My Trip to De Smet 2017 Day 2 Part 1 July 14

I hope you enjoyed Day 1. Here is the first part of Day 2.

I got up early on Friday and redid my blog post featuring my podcasts about the event and published it. The wireless was completely unstable and fairly unusable the night before. I was staying at the Super Deluxe Inn and I’ve never had that happen before.

We had breakfast there in the hotel and this time brought along some bakery of own to add back in our room. Bakery is something their breakfast is lacking so you might want to bring along some on your next trip. You can even keep them in the refrigerator. (FYI it was pumpkin bars.)

I was hoping to head over first thing, but spent a lot of time chatting to people I know instead. The schedule seemed like things would start at 9am so I headed over about then. I was concerned about getting parked in if I drove having no idea how many people would show up. I had driven around the night before and realized it was just 3 blocks from the hotel to the event area by the Surveyor’s House. So I walked over from the hotel and that worked rather well. If you’re doing a full tour including a drive over to the Third Street House, you’ll want your car, but it was a nice walk. Here’s is the street sign for the corner you turn on to get the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society area, Olivet and 4th.

Oliver St #desmetevent

A post shared by Sarah Uthoff (@sarahsuthoff) on

They were still getting set up when I arrived and they got a couple of these great banners.

Great new #lauraingallswilder sign in signing que #desmetevent

A post shared by Sarah Uthoff (@sarahsuthoff) on

Judy Thompson was already on hand signing books and selling prints of her work. Thompson had been an artist in residence at the Homestead National Monument. Her series was displayed at the South Dakota State Historical Society Museum, the same building that houses the SDHS Press. Nancy Koupal saw them there and commissioned Thompson to do covers for the Pioneer Girl series to a set of requirements.

Judy Thompson #PioneerGirl illustrator

A post shared by Sarah Uthoff (@sarahsuthoff) on

Although they spoke a couple of different times each day, people crowded under the tent for each performance by Alison Arngrim and Dean Butler. Here’s the crowd waiting for them to come out.

Waiting Crowd for speakers #lauraingallswilder #desmetevent

A post shared by Sarah Uthoff (@sarahsuthoff) on

Paul Valenti introducing Alison asks “What show has the number 1 fanbase?”

What TV show has number 1 fan base? #lauraingallswilder #desmetevent

A post shared by Sarah Uthoff (@sarahsuthoff) on

Alison as always puts on a great show and managed to look great too despite the hot temperatures.

Alison Arngrim on stage @Arngrim @alisonarngrim

A post shared by Sarah Uthoff (@sarahsuthoff) on

Dean Butler said to remind him never to follow Alison, but he put on just as good a show.

Dean Butler #lauraingallswilder #desmetevent

A post shared by Sarah Uthoff (@sarahsuthoff) on

Me and Pauly Tee who not only takes trips to both TV and real Laura sites, but generously shares his photos online.

Me with Pauly Tee #lauraingallswilder #desmetevent

A post shared by Sarah Uthoff (@sarahsuthoff) on

Judy Thompson talking. One of her most interesting points was that she doesn’t consider herself an illustrator, but a watercolor artist. She seeks to show artistic truth rather than literal truth.

Judy Thompson presenting about illustrating #PioneerGirl. Project #desmetevent

A post shared by Sarah Uthoff (@sarahsuthoff) on

Look for the other report posts 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  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 1 July 13

This trip I’m telling my story mostly by Instagram. If you want to see my Laura photos find me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and follow. To get the details of this event check out my previous post. It also includes links to two interviews with Dean Butler.

I took a different path than I normally do this time and took I-80 to I-29. On the plus side that meant lunch at the Cracker Barrel. (Note: there is also both a Cracker Barrel and a Sonic in Sioux Falls, SD if you’re looking for good chains you don’t normally get to. Sonic is a drive in.) The bad part was almost the instant we turned on I-29 it was construction all the way until you got past Brookings, SD.

