This month's news from Alison...
Alison Arngrim Home Page
Well, good evening. We are now entering the month of June. In California, we are transitioning from 'May Gray' to 'June Gloom'. (Exactly as exciting as it sounds!) We are entering another drought, and there's no rain in sight.
We're doing good so far. No fires, in our area anyway, no wind storms, and only the occasional coyote. And they've just now started with the Fourth of July fireworks in the neighborhood. (Wait, it's only June! How does that even work?)
What's been happening this month? Well, let's see . . .
We started the month with "Happy Mother's Day! Love, Nellie", straight from the Comedy Club in our basement. We had a great time, Alison told some of her Mom stories, and we had a musical selection from Casper the Friendly Ghost, complete with puppets! And then it got strange! There was a challenge for someone to show up in The Wig, and there was a sizable donation to Protect riding on it. (Not saying who!) Well, needless to say, "someone" came through, and the check is in the mail! (See below for info on the next show!)
Then, later in the month, we went to a book signing at the Hollywood Museum. This was the Museum's first in-person event in about a year and a half. And it was fabulous! The event was to celebrate the release of a book by, and the birthday of, our good friend Ruta Lee! Now, Ruta is real old-time Hollywood. She is best remembered for her role in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in 1954. (I told you!) And her book describes everyone she's ever worked with, and she HAS worked with everyone! Here's a link to her website: Ruta Lee It was a wonderful evening, and we're looking forward to many more!
OK, now for the Alison Run Down. What's she up to, anyway? (Warning: As things open up and Alison travels more, she may have to curtail some of these activities. Just sayin' . . . )
1. Daily Book Readings - Every day, usually at 1:30 pm Pacific time, Alison goes on Facebook Live and reads. (She's on Reading No. 381 today.) She is currently reading "Little House On The Prairie" Here's the link to her page: Alison FaceBook
2. Bonnets, Etc. - Bonnets, tin cups, books, photos, Alison sells them all at her online store, 'Not Your Mothers Mercantile'. Everything autographed. Here's the link to the store: Not Your Mother's Mercantile
3. Cameo - Alison and many others from the show are now on Cameo. You can now have your favorite Little House cast member record a personal video greeting - Happy Birthday, Congratulations, Get Well Soon, you name it! Check it out: Cameo Or... cut to the chase: Alison Cameo
4. Coach the World - Alison is also on Coach The World, where you can book a 15 minute interactive chat with your favorite celebrity. Here's their website: Coach The World
5. Radio Show / Podcast - The Alison Arngrim Show is on every Tuesday night at 5:00 pm Pacific Time. The best way to catch the show live is, well, not to go to Alison's page on FaceBook. For some reason, your best bet now is to go to the UBN Radio page on FaceBook: UBN FaceBook. Her guest this coming Tuesday will be John Cantwell. We first met John when he was in a comedy troupe known as The Nellie Olesons. And look for George Chakiris in a soon to be scheduled show.
6. Who's Going To Do The Cooking? - Alison will be appearing on her FaceBook page, cooking something, with instructions. And the show has just moved to every Friday morning at 11:30 am. The idea is to go simple and basic, for people who don't cook, or haven't cooked, or think they can't cook. So far she has made many incredible dishes. (According to You Tube, the Apple Pie episode is the most popular!) You can find all of these on her YouTube Channel: Who's Going To Do The Cooking?!
Time for some Schedule. And as things open up, there will actually be items on the schedule! In-person, even!
First up is "Nasty Nellie's Prairie Pride", which will be the eleventh production in the Basement Comedy Club at our house, next Thursday, June 10th, at 8:00 pm Eastern and 5:00 pm Pacific Time. The usual crew will be in place. Maybe. Sock Monkey is negotiating with the Union now. That Morticia drives a hard bargain!!) It will be live, pay per view, and you will not be able to find it on You Tube when it's over, they will not be offered after the broadcast. Tickets are only $10 per show. Here's the link for tickets: Nellie Tickets Now, this show is in honor of June National Pride Month. I have absolutely no idea about what is going to happen! If it's like any other Pride Celebration, it will be pretty out there! (If you're confused about pricing on the website, 10 notes = $1.00) The last actual Pride Celebration we were at was in Honolulu. ("Sigh!!!" said Sock Monkey!)
