T-Shirt of the Month August 2017

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 new monthly series where we look at a Laura shirt each month.

Shirt of the Month

Here is this month’s t-shirt:

40th Anniversary of Walnut Grove Pageant T-Shirt
40th Anniversary of Walnut Grove Pageant T-Shirt

Earlier this summer, in honor of the Walnut Grove Pageant’s 40th anniversary, I posted a classic – probably early 1980s? – t-shirt as the June 2017 t-shirt of the month. Walnut Grove museum director Amy Ankram responded to the Facebook post about it with a photo of this year’s anniversary shirt. Find out more about the Walnut Grove pageant at the June post linked above.

40th Anniversary of Walnut Grove Pageant T-Shirt
40th Anniversary of Walnut Grove Pageant T-Shirt

I absolutely loved it and actually made a quick detour on the way back from De Smet just to buy this shirt. You can still get one from the wonderful Walnut Grove giftshop. They aren’t on the website, but call 1-800-528-7280 and you can get them from the giftshop.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. 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. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Mentions July 2017

This month’s mentions of me and Trundlebed Tales that appeared in the news during July 2017. This month’s articles include upcoming reports on my shows in Clear Lake and Newton and a thank you from a prospective groom.

Sarah Uthoff in Walnut Grove Wagon
Sarah Uthoff in Walnut Grove Wagon

Delperdang, Judy. “North Iowa Nine: Barbecue, Art, Stories, and Music.” [Mason City] Globe Gazette. 20 July 2017. Accessed 1 Aug. 2017.
http://globegazette.com/entertainment/local_entertainment/north-iowa-nine-barbecue-art-stories-and-music/article_f37be3d7-1e37-5b6b-ab99-c793b57454df.html

Delperdang, Judy. “RSVP: Barbecue, Beatles and Blues, Lakefest and the North Iowa Fair.” [Mason City] Globe Gazette. 13 July 2017. Accessed 1 Aug. 2017.
http://globegazette.com/entertainment/local_entertainment/rsvp-barbecue-beatles-and-blues-lakefest-and-the-north-iowa/article_100e8478-d5e3-5a45-81b8-c0fc812a3d23.html

Klein, Becca. “Iowa Youth Chorus Choir Camp begins Monday at the library.” Newton Daily News. 14 July 2017. Accessed 1 Aug. 2017.
http://www.newtondailynews.com/2017/07/12/iowa-youth-chorus-choir-camp-begins-monday-at-the-library/aca28cw/

“My Engagement Story: On The Banks of Plum Creek.” Next Groom. July 2017. Accessed 1 Aug. 2017.
http://nextgroom.com/mystory/

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. 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. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

My Trip to De Smet 2017 Day 3 Part 2 July 15

We pick up with part 2 of Day 3 of the trip.

Sarah Uthoff in front of Surveyors House 2017
Sarah Uthoff in front of Surveyors House 2017

I got some good tweets from Alison and Dean’s program today. This was their second program of the day. I’ve heard them separately before and it was so much better when they were playing back and forth.

Dean & @alisonarngrim @Arngrim on stage together is WAY more fun! #DeSmetevent #littlehouseontheprarie

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I loved this line. There were plenty of kids costumes of TV characters in the 1970s, but I don’t really remember seeing many from any TV non-science fiction TV show lately.

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The crowds were just as big or bigger the second show of the second day.

Another great spillover crowd #littlehouseontheprarie #DeSmetevent @Arngrim

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I didn’t get the movie title in the tweet and checking the IMDB, none of Kurt Russell’s sounded right.

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Dean doing riff on when his character broke up with "Laura" about her taking a job #littlehouseontheprarie

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Doug Hansen did a second show that was equally informative about the wagon.

Hansen Wagon demonstration This is really good #DeSmetevent #lauraingallswilder

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Then we got to listen to some more from Bill and Nancy about the history of De Smet and the Pioneer Girl Project.

Now the good stuff William T Anderson and Nancy Koupal #

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I love this quote from Nancy.

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After the presentations were over I drove over to the roads of Manchester. I wanted to visit again. I hadn’t been there since the memorial went up. The memorial and the town pump are still there. If you don’t know, Manchester was where Grace Ingalls Dow and her husband Nate Dow lived. It’s 6 miles up the road from De Smet. Famed artist Harvey Dunn also was from Manchester. The entire town was swept away in an F4 tornado back in 2003.

The roads of Manchester are what I would call a little better than Level B meaning I wouldn’t drive them in bad weather, but they mostly still good and stable although the houses and businesses are almost all gone – a couple remain right on the edges of the town. I drove the entire matrix of roads that showed up on the GPS. They were all still in good shape except the road on the far western end of the grid. This last loop was in questionable condition. I made it fine with the Jeep, but I don’t know if I’d want to try it in a sedan.

