Sunday, April 4, 2010

Where is Everybody

Actors, directors, writers and crew on a film or a television series will often claim, “We’re a family“.

I expect that such feelings do develop over time in some films. At the height of production folks on a series often spend more time on a sound stage than they do at home. They may see more of each other during a day than they see of their own families. And some actors, not all, inhabit the character they are portraying so completely that sometime the line between play-acting and reality becomes a little blurred.

Those of us involved in the production of “The Waltons” really were a family. In the first place the actors were portraying characters based on members of an actual family. Some of the actors who portrayed the Walton children were as young as six when we began filming. In the following ten or so years they worked together, went to school together, ate together. They also grew up together and even today they are close to each other.

Sometimes it was interesting to see the actor, in real life, taking on the traits of the character he or she was portraying. I have a fond memory of Ellen Corby shouting to one of the young actors, “Watch where you’re going! You want to break your neck?” And certainly everybody, even many viewers, loved Will Geer as if he were truly his or her grandfather.

Now that they are both in Heaven I think I can safely tell this about Will and Ellen: If scene stealing were a crime they both would have landed in jail long ago. Ellen was forever fidgeting on camera to attract the attention of the viewer.

Sometimes Will would hold her by the back of her costume to keep her from moving about. But of course she was forced to such measures because Will knew every trick in the actor’s book to dominate a scene.

Often their “stage children” confided in their stage parents, Michael and Ralph, when they needed a grown up ear. It was especially moving to see, as the series neared its end, the efforts that Ralph and Michael took to assure their “stage children” that the family would remain “family.”

All these years later, we Waltons keep in touch. We are still a family, and in answer to the many inquiries I receive about them, here is what everybody is up to these days:

RICHARD THOMAS – JOHN-BOY WALTON

Richard is back on Broadway. He is performing at the Ethel Barrymore Theater, only a few blocks from where he made his stage debut in “Sunrise at Campobello’ at the age of seven!

This time Richard appears along with David Spader, David Alan Greer and Kerry Washington. The play has been described as “the riveting new play by America’s foremost playwright and Tony Award winner, David Mamet.” In the play, three attorneys, two black and one white, are offered a chance to defend a white man charged with a crime against a black women.

In Richard’s words “It’s about things that no one says. It’s strong stuff. Provocative, but not shocking for the sake of being shocking.”

I am always amazed at the range of Richard’s talent. Just a few years ago I was in the audience for his remarkable performance in Richard III. I admired him tremendously in his masterful enactment of an embattled juror in “Twelve Angry Men,” and then to watch him with equal skill able to transform himself into an earnest boy from the backwoods of Virginia who yearned to be a writer.

MICHAEL LEARNED – OLIVIA WALTON

I ran into Michael and her husband, John, not long ago in a restaurant, and I can tell you that Michael is still as gorgeous and as radiant as ever. She still does a lot of theater and occasional guest appearances on television. She told me that she has been filming a guest shot on “GENERAL HOSPITAL.” She was not exactly sure when her performance will air, but your local television schedule will have the information when it is telecast.

Soon after that I sent her a note asking about her immediate plans and here is her reply:

This summer I'm scheduled to be in Sarnia Ontario Canada, doing “DRIVING MISS DAISY.” I'll be at the Starbrite Theater, which is about an hour from the Detroit border. It's on Lake Huron so I'm looking forward to some time back in Canada where I raised my kids. Lake Huron is where we spent many happy days on the beach, when the kids were small and their father and I were performing at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario. I'll be there in Sarnia in July and August. In the meantime I feed my wilds birds who are soaked through at the moment, but still singing their hearts out in the ivy bushes outside my window.

RALPH WAITE – JOHN WALTON

Ralph and I have been playing telephone tag. I have been missing him at his California home and I am guessing he may be in New York or on the road. I still managed to find a quote.

The current issue of TV Guide lists TV’s TOP FAMILIES OF ALL TIMES! Our series is listed as Number 6. The story reads as follows:

“John and Olivia Walton, Ralph Waite and Michael Learned, raised seven children during the Depression, and the series saw them through World War Two. Bathed in sentimental nostalgia for simpler times and unchallenged values, “The Waltons” was an escape for the social turbulence of the ‘70s.”