Just finished up lunch and filled up #desmetevent

A post shared by Sarah Uthoff (@sarahsuthoff) on

A stop at a rest area and we saw horses in the pets area. I tried to get a photo with the pets area sign AND the horses, but the angles just didn’t work.

In the pets area of the rest area

A post shared by Sarah Uthoff (@sarahsuthoff) on

And remember I told you to find Sonic? We actually bought these in Sioux Falls and took them on to De Smet in a cooler for supper.

Sonic- – getting closer

A post shared by Sarah Uthoff (@sarahsuthoff) on

With the filling lunch and stopping for a bit in Sioux Falls we actually got to De Smet a little latter than I like to so we checked in, unloaded the car, and went to bed early so we could get an early start the next day.

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.

De Smet Event 2017

It’s FINALLY here! Today starts the De Smet Event 2017 (July 14-16). Below find links to my interviews about it and other places you might want to know about. I’ve also written up summaries of the interviews if you just want to scan them instead. (Oh and by the way, I looked it up and first De Smet Event was 2005.)

Horses and Covered Wagon
Horses and Covered Wagon at Ingalls Homestead

De Smet Event

I interviewed Tessa Flak back in May. Here’s all the scoop.

Find the Schedule

Dean Butler and Alison Arngrim will start with the paid autographs at 10:30am. They will break at noon and will cut off the line ahead of the break. Everyone who buys a ticket will get signed.

They’re not going to do photos during the signing because they want people to attend the autograph session on Sunday morning with a photo session.

On Sunday they are going to do a Confession from Prairies show with Alison Arngrim. It’s the family friendly version of her show. It will be at 2pm  and include a reception. Tickets are required.

Nancy Koupal is a Memorial Society board member from the 1990s. She’ll talk about the Pioneer Girl Project and Bill might jump in.

Judy Thompson is the artist behind covers of Pioneer Girl and Pioneer Girl Perspectives. She’s present and demonstrate drawing. Her original artwork will be on display.  The prints of the covers are available for sale.

William T. Anderson is the main Laura authority. He’s going to talk about how he got involved with Laura and his history with De Smet.

All programs will be varied so not the same each day.

Programs will be held in a tent in the museum’s park which is besides the city park with the one-room school that serves as a hands on discovery center. The street between the Surveyors House and Gift Shop and the park will be closed.

Dean and Alison signatures will be $6 per item signed. You want six signatures, you need six tickets. There are no official limits on what to sign. If you don’t have anything you want signed, they will have photos available for sale in the gift shop.

At the pageant Dean and Alison will have a question and answer session before the pageant starting at 7pm. They will only take cash and check. The pageant starts at 8pm. There is food available on grounds and a gift shop.

Tip bring own chairs. The food is like what you would find at a high school sporting event.

They will have additional wagons on the grounds this summer. When you go through the gate. You get a prize drawing slip, a wagon riding ticket, a newspaper of the event. They will do a state roll call. The rule is you have to yell for your home state and EXTRA loud for Iowa.

New to the Memorial Society’s collection is the restored 1880s covered wagon and 3 new archival cases.

The gift shop has the Surveyors House Cookie Cutter. There is also going to be a new, updated, and extended edition of the Ingalls Family of De Smet in honor of the 60th Anniversary of the museum.

Dean Butler

I also interviewed Dean Butler about the De Smet event.

Dean Butler was interviewed previously on the show in 2014 in honor of the TV show’s 40th anniversary event.

I was glad to welcome him back to talk about some of his most common “Little House” questions, what signing events are like in general, and what’s going to happen in De Smet in particular.

A note about the sound. It’s a little low so you’ll want to turn it up, but be aware there are a couple places where it will suddenly pop loud. Unfortunately the connection could have been better.

Dean Butler, a died Pepsi person, who played Almanzo on the NBC version of The Little House on the Prairie TV show. He started actin in High School in a production of Once Upon a Mattress. (Fun fact: I was also in a completely different high school production of Once Upon A Mattress – made famous by Carol Burnett – as a unnamed and unnumbered lady in waiting.)

