Here are two things that recently got me excited:
1. Last night, I was watching the episode of Little House on the Prairie in which Laura marries Almonzo. There is a character named Harv Miller. He is a friend of Almonzo, whom Almonzo’s sister, Eliza Jane, happens to like. Well, Eliza Jane thinks that she likes him, when actually he likes someone else, but Eliza Jane tells everyone that they will get married so that she can leave town and Laura can replace her as Walnut Grove’s schoolteacher. Then, Laura and Almonzo will reconcile and live happily ever after (until they blow Walnut Grove up in the last episode, of course).
I’ve seen this particular episode, called “Laura Ingalls Wilder,” over and over again throughout my life. I always liked Harv Miller, since he comes across as a light-hearted, happy type. Well, guess who plays him? James Cromwell. The President on Sum of All Fears. Zeb Cochrane on Star Trek: First Contact. Queen Elizabeth II’s husband on The Queen. A prison administrator (or something like that) on Green Mile.
I’d never made the connection! He looked so different when he was younger, probably because he had more hair.
2. Lester Grabbe is a big-time scholar in Hebrew Bible and the Second Temple Period. I’ll have to read some of his books as I prepare for my comps. He’s practically a legend.
Well, it turns out that he was once associated with the Worldwide Church of God, the denomination that forms a significant part of my religious background. I learned this from the article The same but different, which is on the blog “Ambassador Watch.” Cool, isn’t it? I always grew up thinking that we were out-of-the-mainstream wierdos, since we didn’t keep Christmas and did a lot of strange (but biblical) things that nobody else did. I didn’t know that such a big-time scholar was once in the WCG. Well, I always knew that James Tabor came from us, and he’s prominent too, but Lester Grabbe?