Sunday, October 25, 2009


Dear Friends,
I have to tell you that there has been a glitch on my mail system but it has finally been ironed out. Hope we will be in better communication from now on. Thanks for your patience. I will post a special Thanksgiving blog early in November. In the meantime the latest news has just been posted.
Have a happy October.




Old Earl is going home! Home to my beloved Virginia, home to where everybody knows your name, home to people who invite you to sit up and talk till bedtime, people who know how to fry chicken, how to properly make ham biscuits, and how to correctly pronounce the words – about, house, and mouse!

Carolyn Grinnell is throwing a party! Those of you who have attended past reunions of the Walton’s International Fan club know it is a day long adventure capped off with an unforgettable banquet.

The 2009 Reunion will be held on November 7th at the Doubletree Hotel in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Carolyn has invited Jon Walmsley and me to be guests of honor, and we are looking forward to the day. Her theme this year is an Early Christmas and every guest is asked to bring an old fashioned decoration to dress up the tree.

The day will be a full one. It will include a visit to the Schuyler Baptist Church where the Hamner family worshiped, The Waltons Mountain B and B with its extensive collection of Walton books and Virginia antiques, and a stop by the Hamner house which has been so lovingly and faithfully restored by owner Pamela Rutherford as well a visit to the Museum of Rural History at Lovingston.

Guests will need to arrive on November 6th since activities will start early on the next morning. Space is limited but for further information contact Carolyn at 336-993-2752.



I was once invited by the director of a stage production of “The Homecoming” to perform at the Laguna Playhouse here in California. With my knees knocking in fright, I looked out over an ocean of people and read an opening, a kind of curtain raiser, and at the end of the play a closing paragraph. You should have heard the applause!

I have never been the same and always craved for more! So when Peter Coy and Boomie Peterson, Directors of the Hamner Theater back home in Afton, Virginia, invited me to spend an evening with them and to perform with the cast of their production of “The Homecoming” I leapt at the chance.

At 6:00 PM, Thursday November 5th, 2009, along with the cast of the upcoming production, I will be on hand for the festivities.

From 6:00 to 7:00 I look forward to saying hello and to autographing copies of my books that will be on sale at the theater.

From 7:30 to 8:30 I will read scenes from “The Homecoming” with the cast of the upcoming production.

I look forward to this evening. It is not only a source of pride to me that the theater is named after me, but that it continues to bring quality drama and entertainment to Nelson County and the surrounding area.

All tickets are $50.00. Proceeds of this event will go to support the on going work of the theater.

After the reading we can visit as long as you like.

I should stress that I will be there only for this special event. The actual run of the play will begin on Thursday, November 19th at 7:30 pm and will end on December 13th. Tickets for these performances are $10, $5 for 12 and younger. Reservations are suggested. Call 434-361-1999.

Who would have ever guessed that the glorious words of William Shakespeare, the production of a play recently on Broadway, original drama, highlights from the world of dance and music from all over the world, a school for actors, directors and writers and a play written by a boy from Schuyler, would find a home at 190 Rockfish School Lane, Afton, Virginia!

See you there!



Down at Hendersonville, Tennessee the Steeple Theater Players will also present–


Friday, November 13th through Sunday, November 22nd Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 2:00.

The Staples Players’ Program Notes were so beautifully written that I couldn’t resist reprinting them.

A play based on the book by Earl Hamner, Jr. (and the inspiration for the 1970s TV series, "The Waltons"). The time is the great depression and the large Spencer family, living at the foot of a Virginia mountain, is struggling just to survive. With his father having to take the only available job a long way from home, Clay-Boy is stuck with unusual responsibility for his brothers and sisters. Just reaching manhood, Clay-Boy has a secret yearning that's quite extraordinary for the practical, earth-bound community in which he lives. He wants to write! His father comes home and brings a special gift for his son, a gift that reveals unexpected understanding and the strength of a loving family.

The Steeple Players Theater is devoted to encouraging the development of God-given talents in a supportive Christian, family environment through the experience of producing quality entertainment. The Steeple Players is a non–profit community theater located at 206 Main Street in the City Square Shopping Center in Hendersonville, Tennessee. It has presented family-oriented theater to the local and surrounding community for over fifteen years.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Kym Sims, Director of “The Homecoming” and when I suggested a few slight changes in dialogue from the original script she was not only happy to make the changes but to welcome me to taking an active role in the production - typical of the warm reception I have always found in Tennessee.

