Monday, August 20, 2012

That's Lisa, in the red, smiling like happy to be sitting with her childhood "babysitter," Alison Arngrim.  Lisa, along with friends Karen and Kari, generously helped with Alison's book signing at Pincrest Historical Village two weeks age.

We had a great time.  The weather was wonderful, and all the planning, work and worry on the part of Manitowoc County Historical Society's Marketing Director, Amy Meyer, resulted in a fun, glitch-free day.
Amy was so kind to ask us to handle selling books and photos through the day. 

Alison played "Nellie" the prairie bully, and Laura's nemesis on "Little House on the Prairie."  Sure, she isn't the biggest star in the universe, but with her generous nature, and over the top personality, she should be!  Every person who stepped up to get an autograph got as much time with Alison as they wanted.  Whether they wanted to share how much the series meant to them, talk about the book, or sit for a photo - no one was rushed.  In addition to the meet and greet in the general store, Alison did a lengthy Q & A at the church, judged a pie baking contest, and took a turn in the dunk tank, where the Nellie in her came out loud and strong.  All the while, her publicist,Paul, was never more than three feet away.  Was he protecting her from all us loonies in Wisconsin who might want to teach her a lesson for treating Laura so badly?

That might sound silly, but if you read her book, you'll see there are plenty of people who have never been able to forgive her for the evil she did on the show.  They take advantage of her public appearances to tell her so. Several people shed happy tears getting to meet Alison.  We had two incidents that I don't quite know how to categorize.  One woman came in, took a look at Alison and said to me "She's a fake.  Nellie is little girl.  We were lied to to get us out here."  She seemed otherwise normal. 

A MCHS volunteer was stationed in the General Store with us, chatting about the various products and contraptions on display.  He also had some penny candy for sale, including licorice.   Karen and I were puzzled by one patron who was positively giddy over finding licorice, and she informed us that licorice is simply not available any more.  Sometimes you can find it at Fleet Farm, she reported, but not very often.  My thoughts?  This woman should get involved with Heart-A-Rama,  We have a steady supply of licorice that we would happily share.

Speaking of sharing, I gave Alison two boxes of Screaming Yellow Zonkers, a favorite after school treat she talked about in her book.  I hadn't seen these things on the market for years, and neither had she.  She was thrilled and immediately took a picture and tweeted Melissa Gilbert about it.  But, her first question was, "Are these twenty years old or what?" 

The enthusiasm shown for her visit is a testament to how loved the Little House show and books are.  Congratulations to the Manitowoc County Historical Society for successfully taking us back to a time in which simplicity and hardship existed side by side, and people made the most of every minute sharing the fun and conquering the challenges. 

Thanks for stopping by.