Walnut Grove, Minn.-As Laura Ingalls Wilder reflected upon her childhood memories with her adopted brother, Albert, in the face of the news of his impending death, she succinctly summarized years of close friendship with Andrew Garvey in a single dismissive sentence.
As Laura told her husband, Almanzo, about the time she became blood brothers with a group of three boys, she named Albert and, surprisingly, Willie, and then dismissed the third as simply “a boy named Andrew Garvey.” While the statement is technically correct in naming both his gender and name, it glosses over the deep friendship that the two shared and the many adventures in which they participated together.
We reached out to Andrew Garvey to get his perspective on the situation. “Sure, we grew apart after Pa and moved to Sleepy Eye,” Andrew tells us. “It’s kind of normal to grow apart sometimes, but I’m surprised that Laura would be so off-handed about our childhood memories. I mean, first of all, if she’s talking about it because she’s remembering things she’s done with Albert, well, I’d like to remind her that she knew me for a whole year before Albert was even in the picture. Doesn’t she remember that tree house we built? And all these other things we did together, they’re memories that are important to me.”
Sighing and shaking his head in resignation, Andrew muttered that “I guess the Lake Kezia monster just means more to me than it does to her.”
Almanzo, on the other hand, is surprised that his wife thinks his memory is so poor. “I know who Andrew Garvey is,” Almanzo tells us. “I was around town when he lived here. Walnut Grove is a small town. Yeah, I knew who the kid was. Why would Laura think I don’t? She could have just said ‘and Andy’ and I would have gotten it.”
At press time, Laura recalled the time a fire at the blind school killed “someone’s baby.”