|littlehousefan profile (must be logged in)|
Join Date: 03-10-2012
|excerpt from Kent McCray interview||04-16-2012 5:06:37 pm|
|I always wondered what happened to the original Little House before the fires. The one shown on this site from a fan wasn't the one shown on TV, at least the inside wasn't. The fireplace was different, the walls. Well I guess "Mr. Carter" took it. : )|
I would love to have that in my yard!He stated he put up a facade on the old set which explains the differences.
He left the Ingalls outbuildings intact as well as the town church and Laura's house. Stan Ivar took the original "Little House" facade to his private ranch northeast of Los Angeles and replaced it with a replica at Simi Valley. He would periodically go back to the ranch to repair the facades due to vandals trespassing. This was before the fires.
Here's some of the interview:
C: Out of those last three moviesóLook Back to Yesterday, Bless All the Dear Children, and The Last Farewell, do you have a favorite?
K: Well, I canít say I have a favorite. The Last Farwell came about when I was in the office working with a construction coordinator. Our original deal/agreement with the people who owned the ranch was - since this land was used as a feed lotóand we built the sets - we would take down the buildings and put the land back, as best we could, to normal use. The reason for that is that they still had cattle in there many times while we were working and if they let the cattle in after it was left they were afraid the cattle would get into the buildings and get hurt. We had to fill in the streams and all of these gullies that we dug so that they couldnít get hurt that way. They were also afraid that if the buildings existed kids might get into them and if they were smoking they could start a fire. So, I had to take down the buildings, and I was in my office with a construction coordinator and we were going over how we would gradually take down the buildings and truck all the stuff out. Mike walks inóour offices were next door to each otheróand he came in and was sitting around and was listening. He said, ďWait a minute, how are you going to destroy the buildings?Ē I was just going to come in with a bulldozer and similar to what you see today on the home makeover show just come in with a crane and knock it down and pick up the rubble. He said, ďWait a minute. Let me think about this.Ē So he went back in his office. About twenty minutes later he came back in and said, ďWhat if we blew up every building? Thatís going to level it and you wouldnít have to bring in the crane to pick it up.Ē So he went back in and wrote The Farewell script. The gist of the script, as you know, is that the railroad is coming through and they bought the town, but the town said, well you bought the land, but you didnít buy the buildings.
So, that was the reason behind blowing up all the buildings. Now, we did not blow up Little House and we didnít blow up the church.
C: And Stan Ivar, who played John Carter, does he have a replica of the Little House or does he have the original house?
K: He has the original house. He came in on his own after the show was over and took down the Little House and put it on a flat bed truckóhe has a ranch outside of L.A. Itís in a barn at his ranch today.
C: Fans have been clamoring for a Little House reunion for years, but Ed Friendly would never give his permission. What happened to the rights to Little House after Ed passed away?
K: I really donít know. I canít answer that. Edís wife passed away first and then he remarried. I donít know if the estate still controls the rights to it, I assume that they do, and his son is in the business, and he is a producer. I donít know whatís going to happen to it.
C: So, itís not very likely that fans will see a reunion show even if were a tribute to Michael, Victor, and the other actors who have since left us?
K: No, itís tough because Ed controlled the merchandising of the show, which means he controls the show, the characters, and their likeness. He didnít control the film, NBC owned the film; but he controlled anything that reproduced that because he owned the rights to the books. I donít know who has that control now.
C: Dean Butler, who played Almanzo Wilder on the show, along with his company Legacy Documentaries, shot some of the bonus features for the Little House DVDs and heís also doing his Almanzo Wilder production and other things. Are you involved in any of these projects?
K: I know about some of them, and he interviewed me and Susan on a couple of occasions. Weíre part of the documentaries that went into the DVDs. We keep in touch.
C: Do you think the future will hold more surprises for fans of Little House and Laura Ingalls Wilder?
K: I donít think so, to be honest with you. At the tail end of the series, I started another company and I bought all the wardrobe, all the set dressings, and all the props. I had a warehouse here in town with all these things and then I moved it to Arizona. It was nostalgia in my mind, I wanted to keep it because I hated to let go. I finally sold it to a company in Tucson called Old Tucson, which was an area where we shot Chaparral and we shot Bonanza there as well, and two years after I sold it they had a tremendous fire and everything went up in smoke. It broke my heart. I sat down and cried. All those things that you look at, the props, the wardrobe, they brought back a lot of memories. I am happy to say I have two things in this house where we live now: on the wall in our great room I have the doorknocker that came off the Ponderosa house from Bonanza and the little figurine that came off the mantle in Little House. Thatís on a table in our living room.
C: Melissa Gilbert has some of her things as well?
K: Yes, most of the people took pieces from wardrobe. I was in two or three different Little Houses and I didnít keep any of my wardrobe. It wasnít that great. (Laughs)
C: What are you up to these days?
K: I play a lot of solitaire on the computer. Thatís the extent of my computer work. I can keep a database for some of the things that I do, but Iím basically retired. I donít do too much except back up Susan when she needs something.
I need to go back and share something about Michael. He was one of the greatest people that anyone could ever work with and I respected his ability and how he worked. He and I were very close, as you probably know. I was best man at his wedding and he was the best man at my wedding. He always said that I was the brother he never had. We always had that very close relationship that grew out of Bonanza and Little House. I loved him dearly.
|bethandmanly profile (must be logged in)|
Join Date: 08-12-2005
|04-16-2012 8:33:46 pm|
| That's from my blog. I'm guessing since you've been there, you've seen this interview is multiple parts. There's also a three part interview with Dean Butler.|
|littlehousefan profile (must be logged in)|
Join Date: 03-10-2012
|04-16-2012 2:39:07 am|
|No I hadn't known that...didn't have time to look at it much being tired last night, but I will. Looks great!|
That was sad about all the props, etc. but for some reason I was glad the little figurine was saved..it was always there in the show atop the mantle. : )