His big break was in a movie version of Forever by Judy Blume. Michael Landon’s daughter was a fan and helped get him an audition. He was hired two weeks before graduation. Later he would appear as Moondoggie in The New Gidget and Buffy’s dad on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He was associated with several iconic young woman characters and is honored to have those associations.

He thinks people like the Chicken Cinnamon episode is popular because it’s a good example of Laura’s gumption. Almanzo’s favorite food was really Liver’n’Onions.

Almanzo-Almonzo Dean has finally been convinced to pronounce it Almanzo the clincher being the recording of Laura saying his name. You can buy the recording, it’s called Laura Ingalls Wilder Speaks. Find it at any of the homesite museum giftshops online or in person. He always points out Lucy Lee Flippin was the first to pronounce it that way and he got pounded by fans for pronouncing it wrong from the beginning.

Dean attends a couple of signing events every year. He has 6 scheduled this summer. It’s important to be out there and keep the show alive to pay back the fans for their investment and support. His wife always says he’s going off for another weekend of adoration. One of the best parts of signing is the multi-generational component. He often signs books for daughter-mother-grandmother.

It’s a different signing experience at homesites and much better. Once at a mall a teenager got very aggressive and drew attention to how there really is trust between signers and signee. There is also a balance in signing how to make a connection with each person, but not to let them monopolize your time. Signing body parts doesn’t phase him, but he doesn’t like signing things people probably won’t keep like a wadded up napkin or a ratty piece of paper. He prefers something solid, like a book or a photo.

Dean’s programs are extraneous and focus on his experience with the TV show. The cast mostly gets together at appearances. He has been to the location of the exterior of the show set many times since the show ended. You can really tell where the Ingalls homestead was, but the town site is completely grown over. The last time he was there you could still find some debris from the big explosion and it took him right back to the day they watched it explode. I asked a follow up about the covered bridge with open sides. He says it’s on the Disney ranch. Besides, Little House look for that bridge on shows like The Dukes of Hazzard, Remington Steele, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, NCIS, etc. Those are off the top of my head, feel free to add to the list in the comments below. Keep an eye out for it. Info on visiting the site.

 

Interview with Dean Butler

I’m doing a little housekeeping catching up on blog posts about past episodes of Trundlebed Tales. I hope you enjoy them.

Dean Butler at Malone
Dean Butler at Malone

Dean Butler (who played Almanzo Wilder on the NBC Little House on the Prairie TV series) came on the Trundlebed Tales podcast in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the Little House on the Prairie TV Show last year. Butler talked about his relationship with the show and “Little House” fandom.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/trundlebedtales/2014/05/05/ep-56-dean-butler-little-house-40th-anniversary

Below is an outline of the topics we touched on in the episode:

  • Butler’s Connection with the show
  • Butler and reading the “Little House”books
  • Horses on the show, had familiarity with horses, but had to learn about buggies, wagons, etc. Can westerns be made today?
  • Almanzo’s hat
  • Pronouncing Almanzo – Almonzo he’s been converted
  • Props and wardrobe he got to keep
  • Mary from Ireland calls in, Today Show reunion, what other character he would have liked to play (Mrs. Olson or Nellie), Remastered DVDs
  • Non-Little House career highlights – Gidget, Into the Woods on Broadway, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Moved into production, now produces David Feherty
  • Visited homesites (first one was Mansfield, roughly 1998) first, then realized opportunity to produce documentaries about show and homesites, Been to every homesite except Independence, Kansas. Enjoys visiting them all.
  • Role in representing cast
  • You have to support things you love
  • Availability of background features from past issues and his role as narrator of new documentary that is part of the release
  • Continued releases
  • 40th Anniversary TV Show Reunion Events
  • Documentaries for Sale

UPDATED September 25, 2015: I made a couple of small edits and updated the second link. I also updated my 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 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 Ingalls Wilder Events July 2013

July tends to be the busiest month for Laura Ingalls Wilder events. I hope that I’ve gotten them all.

