Minneapolis, Minn.-Charles Ingalls, Hero Township’s representative for the Grange, has expressed disappointment that yet another convention is tainted with drama.
It seems that his son, Albert, tried to steal a train ride to Minneapolis to meet a girl he had been writing for his school assignment. As if his son committing a crime that forced Charles and Albert to tell veiled lies to the railroad employee was not bad enough, it soon came to light that Albert had extensively lied to the girl.
“I’ve about had it with these drama laden Grange trips,” Charles commented. “I was looking forward to a few days away from the family to refresh, recharge, and remind everyone at the Grange that I’m just a stupid, dumb farmer. But no, instead I have to deal with teen romantic drama yet again.”
Charles acknowledges that parenting is not supposed to be easy, and yet he cannot help but wish for that elusive drama-free Grange convention. “The only drama I need from my Grange trips needs to be farm-oriented. I’d gladly exchange sharp words with someone who thinks their farming operation is superior just because they are rich and have huge acreage amounts. But do I really need to be missing any of that action because I’m spending time getting Albert over to talk to his penpal girlfriend that he’ll probably forget about by next week?”
On a previous Grange trip to Chicago, Charles brought his daughter Mary along. Mary had been engaged to John, adopted son of Isaiah and Grace Edwards, and was excited to see him again. Everything unraveled when Charles caught John kissing another girl at a cotillion.
“That one was a doozy. Not only did I have to yell at John, but I also had to deal with the fallout with Mary. It was right after I was riding that high for that stirring monologue I delivered to the Grange before storming out, and then to stumble into that situation… well, it really put a damper on things.”
At last year’s convention, Charles recalls, the drama at least didn’t have anything to do with teenage romance, but he felt nonetheless upset by having his wife hit on, being hit on himself, and then having to punch a guy’s lights out at the high school reunion. “Now that I think about it,” Charles muses, “I knew those people when I was a teenager and their crushes on us were rooted in the teen years, so yeah, basically the same thing.”
At press time, Charles and Albert arrived at the home of penpal Leslie to find her in a wheelchair, evidence that she too had lied to Albert.
“Can’t I ever have a good Grange trip?” an exasperated Charles exclaimed as he threw his hands in the air. “Next time, I’m not even going to tell my family when I’m going to the Grange convention.”