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Almanzo

My theme for the A to Z Challenge is Laura Ingalls Wilder. Laura Ingalls Wilder was the author of the Little House books and there was a television series very loosely based on the books. I began reading the books when I was eleven years old (which even I have a hard time believing is over 40 years ago!). If you would like to read about my feelings about Laura, visit this site. I have also listed helpful sites and blogs in my sidebar if you would like to learn more.

A is for Almanzo Wilder. For those of you who know Laura Ingalls Wilder, this may have been a simple choice. For me…well, I couldn’t let the challenge go by without a nod to the Man of the Place.

In an attempt to try to keep my posts short (which is sometimes difficult), I going to write about my favorite things about Almanzo, mixed in with a few facts.

  • Almanzo Wilder was the husband of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
  • Almanzo was the farmer boy in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book Farmer Boy, where we discover that young, hardworking Almanzo loves to eat.

Almanzo at the sweet, mellow baked beans. He ate the bit of salt pork that melted like cream in his mouth. He ate mealy boiled potatoes, with brown ham-gravy. He ate the ham. He bit deep into velvety bread spread with sleek butter, and he ate the crisp golden crust. He demolished a tall heap of pale mashed turnips, and a hill of stewed yellow pumpkin. The he sighed, and tucked his napkin deeper into the neckband of this red waist. And he ate grape jelly, and spiced watermelon-rind pickles. He felt very comfortable inside. Slowly he ate a large piece of pumpkin pie.

                                                                                    Farmer Boy, Chapter 2: Winter Evening
                                                                                            by Laura Ingalls Wilder

  • He was born on February 13, 1857 and died on October 23, 1949.
  • Almanzo was quite handsome with blue eyes. 
  • Did you know that he was only 5′ 4″? 
  • He was a quiet man, a man of few words (as I call my husband).
  • He was hard-working, a life-long farmer.
  • Almanzo was a talented woodworker (like my husband).
  • Almanzo had a life-long love of horses, particularly Morgan Horses.

My favorite passage from Farmer Boy:

“Father!” Almanzo exclaimed.
“Yes, son?”
“Can I? Can I really tell you what I want?”
“Yes, son,” Father encouraged him.
“I want a colt,” Almanzo said. “Could I buy a colt all my own with some of that two hundred dollars, and would you let me break him?”
Father’s beard slowly widened with a smile. He put down his napkin and leaned back in his chair and looked at Mother. The he turned to Almanzo and said:
“Son, you leave that money in the bank.”
Almanzo flet everything sinking down inside him. And then, suddenly, the whole world was a great shining, expanding glow of warm light.
For Father went on:
“If it’s a colt you want, I’ll give you Starlight.”
“Father!” Almanzo gasped. “For my very own?”
“Yes, son. You can break him, and drive him, and when he’s a four-year-old you can sell him or keep him, just as you want to. We’ll take him out on a rope, first thing tomorrow morning, and you can begin to gentle him.”

                                                                                    Farmer Boy, Chapter 29: Farmer Boy
                                                                                              by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Interesting facts that only I would think of:

  • Almanzo’s middle name was James. My husband’s first name is James. 
  • Almanzo’s initials were AJW. My husband’s initials are JAW (his middle name is Arthur though and not Almanzo).
  • My first name is Laura (although I was not named for Laura Ingalls Wilder).
  • My middle name is not Elizabeth, but it is Jean. Yeah, I know, I couldn’t come up with anything to connect the two.
  • Our last name begins with a W, ends with an R, and has six letters in it as does the name Wilder.

Really…I am a normal person. Mostly.

Have a wonderful A-day!

**Join me and many other Laura fans at LauraPalooza 2012 (the second-ever Laura Ingalls Wilder Conference), which will be held July 12-14, 2012, in Mankato, Minnesota. For more information visit Beyond Little House and look for the heading “LauraPalooza 2012”. The pull down menu will have all of the information that you are looking for!**

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16 thoughts on “Almanzo

  1. He was definitely cute. Nice post. I read all those books, too. Loved the show when it aired.Shellyhttp://secondhandshoesnovel.blogspot.com/

  2. You can't think of Almanzo without thinking of horses, can you? They go together like Farmer Boy and food! I love your name tie-ins. Love that you're doing A-Z on LIW. Can't wait to read each one!

  3. I don't get to read Farmer Boy as much as Banks so this is wonderful. It was (don't tell anyone) my favorite because of all the food descriptions and details of that time period. Have fun with this project. Now that the museum is open I can relax (HA). Plenty of tiny details (biographies for the 350 Walnut Grove veterans to be one) and planning for 2013 exhibits starts now.Have a wonderful APRIL!

  4. I enjoyed your connections. We all love Laura Ingalls Wilder too. Our two youngest lovelies read her books over and over and over again. And then we watched the Little House on the Prairie series all the time. I still love it!

  5. hey…so great to meet you through the AZ Challenge! It will be fun to see you go through the alphabet in keeping with your theme, here! 🙂

  6. My connection immediately went to the show on television…I loved Little House on the Prarie 🙂 thanks so much for a great post!

  7. This is a great topic, Laura. My daughter Jen fondly remembers Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie. Back to the basics….the simple pleasures, which you embody in your blog.This is all such wonderful information about LIW's husband. I'm looking forward to the rest of your posts that I know will be as interesting as this one!Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

  8. My understanding is that Laura put so much food in the Farmer Boy books because she went without when the Big Winter happened. So she would drool while writing! Don't know for sure, don't really care — it's great to read about all the food back then. Thanks for your alphabet entries.

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