This month's news from Alison...
Alison Arngrim Home Page
Aaah . . . A New Year at last!! (I can still taste the champagne!)
Wow! What a month this has been. It all started with "Prairie-Oke!" on December 10th. That was an amazing evening. We had been to several performances from both productions, and there were clips from them on the Live Stream event. And a majority of the cast members from each one were also in attendance. It was such a great show, and the clips brought back a flood of memories. I was laughing my head off, and crying at the same time. It was a very emotional evening for all involved, and there were many tears, not just mine. And we managed to raise a good amount of money to sustain the Cavern Club Theatre in the basement of Casita Del Campo, at the same time.
Hey, you know, if you missed it, you can still go back and watch it! Check this out:Prairie-Oke! LiveStream
Then there was Nellie's Nasty Noel on December 17th. Did you like that one? We had a blast! And that Dance Fever video, that was great! We're having fun in our Basement Comedy Club! And the NEXT one is January 16th!! See below!
Then off to Tennessee for the Holidays. Most of my family works in medicine, so it was a very masked-up, socially distanced affair. And it snowed! My father had been wanting a white Christmas, and he got it. And we made a snow man! (Snow Person, pardon me!)
Then there was the PBS Special that premiered on December 29th, entitled "American Masters — Laura Ingalls Wilder: Prairie to Page". You can still catch it. It is streaming on the PBS website until January 27th. Here's the link: American Masters - Laura Ingalls Wilder It features interviews and commentary from William Anderson, Melissa Gilbert, Alison, and Dean Butler. Alison, Dean, and several others were also involved in the review that took place online after the premier. Definitely worth watching.
Then the New Year's Extravaganza. Well, a little tamer than that. Alison and I, along with Sock Monkey, Morticia and Roswell, popped a cork and rang in the New Year twice, once at 9 pm for our East Coast friends, and then at our actual midnight for the West Coast. And many people joined us on the web. It was a blast! Welcome, 2021!!
And so, back home, back to work, and back to the Newsletter. Here's the Alison Activities Rundown:
1. Daily Little House Book Readings - Every day, usually at 1:30 pm Pacific time, Alison goes on Facebook Live and reads from the Little House family of books. But she's read all those. She's now on the second book in the Anne of Green Gables series. Who knows where she'll go next? 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'. Here's the link to the store: Alison's Mercantile We're taking inventory after the Holiday rush, and more cups are being ordered, so stay tuned.
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 Website 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. "Online Coaching with Experts and Influencers - CoachTheWorld is your global marketplace for stars, CEO's, experts, actors, coaches and influencers." 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 to go to Alison's page on FaceBook. Or go to UBN Radio for their website. (She's on Channel 1)
What say we do some schedule??
First off there is Nasty Nellie's Birthday Bash, the eighth production in the Basement Comedy Club at our house, on Saturday, January 16th, at 5:00 pm Eastern and 2:00 pm Pacific Time. We will be running the usual crew, Sock Monkey directing, with Morticia and Roswell as lighting crew members. ("I want a raise!", yelled Sock Monkey.) Tickets are on sale now at StageIt Tickets or at Spin Cycle Tickets 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. Now, if you live in LA you know that Alison has had some pretty wild birthday parties in the past. This one should be epic! I mean, no parking problems, no dealing with the caterer, no pesky party guests underfoot, and she gets the whole cake all to herself! And the next show will be on Friday, February 12th. Stay tuned for more details!!
Then next, coming to a computer monitor near you, there is Wizard World Virtual Experiences. Yes, they are bringing you several days with the cast of Little House. Here's the rundown:
January 17th - Free Panel - Take part in a free, interactive and moderated live video Q&A with our celebrity guests on January 17th at 10 am PT / 1 pm ET
January 20th - Re-watch Party
January 24th - Live Chats - Exclusive, 2-minute private one-on-one video chat with celebrity guests.
This is so fresh it won't be up on their website until tomorrow. According to their preliminary artwork, these are the expected guests: Alison, Dean Butler (Almanzo), Charlotte Stewart (Miss Beadle), Radames Pera (John Edwards Jr.), Dan McBride (Henry Riley), and Wendi Turnbaugh (Baby Grace). If you want to purchase a Live Video Chat, you can place your order on their website, and all orders must be in by January 23rd. I know that you can purchase autographed photos, virtual photo ops, and live video chats. I'm not sure how the re-watch party, or most of the rest of it for that matter, really works. And I have no idea what the prices will be. All will be revealed on their website . . . You can get more info here: Wizard World
1. A new Celebrity Souvenir Book about Richard Bull??? And in English!! Keep you posted . . .
2. SPERDVAC . . Radio Show . . George and Gracie . . . Rich Little? Jack Benny??
3. What's with these virtual "comic cons"? Are they fun? We're definitely going to find out....
Showbiz Cheat Sheet - As you may have noticed, LHOTP is currently very popular and trendy. So, everyone's trying to get in on the act. There are several "news" services, such as Cheat Sheet, who simply lift passages from actor's books, and other published articles, and attempt to create a new story. In the past, I have included several of them in the newsletter. Well, no more! These sites are simply Click Bait, ways to get you to pursue something that appears interesting so you will click on their site, and then they can charge advertisers a higher fee based on the number of clicks they're getting. We won't be supporting this practice!
