Nellie Oleson of Little House on the Prairie fame must be one of the meanest girls in history. But she did at least one good deed: she taught us about "name cards".
Those of you who read the series may remember the story, in the Little Town on the Prairie book, when Nellie sneers at the other girls' "outdated" autograph albums, and brags about the name cards that are all the rage back in the glamorous East. The other girls, Laura Ingalls included, start coveting name cards too, and one by one go to the print shop, chose a personalized design, and have them made. As a special and rather unexpected gift, Laura too receives the twenty-five cents from Pa for a dozen name cards.
What all of you don't know, even those of you who did read the series, is that the story doesn't end there. From the pages of a seventy-plus year old book about life in the Midwest of the United States in the last century, it continued on in our contemporary rural Italy home, where thanks to Nellie Oleson, another little girl began to covet name cards.
And she made herself an even dozen.