I never read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books when I was a kid. Just not my cup of tea, I guess. But my wife did, and she loved the stories of the Ingall’s family as it moved from the Big Woods of western Wisconsin to Kansas, and eventually north again to the small town of Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and De Smet, South Dakota, in the latter half of the 19th century. I really knew nothing at all about Mrs. Wilder or her stories until the television series "Little House on the Prairie," which was very loosely based on her characters, premiered in 1974. I’ll admit it; my wife and I watched it regularly. After all, she knew the characters from reading the books, and the series starred the late Michael Landon whom I idolized in his role as Little Joe on "Bonanza," a program I watched religiously as a young boy, but I did not think much about Laura Ingalls Wilder or the television series once it went off the air in 1983.
NEXT WEEK: Entr’acte II: A Grand and Noble Beast