie (until later years) got to wear their hair down. Back in the late 70s, early 80s longish hair was quite popular among young women and I always thought MG had the most beautiful hair. (Actually, she still does). It doubly annoyed me when she seemingly went from the braids straight into that horrible bun.

Since I was the one who originally raised the point about the Oleson's marriage, I would like to clarify my position. I always knew why they had the Olesons stay together (plot conveniences), I just remember how peeved I was that Victor French's character divorced later on in the series. That marriage seemed much more sound (if he'd ever ditched some of his randy ways).

One of the episodes I saw during the last couple of weeks (during my LHOP couch potato marathon) had Adam winning the Louis Braille award. Since he and Mary didn't have the money to travel to St. Paul to receive the award, Albert and Laura gave over their earnings from the honey they'd harvested. (It was something like 50 or 60 bucks). Adam and Mary are taking the stagecoach to catch the train when the stage coach loses a wheel and a horrible accident occurs. The driver is killed, Adam's legs are crushed underneath the coach, another passenger goes into labor (played by Michael Landon's real life daughter, Leslie) and Mary is left on her own to try and find help. Well, of course it all works out (thanks the fire that happens to start from the eyeglasses Mary drops on the grass which creates a fire signal to flag down Pa and Mr. Garvey). And the next thing we know, after suffering through the whole ordeal, everyone is going to be A-OK!

Never mind the "oops...we need to wrap this story up" neat and tidy ending. Nobody said a word about getting a refund from the stage coach service for Laura and Albert's money! I'd a been pissed if I'd been them.

And poor Carrie...first she wanted to help Albert and Laura and was scolded by Ma "Oh no...you're too young to help out" and then was left on her own devices to tend to Grace one night when the rest of them HAD to hurry over to Adam and Mary's school to let them know that Laura and Albert were going to give them the money. Had Lindsay/Sidney (there were actually twins playing the role of Carrie, right?) been any better at acting, they probably should have had an episode ala Jan Brady's infamous "Marsha, Marsha Marsha" saga.
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#48

xii

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 4:40 PM

I imagine you'd have to heat syrup to the "hard crack" stage in order for it to harden in snow.

I think I mentioned the stagecoach/accident/fire episode upthread, and I still can't remember why Mary was carrying those eyeglasses, except as a plot contrivance to start the fire. I do remember thinking that the actress playing the pregnant passenger was ... to be charitable, I'll say "not the greatest." I didn't know she was ML's daughter.
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#49

christopherson

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 5:20 PM

Maybe I'm the only one who didn't already know this, but apparently Sean Penn got some early "acting" experience on "The Voice of Tinker Jones", one of the episodes from Season 1. He doesn't say anything, but he's on camera quite a bit as one of the kids helping Tinker create the bell for the church/school.

formergr I used to play LHOP as a kid myself. Had old clothes and bonnets and everything.

I had a bonnet and went through a period where I wore it to bed every night. I don't know what was wrong with me.

I do remember thinking that the actress playing the pregnant passenger was ... to be charitable, I'll say "not the greatest." I didn't know she was ML's daughter.

She was also in "The Plague" as one of the plagued. She has a "touching" scene with ML where he reassures her that everything's going to be hunky-dorey even though everyone in the town is dying and no one knows the source of the killer disease. Oh Pa.
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#50

SecretOfLife

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 5:21 PM

I do remember thinking that the actress playing the pregnant passenger was ... to be charitable, I'll say "not the greatest." I didn't know she was ML's daughter.


That's the main reason I found out who she was. I think she returns as a teacher, later in the series and still was just as bad.
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#51

jird

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 5:34 PM

I think I mentioned the stagecoach/accident/fire episode upthread, and I still can't remember why Mary was carrying those eyeglasses, except as a plot contrivance to start the fire.

Adam was going to give a speech, and he kept making a joke about how Mary should give the speech instead of him, and he had some idea about how she could use the glasses as a prop. So right before they left, Ma handed the glasses to Mary and said, "Adam said you wanted these."

Once again, I can recall twenty-five year old eps of LHOTP, but useful things? No way.
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#52

xii

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 5:47 PM

That's how I remembered it too, but the idea of a blind person using a pair of glasses as a 'prop' during a speech struck me as such a weak plot device that I began to doubt my memory.

Forgive me if someone's already mentioned this, but didn't Adam aka Linwood Boomer go on to produce Malcolm in the Middle?
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#53

BambiJo

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 8:02 PM

LHotP book list. Is this list complete? I only read parts of one book when I was younger, but now I'd like to read the complete set.