After that we're taking a few days off to visit friends out of town. Which means the FaceBook readings, and maybe even the Cooking Show, are going on the road!! (Live, on Location!)
After that there is Galaxy Con on Saturday, July 10th, at 1:00 PM Pacific (4:00 PM Eastern). Here is their website: Galaxy Con Prairie From the website: ”The GalaxyCon FREE "Fan Interactive" Live Stream Q&A is the kickoff to the Little House on the Prairie Virtual Experience." Check out their site. This thing is like a virtual cast reunion! Here is the list of participants:
Melissa Gilbert (Laura Ingalls) Dean Butler (Almanzo Wilder)
Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson) Bonnie Bartlett (Grace Snider Edwards)
Hersha Parady (Alice Garvey) Wendi Lou Lee (Grace Ingalls)
Charlotte Stewart (Miss Beadle) Rachel Greenbush (Carrie Ingalls)
Lucy Lee Flippin (Eliza Jane Wilder)
There will be interactive Q & A, Autographed Photos, Autographed Posters, and One-On-One Video Chats. I'm going to be tuning in for this one!! ("Me too!!" said Sock Monkey.)
The next one up is the Laura Ingalls Wilder Pageant in DeSmet, South Dakota. This one is still too soon to be on their website, but Alison and Dean Butler will be appearing the weekend of July 23rd - 25th. And there will be a special performance of "Confessions" on the afternoon of Sunday, July 25th. Here is their website: DeSmet Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children (6 - 12), and children under 6 are admitted free. Tickets for the performance of Confessions will be sold separately. Now, how great is this? A live in-person appearance, Alison AND Dean, on the darn Prairie itself, with a performance of Confessions thrown in!! (It's been quite a while since anyone has seen "Confessions of a Prairie Bitch" anywhere!) Wish I could be there for this one! ("Nyah, Nyah! I'm going!" said Sock Monkey.)
Then, a couple of days later, there is the Carrie Ingalls 150th Birthday Celebration in Keystone, South Dakota. This is on July 27th & 28th, and this time you get both Alison and Charlotte Stewart! (Uh oh, those two are always up to no good!) AND . . wait for it . . . an additional performance of Confessions on July 28th!!! Here's their website: Keystone This event always includes a side trip to Mount Rushmore, which I've never even seen yet!
Then, in August, it's the Premier and Theatrical Release of "Even In Dreams", a film by Savannah Ostler. (Featuring Alison as a rock-n-roll band manager!) Here's their website: S & S Productions This is going to be great! We're definitely going to this one! The Premier is on Wednesday, August 4, and the film opens in theaters on Friday, August 6th. Here's a link for the trailer: Dreams Trailer So, we get to fly to Utah, hang out with some really cool people, and go to the opening of a film that features Alison! Who could beat that?!? (By the way, if you go to the website, you can submit a request for the film to be shown in your area. Hint, hint!)
OK, that's enough schedule for now. Just so I can go on record as saying the joint is jumping, new things are coming in every day. (Some good, some not so much, you know how it goes!)
1. Hey, New York, had any Nellie lately? (Not you, NYC, I'm talking to Rochester!)
2. Have you been to Atlanta? Could you go to Atlanta? Hmmm?.
3. Aprons?? Prairie Aprons?? Hmmm . . . .
4. Et alors, nos amis en France, voulez-vous plus de Nellie?? Peut etre?? Et quand?
Hollywood Squares - Well, Hollywood Museum Squares, to be exact. These are episodes of Hollywood Squares produced in the last couple of months, featuring three of the original hosts, Peter Marshall, Tom Bergeron, and John Davidson - and many of the original celebrities! There are 5 shows available, pay per view, for $10.00 each. These 30 minute episodes are to benefit the Hollywood Museum, the "Official Museum of Hollywood", and will only be available on line until July 10th. Here's the link: Hollywood Museum Squares The website will show you who is on each show. (FYI, Alison is in shows number 2 and 4) Sock Monkey and I are going to watch one tonight! ("Oh boy!" said Sock Monkey.)