Driving the streets of Manchester SD #Harvey Dunn #tornado #GraceIngallsDow

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Afterwards we considered our options and decided our best bet for supper was the Country Club. I hadn’t eaten there under the new management – they used to be known for their long wait times. It also is off the beaten track with just a small sign off the road that leads you from town south to the cemetery. I figured unfamiliar tourists wouldn’t know to stop here. It was quiet, the service was good, and the food was a bit better than the Oxbow, with the exception of the iced tea which the Oxbow still keeps the coveted best tea in De Smet award. Afterwards figuring that most people would be out at the pageant, I swung back around to get some Surveyor’s House photos. Then back to the hotel and the pool.

The next morning I had a leisurely breakfast and made one last quick swing by the Ingalls Homestead. I forgot to say earlier I had also made a swing by the Loftus Store and the De Smet News. The Loftus Store, besides being a Laura site itself, offers different souvenirs than the other homesites. The De Smet News is where you find all the news in town. I always pay my subscription when I stop, so I have a real piece of business to do in town.

I’ve just got to get back there when there isn’t an event so I can do some everyday stuff. I got to say hi to almost all my friends in De Smet and home that I can make it back there soon.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. 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. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

August 2017 Laura Ingalls Wilder Events

August is a quieter month than July, but there are still plenty of events to choose from.

Wagon Ride at Pageant
Wagon Ride at Pageant

De Smet SD

The Ingalls Homestead is hosting a Plein Air Event (painting in the open air) in conjunction with the Harvey Dunn Society. Find more details about a previous event. – August 11, 12, 13, 2017

Spring Valley MN

Find more about their events.

Ag Days (town celebration) August 17-20, 2017

Malone/Burke NY

Find more on events.

Aug. 26, 2017— Annual Cultural Festival – Native American Festival!

Celebrating the Native American heritage of the area in the mid 19th century with traditional food, music, dancers, demonstrations, craft vendors, and more!

Keystone SD – Longtime Home of Carrie Ingalls Swanzey

Keystone Area Historical Association always hosts an event on August 3rd, previously this event was held on Carrie’s actual birthday no matter what day of the week it falls on. This will be changing in future.

Heritage Hill – Green Bay WI

Laura Ingalls Wilder Event August 12 & 13, 2017 10:00 am – 4:30 pm– Watch their website for more details.

Genesee Country Village and Museum – Mumford, NY

Laura Ingalls Wilder Days  – August 5-6, 2017 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Watch for their page to be updated with 2017 information

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum – West Branch, Iowa

Hoover’s Hometown Days – August 5, 2017 1:30 pm Christine Woodside of Libertarians on the Prairie and David Davenport of Rugged Individualism to talk about their respective books.

 

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

My Trip to De Smet 2017 Day 3 Part 1 July 15

Picking up from the end of Day 2.

Doug Hansen and wagon
Doug Hansen and wagon

I skipped the morning presentations and used the time to go out to the Ingalls Homestead. I love spending time out there. I didn’t get out of the visitor center before I found a shareworthy photo. Surfer Dude ponies.

Surfer dude horses. Ingalls Homestead #DeSmetevent

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There were lots of kids having a great time.

Fun at #ingallshomestead #DeSmetevent

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There was a darling colt running free.

Runaway colt #ingallshomestead #DeSmetevent

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I explored the Ingalls Homestead buildings. This is in the barn hayloft.

Did you know there is a stage coach in the barn haymow? #ingallshomestead #DeSmetevent

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My absolute favorite thing to is to ride out on the wagon and sit on the wagon out by the schoolhouse.

Sitting at school in wagon favorite at #ingallshomestead

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Back to town for more speeches.

Tessa Flak, director of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in De Smet, introduced the speakers.

Tessa introducing Hansen Wagon shop #DeSmetevent

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One special event was they had Doug Hansen who is an expert wagon builder and restorer explain about the museum’s newly acquired 1880s-1890s farm wagon. He said it was in very good barn find condition and it only took a couple of new pieces to restore it to a working wagon “that could take you to California right now.” He pointed out how it was a working farm wagon and the ways you could convert it into different tools as needed. You could add or take off sideboards to change the size of the wagon or pull the box all together to use it as a lumber or log wagon. He also pointed out how some car parts still take their names from the parts of wagons. One of the most interesting things was that they needed to constantly grease the axles because they didn’t have any bearings. Wagons may seem like they were just thrown together, but they went through as complete engineering process as cars go through today down to what types of wood worked the best for which parts of the wagon.

Doug Hansen talking about learning about wagon

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Doug Hansen master wagon restorer #lauraingallswilder #DeSmetevent

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I took some time to check out the other things going on around the park. I got a fresh squeezed lemonade and checked out their crafts including making a corncob doll starting with shelling the corn.

Start corn cob doll by shelling corn! Great idea! #lauraingallswilder #DeSmetevent

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There was a representative from the South Dakota School for the Blind helping with Braille activities AND with a display about New York Point because she knew that’s REALLY what Mary would have learned. So many points for them. (New York Point was a raised dot system that developed in America about the time Braille was developed in France. There was a fight over which to use. Learn more in this episode.)

SD school for the Blind in site & smart enough to know Mary learned New York Point #lauraingallswilder #DeSmetevent

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Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. 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. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

 

My Trip to De Smet 2017 Day 2 Part 2 July 14

We continue on during Day 2.