Royce Applegate - It appears that I had a remote connection to LHOTP even before I met Alison. When I moved to California, I started playing music and writing songs with several people, and a few of us later went on to form Catahoula. A major figure in these songwriting sessions was Royce D. Applegate. Royce was a working actor, and unlike many other actors, he never stopped working. You may not recognize his name, but most people, upon seeing his picture, are prompted to say, "Oh, that guy!". He was a confederate general in several civil war movies, and had parts in 'Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?' and 'Under Siege 2: Dark Territory', and many, many TV series. His acting career stretched from 1970 to 2003, and his list of credits is as long as your arm. Among these credits is the role of Georgie in the LHOTP episode entitled "The Legend of Black Jake" (1981). He was one of the two outlaws who kidnapped Nels Oleson. Royce was one of my favorite friends, and his parties were legendary. Sadly, on New Year's Day 2003, after ending his party early out of consideration for his neighbors, Royce was lost in the fire that engulfed his house. He was taken way too soon. Royce, miss you, brother!
Chaparral Round-Up - On October 1st - 3rd, 2021, Susan McCray will be hosting Chaparral Roundup in Tucson, Arizona, to commemorate the TV show "High Chaparral", called by many reviewers and fans “A Real Western”. Susan McCray was the casting Director for Little House, and the wife of Kent McCray, the Production Manager on this show and Little House on The Prairie. Check out their website: Chaparral RoundUp The list of special guests is still "To Be Announced". You may have noticed that this event has been pushed back to October. According to the website, if you have tickets for March, you are automatically registered for October.
Strongwriter On The Radio - Episode 211: " Alison Arngrim - The Woman Who Wears Many Bonnets " Dean Olson interviewed Alison on his show on September 23, 2020. Check this out: Stongwriter Episode 211
WGN Radio Chicago - Steve Dale on WGN Radio interviewed Alison twice recently for his show, "Steve Dale's Other World". The first one aired on October 18, 2020. This is AM Radio, and they do have fun. Check this out: Steve Dale - Alison Arngrim
The second interview aired on December 18, 2020, and it was focused on pets. (I believe I heard Steve asking for Roswell's paw-tograph!) Check this out: Steve Dale's Pet World Sounds like both Steve and Alison had a great time with this!
The Origins of Sock Monkey - The question has come up a few times lately. How and why do we have Sock Monkey? Where did he come from? How did all this get started? It was Christmas, 2010. Sock Monkey is actually a University of Tennessee Rally Monkey. (Go Vols!) He arrived as a gift from a friend, and one thing led to another. But let's go back to the beginning. Here's one from the vaults, the very first appearance of Sock Monkey in the newsletter, Chapter One:
The Saga of Sock Monkey (April 2011)
Chapter One: Once upon a time, there was a man named Grier. (No, really!) He had to buy a present for his friend Alison, but he knew that she was very picky, and being the Prairie Bitch and all, would make her displeasure known in no uncertain terms! So he had a dilemma. He searched high and low, to no avail. Nothing was quite good enough, quite right, to make the grade for this present. And besides, it was Christmas, and she was coming to Knoxville to visit. He would have to make the presentation in person, and feel the full effects of her reaction. What to do, what to do?
(To be continued…..)
Maintaining our lives in the age of COVID-19 - I just read an article that stated that, as of 5 hours ago, the death rate from COVID infections in LA County was one person every 8 minutes. We are setting new infection records every day. And we have yet to feel the full impact of the Holiday gatherings. This is hopefully the worst of it, but now is not the time to become complacent. I know, I know, I'm tired of it, too. It's frightening, it's frustrating, and it wears you down. But let me just point out that COVID fatigue is nowhere near as bad as COVID infection.
So, what to do? Mask up, I say! I have masks in the car, I have masks in my briefcase, I have masks in my desk at work, and I have more masks hanging beside the door just in case. Wash your hands, too. You know, the flu this season is almost non-existent, since we all started washing our hands like we should have been in the first place. And I, for one, will be first in line when it's my turn to get the vaccine. I have friends who've gotten it, I know one person who was in one of the clinical trials, and my nephew just got his first shot a couple of weeks ago. (He works in medicine, treating COVID patients.) And I've not heard a single compliant.
