calling all Little House fans!

       Marin and Debbie.

A really really cool thing happened recently.

See my great-niece, Marin, up there? She just turned six and received this lovable doll, "Debbie," for her birthday. But Debbie isn’t just any doll. Debbie has a very interesting history. Here’s the scoop:

A couple of years ago, Marin’s mom started reading the Little House books to her. She loved the stories and was hooked instantly, listening intently every night along with her older brothers, Harrison and Logan. She was thrilled to receive her very own set of Little House books for Christmas, and has basically been wild about all things Laura Ingalls Wilder ever since, even dressing up like Laura with little black boots and wearing her hair in pigtails.

Marin also loves the TV series on DVD — she, Harrison and Logan like to gather in the family room and cuddle under warm blankets while watching the show. Well, it just so happens that Marin’s dad, Ian, knows Lindsay and Sidney Greenbush, the identical twins who played the part of Carrie.

My guess: Sidney on the left, Lindsay on the right?

This is what Ian said about what happened next:

Marin was very impressed to know that I went to school with Carrie. Since watching the show, she’d really started to identify with the characters. In one episode, Marin saw a doll that Carrie was clinging to. She thought it was cute that Carrie was holding her dolly — and playing with the doll in another episode. When I told her Sidney was sending a special surprise in the mail for her birthday, she couldn’t wait. She asked daily when it would arrive.

When it did, she tore into it and was shocked to see two dolls. Sidney’s doll, "Debbie," from the show, and a little "Carrie" doll that was brand new. She squealed with delight, and slept with the dolls near her.

Debbie now sits on the mantlepiece in the living room for now, until a more suitable home can be found to "preserve" her in, but Sidney placed an incredibly sweet inscription on the doll for Marin. It reads:

"To Marin, the best friend that Carrie ever had. Happy Birthday! – Sidney Robyn Greenbush."

If you look closely, you can see Sidney’s inscription on Debbie’s back.

Talk about a little girl’s dream coming true!

But there’s more!!

Of course, I’m also a big Little House fan, as are most of you. In fact, I own the complete DVD set of all 9 seasons, and never get tired of watching my favorite episodes. It’s just one of the most beloved, timeless family television shows ever — I feel like I know all the characters so well, and would love to be in Miss Beadle’s class and sit at the Ingalls’ family table.

So I got to thinking — would it be possible to get to know one of the twins who played "Carrie" a little better? Thanks to Ian (who, BTW, is also a twin), I emailed Sidney Greenbush, and she has graciously agreed to stop by for an interview!! *flips out with excitement*

Debbie actually replaced this doll, which got worn from use. Apparently, Debbie is   quite camera shy, as we couldn’t find a photo of her with Carrie.

And, I want you, my blog readers, to share this rare opportunity with me. Rather than thinking up a bunch of questions on my own, I want to give you the chance to ask Sidney whatever you’d like about the show. Keep in mind, she and Lindsay were three when they were first cast for the pilot in the summer of 1973, and went on to appear in 8 seasons.

So, if you’re a fan of the show, here’s your big chance! Just leave your question in the comments, or email me: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot com). (Please put "Sidney Greenbush" in the subject line.) I’ll round these up and forward them to Sidney, and post the interview later in the month.

In case you were wondering, Sidney is the twin who falls in the opening sequence of the show! ☺

Yet another extremely cool and awesome thing: Ian, who produces "Good Day Oregon" on KPTV, Fox 12, just won a 2008 Emmy for the highly popular morning news show! WOOHOO!! Congratulations, Ian!! *beams with industrial strength pride*

*Special thanks to Ian for his remarks and photos of Marin, and thanks to Sidney for the adorable photo of her and Michael Landon.

**Other cast photos posted by permission of, copyright © 2009. All rights reserved.

39 thoughts on “calling all Little House fans!

  1. Oh my gosh! There’s too much wonder and cuteness and sweetness here! I’m catching my breath and coming back for afternoon tea break, which may take place, say, ten a.m. to oogle and marvel. And contemplate an interview question.

