(Cough, cough!) Well, the smoke is finally clearing, a cool breeze is about. Oh, California’s on fire, did you know? We had to evacuate briefly, then came back home. All went well for us, not so much for other folks. The Thomas Fire, in Ventura and Santa Barbara, is still burning. At this point, it’s now the third largest California fire ever, as of today. (May be going for first place!) They’re predicting full containment sometime in January. At one time last week there were five fires raging in Southern California. So we had to be on the lookout in every direction. (Makes one dizzy!)
So, where did we leave off? Ah, yes. The “Music, Libations and Conversation” event for The Indomitable Spirit went well. The food was fabulous, the music was amazing, and the speakers were very moving. it was a beautiful evening in Upland. The stars were out, the air was clear, and there was just enough chill in the night air to make you feel good. ( http://theindomitablespirit.
Then we went off for Thanksgiving in Vancouver. However, since it was Canada, they just called it Thursday. They had their thanksgiving in October. We hung out with Daniel, had an amazing turkey dinner, went to a wine tasting at a local vineyard (good wine!), and walked on a suspension bridge over a raging river. Good times!
Then Alison spent a few days in Guerneville in Northern California. She judged a parade, a Nellie Look Alike drag contest, and performed Confessions at the Timberline Bar. She had a great time. As she puts it, folks in Guerneville are……… eccentric!
Then we went to Chatsworth. Rachel Greenbush (Baby Carrie) was the Grand Marshall in the Chatsworth Kiwanis Club Holiday Parade! And she was fabulous. She was riding in a beautiful 1947 Chevy low rider, and the parade was great. Then we went for Margaritas. (Of course, doesn’t everyone?)
So, what’s coming up?
Well, first we’re off for Christmas. (Look out, Knoxville, Nellie is heading your way!) We’re going to see who we run into while we’re there. And what will transpire this time! Last year we ended up wrapping about 500 presents for children who lost their Christmas to the Gatlinburg fire. (I think I still have scotch tape in my hair!) And we’ll visit Protect, (PROTECT.org). And remember, Knoxville is where we hooked up with Secret Agent Sock Monkey, International Monkey of Mystery! (Hey, did someone call me? No, Sock Monkey, go back to sleep.) We’ll see . . .
Then, to kick the New Year off right, Alison and Tour Guide Extraordinaire Richard Sebastian present another episode of the Nasty Nellie Oleson Tour of Hollywood. This one will be on Sunday, January 14th. The tours are $85.00, and run from 3:00 to 6:00 pm. The tour begins at the new Dearly Departed Tours and Artifact Museum at 5601 Santa Monica Blvd. (right across the street from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery) Check it out here: Dearly Departed Tours For tickets go to: Nellie Tour Tickets There is always a theme, and this time, it’s ALISON’S BIRTHDAY! The tour is just a few days before her actual birthday so come and celebrate! THERE WILL BE CAKE! And, as an extra bonus, the raffle winners from the Indomitable Spirit Event will be riding along.
And then in March, Alison goes back to France. Et puis en mars, Alison retourne en France. Elle sera en Bretagne, et peut-être plusieurs autres endroits. Il y aura plus d’informations bientôt. Official French Website – www.alison-arngrim.com
In April, Alison returns to Palm Springs. On Wednesday, April 11th, Alison will again be the Special Guest at the Toast to the Stars: Palm Springs Variety Show. This is held at the Rat Pack Hideaway, 200-220 W. Alejo Rd. Palm Springs CA. 92262 This is the house where Frank, Sammy and Dino had their parties and where scenes were filmed for the Emmy award winning “Behind the Candelabra.” The evening begins with cocktails at 6:00 pm, followed by Gilmore Rizzo and Francesca Amari performing hits from The Rat Pack, famous composers, singers, and TV and movie stars who have had homes in the Coachella Valley, including Hoagy Carmichael, Jerry Herman, Sammy Cahn, Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz, Cary Grant, Bing Crosby, Louie Prima & Keeley Smith, Bob Hope, Judy Garland and many more. Then, in the middle of the evening (right before desert!), Alison will take the stage. And who knows what she’ll do with it! Tickets include dinner, drinks and live entertainment. You can book tickets at 760-200-9483, or check it out online at Toast to the Stars. We did this one last year, and it was a great time. The food is fabulous. The chef comes out and introduces each course of the dinner, and Francesca and Gilmore sing a song to introduce the chef for each course! A very fun time, indeed!
