Post 30:
“Ebenezer Sprague”

Post 30: “Ebenezer Sprague”

From 13-Year-Old Anne’s Journal —

December 9, 1982 – EXCELLENT

“A mean banker came to town. He won’t give a loan to Charles or the school. Laura meets him when they’re fishing, but doesn’t know who he is. Later she finds out & gets mad. Charles yells at him. Laura & him are friends again. He has dinner with them.”


____________________________________________________

From Tracy —

Not sure why young Anne rated this particular show as “excellent” unless it was because of all of the bucolic scenes of fishing. Or perhaps because this is a pretty Laura-centric episode. I don’t remember much at all about this one but what I will take away now is the taking down Mr. Sprague delivers upon Harriet. It was a beautiful thing to watch.

Those of us in the modern world can’t help but be shocked at the idea of a grown man befriending a little girl. It’s sad that in this day and age this relationship couldn’t be looked upon with anything but suspicion. The fact that Mr. Sprague is a banker and a grumpy one at that would be far down on the list of our concerns.

Still, Laura’s tenacity at befriending the fellow is so endearing and his discomfort so satisfying that I began to fantisize a sort of punishment for today’s bankers. And by bankers I mean the high stakes execs and stock brokers who’s carelessness caused the financial crisis. You see, I’ve never heard any of them apologize for this. Ever.

So my fantasy would be to pair up each one of these assholes with a child who’s family life was ruined by the crisis. It would be similar to the Big Brother/Big Sister program. For a couple of days a month they would be forced to take a kid to the zoo … watch the shows the kid wanted to watch … buy them ice cream cones … and yes, go fishing with them. Maybe then they could start seeing thing on a micro level for a change.

____________________________________________________

From Anne —

You know me well, Tracy. It’s the fishing that got me in this episode. During the time I kept this journal my family lived in rural Clayton, Indiana, near a large pond. My dad fished everyday and I hung out on a Huck Finn-style raft (here I am with cousins Tera & Amber, brother Kurt, and various ducks; I’m the tallest one):

Anne and Raft and Pond

I remember dropping little dough balls down into the water through a hole in the raft — perhaps this episode gave me the idea.

I must have rated this one as excellent because I loved that Laura kept smiling at Mr. Sprague no matter how shitty he was, and that her persistence paid big dividends in the form of a friendship and a bunch of donated McGuffy readers.

Other things to like in this episode: Mr. Sprague’s stylin’ bowler hat, Charles’ pink long johns, Carrie goofing off with Mr. Sprague at the end, and a strong performance by Jack the dog.

I second your idea of pairing ethically-challenged financiers with the poor-ass kids whose futures they’ve destroyed. Ice cream and fishing may help a little …

Submit a Comment

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