And here is Ralph’s comment from that same article: “A lot of people felt they had lost their anchor, and this was a reminder of what people wanted a family to be, with an emphasis on work and honesty and education and basic American values. The show’s iconic sign off, as the family, all under one roof, says goodnight to each other while the lights go out, was recently spoofed in a Geico ad. “It’s a very powerful symbol, said Waite. “It still resonates.”

JON WALMSLY – Jason Walton

The last time I had a chance to visit with Jon was at The Waltons International Fan Club Reunion in Virginia last November. Carolyn Grinnell, President of the Fan Club, had invited Jon, his wife Marion and me to be guests of honor. At one of the events which took place at the Baptist Church in my hometown, I also had the pleasure of introducing three original “Waltons”: my sister, the inspiration for Elizabeth, Nancy Jamerson and her husband, Garnett; my sister, Audrey Hamner, the model for Erin, and my brother, Paul, known on the series as Ben. Another highlight at the church was a recitation by Marion Walmsley of “Silent Night, Holy Night” in her native German.

Jon is one of the busiest actors/writers/musicians I know so I asked him to tell us in his own words where he is up to these days:

”First and foremost,” he wrote, “I am enjoying spending time with the love of my life, my wife Marion. We had a wonderful time at The Walton’s fan club reunion in Charlottesville, VA in November, and then were off to Arizona and New Mexico for some musical gigs (more on this later). We also managed to squeeze in some sightseeing in Sedona, AZ and along the old Route 66. Christmas was spent in California, and then we were off to Germany and Austria for New Year with Marion’s family. We had great weather, and the Tyrolean Alps were spectacular. My latest project is called ABBEY ROAD MEMORIES. It’s a live concert show featuring a great band along with special guest artists, performing the entire Beatles ABBEY ROAD album. Between “side one” and “side two” the band performs a medley of British hits recorded at the Abbey Road Studio, then the special guests play their hits (also recorded at the famous studio!) We just finished our first run of shows in Arizona and New Mexico. The shows were sold out and the audience went wild every night. The headliners this time were Denny Laine (Wings, Moody Blues) and Joey Molland of Badfinger.Soon, it will be time to hit the road again.

In addition, I have been writing and recording music for the “Elf Sparkle” cartoon for Nickelodeon as well as providing voice characterizations.

Of course, I am still working with my own bands “The U.K. Beat” and my latest baby, “The Blues Odyssey”, as well as doing solo gigs around Southern California.

If you’d like to keep up date, please make sure to join the Jon Walmsley fanpage , as well as The U.K. Beat fanpage, on Facebook. Also visit www.theukbeat.com and www.thebluesodyssey.com for complete info on the bands, live videos, photos, and more!

JUDY NORTON TAYLOR – MARY ELLEN WALTON

Over the course of the life of the series Judy Norton Taylor was required to grow from a pugnacious little girl to a sensitive teenager and finally to become a highly capable nurse and mother. Having watched the excellence of Judy’s performances in these various challenging roles it will come as no surprise that following the series she has excelled not only in acting, but also in writing, directing and producing. In these capacities she has worked in theaters in England and Canada as well as here at home.

Her reviews in each of these fields have been most laudatory and I was tempted to reprint some of them, but I found another review for another of her talents I haven’t even mentioned yet, singing. I will let the review speak for itself

A STELLAR EVENING WITH JUDY NORTON AT STERLINGS
BY
Don Grigware

“This was my first cabaret review for 2010 and I was not disappointed. An Evening with Judy Norton was a stellar show with a true night club star. Gifted and experienced she is a consummate artist whose selection of songs was guaranteed to entertain her audience. Judy makes you feel right at home. She made her way to the stage with “I’m a Stranger Here Myself,” and once there followed through with a series of tunes that highlighted her career.

Highlights of the seventy minute show included a snappy “Le Jazz Hot,” a fabulous rendition of “Stompin’ At the Savoy” and a deeply felt medley of love tunes. Her encore of “There’s No Business like Show Business” kind of sums up Judy Norton’s life as actress singer, director and writer. She is one happy gal who‘s done it all in this biz and has surely ended up the better for it. A balanced and contented woman, Norton’s a dynamic performer with charm, a great instrument and a lot of love to give.

