Thursday, April 29, 2010

Olive Osmond Note

A few weeks ago, one of our friends mentioned an interview John had given back in the 1970's, he was wondering if I knew where he could get a copy.

I saw the interview when I visited the Price City Library.  It was a grainy VHS recording, and very wonderful.  I watched in a small room crammed with boxes and books.  I recall that the interview was done in conjunction with the release of The Great Brain movie.  As I listened to the interview I was surprised by John's consistency with his story characters.  I recall that he stated, without any trace of worry, that his dad had been the newspaper editor in his hometown.  Because he had passed away by the time I saw the video, there is no way to  ask him if he stuck to Papa's profession as a newspaperman as part of the sales pitch or had it morphed into a memory.  But nothing seems to support John having memory problems, so I assume he felt compelled to stick to the book version for the sake of continuity.

I did try to locate a copy of the interview for myself.  I copied the address off the back of the box.  I sent my letter on February 27, 2001.  I never received a copy of the 17 minute interview, but my letter came back with a hand written note on it.
Dear Carrie:  I'm sorry but we have no such interview available.  We cannot even get the Great Brain anymore.  Love, Olive Osmond
That November Olive Osmond suffered a stroke.  She recovered somewhat and passed away on Mothers Day 2007.

If any one finds the interview, please share it.  I know we would all enjoy it.


  1. I emailed this to you via the contact form, but I've had a lot of trouble with those forms, so I'm leaving it as comment, too, in the hopes you'll see it. :) Just found your site today, by pure accident, and am head over heels excited! I was at the Indianapolis Museum of Art today (I live in Alabama but am visiting friends in Indiana) and saw something that made my heart stop. There was a discussion of the "Ashcan Eight" painters, eight artists from the early part of the 1900's who focused on showing real life the way it really is. Sound familiar? Doesn't that sound exactly like Ernest Dawson's take on art, from Mamma's Boarding House? So I eagerly read the names of the eight painters, and there's no Ernest Dawson. But there IS an Ernest Lawson!! Was John friends with the artist and did he include him in the fictionalized version of the family as an homage? Is there any information or evidence of John knowing the eight Ashcan painters? Please reply soon and at least tell me you got this (I've had bad luck with these contact forms). I am sooooo excited to have found your blog and site! You are doing an amazing job, and as someone who loves the books -- I make a point of reading the whole series at least once a year, just as a mental health/happiness thing, even though I'm in my 30s now -- I am THRILLED with your site and your blog! Thank you SO MUCH for all the work you've put into it!

  2. Holly - What a discovery. I don't have any information that links John to Ernest Lawson. But it is exactly this type of discovery that fed me. I will look deeper into it. I remember when I read Mamma's Boarding House speculating with my Mom about these types of painters. I am sooo glad you love the website and blog. I am a homeschool mom and I hit and miss on the blog. I hope you stick around. It may take me a while to research your find, please share with me anything you find. Have a great trip. Keep in touch. And Thank you for Thanking Me - I always wanted to reach other Fitzgerald Lovers and share our common spot in the world. Have a fabulous weekend

  3. "I recall that he stated, without any trace of worry, that his dad had been the newspaper editor in his hometown. "

    I don't get you intent with this. His father DID own a newspaper (along with a saloon). So he stressed the more platable aspects of his father, wouldn't you. Especially if you are selling childrens books.

  4. HI Rubin- His dad didn't own a newspaper. He was on the city council and owned real estate. If I have accidently stated that he owned the paper, please show me so I can fix it. According to my research Thomas did not own the paper - the paper was important to Utah (and especially Prices) growth and development. I will re check what I've written to clarify any misconception. Thanks for pointing it out. If you know of some other source that states he owned the Advocate please let me know.