Half Pint, I Hardly Knew Ya!
If you've been reading my Just for Fun picks, then you know most of my tastes are trapped in the 70's, 80's and 90's. That's why, after listening to Melissa Gilbert on the radio with Leeza Gibbons as she shared juicy details from her brand new memoir "Prairie Tale," I knew I had to get my hands on a copy of that book.
First of all, I was a huge fan of "Little House on the Prairie" and wanted to find out how she got her start in showbiz. Next, back in my heyday (that would be the eighties), I had the biggest crush on Rob Lowe (really, at that time, who didn't?) and was curious to learn how they met (at a stop light), fell in love, almost made it to the altar and then broke off their engagement and eventually went their separate ways (just like a Journey song). After finding Prairie Tale somewhere near the back of Borders (obviously the staff at Borders were not major Little House fans like me), I raced up to the register, made my purchase, cracked open the book and kept reading for two straight days! In fact, I found myself so immersed in Gilbert's story that I couldn't put Prairie Tale down. I even read the acknowledgements page, where she shares hilarious titles that her famous friends suggested for her book.
What I found surprising is that Gilbert is brutally honest about everything that's happened in her life - from the story surrounding her adoption, to growing up in a showbiz family (her grandfather was famed comedy writer Harry Crane and her dad was also an entertainer), her auditions as a budding child star (she frequently went up against Jodie Foster and Kristy McNichol for commercials and TV gigs), how she landed the role of a lifetime portraying Laura Ingalls on "Little House on the Prairie," what she really thought of her TV family (guess who she really didn't like) and how she confronted the tragic loss of Michael Landon. Gilbert also shares details about her bouts with alcoholism and drug addiction, her rocky first marriage, her triumphs both on-screen and behind the scenes, her tenure as the president of SAG and much more. And of course, she also tells of her relationship with her first true love Rob Lowe, and writes candidly about the current love of her life, her husband Bruce Boxleitner. She also touches upon the profound impact her own children have had on her life.
Prairie Tale has everything you look for in a book rolled into 350 pages - humor, surprises, bittersweet moments, brutal honesty and is in a word, unforgettable. And now, here's some really exciting news about Melissa Gilbert - she's actually appearing in Little House: The Musical, but this time she's portraying Caroline Ingalls. I plan to see the show when it debuts this month at the Millburn Playhouse in New Jersey and hopefully, we'll even get the chance to snag an interview with her. And if we do, we will definitely share the details on Lifetime Moms!