Never one to slow down, when I spoke with Judy she was preparing for a concert style show, “From Judy, WithLove” two shows in Grapevine Texas and two shows in Granbury, Texas as well as a benefit Gala Concert for the Musical Theater of Los Angeles at the Met Theater in Hollywood on April 7th.

ERIC SCOTT – BEN WALTON

In response to my note Eric wrote: One special bit of news. I have just finished our friend, Joe Conley’s book and liked it a lot. It is called IKE GODSEY OF WALTON’S MOUNTAIN” and it can be ordered from Bear Manor Media,PO Box 71426, Albany, Georgia, 31708.

As for as the old Scott homestead, we are all doing great. Ashley is finishing high school this semester and has received two college acceptances. She is waiting on six more and we are planning a road trip in April to visit the campus' that are in the running. Emma is learning so much in second grade and is in the Brownies.
Jeremy is in Kindergarten and has just started on a little league team and really enjoying it. He is riding a two wheel bike now and is constantly in motion. He reminds me so much of myself at that age, I think you can vouch from personal experience that my hands are going to be full with him!

We spend a lot of our weekends at the beach house and we are so lucky to have these special mini trips. Cindy and I will be observing our tenth anniversary in March. We are going to Las Vegas for the celebration.

MARY BETH MCDONOUGH – ERIN WALTON

Mary Beth has a recurring role on the popular CBS drama, “The New Adventures Of Old Christine.” In addition to her acting career she has finished her autobiography, “Lessons From the Mountain, From Walton to Woman.” It should be out this year!

I was especially pleased when Mary asked me to write a forward to her book. It is a valuable work and will shed light on a subject of much concern to women young and old.. In part, in the forward, I wrote:

“Ten years after “The Waltons” had run its course, Mary had become a mature woman, an accomplished actress, and a great beauty. After leaving the series and work was scarce, she took a seemingly innocent step toward a more active career. Going on the notion that a “fuller” figure would be an asset in her work she underwent breast implantation. Mysterious symptoms began. Her health became more and more impaired. Eventually she discovered that as a result of the implants she now suffered lupus, and equally horrifying she found that her daughter had similar symptoms.

It is at this point that her book turns from a story of a child becoming a mature actor into the story of a woman on a quest and a cause.

Part detective work, part medical research, her own health as well as that of her daughter are at stake as she sets out to discover the role of breast implants in the illness they were each now suffering. Resistance was there at every turn, more often than not, from paid consultants of powerful medical supply companies.

Once armed with knowledge Mary has taken steps to inform all women of the potential danger, one such step being the writing of this book. It is a revealing story that took courage and strength to tell. It is a story of the triumph of the human spirit over adversity at its finest.

Check her web site marymcdonough.com to find out more about Mary Beth, her book, life coaching and acting classes. She has a fan page on Face Book, here's the address to contact her there.
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Mary-McDonough/274441120496?ref=ts

DAVID HARPER – JIM BOB WALTON

I last visited with David in November at the memorial service for his father, actor Paul Harper. Paul had been a well-known character actor, a versatile performer who had appeared in many major films including the legendary “Wild Bunch.”

Since that time David has been busy tending to his father’s estate, but when we spoke today he was considering reactivating his acting career. In his words: “I feel like Clark Gable who said he hated acting but it’s a good way to make a living.”

In our conversation I also learned something about David that I had never known. He is a History buff and is especially well informed about the Civil War. His interest grew out of his early interest in books and he expressed special gratitude to his parents and said, “The greatest thing my parents ever did for me, besides to love me, was to give me a library card. He is looking forward to his next trip to Virginia and especially to visiting the battlefields at Manassas, We each admitted that when we drive through those fought-over fields and forests as the sun is setting over the Blue Ridge – we see ghosts! And as David pointed out it is almost a duty of each American to visit such sites that were so defined our country.

KAMI COTLER – ELIZABETH WALTON

Of all the Walton actors the one who has the closest association with the area I come from is Kami. For several years after the series was over she taught school in my home county of Nelson. I spoke with her recently and ask for news of her and the family. She replied:

”My family is well. Daughter Callie is 9 and son, Cotton is 12. They are both at the charter school I used to co-direct and now I am on the board of directors. I am working at a charter in Lawndale, Environmental Charter High School, helping them open a middle school. It is a very cool educational program, so I am enjoying it. www.echsonline.org

I have a page on facebook, so people can get info there. Funnily enough, I just posted the story of how I ended up on The Waltons on my page, so fans might find that interesting.

