Stacy’s “G” picks”
4 **** stars
|This was a funny memoir about a couple that moved from cosmopolitan New York City to New Mexico to run a Dude Ranch in the 1950’s. With no experience at all, Barbara and her husband were basically learning the ropes while running the business, and encountered many hilarious situations. Initially, Barbara (not wanting to make the move), made a deal with her husband to try it for one year, and if they could not make a go of it, move back to New York City, which she terribly missed. After all the ups and downs of that year, she realizes at the end, when a friend was offering to buy the whole shebang, that she really does not want to go back.
I was surprised to learn that, (according to Wikipedia), that the book was so popular, that it was made into a sitcom from 1960-61, run on ABC:
“Guestward, Ho! began as a CBS/Desilu Studios pilot episode for Vivian Vance, who had played Lucille Ball’s neighbor, Ethel Mertz, on the hit comedy series I Love Lucy and The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show from 1951 to 1960.
Vance played Babs Hooten and veteran film actor Leif Erickson, later of NBC’s The High Chaparral, was cast as her husband, Bill Hooten. On viewing the pilot, network executives felt that Vance had become so typecast in her Ethel Mertz role that she was unconvincing playing a leading character in a situation comedy. One executive was heard to say after screening the episode, “I kept waiting for Lucy to come in.” As a result, CBS rejected the pilot, and Vance continued to play her supporting role on The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show until the series ended in 1960.
That same year, Guestward, Ho! was taken off the shelf and given two new leads, with movie actress Joanne Dru as Babs Hooten, a former model in the story line, and television actor Mark Miller as Bill Hooten. Child actor Flip Mark was cast as their son, Brook Hooten. This time, the show sold and premiered on the ABC Thursday evening schedule preceding The Donna Reed Show. It was primarily sponsored by Ralston-Purina, with 7 Up as an alternate sponsor.
The premise is a New York City family, the Hootens, tired of the urban lifestyle, relocate to operate a dude ranch in New Mexico. They bought the place unseen, and found it to need considerably more work than they had been led to believe. The Hootens befriend the American Indian “Hawkeye” whose “trading post” was the only source of supplies in the vicinity. Hawkeye, played by J. Carrol Naish, was a rather cynical Indian, who sold Indian-looking trinkets which had been mass-produced in Asia, and frequently read The Wall Street Journal, seemingly in search of a way to purchase the country and return it to its “rightful owners”. Jeanette Nolan guest starred as Mrs. Winslow in the 1961 episode “Hawkeye’s First Love”.
Earle Hodgins appeared in at least three episodes as the 67-year-old ranch wrangler named “Lonesome”. In the episode “Lonesome’s Gal”, ZaSu Pitts, formerly of The Gale Storm Show, played his romantic interest. Jody McCrea, whose Wichita Town, an NBC western series in which he starred with his father, Joel McCrea, ended in 1960, and he was cast as an Indian, “Danny Brave Eagle”, in the 1961 episode entitled “The Wrestler”.
The second episode, after the pilot, is entitled “You Can’t Go Home Again”, borrowing from Thomas Wolfe’s novel, You Can’t Go Home Again. The series finale is named “No Place Like Home”.
The program ran opposite NBC’s Outlaws, with Barton MacLane and Don Collier. Guestward, Ho! was replaced in the fall of 1961 by the relocation of ABC’s The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.”
3 *** stars
|In this children’s story, a girl lives in a farm near a forest that is home to a troll. Knowing that the troll’s favorite food are troll berries in the midst of the forest and would be angry if anyone ate any, she can’t control herself and does anyway. As revenge, the troll starts making trouble on their farm (cows not giving milk, chickens not laying eggs, crops dying) and refuses to leave their barn. The family is at a loss on how to get rid of him, until they discover the only way to make the troll go away is to ask him a question which he can’t answer, which they are eventually able to do. I felt the book could have been better written and was a bit long.
Daisy’s “G” pick:
5 ***** stars!
This book is a personal memoir of a Menominee Indian youth growing up in a quickly changing world, and it is about the foods eaten or made by his family, and the changes that the white man made on their traditional diet. It is also about the hunting, gathering, and preparing of these different foods.
The parts of the book about their way of life “on the rez” are quite interesting, and the parts that talk about their food are very good as well. There are many recipes in the book (44 to be exact), some of which look quite tasty. I have learned much by reading this book, and I think that it was well worth the read.