Unboxing Videos

A screenshot of my current Unboxing Playlist

Unboxing is a big trend on YouTube. Basically it’s a video of someone opening a package of something, showing what it REALLY looks like not just what the ads or the catalog show. I recently decided that people might want a look at my Laura Ingalls Wilder collection purchases so I’ve put together some Unboxing Videos. Some are going to be mail orders and I figure I’ll do my treasures I get in person from the giftshops. Take a look!

Unboxing Videos One By One

So far I’ve done four and here they are!

Unboxing Mansfield – This an order of a few small things I wanted, plus their new china shepherdess replica.

Unboxing Laura Ingalls Wilder T-Shirt Party – For various reasons I happened to get several T-shirts from a couple of the homesites at once. I have an extra mannequin torso laying around – like you do – and used it to model the T-shirts. I don’t think I’ll have the heart to show them on a hanger again!

Unboxing Pass Around Basket – Depending the program and the audience I sometimes take a small bushel basket of touchables with me when I present. I bought some burlap to upgrade my basket and that gave me an excuse to share with you everything in my basket.

Unboxing Cat’s Meow – This time we get Independence’s version of a shepherdess figure and the new batch of Cat’s Meow collectibles kicked off by Lauri Goforth.

Those are all I’ve done so far, but just to keep this update, here’s the link to the playlist which should show any future episodes. They show up in the as loaded order so it will always show the top video again in the preview. Check the top right hand corner for the 1/x, x being however many I currently have or just click on it to open the full list and check the end.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast,   look at her photos, and find her on  Facebook ,  Twitter ,   LinkedIn ,    SlideShare,  and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

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Mentions August 2019

Sarah in Sephia close up

Two article hits this last month. The first is a nice article about Laura Ingalls Wilder fans.

Nicolaou, Elena. “Little House, Big Fans: These People Really, Really Love Laura Ingalls Wilder.” Refinery29. 23 Aug. 2019, https://www.refinery29.com/en-us/2019/08/241044/little-house-on-the-prarie-laura-ingalls-wilder-fans?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=twitter_share. Accessed 23 Aug. 2019.

The second is the event notice for my program at Herbert Hoover.

“Laura Ingalls Wilder Remembered (West Branch, Iowa).” Little House on the Prairie. http://littlehouseontheprairie.com/event/laura-ingalls-wilder-remembered-west-branch-ia. Accessed 5 Sept. 2019.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast,   look at her photos, and find her on  Facebook ,  Twitter ,   LinkedIn ,    SlideShare,  and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

September 2019 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

Sarah in Pepin Cabin Year I Won the Essay Contest

While August was quiet, September has one last big splurge of big Laura events before most of the sites close down for the winter.

Pepin WI

Laura Days – September 14-15, 2019
Their big Laura event of the year it includes all manner of celebration of Laura including a Little Miss Laura contest, a regional fiddle contest, activities at the birthplace cabin, historic crafts, and Sarah Uthoff as a keynote speaker. The other keynote this year is Renee Graef.

Burr Oak IA

Find out more about their events.

Fall Fest and Used Book Sale – September 14, 2019 – 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Mansfield MO

September 20, 2019 – in the Evening: Annual Wilder Benefit Dinner- Special Guest Alison Arngrim – not sure on the time  yet
September 21, 2019 – Wilder Day and the Laura Ingalls Wilder Fiddle Off

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum – West Branch, Iowa

Laura Ingalls Wilder Remembered – Sunday, September 1, 2019 2pm
Sarah S. Uthoff

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast,   look at her photos, and find her on  Facebook ,  Twitter ,   LinkedIn ,    SlideShare,  and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

September 2019 Presentations

Sarah Uthoff Fake Tintype

September tends to be a busy month for Laura Ingalls Wilder events and this year it’s no exception. I have two programs. This year I’m returning to West Branch and the Laura Remembered event at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library.  I’m doing my A Long Way Home program with some extra slides. This year they are doing a special quilting project. Stop by and see. My second is my annual program at Laura Days in Pepin. This year I’m doing a special new program called Laura’s Attic where we go through a bushel basket full of stuff that you can try.  See you then!

  • Herbert Hoover Presidential Museum – West Branch, Iowa  A Long Way Home Annotated (General Laura Program) – September 1, 2019 – 2pm
  • Laura Days – Pepin, WI – September 14-15, 2019 – 12:20pm – 1:00pm

And even though I’m not going to be presenting there, I’m going to be attending Wilder Days in Mansfield, Missouri the weekend after Laura Days in Pepin. I’ve been meaning to get back there for Laura Days for a long time so I’m really excited to attend. If you see me there be sure to say hi!

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs,  schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast,   look at her photos, and find her on   Facebook ,   Twitter ,    LinkedIn ,    SlideShare,  and  Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

T-Shirt of the Month August 2019

When I post my video diaries I always get comments about my Laura clothes. No, not my period dresses, but my Laura Ingalls Wilder t-shirts that I wear for travel and Laura trips. I thought everyone might enjoy a closer look at them. So enjoy our monthly series where we look at a Laura shirt.

Shirt of the Month

Here’s this month’s shirt:

Full Body of Prairie Girl Shirt
Full Length of Prairie Girl Shirt

I’m sharing this shirt right now because Little House on the Prairie: The Musical has now performance rights available. Learn more about the history of the play.

