If you’ve followed along through my podcasts in 2019 you know that the folks at American Masters is working on a Laura Ingalls Wilder episode. Previously they’ve at least sent a camera to Pepin, Burr Oak, Walnut Grove, and Mansfield. (Please comment if you’ve heard of them somewhere else.)
The De Smet News has reported they’ve now visited De Smet. They’d saved De Smet for last hoping to get some film for The Long Winter. The De Smet News reports the team as Mary Murphy (producer), Chris Czajka (assistant producer), and Caroline Curvan (researcher). This is the team I met in Mansfield.
They hit all the highlights in De Smet down to even a horse-drawn sleigh ride. I don’t have the names of the camera man and sound operator, but they look the same as the ones I saw in Mansfield.
They’re planning on having over 200 hours of footage to be edited down to 90 minutes. The unused footage will be saved. There isn’t a release date yet, but they expect it in early 2021.
I’m really very pleased that Laura is receiving this honor and have high hopes that it will spur on more reading as people discover or re-discover Laura’s story, visits to the homesites, and sales of the books and merchandise.
I was especially pleased that coming from New York they were very positive about Laura. For years every report I’ve heard coming out of New York City and the surrounding area has been very anti-Laura. They were astounded by this and reported all the response they’ve gotten there is positive. So maybe the people I talked to in the library, university, academics, and literature that had a problem with Laura are a minority after all. That’s certainly good news.
I’m looking forward to this special and I hope you help spread the news!
Palmlund, Donna. “PBS Crew Films in De Smet.” The De Smet News. 12 Feb. 2020. p. 1. (Vol. 139 No. 7)
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.