Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Farmer Boy

Alonzo Wilder
Alonzo Wilder, the husband of writer Laura Ingalls Wilder of "Little House on the Prairie" fame, was the subject of her book "Farmer Boy".  I never read more than school book snippets of the rest of her series of books on her life in frontier rural America but I read "Farmer Boy" more than 5 times.  Because Alonzo Wilder seemed to have a connection with me, my 2XGreat-grandfather was named Alonzo and Wilder was from an upstate New York farming family like my own, I really enjoyed reading about his various "adventures".

Of course, in our advanced years we now know that our perceptions aren't always accurate.  Alonzo is known in his family as Almanzo.  I haven't been able to discover exactly why but suspect it is because this is how his name was recorded by a census enumerator and that was likely because that is very close to way he pronounced it.

I had no idea from the book that he was born in 1857 and a contemporary of the Civil War.  I don't remember a single mention being made of brothers or cousins going to war, dying, being maimed, and so forth.  I suppose that Laura cleaned up the account to avoid any unnecessary conflicts,  after all, she was living in Missouri at the time.

In any case it is a good book.  If today's boys were to read that book I'm betting that more of them would have at least a passing idea of honor, integrity and the concept of hard work.  

1 comment:

TrueBlueSam said...

I went to a one room country school for three years, and our teacher, Leona Kos read all of the Laura Ingalls books to us. I doubt that teachers are able to read to their kids nowadays.