Merchandising

This is a shirt that launched a lawsuit – sort of. Although the merchandising rights to Little House on the Prairie had transferred from Roger Lea MacBride to Ed Friendly through the contract that resulted in Ed Friendly’s gaining the rights to develop and produce the Little House on the Prairie TV show, the Friendly organization didn’t really utilize those rights between the times the Ashton Drake dolls came out in the mid-1990s and the production work of the musical in 2007. In the meantime the Little House on the Prairie homesite in Kansas had developed as a family owned business in Independence, Kansas under the name “Little House on the Prairie.” They had trademarked the name, had purchased and were using the corresponding URL, etc. All of this unremarked by anyone for years.

When the “Little House on the Prairie: The Musical” play debuted at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota, they wanted to follow regular theater practice of selling things with the name of the show. They were in contact with both the Friendly production company and the historic site who both claimed the merchandising rights on the name. A lawsuit was filed and eventually a settlement was reached which ended with the Friendly company retaining the rights plus gaining the URL and the historic site continuing operations under the name Little House on the Prairie Museum with the word museum featured in all branding. (Note: I make this description from various news articles, public fillings, and things I personally knew happened. I’m neither a lawyer, nor was I privy to any insider information so take my opinion of what happened as you will. There was more to it than this, but it’s the gist.)

Back to the Guthrie

So as the play was opening at the Guthrie none of this had yet been settled and taking a look at the competing field the production company decided to stay out of the fray as much as possible. Personally I think that’s the best thing they could do at that time. However, that meant that they weren’t able to use the “Little House” name on anything that didn’t say the full name of the play so they were very careful . They had to get inventive. They came up with more generic phrases and images that still made you think of Laura, the ultimate “Prairie Girl” which is featured on this shirt and several different similar phrases on a variety of items. By the time they made Sioux Falls on the national tour they had stuff (including shirts) with the play name.

This shirt isn’t offered anymore I’m sorry to say because I think it’s really pretty. I also really like brown and tan Laura shirts because if you are on a Laura trip there is a lot of dirt and they hide it the best.

However, the good news if you want to see the play itself, they recently released production rights for purchase by local shows. Share it around with local theater companies and see if you can get it staged. If you do please let me know.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Walking the Rocky Ridge Rock House Trail

Although the Rocky Ridge Farmhouse and the Rock House face different roads, they aren’t that far as a crow flies. In fact at the time they were built they were connected with a walking path. They’ve worked for awhile on recreating the path. Now you can follow the walk between the houses yourself.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast,  look at her photos, and find her on  Facebook ,  Twitter ,   LinkedIn ,   SlideShare,  and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Musical Now Has License Rights Available for Purchase

Little House on the Prairie the Musical T-Shirt
Little House on the Prairie the Musical T-Shirt

It All Began at the Guthrie

In 2007 the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota announced they would be debuting a new musical based on the “Little House” books. Although they said their source material was the books, not the NBC series, they definitely connected with the series through the casting of Melissa Gilbert as Ma and through their characterization of Nellie which matches the TV Nellie more than the books.

A Big Success

The show proved a big success with the original booking being extended by weeks for an audience ranging from normal theater people to Laura fans making the trip (buses went from the homesite towns, which is how I went). After it closed at the Guthrie in Fall 2008 it was announced the production would go on a national (actually international – they had one booking in Canada) tour. In a national tour a production travels from city to city as theaters book it with the same cast, etc. traveling with the show. Gilbert remained in the Ma role for this further production as did some of the other actors, others in the cast were replaced either due to scheduling difficulties or because they weren’t willing to travel that long for the show. I was particularly saddened by the loss of Carrie who was very good in the Guthrie production.

(Inter)National Tour

Announcements of bookings dribbled out during 2009 and then in October 2009 they were off! The play had been slightly retooled – which is normal – and traveled all around the country. When they played Sioux Falls (where I saw it), the cast even made a group trip up to DeSmet to see where some of the story really took place. The roadshow closed in early summer 2010. A couple of months later the gift shop that traveled with the show sold out excess branded merchandise. The official website slipped into an archived state without access to what had previously been posted.

Find out my details of this and a link to the archived version of the website on my history of the musical post.

What Happens Next?

Well, the hope of every such musical is to make it to Broadway and maybe even on to London. It’s sometimes a broken road there. Usually after a national tour one of three things happens:

  1. It goes straight to Broadway to try its luck there!
  2. It gets polished and retooled and tries another tour.
  3. Rights are offered for purchase for local productions.

So the show ended and what happened was…. nothing! At least in public. I assume there was at least some hope that it was going to have a chance at Broadway… or at least another shot at a tour. They don’t release rights for local productions until all hope for a big show is gone – at least for the immediate future.

Through 2013 the site remained operating in its archived state, then as a background screen, but preserving ownership through the first part of 2016 and I assume some hope remained. However, someone behind the scenes has now officially given up. The URL of the show is now an ad for a Japanese (in Japanese) diet supplement.

The Little House on the Prairie the Musical is now available for licensing!

 

The Good News

The positive part of this is that starting in Fall 2019 local groups will be able to put on productions of the show. Hopefully it will become popular and you’ll get to see a local production near you!

If you’re looking for buying, rights, scripts, etc. here you goThat’s what you’re going to want to pass on to your local theater groups, high schools, etc. and ask them to put on the show! They also have a digital preview version of the script.

Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the 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. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.