I’ve been asked before who I associated you with the most in the series and it was always without a doubt Laura. It’s ironic that I got to play Mary more when we played Laura at recess at school because it was hard to get anybody else to take the role and she really is necessary for play acting out a lot of the stories, but I didn’t enjoy it. However, I think I’ve developed a bit more appreciation for the Mary beyond the books, what she overcame, and how she contributed to her family and her community. Early on the series was known as the Laura and Mary books and Mary got equal billing. I think we need to bring a bit more of that back. To remember it wasn’t only Laura born in Pepin, WI, but Mary too. To point out the Mary dolls, drawings, etc.
Two things recently brought this home to me:
1. I started doing the Facebook page for the Mary Ingalls Society and wanting to link to things I just assumed I’d be able to find once I took the trouble to look (for instance something on the Pepin museum website that said Mary was also born there) weren’t there.
2. I started looking for photos that I could take to use to wish Mary Happy Birthday since I have three e-cards to create now and it got me thinking about images of Mary which lead me on to another thought. There are Laura, Nellie, and Almanzo contests, but is there a Mary one anywhere?
It just suddenly struck me as unfair, so this year as one of my resolutions I hope to focus on Mary a little bit more and I hope that you loyal readers will help me out. If you see Mary somewhere, if you have a Mary doll, or a drawing or anything like that, please share and let’s help put the Mary back in the Laura and Mary fandom.
Sarah S. Uthoff is main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation.Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+,LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. She is currently acting President of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Legacy and Research Association. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.