I would like to take advantage of this occasion to send greetings to my many friends in Hendersonville and the nearby Nashville area. I will never forget filming the pilot for BOONE there and being allowed to film in such legendary sites as the Ryman and next door at Tootsies. I will never forget that when the Governor gave a reception for us visiting fireman that one of the guests was Minnie Pearl and that when I went over to greet her I said, “I have loved you all my life.” And she said, “Honey, I feel the same way about you.” And I am endlessly grateful to all those friends who worked at Ron Pit kin’s Cumberland House Publishing who have kept my books alive all these years.

Warm thoughts to one and all.



  1. Looking forward to seeing you at the reunion!

    Brenda Irby

  2. I too am looking forward to this reunion!

  3. I sure wish I lived near Virginia so I could visit the reunion. Do you have anything planned in the L.A. area? I'm not too far from there.

  4. Wonderful, Earl. Enjoy your "Homecoming"! I wish I could be there (for any of the three), but it is not meant to be this year.

    Please keep your blog coming. I truly enjoy it.

  5. Dear Mr. Hamner,

    I hope it is okay for me to leave a message here. I suppose I should begin by telling you how I found you, here.

    Yesterday, I awoke with a longing to see the fall foliage. My husband and I, along with two of our dogs began our journey from Richmond toward Skyland drive. We stopped in Crozet for apples and my husband asked the man helping us if he knew a way to get to 33 without getting back on the interstate. The gentleman told us to stay on State Route 810 and we did. What a beautiful journey through the valleys and mountains. We came over a little hill and there was "The Walton Homeplace." My heart leaped with joy. My husband stopped so I could take a few pictures. I knew your homeplace was in Virginia, but I never knew exactly where it was located.

    We continued our journey to Big Meadow lodge, but by far the leaves were most beautiful on Route 810. GOD indeed blessed our adventure.

    When I returned home, I googled your name. I found "The Walton's" webiste where I read your letter to your children. What a beautiful legacy to leave them. I also found your blog.

    Seeing your homeplace took me back in time. I was a young child in the 70's and watched "The Walton's" each week while sitting in my Papas lap. I never missed an episode. I lived with my grandparents and it was a part of our routine.

    You made a profound impact on me. I learned a love for writing and many other life lessons through the show, The Waltons!

    One of the most significant lessons I learned was to "write from my heart." Now, at age 43 I write 2 blogs. I enjoy following my passion and I thank you for the gift of encouragement through a well written script and telivision show.

    Blessings and prayers,

    Andrea Bowling Perdue

  6. I too wished I lived near Virgina but here I am in California's central valley. Will there be California reunion??? I would love to expirence the "Walton family" in person!!!
    Thank you for sharing yourself with us!!
    April Davies
    Kerman, Ca.

  7. I so wish I could be there as well! I am in FL but my schedule won't permit it at this time. I plan to take the family to Schuyler for a vacation one day, but to meet Mr. Hamner in person would be awesome.

    God Bless,

  8. Dr. Mr. Hamner,

    I am once again totally overwhelmed. I opened my blog, Arise 2 Write and found a beautiful comment from your brother Paul.

    Right now I am currently floating around on a cloud in the heavens above your beloved Virginia. Someone is going to have to get me down before I fall and hurt myself. I am touched beyond belief by the warmth and genuiness of your brother, Paul.

    My husband Doug and I will be attending the benifit at Hamner Theater next week. I was shocked to find out there were still tickets available. I am thankful GOD opened the door to allow me this once in a lifetime opportunity to meet the person who had a profound impact on my life.

    Blessings and prayers,

    Andrea Bowling Perdue

  9. Mr. Hamner, please tell us something about how you created your "Yancy Tucker" character. I just love him, I guess it's my "man cave" or lazy tendancies. My wife (of course) thinks he's awful, but please tell us more.
    Ed Hatcher

  10. Thanksgiving is so simple just think and you should THANK IF YOU CAN SEE THIS GIVE THANKS