October 2018 Presentations

Sarah Uthoff in front of the Surveyors House
Sarah Uthoff in front of the Surveyors House

Thanks to my Johnson County Historical Society school programs October is shaping up to be a busy month. 🙂

As a heads up, October is pretty much booked. I still take bookings for November and the first week or so of December, but after that I’m closed down until the last half of March. I’ve just had to cancel too many programs during those months over the years. [The weather could be bad on this end, or that end, or this spring for Urbandale it was fine on both ends and an ice storm halfway between parked on I-80. Some cancellations do happen, but we try to avoid it. 😉 ]

The Humanities Iowa program is a great deal, but they only allow me so many slots a year. Several have been taken already. So if you’re interested for 2019 let me know as soon as you can.

Just because I have those Humanities slots doesn’t mean you can’t book direct. I’ve actually had more direct bookings this year than I have in years. Get in touch for specifics. info@trundlebedtales.com

Programs

  • Iowa Library Association – Cedar Rapids, IA – Library Rescue: What Jon Taffer Taught Me About Libraries – October 4, 2018 – 11:05am (Registration Required)
  • Lake City Schools – Lake City, Iowa – Packing Up – October 9, 2018 (Not open to the public)
  • Lake City Public Library – Lake City, Iowa – A Long Way Home (General Laura Program) – October 9, 2018 – 7pm
  • One-Room School Program for classes Wednesday, October 10, 2018. (Not open to the public)
  • One-Room School Program for classes Wednesday, October 17, 2018. (Not open to the public)
  • One-Room School Program for classes Wednesday, October 18, 2018. (Not open to the public)
  • One-Room School Program for classes Wednesday, October 24, 2018. (Not open to the public)
  • One-Room School Program for classes Wednesday, October 25, 2018. (Not open to the public)
  • Eastern Iowa Girl Scout Tea – Location to be announced, Ticket Required – Originally Scheduled in October Delayed Until Spring

That’s it for this month so far, but it’s not too late. If you’d like me to come present near you make sure to tell your local library, museum or civic group.   Learn more here:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/booking-a-program
Find descriptions of the various programs available:
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/program-descriptions

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.

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Lucy and Arnold

Chester Whites courtesy of Old World Wisconsin
Chester Whites courtesy of Old World Wisconsin

Green Acres

It really is the place to be. If you’ve never seen Green Acres, it was part of the rural comedy fad. The shows that are made fun of. That was especially true in the era of cerebral 1970s sitcoms, but even today I was reading a recent blog post which references the head of CBS in the 1960s and took a minute to unnecessarily shower these rural sitcoms with disdain. To that I say two things. First, people are still watching shows like The Beverly Hillbillies (which Green Acres spun off of) and The Andy Griffith Show. How many people are still watching – not just talking about but actually watching multiple episodes of – All in the Family? Second, have you actually watched them paying close attention? If you do you’ll find they are often very multilayered beneath the farce. For example, Jethro on The Beverly Hillbillies subtlety mocks the country’s obsession with advanced degrees by having the family always turn to Jethro for advice because he’s the one with the formal education even though Jed and Granny have much more sense (those people in the PhD glut today would have done better if they’d watched the Hillbillies).

The most nuanced of them all was Green Acres which was the most meta scripted show on television until It’s Gary Shandling’s Show (watch that one too if you haven’t it’s also all kinds of awesome – check out the theme song). On Green Acres (which also had a perfect theme song) Lisa was on the surface portrayed as an incompetent woman, but she actually was the only one in town who actually understood what was going on. She could see the credits and hear the patriotic background music that played whenever her husband gave a speech. Lisa Douglas was wonderful; smart and funny and all sorts of good things. However, you had to actually pay attention to get that.

Arnold Ziffel

So my high opinion of Green Acres lead me to read this Me-TV article about 10 Things You Never Knew.

https://www.metv.com/lists/10-things-you-never-knew-about-arnold-the-pig-the-true-star-of-green-acres

One fact about Arnold Ziffel snapped me to attention. (No, not the fact that he wasn’t really eaten – I already knew that was a joke that turned urban legend.) The part that jumped out was Number 8 – Arnold was a Chester White.

Lucy Wilder

In Farmer Boy, when Almanzo asks Father Wilder for a nickle for lemonade.  Father Wilder explains the labor theory of value of money and instead gives Almanzo a fifty cent piece. He also gives the advice that instead of spending the money for lemonade that he should use it to buy a suckling pig as an investment. (Where the concept of return for investment fits into the labor theory of value I’m not sure. Plus, buy the kid a lemonade for heavens sake.)

