By Lori Ferraro
Do you have certain television theme songs that you never tire of? That you truly love? That fill you with a uniquely nostalgic warm fuzzy that’s hard to come by?
This TV theme song doesn’t even have words . . . but if I’m flipping around and hear it, you bet I’m stopping on it.
That wagon pulling up. The shot of Ma and Pa. The running down the hill. The falling of Carrie.
I was (ok, I still am) a Little House on the Prairie junkie.
Little House premiered in the mid-70s and ran through 1983. The show focused around the Ingalls family living in Walnut Grove, Minnesota during the mid-1800s. The series was based on the bestselling book series written by Laura Ingalls Wilder about her family’s experiences on the prairie.
Pa was played by dreamy Michael Landon, whose hair was fantastic and most likely not period appropriate.
His wife, Caroline played by Karen Grassle was just the kind of “Ma” you would want to have as your prairie home companion – the quintessential bonnet-wearing homemaker, mother and wife.
The true star of the show was Melissa Gilbert who played Laura, most of the episodes were told from her point of view and focused on her stories as a young girl – growing up, going to school, buying penny candy and shoelaces at the general store, doing chores, battling the town bully, and learning lots of important life lessons along the way.
For me, memorable episodes include:
- Laura having a crush on a boy named Johnny, which wasn’t reciprocated and made way worse when he shows interest in her older sister, Mary.
- Any episode where town bully Nellie Oleson is plotting and planning revenge on the other children. Or adults.
- The one where Mary’s pet raccoon bites Laura and she fears she may have rabies.
- The stress and drama of Mary waking up one morning to find that she has gone completely blind!
Little House on the Prairie really was and still is a great show. Besides being a dramatic tear-jerker and often funny, it also provided a great history lesson about life in the American west at that time. Lucky for us, it seems to be running on a loop on the Hallmark Channel. Ma, Pa, Laura, Mary, Carrie and the rest of Walnut Grove aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
In fact, I gotta go. The covered wagon just pulled up, and the girls are running down that hill as we speak.