Next, also in April, Alison returns to Marshfield, Missouri for her THIRD visit to the Cherry Blossom Festival. The Festival is scheduled for April 26 – 28, 2018. She will have several friends along this year. Let’s see, there will be Judy Norton (Mary Ellen, The Waltons), Charlotte Stewart (Miss Beadle), Michael Learned (Olivia Walton, The Waltons), Mary McDonough (Erin, The Waltons), Tammi Bula (Marcia Woolery, The Waltons), and Bill Anderson, author of many books on Laura Ingalls Wilder. You can check out their website, www.cherryblossomfest.com , or go to their facebook page for current information Cherry Blossom FaceBook
Then in May, for all you Mothers out there, Alison returns for her annual Mother’s Day Weekend at the Laurie Beechman Theatre (inside West Bank Café at 407 West 42nd Street at Ninth Avenue). 212-695-6909 Doors open 1 hour before show time. Tickets are $22 with a $20 per person food/drink minimum. Saturday, May 12th at 7:00 pm and Mother’s Day Brunch, Sunday, May 13th at 1:00 pm. (Nellie Beechman Tickets) And stay for dinner. I can say from personal experience that the food and drinks are superb. I know I say this every year, but take Mom to see Nellie, and you can say, “See, you certainly raised me better than THAT!”
That’s all we have for now. We are just starting to book 2018, so we’re open to suggestion.
1. Missouri. Joplin, Missouri. Need a little Nellie in your life? How is summer in Joplin, anyway?
2. Alison sure likes to read. Just a rumour, though.
3. Are there going to be more snakes on the river this year? Ya think?
Speaking of the Nellie Tour of Hollywood, there’s a new offer afoot! Having trouble finding a tour date when Alison is available and you are, too? Trying to figure out an adventure for you and your friends that is not run of the mill or common? Well, here’s the thing for you! You can book the whole tour bus, space for 11 of you, and you can select your own date. Now, that doesn’t mean that you can book any date you want. (Alison’s not flying home from Paris to do your tour, sorry!) Find a group of friends, 11 maximum, and then contract Dearly Departed tours. They will determine a date that will work for you and Alison, and then apply a special whole bus discount. (If you want Sock Monkey to join you on the tour, you’ll need to request him at the time of booking. He’s very busy, you know!)
Livin’ On A Prairie – An original TV series from writer – producer Pamela Bob. Alison and Charlotte both appear in different episodes. Check this: Cut & Dry Films Well, things have progressed. Livin’ on A Prairie just won the Award of Excellence for Best Television Series in the Best Shorts Competition in La Jolla, California. I believe this is their second award so far. Congratulations to Pamela Bob!
Heeeres Amy – Remember Alison’s Comedy album Heeeres Amy? Still available from Uproar Entertainment. For the full story of the album, from Alison herself, check out their website: Alison Amy Story And if you want to sample a few tracks, go to their Facebook page and scroll down about halfway to the album cover, and it will give you a few seconds of each routine: Heeeres Amy Samples (Remember, every time they sell 100,000 copies, Alison gets a dollar!)
Nellie in your city – Seriously, if you would like to see Alison perform near you, and you can suggest a venue that might work, small theatre or comedy club, drop us a line. We’ll snoop around and see if we can arrange something. (Don’t laugh! How do you think she got to Guerneville?!)