Almanzo names his pet/investment Lucy. Later during the county fair they mention Lucy as they’re looking at the exhibits. (Walking through the animal buildings at any fair is always fun, but please remember they are live animals and not yours. Be sure to treat them with respect and give them a lot of room. Never assume they won’t move.)

Color illustration paperback edition of Farmer Boy, pg. 260.

They they looked at the big Chester White hogs, and the smoother, smaller, black Berkshire hogs. Almanzo’s pig Lucy was a Chester White. But he decided that some day he would have a Berkshire, too. 

So both Arnold and Lucy were Chester Whites.

Chester White

Chester White is a historic breed. It originally developed in Pennsylvania from a mix of British breeds around 1818. It was a very popular breed during the 19th century and was one of the breeds that was part of the purebred breed registry associations of the last part of the 19th century.

The Chester White is still a major breed in raising pigs today and is one of several breeds with the pale pinky color that most people think of when they think of pigs. They are also common at living history farm sites.

P.S. This doesn’t have much to do with the rest of the post, but just as an interesting aside the Chester White was one of 3 breeds crossbred to create the Hereford Hog breed. It’s named after the Hereford cattle breed which has a very similar color and pattern. And Herefords as EVERYONE knows are the best cattle by FAR.

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.

Harvey Dunn Exhibits 2018 2019

Harvey Dunn was not only Grace Ingalls Dow’s nephew, but a famous painter (check it out he has his own stamp). He was not only a famous illustrator and art teacher to future famous illustrators and one of a very select group of artists chosen to officially document World War I, but also a master of prairie scenes.

Harvey Dunn Art Museum
Harvey Dunn Art Museum

South Dakota State Art Museum

It was due to Dunn’s donation of his prairie masterpieces that the South Dakota Art Museum was created. If your time allows at all I strongly recommend a visit. The museum holds so many of Dunn’s work that they only have a selection on display at any time and often borrow other works to help fill out a story.

Previously I explained this in a little more detail and gave you the 2018 schedule. A new brochure I just received in the mail has me making another report.

Free Parking

Before I go on I want to just take a minute and reaffirm that they now have a free parking lot. If there was a problem with the museum before it was you had no idea where to park. Back in March they announced:

Parking just got easier with our new FREE parking lot just west of the museum on Harvey Dunn Street. It’s reserved for museum visitors. No need to go back with a permit when you check in at the front desk.

New Dunn Exhibitions

One current exhibit runs through November 4, 2018. It features artwork that Dunn made specifically to illustrate magazine articles. Here is the Exhibit Guide.

A second exhibit opened August 28, 2018 and will run through February 9, 2019. In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Armistice (the official day World War I ended – 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month) they are offering an exhibit featuring work done illustration World War I. Here is the Exhibit Guide.

Plein Air Event

Just as a last thing before we leave Harvey Dunn each August the Ingalls Homestead hosts an outdoor painting event in Dunn’s honor. Another great event to visit if you get a chance.

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.

Library Rescue What Jon Taffer Taught Me About Libraries

Screenshot of Bar Rescue HomepageJon Taffer is well known for his research of bar science on TV and in his publications. Although in many ways bars and libraries are different, they have some common goals of wanting to encourage people to walk in and to create an experience so they’ll want to come back. His methods regarding matching your neighborhood, having a consistent experience, signage, displays, and training, are all things that could also apply to libraries. This session will share examples of how libraries could and are using the ideas of bar science.

During the Iowa Library Association 2018 conference, I’m rolling out a brand new program applying what Jon Taffer teaches about bars to libraries. Look for me at a conference near you.

Handouts

Main Handout – JonTafferHO

Secret Shopper Checklist for the Library

ILAPressRelease

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.

 

 

Belle Mansfield Update

Looking for Belle Mansfield.

Sarah's Notebook

Belle Mansfield Update: This is located near the corner of North Broad and North Broadway.

Belle Mansfield Full Statue Belle Mansfield Full Statue

Here is the the full image of Belle Mansfield. It’s in the center of the green space at the college. They didn’t provide a place for people to pull over and park so that you could easily visit it.  There are all different panels in the cement around the statue so you can read the whole story. Thanks to my Mom who kindly drove around the block while I took these photos. I must say although the directions are nonexistent, everyone we asked in town knew about it and directed us to them.

Belle Mansfield 2 Belle Mansfield Close Up

I would like to see a statue like this to Laura Ingalls Wilder somewhere. It’s really a very nice statue.

Find the whole story in previous posts and links gathered here.