Audience Volunteers Participate in Pageant
Audience Volunteers Participate in Pageant

Old World Wisconsin – Eagle, WI – Special Laura Ingalls Wilder Activities All Month
https://trundlebedtales.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/laura-ingalls-wilder-month-at-old-world-wisconsin

Almanzo Wilder Farm – Malone/Burke, NY – July 6, 2013  Children’s Gala and Independence Day Celebration
Children’s activities, artwork on display in the museum. 10:00 AM -4:00 PM Self guided tours. Reduced Admission: Adults $5.00, children 6-16 $3.00, 5 and under free; Bring a picnic lunch! Food and beverages will be available.

Laura’s Memories Pageant – Mansfield, MO – July 5-6, 2013 (One weekend only in July, other dates will continue in August and September)
The evening shows are on 7:30 PM both days and the morning performance on the 6th only at 10:30 AM.
http://www.laurasmemories.com/calendar-of-events

Note: The De Smet, South Dakota and Walnut Grove, Minnesota Pageants are normally on the same weekends to facilitate you attending both.  However, it looks like they got thrown off this year. Also, note that De Smet still does Sunday shows and Walnut Grove doesn’t.

Walnut Grove Pageant, Walnut Grove, MN – July 12-13, 19-20, 26-27, 2013
The pageant starts at 9:00 PM.  Check the special events schedule separately.
http://www.walnutgrove.org/pageant.htm (Pageant)
http://www.walnutgrove.org/events.htm (Special Events)

De Smet Pageant – De Smet, SD –  July 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 2013
Little Town on the Prairie is the selection for this year the pageant starts at 8:00 PM with the gates opening at 6:00 PM.
http://www.desmetpageant.org

Little House on the Prairie Museum – Independence, KS – Special Living History Appearences
-Schoolhouse Days with Mrs. Little- July 13th 11:00 am to 3:00 pm
-Meet Caroline Ingalls- July 27th 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
http://www.littlehouseontheprairiemuseum.com/Little_House_on_the_Prairie_Museum/2013_Events.html

UPDATE: Mary Ingalls Tours, Iowa School for the Blind – Vinton, IA – July 16, 2013
Contact the school and ask for Pat Barr for more information
http://www.iowa-braille.k12.ia.us

UPDATE: Franklin County Fair – Malone, NY – July 17-21, 2013
http://www.frcofair.com

Laura Ingalls Wilder Days – Heritage Hill – Green Bay, WI – July 26-27, 2013
Event at a historic park, but focuses on guests this year Alison Arngrim (TV’s Nellie Oleson)  and Dean Butler (TV’s Almanzo Wilder), 10:30 AM – 4:00 PM
http://www.heritagehillgb.org/calendar/laura-ingalls-wilder-daysfriday/267

Laurapalooza Video Diary Day 2

Lots more exciting guest appearances, but it’s really late so look for me to add more comments later. Found the best ending yet. Watch until the end and if you can’t identify somebody, ask.

Butler’s Laura Documentary Progressing

As those of you who have been following Dean Butler’s blog know that he has been working on his new documentary about Laura. He’s spent time in De Smet, South Dakota and at the Hoover library in West Branch, Iowa. An article in the De Smet News reports that they were filming from Thursday to Monday last week at the Memorial Society and at the Ingalls Homestead from Saturday and Sunday. Many cast members from the Wilder pageant this last year were called upon to act out scenes for the documentary. According to the news, the documentary will start with Laura’s marriage and cover how she became a writer. John Miller is supposed to be interviewed about the process of collaboration between Laura and Rose and several people are being interviewed about Native Americans and their portrayal in the books. Butler expects to shoot some 40 to 50 hours of film that will be edited down to about an hour long DVD. He expects to have it ready for sale by April 2010. A previous potential release date for the Almanzo video was eventually pushed back almost 6 months. No telling if a similar delay is to be expected with this publication.