Are the Kids Alright? - This is Yahoo Entertainment's interview series regarding working conditions in Hollywood for child actors. As part of the series, here is an interview with Alison from May 21. 2021:
Are The Kids Alright?
Closer Weekly - Continuing on the interview theme, here is an article from Closer weekly on May 31, 2021 regarding working on the set of Little House: Closer Article
Helena Bonham Carter - Well, it seems that Helena Bonham Carter is a huge Little House fan. She says she grew up wanting to be Laura Ingalls! (But she named her daughter "Nell". Hmmm . . . ) Anyway, here's a link to an article where she talks about it: Helena Bonham Carter
Michael Landon Sings - Yes, it's true. Here's a link to Michael singing "Lonesome Road" live on TV during his Bonanza days: Landon Sings
Livin' On A Prairie - This month we also have a message from Pamela Bob, the architect of Livin' On A Prairie":
Can you believe we are celebrating the one-year anniversary of the official launch of Livin’ on a Prairie?! It went so quickly, but also feels like a lifetime ago. So much has happened since the launch: Livin’ On a Prairie has become a cult hit, Little House fans have welcomed me into their world, you saw how nice Alison can be as a life coach and how a tattooed Miss Beadle can still warm our hearts. I became friends with the very respected members of the Little House family, and have developed a working relationship with Dean Butler, who has been helping develop the show into its half hour incarnation. Can you say, wildest dreams come true?!? And more importantly, we are finally starting to see the new normal here in the states with life slowly but surely opening up. Through the hardest of times in the craziest of years, I want to thank everyone for your overwhelming support. You always lift me up with your encouragement and hilarious commentary! I am planning an anniversary-special-something live stream in June, so please like @PrairieTV if you don’t already to stay updated!
The Origins of Sock Monkey - Continuing our nostalgia trip, here is the sixth chapter of the Saga of Sock Monkey from December 2011:
The Saga of Sock Monkey (Chapter Six)
As Sock Monkey sipped slowly at his third drink, having finished the first two in record time, Grier continued, “I have this friend who needs a traveling companion. She’s in entertainment, she’s famous, and she travels all over the world.” Sock Monkey looked interested. So Grier went on, “She works with my organization to protect children from people who want to hurt them. And she travels all over making people laugh. And she has a wonderful time.” Sock Monkey pondered this for awhile. (As Grier tried to catch up on his three spiked hot chocolates!) Sock Monkey said, “Let’s see if I have this straight. I get to travel the world with your famous friend, protecting children, making people laugh, and having a great time. That about sum it up?” And Grier said, “Yep, that’s about it.” Sock monkey declared, “I’m in. When do we start?” Grier said, “Right now. Let’s go.” So off they went to meet up with Alison, David, and Princess Millie for a Christmas lunch.
To be continued. . . .
Maintaining our lives in the age of COVID-19 - OK, don't look now, but California is getting ready to, somewhat completely, open back up on June 15th. So, what do you think? Too early? Overdue? Bad idea? About time?
My take on it. If we were all (and that means actually all, like we did for polio) getting vaccinated, that would be one thing. But we're not. And I don't understand. We've been studying this type of virus since around 2009. And the vaccine studies have included tens of thousands of subjects, and we've been vaccinating millions of people this year. So we know they're safe, and all the evidence indicates that they're effective. So that's one thing.
Next, masking. You can tell me it's safe to take them off, and I'll believe you. But I'm going to keep wearing mine anyway. Why, you ask? Well, I have not had single bout of the flu, or a cold, or even a sniffle, since I starting masking. And I really, really enjoy not being sick! Really!
OK, to sum it up. I'm going to enjoy getting out and seeing friends again (more so if they're all vaccinated), going to restaurants (outside seating preferred but not mandatory), and attending small to medium gatherings and events. (Never did like those large, sardine-can type gatherings anyway!) And I will continue to encourage vaccinations for everyone. And I'll keep participating in the UCLA study that monitors vaccine production, so there!
I know it's repetitive, but once again from Dr. Anthony Fauci: "I don't know how to explain to you that you should care for other people." But we must. Be kind, be considerate, and take precautions.
