Gene Stratton Porter’s “Laddie” at the Embassy Theater

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Gene Stratton Porter house Limberlost

We love Gene Stratton Porter here. Who is Gene Stratton Porter, you may ask? Well, I understand, because while Gene was one of the leading authors of her day (early 1900s), she’s no longer very famous outside of her native Indiana — and even inside Indiana, sadly.

Sadly, because her books are a glimpse back into a simpler, more wholesome time. I loved reading Freckles and A Girl Of The Limberlost to the girls during summers when they were younger. We also visited both of Gene’s Indiana homes (FYI: Gene is a woman, just so you get the correct mental image).

Gene Stratton Porter houseThe girls even loved re-enacting Freckles’ adventures in the Limberlost with the Swamp Angel with their blocks and Play Mobil figures. Ah, good times …

playmobilGene’s tales are just good, old-fashioned storytelling at its best, set amid Indiana’s great natural treasures.

So when I read that her 150th birthday was being celebrated right in my own hometown with a showing of the film of one of her books I haven’t read, Laddie, I knew I had to attend.

I invited the girls, but you know how it goes. Kids grow up, and their worlds are no longer your own so much. But I went anyway.

Fort Wayne Embassy TheaterIt was a perfect evening for a step into the past.

Gene Stratton Porter Laddie

It was a lovely evening. As I arrived, an organist was playing the old theater organ. A speaker later said that the organist had located the original score used with “Laddie” and was playing it. So cool!

Embassy Theater organ Fort WayneAnd the movie began. It was great — black and white, of course, and the tale of “Laddie,” oldest brother in an Indiana farm family who is in love with the unattainable rich girl next door whose dad dislikes Laddie, once derisively yelling a tirade, ending with, “Leave my daughter alone, you … FARMER!” Whoa! :) Gotta love a time when that’s about as far as the profanity in a film went.

Gene Stratton Porter Laddie filmLaddie had several siblings, including a younger sister named “Little Sister” as far as I could tell — a precocious, Shirley Temple-type. He also had a sister who became engaged during the film, with the father promising the groom-to-be that his daughter would make him “a real good cook!” Ah, for the simpler days …

The film showed Little Sister praying for a miracle for Laddie and his intended, and more old time wholesomeness.

Although you’ll miss the organ music and great atmosphere, you can watch Laddie on YouTube. I can think of worse ways to spend an evening!

3 thoughts on “Gene Stratton Porter’s “Laddie” at the Embassy Theater

  1. In my youth i enjoyed reading Girl of the Limberlost and Freckles. I wonder who directed me towards them. . . I know I checked them out at the Huntingburg Library with our petite librarian, Miss Gen.

  2. We had the game of Authors when we were children. I remember that “A Girl of the Limberlost” was one of the books included in that game. My, that was years ago!

  3. I’m glad that you attended the movie at the grand old Embassy Theater in Ft. Wayne, which is a treasured jewel itself! It is always a treat to hear that magnificent organ, too. Good for you!!

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