    To get beyond, who’s cuter, your niece or the doll?
    or which wonderful aunt gave Marin those books? (just a wild guess here)


  2. WOW!! How cool is all of that entire post??? Ok- I have always wanted to know, and don’t ask me why, but every time I watch the opening scene I wonder if that fall was scripted or if it just happened.


  3. I agree — Sidney is very generous to agree to an interview. Now I’m watching the early episodes again with a special eye on Carrie, trying to see if I can tell the twins apart.


  4. Oh. WOW! That is simply AMAZING and what a WONDERFUL treat for a sweet looking little girl. That’s really, really cool. THanks so much for sharing!!!!

    – Carrie, Reading to Know


  5. ARGH. LJ ate my comment. 😛

    Anyway, I’m so pleased by what has happened. I’m always delighted when “stars” (including authors) are so generous to their fans. What a lovely story.

    I never really watched the show (although I do know the opening sequence you refer to), but I have loved the books for many years. My daughters have enjoyed the “Little House” picture book adaptations. I read aloud the regular “Big Woods” and part of “Prairie” but then they got sidetracked by other series – Paddington, Magic Treehouse, Junie B Jones, Judy Moody and Harry Potter. Hopefully I can get them back to the series someday.


  6. The Little House books are usually “magic” for girls 8-10. I think when they’re a little older and reading more chapter books on their own, they will love this series, too. The TV series is so wonderful for the whole family — especially in this day and age of instant everything, depressing economy, WAR and violence, it’s good to indulge in stories about families, relationships, and the rewards of hard work. Carrie does a lot of scenes eating at the table (my faves) :)!


  7. I don’t use Netflix, but I may be able to get it through my library. *adds to to-do list* I seem to remember Mum talking about the series, too, so I bet she’d like to watch it again as well!


  8. I used to love little house when I was young, but it’s been years since I’ve seen the show. It makes me happy knowing that it was Sidney who was the twin that fell, as that is just one of the classic shots we all remember. I loved Michael Landon, so I would probably want to hear about some of her best memories of him.


  9. Okay, here are a few questions you can unthread and ask as you please, if you like. I wondered how old she was when she first read the Little House books (assuming she did?) and if it felt strange to her: did some things in the book strike her as “not right.” Did she or does she have a favorite among the book series?

    Does she have any favorite memories of the girls playing Laura and Mary?

    Would she like to see a new movie remake of the books, or does she think they’re better left as a series of favorite tv shows?

    thanks! I look forward to this. Thanks for sharing the wonderful moments — what an amazing gift.


  10. You and your mum should have a Little House marathon. If you watch the early episodes, you’re bound to develop a huge craving for corn on the cob and apple fritters :9 . . .


  11. Yes, I’m not picky here, just wondered as so many of us have experiences of reading a book, then seeing it in tv or movie, there are often things that strike us as odd, even if we love the translation as a whole. Coming from being so immersed in the show at such an early age, I do wonder whether the differences got in the way of her reading the books — I can imagine how that might happen. And if there was a difference she can pinpoint that was hard to get past. Or maybe even that immersion was enough LIttle House for a lifetime? I just am interested in how it would be to come to a book after that extraordinary experience


  12. What a wonderful post, a lovely gift and a generous offer to answer questions.

    I was hooked on the show bigtime when my kids were little.

    Hmmm….a question…I’d like to know a favorite memory or two from the show. (Okay, on the greedy side I’d like to know a favorite memory with each of the other characters but that’s a bit much. )


  13. Of course if you’re my psychic twin — you’d like the LH books and series, and this post featuring twins :). I’m excited about the interview, too :).


  14. Sidney Greenbush

    W-O-W … what a super feature, and awesome gift for Marin!! I had a feeling I was missing something special, not visiting Alphabet Soup in a week. I was a big fan of the Little House books and the TV series, and loved browsing the web sites!
    Question for Sidney — As the show ran for so many wonderful seasons, and the children all grew up together, they were often each others’ playmates and friends. What were your memories of these friendships during the series? And since it was very much like a second family and neighborhood, have you been able to stay in contact with some of the other children and adults from the show?
    ~ Lois


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