I guess if you want an "update" you can say that I got my teaching credential at UC Berkeley, taught in an school-within-a-school program for at-risk high school students in Nelson, moved back to LA (so my folks could know my kids), taught at a charter school until my Dad got sick in 2002 and then I left to help him with WITFAWN, his boutique travel company/hobby that takes USC football fans to away football games. When Daddy died, I took over WITFAWN. Cotton was in first grade and kept coming home "sick" before recess, so I started looking for a school that wouldn't make him miserable. I ended up finding a group of parents starting an arts-integrated charter school. I volunteered to help and ended up as one of the co-directors. After 3 years there I did some consulting to other start-up charter schools and now I am at Environmental and enjoy my work quite a lot.”

And I should mention that Kami is still fondly remembered in Nelson County, Virginia.

EARL HAMNER – NARRATOR AND BIG BROTHER. Better know as The Old Bear!

When I spoke with David Harper he reminded me to say: “Be sure to express my affection to all those viewers who have been so faithful all these years!” And speaking for David and for the whole Walton “family” I can echo those sentiments.
- - -

41 comments:

  1. Thanks for all of the wonderful updates. I had time to scan them pretty well and will be returning to read through them more carefully a.s.a.p. Nice to know that you're in great shape for someone of your age. You and my mom are about the same age. She's falling apart in some ways, but she's still in pretty decent shape. I have lymphedema, and she's been very supportive and helpful of me. Still writing up a storm.

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  2. The updates are wonderful. Thank you for them. I had the absolute pleasure of finally seeing Richard Thomas on stage when we visited New York in January. What a fantastic, thought provoking play. I loved it, and meeting him after it was a real thrill. I'm sure you're very proud of all members of your Waltons family. Thinking of you as you head into spring. Here we are in autumn with all the beautiful colour changes. Karen Kearney (Melbourne, Australia)

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  3. Dear Earl,

    thank you so much for this wonderful updates of the Walton family. This morning (it is still holiday here in Germany) we had a "Walton breakfast". We watched "Mothers Day on Waltons Mountain" while we had breakfast. I found this old tape with all the Walton movies from the early 80 yesterday in my old stuff. I am so glad to found them because here in Germany we don´t have the movies on DVD yet.

    Thank you again for this wonderful blog and I am always waiting for the next one.

    Dagmar from Germany

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  4. Watch the show every night, too bad Will Greer and Ellen Corby are not with us anymore. Always enjoyed watching them work together as they were truly a special element to the shows success. I visited the museum last fall and really enjoyed the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains and Schuyler. Thanks for all the memories and goodnight everybody!

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  5. I love this. Thank you for sharing.

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  6. Thank you for these terrific updates. I also had the pleasure of seeing Richard Thomas in "Twelve Angry Men". He was wonderful. Please continue to write your blog. I look forward to it.

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  7. Thanks for the updates. Although I left Nelson before Kami moved there, I saw her a few times at the Lovingston Cafe and she lived down the road from my inlws and of course I had friends who taught school with her. I had wondered where she had moved and what she was up to. blessings to you, Earl.

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  8. Thank you for taking the time to update us on the where abouts of the Walton clan. I think I could watch those shows forever and they would never grow old.

    I will have to print this out for my mother-in-law. She is 92 and The Waltons has always been her favorite show.

    Blessings,
    Cheryl

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  10. Dear Earl, I wish I could wave a majic wand and make those knees of yours whole again.

    Nick and I were entertained by 'The Carnival' today (Season one) and loved David Harper's reaction, portraying Jim-Bob, as the family was about to enter the barn to watch the carnival show. His face was so dog-gone cute. We had to repeat that part twice, he was THAT adorable! (We wondered if the Harper gentleman was related to David.) We watched 'The Boy from the C.C.C.' last week. 'Elizabeth' listened intently to the boy from NY, as he shared the story of watching his parents die. Kami was so believable and entertaining as she longed for her own daddy to hold her. She was absolutely huggabble as she jumped into 'John's' arms. Bravo to all the actors. Their work remains timeless.

    The actor's shining portrayal of the Hamner children will forever linger in our minds, just as the superb writing will resonate in our hearts and lives! Thank you dear, dear Earl!