Yes, it is complete, but not in order. Also, On the Way Home isn't considered part of the set, although it should be. It is Laura's diary from the trip to Mansfield, Mo.
The order of the books is:
Little House in the Big Woods (One of the best ones! I love Pa's stories and Laura's descriptions.)
Farmer Boy (Don't read this if you are hungry. Seriously.)
Little House on the Prairie (LOVE IT!!)
On the Banks of Plum Creek (My least favorite, actually. I love the first half, but the second half is too depressing for me.)
By the Shores of Silver Lake (My favorite. Did you know that Silver Lake was filled and turned into a landfill? Nice, huh.)
The Long Winter (My favorite. Again. I know its weird that I like this one and find Plum Creek depressing, but whatever.)
Little Town on the Prairie (Pretty good.)
These Happy Golden Years (I didn't read this until much later than the rest because I thought it was about old people. But it is really good, although, like someone pointed out, it seems a little rushed.)
The First Four Years (Don't really like it. I bet Laura wouldn't like it either. It was published posthumously, so Laura didn't get the chance to write and rewrite with Rose like she did with the rest of them.)

Forgive me if someone's already mentioned this, but didn't Adam aka Linwood Boomer go on to produce Malcolm in the Middle?

I don't know if he produces, but he plays the father of the family. It doesn't look like him, though.

That's the main reason I found out who she was. I think she returns as a teacher, later in the series and still was just as bad.

Ms. Plumb. Yes, her acting leaves something to be desired.
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#54

hkk02

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 8:18 PM

According to IMBD, Linwood Boomer (what a crazy name!) created and executive produces Malcolm in the Middle. He has mainly produced and written since LH. He was also an executive producer for Third Rock from the Sun. He has done very little acting since his Adam days. Looks like he choose the right path in Hollywood. He's done very well for himself.
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#55

Dani257

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 8:20 PM

He doesn't act on the show. I forgot the name of the man who plays the father (I don't watch it)
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#56

VolWing

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 9:08 PM

He doesn't act on the show. I forgot the name of the man who plays the father

Bryan Cranston, who also played Tim Whatley on Seinfeld.
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#57

crazy_girl

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 9:15 PM

These rumors that Albert grew up to be cute are intriguing. I've done a google search but this is the only picture I could find.

http://www3.mdanders...9/EWTS_MLab.jpg

And you can't even see his face.
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#58

hkk02

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Posted Jan 5, 2004 @ 9:23 PM

Here ya go crazy_girl

There are lots of great pics on the site, including a few of the Greenbush twins, who turned out very attractive as well.

PS-That's Ma next to him, in case you couldn't tell.

ETA well maybe not very attractive, but better than most child stars, and certainly better than I expected.

Edited by hkk02, Jan 5, 2004 @ 9:37 PM.

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#59

TheRealJanBrady

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 9:52 AM

I never knew Adam was Linwood Boomer (whose kooky name I do remember as the creator of Malcolm in the Middle). Hot AND creatively talented? What a combo. I feel like I've seen him on TV being interviewed about Malcolm, but I certainly recognize him as blind Adam.

Also, count me in on the cute older Albert love train. Matthew is all dark and handsome and his brother Patrick, of JAG fame, looks by comparison like a total doofus.
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#60

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Posted Jan 6, 2004 @ 11:00 AM

Maybe I'm the only one who didn't already know this, but apparently Sean Penn got some early "acting" experience on "The Voice of Tinker Jones", one of the episodes from Season 1. He doesn't say anything, but he's on camera quite a bit as one of the kids helping Tinker create the bell for the church/school.


That's probably because SP's mother, Eileen Ryan worked on the episode. On imdB.com, she's credited as playing "Mrs. Kennedy" ["The Voice of Tinker Jones" (episode # 1.11) 4 December 1974].

I had quite the "wholesome" double header last night. First I watched 7th Heaven on The WB, then an episode of Little House on TLN. Adam had just passed the bar and is unable to secure a job in Sleepy Eye. He decided to move to Walnut Grove because WG doesn't have a lawyer. One would think WG wouldn't need a lawyer. But did they ever. Mrs. Olesen has convinced the town to invest in some landsharing deal that will result in much wealth when it's sold the railroad. Spearing the deal is Mr. Mills. Who, as it turns out, swindled the folks of WG, as the land he was selling wasn't land--it was a lake! Mr. Mills hires Adam as his lawyer, and Adam determines the man was only selling the land to raise money for his family. You see, he's dying. The wife agrees to give the money back, and the townsfolk of WG agree to support her for as long as she lives in WG. (Of course we never hear of her again, even though the Olesens were going to give her a job.) The man is essentially let off the hook, and is allowed to die in peace in WG. Yay Adam!

Is it just me, or do you enjoying the "seeing" jokes in regards to Mary. Someone said to her, "You see..." and I said to my TV, "NO! She can't see!" I do this all the time.

Anyhow, I read all of the books around first and second grades. My mom started reading the first book to me, and I finished the series by myself. If people ask what my favorite book is, to this day I still say the Little House books. I think I liked These Happy Golden Years best.

I was looking at some pictures of myself from age 6 or so over the holidays. It was funny how many dresses I remembered loving because they made me feel like I was on Little House on the Prairie.
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