Wendi Turnbaugh (Baby Grace Ingalls) – Wendi lives in Southern California and has been spared by the fires. And, she’s launching a new website. Check it out here: www.wendiloulee.com
Dean Butler (Almanzo Wilder) – Dean Butler will begin his 8th season as the senior producer of Golf Channel’s Feherty in January of 2018. In late January Dean will produce two 1-hour Feherty Live shows from the Super Bowl in Minneapolis and then on February 4 he will fulfill a lifelong dream when he travels to PyeongChang, South Korea to serve as a Field Producer for NBC Sports at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Way to go Dean! Representing the Prairie at the Olympics!!!
Charlotte Stewart (Eva Beadle) – Charlotte and Michael live in Northern California and have managed to escape the fires thus far. Nothing burning up there now that I’m aware of. Charlotte is still making those fabulous Beadle bags, of course, and you can get one by sending her an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. She and Michael have been traveling around to gem and mineral shows with his endeavor: StarStruck Meteoritics. They don’t yet have their schedule for 2018, but I’ll let you know when they do. And Charlotte is very happy about Livin’ On A Prairie winning awards!
Pamela Roylance (Sarah Reed Carter) – Pam lives in Southern California, and has also been spared by the fires. Her Christmas movie, Sharing Christmas, premiered on Hallmark, Dec 10th. Here’s a link for a brief description: Sharing Christmas Description According to Pam, it may air again on the Hallmark Channel before Christmas. Nice going, Pam!
Melissa Gilbert (Laura Ingalls) – Melissa has once again returned to the stage, thsi time as “Gretta” in the Irish Repertory Theatre production of “The Dead, 1904″. From their website: “James Joyce’s novella, “The Dead,” describes a holiday gathering on January 6,1904, the Feast of the Epiphany, in the Dublin home of two elderly sisters, Kate and Julia Morkan, and their niece, Mary Jane. At the party are students, friends, a celebrated tenor, a lost alcoholic, and the couple, Gabriel and Gretta Conroy. Over the course of an evening, there are conversations, music, dancing and dining. There are speeches and disagreements – polite and impolite – and when it is all over Gabriel learns something about his wife that changes his sense of who she is and who they are to each other, of what it actually means to be alive, and to be dead.” (Irish Repertory Theatre) And here’s the Playbill article: Playbill The Dead The Dead, 1904 takes place over three floors of the building, which has been restored to period decoration, with wine and dinner included. The play runs from November 30th through January 7, 2018 Keep it up, Melissa!
The Saga of Sock Monkey (Chapter Sixty)
Sock Monkey was a little less than pleased. He was riding in a trolley, in the old west town of Pocatello Idaho. They had flown (Monkey Class, of course!) into the nearest big city, and then transferred to a small propeller plane to get to their destination. The plane was so small, at one point Sock Monkey thought he would have to get out and push so they could take off! “This is NOT Air France!”, he thought to himself. Then they went into their hotel. It was . . . interesting. There was a large pool in the lobby with a bear way up on a rock above it. And the bear was eating a fish! “I hope he doesn’t eat monkeys!”, he thought to himself. And then he noticed the Mermaids. Mermaids! There were Mermaids swimming in the pool! They were very beautiful! But..Mermaids in a hotel swimming pool?? Sock Monkey was more than a little confused. And now the trolley. The trolley stopped. “Here we are!”, said Alison. “We’re going into that old abandoned saloon over there to look for ghosts. They say they have some big ones!” Sock Monkey shivered and pulled his coat up around his neck. He was not going to like this . . .
(To Be Continued . . . )
Catahoula News – Well, we had a great time at Viva Cantina. We’ve booked several more appearances there starting in January. That’s Saturday, January 20, 2018 at Viva Cantina, 900 W. Riverside Drive, Burbank CA 91506, at 7:30 pm. (Viva Cantina) This will be the infamous Pamela Clay Birthday Celebration! No cover, but for Reservations call (818) 845-2425 (each reservation $7.50/person). And Alison will be there this time!! After that one, we’ll be back at Viva in April. (www.catahoulamusic.com )
There you have it. The Tenth and Final Nellie Newsletter for 2017. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to every one of you!
As usual (Comme d’habitude), be good bonnet heads, and I’ll talk to you next year.