What is Today’s Little House on the Prairie?
Frontier Urban Sprawl
Recently I was horrified to watch 200-year-old to 300-year old Cottonwood trees cut down along with the demolition of a historic homestead, little house on the prairie, to make way for a new housing development. The quaint farming town of Parker, Colorado is no longer quaint, with no doubt few farmers remaining. Parker has become just another victim of Denver Metro front-range urban sprawl. When my family moved to Colorado in 1976, Parker was little more than a wide place in a 2-lane road with a mom and pop feed store (which is still hanging on).
Yes, I am part of the problem too. My family bought a home in Aurora, Colorado at its then most eastern border. Aurora too was once a small outcropping of Denver and it is now its third most populace city. Our eastern Aurora home is probably now more in its center.
Big Wide-Open Little Prairie
We have since moved much further east and south even to the point of escaping most city light pollution. Yes, we can actually see the Milky Way in the dense midnight sky. It is quiet, it is peaceful, it is rural. It is our own Little House on the Prairie. Which brings me to my long-winded point. My mother grew up reading the Little Women series of books by Louisa May Alcott. And I grew up watching the 1974-1982 TV series and reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie.
Nostalgia or Irrelevance, or?
While other than the news, I don’t watch much TV these days, which leaves me wondering, is there a similar series of new books or shows for a new generation? What will introduce my grandchildren to the historic American long-gone frontier? Or, is that time now so long gone and so irrelevant that any books or shows about it will simply have no market or audience? Has this nostalgia or interest in our history gone along with the little prairie homestead and its Cottonwoods? Please let me know your thoughts and if there are some new books on an old topic that I may be missing.