Post 9:
“Mr. Edwards Homecoming”

Post 9: “Mr. Edwards Homecoming”

From 12-Year-Old Anne’s Journal —
November 12, 1982  – FAIR
“Mr. Edwards came and Caroline fixed him and Grace up. They started liking each other until he said he didn’t believe in God, but he showed up in church anyway.”

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From Anne —

Many Little House fans know that Michael Landon was born Eugene Maurice Orowitz — a Jewish name if there ever was one. But Landon’s son stated that his dad wasn’t into organized religion. Could a savvy play for ratings explain his embrace of all things Christian in Little House overall, and “Mr. Edwards’ Homecoming” in particular?

It’s hard to count how many times Little House episodes quote Bible verses, such as “though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” or hymns like “Bringing in the Sheaves.” And while I never watched “Highway to Heaven,” it’s clear that Michael Landon and Victor French had a symbiotic relationship, and that the idea of God greased those wheels.

In this episode, redemption for Mr. Edwards, the alcoholic who lost his wife and child, comes in the form of romantic love and a return to the bosom of the church. In his trademark black-and-red plaid shirt, (I always loved how the characters on the show wore the same clothes over and over – a nice bit of authenticity) Mr. Edwards gets saved. Or maybe the church going was just his way of getting into Grace’s pants.
(Wow, that’s bad.)

Gotta confess – I never got that excited about Mr. Edwards, as you can see by the “FAIR” rating I gave to this episode. It always seemed like he had bad breath. Or maybe it was the churchy part I wasn’t into…

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From Tracy —

Wow! Anne got snarky about Mr. Edwards, didn’t she? So unlike her. And so much like me. I must be rubbing off on her.

I actually remember this episode pretty vividly. It was the first time I witnessed really bad behavior on LHOP. And I loved it. Mr. Edwards having a complete meltdown at the beginning of the show is both comic and tragic. You have to love that Charles just jumps in to get him out of that one-sided bar fight. It seemed amazing to me as a kid that Pa would even know a drunk. And then is willing to let said drunk come home with him? Without even hosing him down first? I was also touched by Mr. Edwards (what IS his first name?) protectiveness of Laura. In terms of character introduction, it’s great. We get to see all the aspects of Mr. Edwards in less than an hour of storytelling.

Now here’s a funny story. I had a habit as a small child of getting things humorously wrong. (That never happens to me now.) For example, I thought “Manila Paper” was “Vanilla Paper.” And I will defend that error to the death as it IS, after all, vanilla colored. I thought the UPS deliveryman was the “Ups” man, as in upwards. (I still call them that. Because it’s more fun to say.) So when I was hearing all the church hymns on LHOP, I started singing them around the house. My favorite was “Bringing in the Sheeps.” I’ll never forget seeing my mom doubled over in the kitchen laughing at my version and trying to explain in gasps that it wasn’t about sheep at all. Of course then she had the tough job of explaining what the heck a sheave was. For heaven’s sake. A granddaughter of a Kansas wheat farmer not knowing what a sheave was. But honestly, wouldn’t you rather sing about sheeps?

I was not alone in this lyric mistake:

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