Post 21:
“Love”

Post 21: “Love”

From 13-Year-Old Anne’s Journal —

November 29, 1982 – GOOD

“A blind girl named Jane comes to Walnut Grove. She starts liking Mr. Edwards. She has a chance to see again & she get and operation. She gets her sight back. And he tells her that she’s too good for him & she leaves.”

love10

____________________________________________________

From Anne —

Leave it to Little House to exploit blindness for drama. It seems like 10% of Little House episodes feature a young blind woman — be it Mary Ingalls herself, a blind artist played by Madeline Stowe, or this episode, about an old friend of Laura’s named Jane who develops a thing for grizzly old Mr. Edwards. Quite a bit of beard-stroking ensues.

Jane’s beard fetish, smoky voice and devil-may-care infatuation with a man 20 years her senior make her a memorable character. What’s jarring is the confrontational scene between Laura and Mr. Edwards – when, without coming and saying it, she tells him he has no business with a wholesome young maiden like Jane. During this scene, Victor French drops the country-fried accent and starts to sound like a well-spoken guest on Dr. Phil. It’s shocking. Much more shocking than the idea of an older man and a younger woman circa 1889.

Tangent: I have to tip my hat to the crew who did costumes for LHOP. They resisted the temptation of variety and made a lifelong commitment to, in Mr. Edwards’ case, the same damn red-and-black plaid shirt. Then there’s grown-up Laura’s burnt sienna dress with royal blue trim:

It must have been kinda boring doing wardrobe for LHOP. Bless those people.

But Richalene Kelsay (key wardrobe person – 139 episodes) had no complaints. She got to do some script writing too:

“Michael gave us a great deal of support, he was so generous. When we had to rewrite some scenes, he gave us every latitude, instead of doing it all himself. It’s really hard to imagine having a better boss than him.”

____________________________________________________

From Tracy —

As a woman rapidly nearing age 44, I would pounce on Mr. Edwards if I were a resident of Walnut Grove. He’s fun, he’s handy and he can play the fiddle. You wouldn’t starve to death or ever be bored around Mr. Edwards. And the loving looks he gives Jane absolutely melt my heart. (Those eyes!)

Of course, when I first saw this episode I was a girl just entering puberty and I thought it was kinda creepy. My reaction was something like “But Mr. Edwards is SO OLD and UGLY! And Jane is a fox! She’s only with him because she’s blind!!”

I don’t think it’s creepy now. I think it’s lovely. And I think it’s one of the most poignant Little Houses I’ve re-watched for this blog.

Here is a much younger Victor French guest starring in Bonanza in case you ever wanted to see him younger and clean shaven.

(Not bad, not bad!)

BTW my dear Anne, there was a lot of blindess then. Between complications from Small Pox, Scarlet Fever, Measles and ahem STDs, there were quite a few more blind people wandering around. But yes, it does seem like Landon trots out this ol’ story tellin’ party trick out a bit more often than he should.

Also, note the jaunty green and blue striped suspenders Mr. Edwards sports! He did get to mix it up every now and then.

Happy Halloween everybody!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *