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Tuesday, November 01, 2005


After reading Mitch's Spotlight on Simi Valley, I began thinking about my favorite television series, Little House on the Prairie (it was filmed somewhere in Simi Valley). Being the huge "Little House" fan that I am, one would think that I would know where in Simi Valley the set once stood (sadly, the little house was destroyed by fires in 2003). It wasn't until I did some quick sleuthing online did I find out that Big Sky Ranch was where almost all of the exteriors for the show were filmed. While looking up this info, I was reminded of/came across some interesting tidbits (all of which are pretty damn interesting, particularly the few that put me within a direct 1-2 degrees of separation of those directly involved with the show):
  • One of my newer co-workers made her way into my office a few weeks ago and commented on my two "Little House" photos hanging on the wall. She had no idea I was such a fan then told me, "My neighbor is Mrs. Oleson." "WHAT?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" was my response in a very shrill and excited voice. She told me she'd introduce me to the fabulous Katherine MacGregor -- I am so freaking excited!

  • The opening and closing credits of "Little House" were filmed at the ranch by Michael Landon with cinematographer Ted Voightlander and production manager Kent McCray. Voightlander is related to another co-worker of mine through marriage (I can't remember if he's the father or uncle of her late husband).

  • Melissa Francis (Cassandra Cooper Ingalls) is now a general assignment reporter for CNBC.

  • Kyle Richards (who played Alicia Sanderson Edwards) and her sister Kim Richards (who played Olga Nordstrom in the episode, Town Party/Country Party as Laura's friend with the "lame" leg) are the sisters of Kathy (Richards) Hilton and aunts of Paris & Nicky Hilton.
I would go far as to say that both the "Little House" series and particularly the books made the biggest impression on my life (almost as much...if not more than musical theatre has) in terms of my interests growing up. These were the first books that I read over and over again. I begged my parents when I was 8-9 to buy me the box set and found myself unable to get enough of the adventures of Laura and the Ingalls family. I would list all of the Ingalls places I've been to in the mid-west (don't worry, I was 9 when this all happened, though I would gladly go back again) but I'll save that "great" tale for another day. Thanks to Alison Arngrim's Official Site (Nellie Oleson) for aiding in my research.


Mitch Glaser said...

I write about malls, and you're inspired to write about TV. If I write about TV, will you be inspired to write about malls?

I didn't realize this show had a bigger impact on you than musical theatre...would you like to move to some isolated cabin in the country, without food and running water, and try your hand at farming? It might be as satisfying as a stint on "The Great White Way."

I can understand your excitement over meeting Mrs. Oleson...if one of my co-workers lived next to Mr. Belding and offered to invite me over to have a beer with him, I'd lose my mind.

Perhaps you should consider starting a "Little House" museum in Simi Valley. I'd visit it!

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