See this woman right here? She made me fall in love with books. Before reading her writing I was infatuated with them, but reading her novels took my mind on an escapist journey like none other. After reading her first, I was hooked…her third, I became obsessed, & by the time I reached the last in her series, my addiction was full blown, my soul aching & itching for more once my eyes devoured the last page. I wasn’t the first to fall prey to the awesomeness of her stories, I wasn’t the only girl to have gotten lost in her 19th century world of covered wagons & petticoats. Her stories are loved by millions all over the world. Her name? Laura Ingalls Wilder. Her books? The infamous Little House on the Prairie series that detailed her childhood, family’s journey out west, & would later go on to inspire a television series of the same name, starring Michael Landon as her Pa. There was alot my dad didn’t allow me to do as a kid, but reading books was the one thing he did let me do that freed my mind from the crap I lived through daily. As a student who loved english & history in school, reading her adventures was a buffet of both, and fed my active imagination with vivid images of what life was like as a pioneer girl & woman in her day. When we lived in New Mexico & even later back in Texas, my favorite thing to do growing up was lay out in the grass on a spring day, or sit on the corner of the porch in the summertime & just get lost in her world. As I got into junior high & high school I moved on to read books written by her daughter Rose Wilder & finally moved on to classics like Gone With the Wind, Swiss Family Robinson, & The Great Gatsby, but that series of books always maintained a place in my heart & still do to this day. Look, I know Harry Potter is cool and all, but do kids even read classic & iconic books like this anymore? (sigh)
And since my wistfulness brought up favorite summertime to-do’s, no summer is ever complete with out an anthem. This, in my book, is easily in the top 3 Greatest:
(sigh) And since we’re going to mention Will Smith & DJ Jazzy Jeff, we might as well throw this in the mix
AAAAAAHHHHHHHH remember those days? (And those FASHIONS?!) Even though this eighties baby was only in first grade when it was released in ’88, I remember hearing this on the radio in the car & later loving the references to it in the the intro to Fresh Prince of Bel-Air….which would also become one of my favorite shows ever. Say what you want about Will being corny, but I connected with the goofball he portrayed on the show & even when it came to his music, call it “soft” all you want, it made me do two things: Think I could rap & get my body moving. Period. Even when I got older, his music still stuck with me, becoming a guilty pleasure I’d be dying to indulge in.When he became a blockbuster actor, & others were dogging his style & flow,saying he should stick to acting, I was busy flipping the radio dial hoping to catch some Big Willie Style on any station:
And yes, to this day, at 28 years old, I still know every.single.word. Whether he was rapping, dancing, or chasing aliens in Men in Black, Will made the goofball in me geek out & feel good about it. He’s taken on more serious roles in the past years, but I miss the early days when did things like this
But, I understand he’s this big action, blockbuster actor, so….I can live with him shedding his goofball geek as long as he keeps making movies like The Pursuit of Happyness & doing incredible chase the bad guys scenes like this
So to Mrs. Ingalls Wilder-thank you for giving my mind a place to escape to & inspiring the writer in me. And Mr. Smith, thank you teaching me how to be myself no matter what the critics say, & helping me tap into my inner goofball-it’s given me the ability to laugh my way through whatever life hands me.
And THANK YOU for reading-if there’s something from your childhood/teen/young adult years in the pop culture realm that makes you wistful for eras past or wax nostalgic, and you’d like to share it in a guest post, email it to me! bconfessions at gmail dot com. I’ll be posting something relevant to this theme every Wednesday, so submissions/guest posting is definitely welcomed!