Many kids grow up wishing they could meet their role models, but it isn’t often that one gets to “become” their role model, like Melanie Stringer. Stringer has had a burning interest in the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder for as long as she can remember.

“It was actually from her books that I learned to read,” said Stringer. “I used to sit on my dad’s lap and read with him, and he would answer any questions I had along the way. If he didn’t know, he would try to answer as best he could.”

Stringer is from New Hampshire and has lived there her whole life. Interestingly, she grew up in New England, which is about 20 miles from where Laura’s paternal great-grandfather grew up.

Stringer notes that Minnesota differs from the landscape she’s used to in New Hampshire.

“In new Hampshire, the smaller towns you come across are 10,000 to 15,000 people, and there are buildings everywhere. Coming to Minnesota, there are towns with 2,000 or 3,000 people where everyone knows each other. I’m not used to that,” she laughed.

Stringer is a bona-fide expert when it comes to Laura’s life, which helps her immensely when it comes to her “living history” programs. In the interactive programs, Stringer steps into the role of Laura as she would have been in 1898, in full reproduction attire. The program covers Laura’s life experiences from her perspective at that point in time, and those in the audience are encouraged to ask “Laura” questions they may have had for her if she were still alive today.

Stringer will speak at the Granite Falls Care Center on Tuesday, November 6 at 2 p.m.