Next was the joint presentation by Bill Anderson and Nancy Koupal. A technical error meant I got to pinch hit and introduce them. They were reading letters from Bill’s book Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Then they answered questions. Both Bill and Nancy have been interviewed this year. Nancy told my favorite homesite story both on the podcast and that day.

Nancy Koupal and William T. Anderson

Bill pointed out how the story he was telling took place in that very school, right there and pointed across the road. It really renewed my thrill at being RIGHT THERE.

Bill got me all excited about 1st school again #lauraingallswilder. #desmetevent @discover_laura

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After that there was a break for lunch and then Paul introduced Dean and Alison again.

Paul V introducing Dean & Alison #lauraingallswilder #littlehouseontheprarie #DeSmetevent

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Dean once again spoke. It was based on questions from the audience and while there was some reputation from this morning, there were also different questions. Dean reports even his wife has said, “If only I could meet a man like Almanzo.”

Even my wife says she wants to meet a guy like Almanzo #lauraingallswilder #DeSmetevent

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The crowd once again spilled out of the tent.

This time it was Dean’s turn to go first and Alison followed. One of the most interesting things Alison shares about is the French people’s obsession with the Little House on the Prairie TV show. The interest is so great that Alison has learned enough French that she can do a version of her one-woman show in French. She talks about how “chopping wood like Charles Ingalls” is a phrase used for working hard and how falling down in wildflowers like Baby Carrie is a thing in France.

@alisonarngrim @Arngrim on stage talking about France obsession for #littlehouseontheprarie

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Follow on for more posts.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on  FacebookTwitterGoogle+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.

Laura and the Butter Cow

GREAT NEWS! Laura Ingalls Wilder will be attending the best fair in the country this August! (OK, Texas might have a bit of an argument with that, but honestly we’re the one they wrote a book about see State Fair by Phil Stong – or watch the movies.)

The Iowa State Fair has announced:

The Iowa State Fair Butter Cow heads to the prairie with her companion sculpture, Laura Ingalls Wilder! In 2017, Laura Ingalls Wilder will be cast in 100% cream butter to celebrate her 150th birthday. Stop into the Agriculture Building and see Laura, along with a replica of the official Solheim Cup trophy, all sculpted in butter August 10-20.

George Washington Carver carved in Butter
George Washington Carver in Butter – One of my all time favorites

So What’s a Butter Cow?

A butter cow is one of those things that are unique to State Fairs. Other fairs still have them, but the Iowa State Fair’s is famous. The line to view this year’s cow reaches the full length of the Agriculture building. The tradition in Iowa began in 1911. They are part of the long tradition of showing off your agricultural products to help boost sales. The butter cow was a bit of a late comer to the tradition since to really be viable you needed a refrigerated case.

There had been a series of sculptors with the most famous being Norma “Duffy” Lyon who did a butter cow from 1960 to 2006. In 2007 her apprentice Sarah Pratt took over and has worked on the butter cows ever since.

Learn more about the butter cows and find links to Iowa Public Television’s news stories about them through the years:

https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/butter-cow

Butter Cow Line
Butter Cow Line

Beyond the Cow

The focus used to be all cow, all the time. However, every so often an occasional second sculpture joined and starting in at least 1996 one has appeared every year.

This year they’ve chosen someone whose 150th birthday is this year and some sports thing.

In 2017, Laura Ingalls Wilder will be cast in 100% cream butter to celebrate her 150th birthday. Laura Ingalls Wilder spent part of her childhood in Burr Oak, Iowa and her sister Mary attended the Vinton School for the Blind in Iowa. Various birthday celebrations and festivals are happening across the Midwest in recognition of her birthday. More butter please- West Des Moines will be host to the international golf tournament for women. Sarah Pratt, Iowa State Fair butter sculptor since 2006 will be bringing a little bit of the Solheim Cup to the Iowa State Fair as she creates a replica of the official trophy. Both Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Solheim Cup trophy will be on display with the Butter Cow in the John Deere Agriculture Building throughout the Fair. 

Viewing Tips

The butter cow is located on the agricultural products section of the Agriculture Building on the Iowa State Fair grounds in Des Moines, Iowa. The statues are only displayed during the actual run of the fair, this year August 10-20. A line forms to walk directly in front of the glass case. Normally you can get a semi-decent view from passing on the other side of the line or from the top of the balcony on the opposite side but either will be partially blocked by the line directly in front of the case.

Be aware that standard practice now is to demonstrate the sculpting during the fair so early in the run of the Fair Laura may not be fully done.

For tips about visiting the Iowa State Fair in general check out my touring plans on my podcast:

https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/travel-times-at-the-iowa-state-fair

Snow White - Another all time favorite
Snow White – Another all time favorite

News Coverage

I’m sure there will be a lot of coverage of this as the fair goes on but these two articles are first out of the gate.

http://whotv.com/2017/07/24/laura-ingalls-wilder-will-join-butter-cow-at-2017-iowa-state-fair/amp

http://www.kcci.com/article/state-fair-butter-cow-will-get-famous-roommate/10350979

Thank You

I also want to send thanks to DMACC and Kelly Pelzel who sent me the news.

Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving 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. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. 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. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.