Herbert Hoover Presidential Library Goes YouTube

Hoover on YouTube

Sarah's Notebook

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum - West Branch, Iowa Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum – West Branch, Iowa

The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library now has a YouTube Channel. I’m really excited to see it. They can have longer videos than 15 minutes and I look forward to what else they are going to add. Check back often.

UPDATED August 18 2017: Hoover has done an outstanding job putting things up on their YouTube channel. Be especially sure to check out their Laura Ingalls Wilder Playlist. I added a direct link to their main channel page in addition to the video, the image of the Hoover Presidential Library, and my current signature block.

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…

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Get Fuzzy Comic

Revisiting one of my all time favorite comics. After all it’s not a shrine, it’s an information media center.

Sarah's Notebook

As Laura read one chapter of the serial at a time to make it last, I read all the comics on the newspaper page whether I like them or not. Usually Get Fuzzy is in the not column, but once in awhile there’s a great one.

A recent strip explored the fact that rennet is in cheese. It came as quite a shock, so I guess he never read Little House in the Big Woods.

http://www.gocomics.com/getfuzzy/2005/06/03

My favorite all time strip from them was when Satchel, the dog, sets up an information center about his favorite author and Bucky, the cat, tells him that this is what it’s come down to he’s making shrines to people now. I have to remember that, “It’s NOT a shrine, its a media information center.” 😉 Because that doesn’t sound familiar at all.

UPDATED August 12 2017: I still love this comic to…

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Iowa State Fair

It’s time to get ready to go to the Iowa State Fair.

Sarah's Notebook

UPDATED August 6, 2017: This is my trip report from 2007. If you’re planning on going, find a link to my podcast with my travel plan.

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Iowa State Fair

Yesterday my family hit the Iowa State Fair. It’s one of the best state fairs in the country with some of the best examples of Exposition style architecture. Normally I feel that it is too crowded and if attendance keeps increasing they will either have to length the days or the buy more ground because they are running out of room. This year was a little better than usual because we were able to go on a weekday and it rained. It was still pretty busy before we left.

We have some places we hit every year and then we try to do a few new things. We usually start out in Agriculture Building. Besides the display of crops and…

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My Trip to De Smet 2017 Day 2 Part 3 July 14

We continue with Day 2 Part 3. See Part 1 and Part 2

Bill Anderson 2017
William T. Anderson

We pick up during the second Bill Anderson and Nancy Koupal presentation. This program and Alison and Dean’s were repeated with a different focus, so they each spoke two times each day.

Yay Bill's on again #lauraingallswilder #DeSmetevent

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Bill talked about how the organization got started, what were some of the early projects, who was initially involved, and his own role.

This time Nancy focused on her work with the Pioneer Girl project. She specifically focused on what she has learned and what she has continued to learn as she works with the project. She told her story about finding Ma and Pa’s photos which I LOVE! Then she told about getting to see and handle the original tablets of Pioneer Girl in Mansfield, Missouri.

Now more Nancy Koupal #lauraingallswilder #desmetevent

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I paused walking back to show how De Smet grass looks in July.

See why I was so excited to see green grass when I came in April? #Lauraingallswilder #DeSmetevent

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Next it was time to head out to the pageant grounds. Admission is now $15.00. I recommend bringing a lawn chair if possible. The lawn chairs are supposed to go halfway between the benches so someone can sit behind you if they want. This was the first year I saw people confused by the system and two whole rows that jammed their lawn chair right up against the bench effectively taking up two spaces by making the one behind them unusable which was especially bad because attendance was high both days during the event.

Don't know if you can tell from photo but think biggest crowd I've seen here #desmetpageant

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The coolest thing was that the pre-show began with Dean Butler driving a real wagon and team onto the stage. He was joined by Cork Poppen who played Almanzo for 30 years during the run of the pageant and Broden Lesch who is this year’s Almanzo. A cheer of excitement rose when people realized who was driving.

Dean Butler DROVE team &wagon on to the set #lauraingallswilder #DeSmetevent

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I really have to say this is the best De Smet pageant in 2 or 3 years. Pa and Laura both gave really solid performances, but the Nellie Oleson was great, but Baby Grace stole every scene she was in.

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I really liked how they did the crows with flying crows on sticks which fit in well with the fact they were supposed to be beating the crows off.