    (I am lost without spellcheck!) lol

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  12. Wow, I've been wondering what they've been up to ~ thank you so much for the updates!

    Blessings to you today,
    Katie

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  13. Thank you for allowing us all insight to the "other" Walton families lives. It's nice to know everyone is doing well and still close. I am from a family of seven and my husband nine, so I can certainly relate to the big family atmosphere. I recently purchased the show on DVD, and whenever I miss my home and family in PA, I pop in a disc and am transported back...to PA...to a simpler time and place...to family. Thanks for your words whose sentiments never grow old.
    PS I pray your knees will heal so you can run and hug your dear wife.
    Kim www.pawsforlovemystery.com

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  14. Thank you for sharing about the Walton family actors. All of them seem to be doing quite well.

    Praying your knees will be healed!

    Blessings,
    Andrea Bowling Perdue

    http://arise2write.blogspot.com
    http://andrealuvsallgodscreatures.blogspot.com

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  15. Dear Mr. Hamner,

    What a treat to read all of these updates. As I still am so thrilled to find your corner of the web here, I invited my blog readers to come and take a peek. I mentioned before that I just stumbled upon your blog after writing a post about an imaginary day with "Olivia Walton", as I so appreciate many of the traits she had as a homemaker, mother, wife, and the like. It truly is a privilege to write to you here and show my appreciation for your writing.

    Blessings to you,
    Katie

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  16. Dear Mr. Hamner,
    I have a new copy of THE AVOCADO DRIVE ZOO on my desk. Looking forward to reading it. I have written privately since the Seventies, but began blogging in 2004.

    Wednesday night I went to a writer's workshop about publishing, and the speaker-author-publisher advised us to ask ourselves whose body of work may share an audience with our own if we were published? Without hesitation, I thought of you. I have been a fan of yours since Spencer's Mountain. I write of common, family things, held together by that thread we call home. I've been posting "chapters" from my teen years centering on some land we settled with my father. In time, we began building the house there when I was in high school but didn't move in until after I had left for college.

    The first chapter was posted in July 2008:

    http://patternsofink.blogspot.com/2008/07/not-yet-titled.html

    The posts are drafts in progress, but many times as I’m writing I think of the tone and narrative of your work and the feelings of home you inspired to my generation. I fear this generation may forget that feeling or doubt such families exist. That is what prompts me to write.

    I don't mean to be presumptuous in sharing this, but I wanted you to know.

    What a thrill to find you active and writing here!

    Tom K.

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  17. It's nice to read the update on everyone. I especially enjoyed learning about Kami, as I grew up in Lawndale, CA., and have been a homeschooling mom to my 6 kids for 14 years now. Thanks for sharing with us. As always, I love "visiting" with you.
    Blessings,
    Marcia

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  18. Thank you so much Mr. Hamner for the lovely update on all of the Waltons family. I recently finished viewing the last DVD I purchased which contained all the reunion movies - it was with joy and sadness I watched the last one from 1997 knowing there weren't any more DVD's to purchase from the series. I have always loved your work and treasure it even more as time goes on. Thank you so much for everything and I am glad to see you still active and sharing with everyone.

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  19. What a blessing to come across your blog!!!

    The Waltons was and conitinues to be my favorite television show ever!!! As an adult/wifemother I especially appreciate the show. Such wisdom and insight burst forth from this program. I wish it was required watching for all!!!!

    Thank you so much for the updates! It's nice to know what's going on with "the family"!!!

    I'll be back often!!

    Holly...iwishiwereawalton.blogspot.com

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  20. Thank you so much for keeping the "spirit" alive that made the Walton's such a wonderful show. My children grew up watching the Walton's and because of DVD now my grandchildren enjoy it as well. Please pass on to the family that they have and will continue to touch many lives with love and ethics that is not found on TV anymore.

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  21. Dear Earl,
    I was so thrilled to read all the news of the family. My family and I are running through the series again. I am sure people would think we are out of our mind tearing up for the 100th time over "Daisy's little peck on Boone's cheek as they parted ways". I have never known a series that was so real to me as "The Walton's". When we lived in Indiana we actually had the privilege of visiting the Walton's Museum and would you believe we forgot to go back to the back to visit the Baldwin's. We were reminded to do so. I hope to get there again some fine day. I am going to add you to my blog roll so I can check up regularly, keep up the post.

