Happy Birthday Almanzo

I’ll confess.

With Valentine’s Day coming up tomorrow, my thoughts keep traveling to my first Valentine: Almanzo James Wilder.

Almanzo was my celebrity crush. In the days when all the other girls in junior high school were swooning over Kirk Cameron or Michael J. Fox, ’twas Almanzo’s name I wrote in my school notebooks surrounded by swirls and hearts.

I have to admit I haven’t lost that childhood crush even yet. Think about it.

He’s daring and courageous — and the town hero. So maybe he wasn’t tall, but he’s got dark and handsome down. At the same time, he’s loyal and committed, caring and protective. He knows more than any other man in town about how to do just about anything, he’s hardworking, his sense of humor and his wit are phenomenal, and he’s just all around awesome.

The character of Almanzo in the Little House books is one all young men should aspire to be like — an admirable role model for boys. It’s a shame so many people peg the series as books for girls.

It’s time Almanzo got his due. As we celebrate his birthday today, won’t you share your favorite thing about Almanzo? Favorite scene… favorite story… favorite character or personality trait… whatever comes to mind.

Happy birthday, Almanzo… be my Valentine.

Posted in Almanzo Wilder, People Tagged with:
24 comments on “Happy Birthday Almanzo
  1. I always loved Almanzo’s work ethic and dependability. He seems like the kind of guy who would be great when trouble hit, but not in a big burly lug kind of way. He is also caring and considerate. The only thing I don’t like about him is that moustache he grew after they were married!

  2. Laura Welser says:

    I agree with you all the way, Rebecca!
    And, no, he wasn’t tall – but he was tall enough for Laura!
    My favorite scene is in These Happy Golden Years on Christmas Eve when Almanzo came back because he couldn’t stay away so long…he missed Laura. How romantic! I love that whole scene. πŸ™‚

  3. Kristi says:

    It was obvious how he felt about Laura. He would do anything for her, from driving her to her school and back in frigid conditions to building her a beautiful little house to buying her a pony to play with after they were married. You are right Rebecca, evry boy should aspire to be like Almanzo!

  4. Sommer says:

    I loved when Almanzo drove Laura too and from her school. That was such a sweet thing…I think my man just might do that for me πŸ˜‰


  5. MamaHen says:

    I too love the scene where Almanzo comes back to Laura for Christmas. So sweet!

  6. My husband’s favorite book is “Farmer Boy”, so, when we found out our second child was going to be a boy, he insisted that his name be Almanzo. Our son, Almanzo David Hanes was born on October 10, 2009. Now I am obsessed with the tv series again and can’t wait to see the musical next month!

  7. Wendy says:

    This is so funny, because–I know I probably shouldn’t speak ill of the dead birthday boy–I have always thought Almanzo sadly lacking in good-role-model characteristics. I once described The First Four Years as “smart young woman marries a man who can’t seem to stay out of debt”.

  8. Sandra Hume says:

    I sometimes wonder if TFFY Almanzo and THGY Almanzo have ever been introduced to one another and, if so, would there be any recognition? I agree that TFFY is where Almanzo certainly loses his superman cape. Makes me want to reread it just to find any redeeming qualities.

  9. Angela says:

    I’ve always been partial to Almonzo during Little Town on the Prairie. He seems to set his sights on her so early, and she bumps about, just a clueless little girl concerning him. It’s adorable. I like how he so patiently waited her out and did everything just right to keep her aware of him without spooking her. I like to think he decided on her way back when she was still just ogling his horses.

  10. This is soooooo cute!!! I love the Little House books!!!! πŸ˜€

  11. FFY Almanzo can appear to lose his role model qualities… however, I really feel it was more a bad set of circumstances than anything he truly did wrong. If Almanzo had made the exact same choices, and had NOT been faced with year after year of ruined crops — something that didn’t happen to him in New York or Minnesota so something he should not have reasonably planned for — as well as illness that left him unable to work, even the debts with ridiculous interest rates would never have been a problem. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money — and again, had the Dakotas not been a wretched land, he would have come out successful in the end. I love FFY because Laura’s love for him is so clearly evident — whereas during the other books, it’s his love for her that stands out more.

  12. Hallie says:

    As I’ve grown older, I’ve noticed more and more about Laura and Almanzo’s relationship. The whole story, as portrayed in the books, is SO CUTE. I was rereading it last year and this one line stood out so much that I decided to photograph it: http://www.flickr.com/photos/halliejox123/3144954390/
    I read a biography of LIW and it sort of killed the story of their courtship for me, but I’ve always found old fashioned courtship like Laura and Almanzo’s to be so much more romantic…my friends tease me about it sometimes…

  13. Sandra Hume says:

    Aw, Hallie! I love that line too.

  14. JimP says:

    TFFY Almanzo:

    He was a serious-type dude. Look how early he took off with Royal to get on with grown-uppy, independence, and responsibility, and all the episodes since.

    He knew from his background that he was good for the hard work and know-how, and his family had taught him the ropes of farm investment.

    There was no place to go but up, no time to start like now, and someone like that wants to honor his new bride with a successful home. Surely they’d used up their bad years by then…

  15. Shelley says:

    I LOVE everything about Almanzo in “These Happy Golden Years” =)
    I have to say that he was so very handsome in that picture you have posted Rebecca.

  16. Skippygrrl says:

    “He was still looking at her.” Most Romantic. Line. Ever.

  17. Sue says:

    One thing I recently observed about Almanzo is he is the guy who has the beautiful horses, similar to how we are in awe of the guy with the cool car today.
    I also like how in LTOTP he would rather lose the race with what he has (Royal’s wagon) than win with a borrowed buggy. “Sort of an independent young cuss.”

  18. Hallie says:

    Skippygrrl, where is that line from?

  19. Renee Schuurman says:

    I, too was in love with Almanzo Wilder and now I have a husband like him. My husband will do almost anything for me and does not like to be away from his family. He can fix just about anything, build just about anything and can clean house top to bottom.

  20. TLynn says:

    To answer your question about Skippygrrl’s quote, it’s from near the end of Ch 2 of The Long Winter, when Laura and Carrie get lost in the Big Slough on the way back from town after buying a mowing machine part for Pa, and they come out on the Wilder boys’ farm.

  21. kelley says:

    I just finished the whole Little House series – again! I never get tired of the romance of Laura and Almanzo. He is my all-time favorite crush. All of those wonderful qualities – and he was go GORGEOUS! Those eyes…….:)

  22. Brenda says:

    I also always loved Almanzo. Besides teaching By the Shores of Silver Lake to my 4th graders, I taught Farmer Boy so the students would know a little boy’s experiences in our early history. When reading the books as a child, his later life always saddened me—what a lot of bad breaks for such a promising young man. I like to think he always remained gentle and loving as a mature man & husband.

  23. Karen says:

    I just love Almonzo It is obvious how much he had his eyes on Laura early on The first time when he gave her a ride to school he had said I know your father and I have seen you around town After that it continued with his walking her home and then giving her sleigh rides home from teaching in the freezing cold weather when she was soo homesick. That tells it all how much he liked her. Too bad Laura didnt recognize it she was only in love with his beautiful horses although she did wonder if he wanted to be her beau and she was just shy about it. It is really a shame after such a happy courtship that after they were married they had such hardships

  24. Jennifer DeAngelo says:

    Don’t be surprised if Almanzo makes it into my future second son’s name…Neal George DeAngelo IV is already a given…sooooo if there are any sons in my future the second may have a name his teachers will stumble over. My hubby has little say about this matter..haha.