Again with the immortal words of 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. There is light at the end of the tunnel. (And it's not an oncoming train!)
Messages from the cast: Well, I put out the word that I was looking for some thoughts or resolutions on the New Year. Got a few:
Pamela Bob (Writer and producer of "Livin' On A Prairie") "I find great comfort in knowing that during this time in American history when things seem so chaotic, that we can literally escape to Walnut Grove and it will always make us feel comforted, loved, supported, and hopeful. I am hopeful for a better future. In the meantime, I am continuing to work on the full extended version of Living On a Prairie, which you can watch along with Little House cast interviews at www.livinonaprairietv.com (social @prairietv). The latest #LittleHouseLive! featuring Anita Buffem was so much fun, that Anita has been inspired to start watching Little House On The Prairie from the pilot all the way through and document her Prairie Journey. Look out for a facebook group and Instagram page “Anita on a Prairie” and laugh, laugh, laugh! And stay tuned for more #LittleHouseLive, because we need a happy escape every now and then. All info on Facebook and IG @PrairieTV.
Lucy Lee Flippin (Eliza Jane Wilder) "Happy New Year from PA Dutch Country! What a year! Thank you for keeping LHOTP alive and well. All our best ahead. Love, Eliza/Lucy"
Wendi Lee (Baby Grace) "We are all good, hanging out at home with two teenagers is never dull. Watching old movies, knitting, and keeping my Etsy Shop going has kept me surprisingly busy. Our dog, Mo, just had eleven puppies. They are all in our kitchen for a few weeks, so I’ve got my hands full at the moment. New Year’s goals… I’ve got two. Numero Uno: Every year I choose a word to focus on… 2021 is all about listening. Listening to others before I start talking. Listening to God and what He is trying to tell me. Listening to my heart and listening to my body so that I know when to slow down. Numero Dos: Move my body every day in 2021—not going all crazy, but committing to a more active year."
Hersha Parady (Alice Garvey) ”Regarding Alice's activities of late, a couple of Virtual performances, both on the Tube somewhere. Both short plays or skits, and both challenging fun characters for the old broad !! Tell the Little House folk I wish them a Happy, HEALTHY 2021 ! ”
Pamela Roylance (Sarah Carter) - The Project she was working on has given her only one opportunity thus far, and is now closed down due to COVID restrictions. (Still all hush hush confidential!) And she shared this story: " I noticed a credit for Criminal Criminals has suddenly made it to the IMDB resume. It has been about 5 years since shooting this indie dark comedy. Three days prior to my first day of work, I broke my wrist while clumsily navigating the ins and outs of skateboarding. They were kind enough to write it into the script rather than replacing me. I don't know when or where we will ever be able to see it, but I will let you know if I find out." Keep it up, Pam, you're killing me!
Todd Susman (Max) - Todd played Max in one episode of LHOTP: "The Legend of Black Jake" (1981). He was the other outlaw, along with my friend Royce (See above) who kidnapped Nels Oleson. Todd's career spans from 1970 to last week, with 143 credits on his IMDB resume. He has recently been seen in Bull, Blue Bloods, Orange Is The New Black, to name but a few. Todd, you are a working fool! Keep it up.
The Saga of Sock Monkey (Chapter Ninety-Two)
The rain was pouring down . . the wind was howling . . Sock Monkey staggered forward, water dripping from his nose, the scent of wet monkey strong in the air. (Yech!) He was starving, and all he could think of was a firm, bright yellow piece of fruit, easily peeled, with the delicious aroma filling his mind . . . . "Monkey, time to get up!", called Alison. "We have a show to produce, no time to sleep!" Sock Monkey rubbed his eyes and looked around. He was in his own bedroom, drenched in sweat. (Yew, wet monkey!) The dreams! Then he remembered, it was a symptom! He was suffering from (gasp) Banana Brain Rot! And he had to completely abstain from eating bananas! (Hence the dreams.) After his shower, he stumbled towards the kitchen, still groggy, on his way to the first cup of coffee for the day. Just then, the two cats decided to have a race down the hall. "Hey, watch it!", he yelled, but they paid him no mind. Over he went, and away they went! He was going to have to do something about those two! "Morning, Monkey!", called Alison. "I just made some fresh banana bread. Want some with your coffee?" Nooooo!!! screamed Sock Monkey, silently to himself!
(To be continued . . . )
Catahoula is still on hiatus from performing. Check out our soon to be updated website: www.catahoulamusic.com And we may be showing up somewhere deep in the bowels of the internet! As soon as things start 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: Catahoula I-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 First Nellie Newsletter for 2021. Stay safe, mask up, wash up, keep the faith, and we'll get through this.
As usual (Comme d’habitude), be good bonnet heads, and I’ll talk to you next month.