Hello and join me in wishing a happy birthday to Anna Alcatt Pratt, my older sister, born Women’s History Month 16, 1831.
Anna, who I renamed “Meg,” the oldest of the four girls in ‘Little Women’ was my rock. Always the stable one, I could count on her to weather me through any storm. She was the one I’d curl up with as a child, as our parents fought about money. Our mother would beg our father to put his philosophizing aside and get a real job. She was tired and embarrassed at having to have her family bail us out, yet again.
Anna was also the one who tried mercilessly to help me with my social graces. I was somewhat of a careless slob. If I didn’t stain something, I tore it. If I didn’t lose it I broke it. All by accident, of course, I was a klutz.
Anna, on the other hand, was filled with grace, head to toe. Two pearl white gloves, neat and always at the ready. Crisp ribbons tied her bonnets and she did not scorch one dress by standing too close to the fireplace. (I can’t lay claim to any of these feats.)
Most importantly, Anna was my best friend. She and I would write plays in which we performed for family and friends. She was such an excellent actress. The audience could always count on shedding a few tears when Anna was center stage.
Our shows were so well loved, Anna and I started the Concord Dramatic Union, which today is The Concord Players, an award-winning community theater company just a few hundred yards from our home, the Orchard House.
It was during one of our original productions, that Anna fell in love with her costar, John Pratt. (Concord had its own source of hot gossip in the days before Hollywood.) They were married and had two boys. Surprisingly, considering Anna came from the same liberal stock as I, she took on the traditional roles of wife and mother seamlessly.
Sadly, John died after 10 happy years of marriage. I was living off of royalties of “Little Women” by then so I could help her out. But it was Anna who helped our father, mother and me out in our final days. She was the perpetual caretaker. Always there with a hug and reassuring words, just as she was as an eight year old, when she consoled me because I was fearful our family wouldn’t make it.
Thank you for letting me brag about Anna for a bit, xo, LMA
p.s. Don’t forget, I have a Facebook page now. it’s under Louisa May Alcatt. Friend me, xo lma