Really clever blackbirds on poles while they knock "off" with poles. #DeSmetevent #desmetpageant.

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Another really great part was when Mary said she desperately wanted to go to Iowa, to which we say “natch.” Everyone wants to come visit Iowa — or should.

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A few years ago the highlight of the pageant was because the romance between Laura and Almanzo played the best I’ve ever seen it done (there were other issues, but THAT was incredible). This year the relationship between Mary and Laura was the best I’ve seen portrayed. You really felt a sisterly bond between them and it really sold why Laura was willing to do things she didn’t want to do in order to help, not just the family in general, but Mary in particular.

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There was also a lot of really good comic relief this year.

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Some extra information.

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Another really great thing was that they did a lot with live horses this year. Normally they leave most of that to Walnut Grove, but live horses were in multiple scenes throughout the pageant including reenacting Almanzo’s buggy race win with two horses and wagons where one pulls ahead.

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They did the July 4th scene complete with lemonade.

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I’m still not sure why this spontaneously happened. Normally you only stand for the national anthem. I don’t know if people were mistaken about what song it was, were just feeling especially patriotic, or what?

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I was also really surprised about the weather. My classic pageant advice was to bring sweatpants and a sweatshirt to pull on for later. After sweating to death the last couple of pageants, I had stopped following that advice. Apparently those were the exceptions, I wanted and didn’t have sweats that night.

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They had Miss Wilder use the “Birds in their little nests agree” poem. I love its use in Laddie.

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Of course, they said Almanzo wrong. — But that’s all right Almanzo got Laura’s name wrong in one scene he called her Miss Wilder several times.

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After that I went back to the hotel. Alison and Dean had stuck around and watched the pageant from the back and took some photos with the pageant cast afterwards, but I had left before that. Catch you tomorrow!

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.

On the way to Little House on the Prairie the Roadshow

Remembering my trip to see The Little House on the Prairie the Musical.

Sarah's Notebook

If you’re interested in Little House on the Prairie the Musical, check out this post.

I finally made it. I saw the musical at the Guthrie last year and I’ve been trying to get to see the roadshow all year. A bustrip fell through when it opened in Minnesota. I just couldn’t make the schedule work out for Wisconsin, but FINALLY I got tickets for Sioux Falls and two friends to go with me and we headed out. WAGONS HO!

OK, so it was Seebring ho! Same principle. AAA said it was about 5 1/2 hours to Sioux Falls, but they were off. At least it took us longer than that. One of my friends insisted on driving the whole way, so I’m sure it was an especially long day for him. We ate lunch at Trumbles in Albert Lea. Good place to stop if you’re passing through on your…

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Tribute to Bob Brimacomb

Still remembering Bob

Sarah's Notebook

I’m home again and the flood waters are receding. They have left a big mess to clean up. It’s still too early to know just how much of a loss it will be.

On a happier note, I missed the Laura Days in Burr Oak, but they went on as scheduled. Bad weather didn’t really hit until mid-afternoon on Sunday, so I don’t think it caused too much trouble.

As many of you may know, the Burr Oak Laura museum lost one of its best friends last summer. Bob Brimacomb was the husband of Ferneva Brimacomb, the former director of the site, who did such an outstanding job. Bob was with her every step of the way. He always helped them with the Days celebration and often lent a hammer or an idea when something was needed around the museum. He traveled with Ferneva to many Laura events, including the…

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Brandon IA

Have you made a stop yet in Brandon, Iowa?

Sarah's Notebook

Catching up on some delayed stuff. dsc001322I always think of Laura and the spider frying pan she describes in Little House on the Prairie when I see the advertisement for the world’s largest frying pan along I-380.

The World’s Largest Frying Pan

The town of Brandon hosts a yearly pancake breakfast for the town with a cowboy theme, hence the giant, metal skillet. You can’t see it from the Interstate. I was surprised it was on the opposite side of town from the Interstate in a park next to the Brandon community center. As much as they advertise it I would have thought they’d have had it close on. That community center partially paid for with money from the pancake breakfast.

Brandon, Iowa Today

It’s an odd town. They have some beautiful buildings including two simply gorgeous old bank buildings (now other things). The cemetery at the top of the…

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