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  22. Dear Mr. Hamner,

    I hope you are enjoying your summer and that all is well! I'm looking forward to your next post very much whenever that may be!

    Blessings,
    Katie in WI

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  23. Mr. Hamner,
    THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I have been one of your biggest fans since I first saw "THE HOMECOMING" on tv!...Then on my tiny tv with 2 channels: THURSDAY NIGHT, 7:00 was the only "MY TV TIME" while growing up- I thought that I looked and acted much like Mary Ellen! Was enamored with John Boy.... and
    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!!! The Walton's to this day!!!... and the characters, family values, and integrity of the shows and personalities!!!

    I teach high school in MS and have used an episode of "The Walton's" while teaching on the Depression era.
    THANKS AGAIN!!!

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  25. I was so glad to find your blog! I've enjoyed watching the show and have been inspired by the character of Olivia Walton. I've just finished a reproduction of one of her costumes (http://theopulentpoppy.blogspot.com/2010/07/olivia-dress.html) I loved how simple, feminine, and graceful her dresses are. I hope to make more reproductions in the future : )

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  26. I was just wondering how you're doing? We haven't seen an update for awhile, and I'm kind of missing them :-) I hope you update soon.
    Blessings,
    Marcia

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  27. Hello again,

    I am also wondering how you are doing? I would love to read a new blog from you soon.

    I pray that all is well with you and yours.

    Maria

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  28. Hello Earl Hamner, I have been curious for years about Mamie and Emily Baldwin and I just have to ask. Was there really 2 unmarried sisters who made home-made whiskey? I am surprised the sheriff allowed it :) Thanks......Lavender Rose

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  29. There are no words to thank you enough for bringing your story to me.I've heard my 83 yr old mother tell many of the same but to have it brought to TV in such a beautiful way. In the last few mos. I've had surgeries for breast cancer, my 4th spinal surgery & most recently hip. When I found out that The Walton's would be coming back on the INSP channel, I knew I'd be ok as for that brief hour every day I am pain free. I get so engrossed. I own EVERY season & movie but somehow still like it on the old TV. Thanks, Mr. Hamner. I love you for this.Sherry Bellenfant, Franklin TN

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  30. As I write this I am watching re-runs of The Waltons. I just finished the episode where Jon contemplated selling "Walton's Mountain" but realized no amount of money could replace the beauty, the memories and the wonderful life they had there, together, as a family. I was 7 when The Waltons was beginning on TV in 1974 and have very fond memories of the show. I grew up in a loving, Christian family with two brothers, awesome parents & wonderful grandparents and extended family. We lived in North Carolina for a time as a child and spent Sundays at Mama's farm with all the relatives over. The Waltons is such a good, classic show with such wonderful values. Its too bad that today's tv usually is so far off the mark of ethics, values, family, friendship and faith. I loved reading the updates on the "Waltons" on this blog. Each week felt like watching a real family. So glad your dream came true, Mr. Hamner. Your writings are wonderful and I've very much enjoyed the stories over the years. Sincerely, Carole Grand Rapids, Michigan

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  31. Mr. Hamner, I know I'm a little late, but I just found your blog tonight. Thank you so much for posting the update on the various members of the Walton family. I especially enjoyed reading about David Harper.

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  32. martina flynn shanahanJanuary 21, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    i love the waltons. thank you so much. as a series it gives me such a sense of peace and totally makes my day when i watch my daily episode. its wonderful.

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  33. I do so enjoy the reruns now that I am 49.I did not watch many episodes when I was young. My mother was born in Goose Creek Valley in the Virginia Mountains north of Montvale Va where her parents Jesse and Ethel(Smith)Pollard raised 4 kids. I love to see the show and how things were back then. It reminds me of going to my grandmas and listening to the aunts, uncles grandma and grandpa talk about the old days and tell wonderful stories. I live in the gentle hills in Mecklenburg County but I have always loved the Blueridge. Thank you Mister Earl Hamner and all the cast for producing one of the best shows ever put on television,and providing us with the best lesson on Virginia history ever told. David Hawkins, Mecklenburg County VA

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  34. Dear Mr. Hamner, thank you for being who you are and for letting us read your wonderful works of words, of which I am always so grateful to be able to get to read!

    Sincerely,

    Jon Winquist

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