Messages from the cast: Our message this month is from Radames:
So many wonderful fans took more than one journey to Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota and other places, where us actors from the show flew in from Northern and Southern California (or France) to exchange appreciations. The funny thing (ha-ha?) about this past year and a half is that now everyone has acquired just a little bit more compassion for what it must have been like to homestead out on a prairie like the Ingalls' and their far-flung neighbors did. Shut in. Not able to see very many people at all. Glued to the TV. (Wait, maybe not that last one so much.) But, anyone reading this has made it through the long winter of discontent and uncertainty. And now we can relate to others who've endured such things over the millennia. Just a relatable thought. Wishing everyone well. Until we meet again!
- Radames Pera
Matthew Labyorteaux (Albert Ingalls) - Well, this is a treat! This is a Pop Culture Retro interview with Matt Labyorteaux, who gets to reminisce with his old friend and fellow child actor Ike Eisenmann. (Trivia Point: Ike played Erich Schiller in two episodes of Little House, Bless All the Dear Children in 1984, and Harriet's Happenings in 1978, also Viktor Pyatakov in Centennial in 1976 ) Here's the link: Pop Culture Matt
Dean Butler (Almanzo Wilder) - OK, this is Dean doing a pitch for a Go Fund Me campaign to establish a memorial park bench for Michael Landon at his childhood home of Collingswood, New Jersey. From the Go Fund Me page: ” Michael Landon is known as ‘Television’s Good Guy’ due to his contribution to wholesome and uplifting storytelling. This legacy continues to this day. It is our desire to honor the man and his work with a memorial. What better way to do so than with a park bench on the lake that he loved so much as a young boy?" Enjoy Dean's pitch, and it will direct you to the funding site: Michael's Bench
Hersha Parady (Alice Garvey) - Hersha says: "My return home to Ohio is postponed, yet again. I start rehearsals in LA in July, taking on a challenging role in a new play, that I love. It's a doozy!! And thank you, thank you all, for the Birthday wishes. It was a wonderful, wild day!" What play, you ask? What role, what theatre company, what theatre for that matter? Not sayin'. But I WILL find out. Not sure just how . . .
Charlotte Stewart (Miss Beadle) - According to Charlotte, she's staying busy making her "Beadle Bags" and staying healthy. (You can order one if you want, just e-mail her at email@example.com) Well, sort of. Then there's Keystone this month and Galaxy Con in July and, well, she IS staying busy . . .
The Saga of Sock Monkey (Chapter Ninety-Seven)
Sock Monkey was packing. It had been a long time since he traveled, and he did not want to forget anything. He was more than a little relieved to be done with his directing duties, at least for a while. Those cats were no fun to work with! Getting them to get anything done was like, well, it was like herding cats!! They had been nice to him when he had been sick, but that didn't last. Things were now back to normal, and he had to be on the lookout for approaching claws and teeth! And that Banana Brain Rot was nothing to mess around with! (He tucked a couple of extra masks into his suitcase.) He would never be able to look at a banana the same way again! In fact, he had not had a banana since he had gotten sick. And he may just be off bananas for good! And he was more than a little curious about the event they were going to. A Cherry Blossom festival in a place that had no cherry blossoms? A gathering of descendants of past presidents and world leaders, and . . . Alison? He was not sure about this at all . . .
(To be continued . . . )
Catahoula is still on hiatus from performing. Check out our eventually to be updated website: www.catahoulamusic.com And we may be showing up somewhere deep in the bowels of the internet! As things are starting to open up, we will be booking and posting on our website. And if you really need a shot of Catahoula, you can always get copies of our CDs at Alison's Mercantile, or at I-tunes: CatahoulaI-Tunes Or Spotify: Catahoula Spotify As always, "Laissez les bon temps rouler!!", with or without Catahoula! We will be back with you just as soon as we possibly can! Stay safe! (Wash your hands, wear your mask!)
There you have it. The Sixth Nellie Newsletter for 2021. Stay safe, mask up, wash up, get your shots, and be good to each other.
As usual (Comme d’habitude), be good bonnet heads, and I’ll talk to you next month.