UPDATED September…

View original post 153 more words

After the Flood by Bill Richards

As you are probably aware SW Minnesota suffered bad flooding in early July. I reported about it on July 7th and July 9th. Now the pageant has sent out an update and I’m republishing this here with permission.

Pageant Cast and Crew 2018 Box Car Days Tracy MN
Pageant Cast and Crew 2018 Box Car Days Tracy MN

After the Flood by Bill Richards

After the flood, Noah floated quite a while before landing and restarting civilization. Mucking out the ark after nearly a year must have been very educational. The water here has drained away in most places. Though we didn’t get 40 days of flooding, we did get more than enough to require a thorough cleaning after the muddy water receded.

Flood water is not selective. Like most, the Wilder Pageant site lost items of value as well as things that should have been tossed years ago. With the volunteer help after the flood, the site was cleaned and organized better than it had been in years. Expenses due to water damage will increase expenses by almost $10,000 when completed. Overall revenue was down by half. The $30,000 plus loss has been cushioned by generous donations of over $15,000 to date.

Like a bull session after a tough season, the Wilder Pageant Committee gathered last Monday night to take a look at the past and to prepare to move towards the future. Dressing rooms, secure costume storage and the Livery Stable corner of the stage were among the items that need repair and replacement. Another “Little House TV Reunion” is in the works spearheaded by the Wilder Museum. This will require another tremendous effort as did the 2014 event. Road construction on Highway 14 and flood-damaged roads may require added signage to help people navigate.

New members were welcomed. The past year of goal setting was briefly reviewed. From the 100 plus suggestions, the top 29 were evaluated for need, cost and potential for accomplishment. Changing the name of the pageant, added rain insurance and package deals for tour operators were not endorsed. Upgrading restrooms, adding more events for families, improving seating at the site and discounted tickets for the community were referred for further study.

Some items have been accomplished. We have new committee members, set three-year terms for the board, costumed the set crew and brought in $12,00 through various grants. Increased social media presence, improved communication with area businesses and creating and funding an executive manager position are ongoing.

It was a good session with fresh ideas and a sense that there will be a pageant at the end of the rainbow next year.

 www.gofundme.com/wilder-pageant-committee

 walnutgrove.org/index.html

Wilder Pageant
PO Box 313
Walnut Grove, MN 56180

888-859-3102
507-859-2174

pageant@walnutgrove.org

Iowa Genealogical Society to Hold Fall Conference

My great-grandparents and me

Posting this as a service to the Iowa Genealogical Society, but if you’re interested in Genealogy and Trundlebed Tales. Here’s where to start. I haven’t gone, but I hear it’s a great event. It’s on my life goals list. – SSU

Posted on behalf of the Iowa Genealogical Society—please send questions to Kevin Spire at kdspire.genealogy@gmail.com

Iowa Genealogical Society to Hold Fall Conference

The Iowa Genealogical Society (IGS) will hold their Fall Conference on October 12-13, 2018 at the State Historical Society of Iowa Resource Center, 600 East Locust Street, Des Moines, Iowa. Registration is from 8:00 to 8:45 AM.

Lisa Louise Cooke will present six programs over the two-day event:

  • How to Organize all this Genealogy Stuff
  • Reconstruct Your Ancestor’s Life with Google
  • How Alice the Genealogist Avoids Falling Down the Rabbit Hole
  • How to Reopen and Work a Genealogy Cold Case
  • Google Earth for Genealogy
  • Inspiring Ways to Capture the Interest of the Non-genealogist in Your Family.
Cooke, is the producer and host of the Genealogy Gems Podcast, an online genealogy audio show. She is the author of The Genealogist Google Toolbox, Mobile Genealogy, How to Find Your Family History in Newspapers, and Genealogy Gems: Ultimate Research Strategies as well as the Google Earth for Genealogy video. She is a writer, instructor and podcaster for Family Tree Magazine. She has been featured as a keynote speaker and presenter at conferences and seminars such as Who Do You Think You Are?, Live in London, Roots Tech and the National Genealogical Society Conference.
In addition, Tony Jahn, State of Iowa Archivist will present an update on events and changes at the State Historical Library and Archives. Attendees can choose one from the following topics during a Breakout Session: Open House Tour of the State Historical library and Archives; Census and Squirrels by Linda Greenhurst; or International Round Tables covering English, German, Irish, Italian and Scandinavian research.
Conference fee, which includes lunch, is due by September 29, 2018. Fees will increase after that date. Non-members may purchase a one-year membership and be eligible to attend this conference at the reduced rate. The membership also provides reduced rates on other conferences and classes held at the IGS library as well as additional benefits. For more information, call 515.276.0287 or to register for the conference, go to www.iowagenealogy.org