I’m sorry to have been out of touch, but I’ll take a stab at explaining my long silence. If you will check my last entry of a year ago it was an invitation to watch me and the other cast members of The Walton’s on ABC’s “Good Morning, America.” It was not a good morning for this American and I'll come to that later.One of the occasions that have taken up much of my time since then has been a life changing event. On my birthday, July, 10, I was operated on for the removal of my right kidney. It was an odd experience to endure while at the same time you folks were overwhelming me with birthday wishes. There was also a brief hospital stay for an emergency treatment for atrial fibrillation.
Since then most every minute has had me in the waiting rooms of an imaging center, my Internist, my surgeon, a kidney specialist, my cardiologist and a hematologist. The good news is that they have kept me alive and well and I have not felt better in years.One of the more pleasant experiences was celebrating sixty years of wedded bliss to Miss Jane, who is as beautiful and supportive as always. There has also been the constant love and care of and care from Caroline and Pepe. Scott will give them some relief when he comes out from Vermont in a few days for his mother’s birthday and for Thanksgiving. There has also been constant sympathetic concern of friends and loved ones who knew what I was going through.
There was one event I should mention. It was to have long lasting effect on my life. Last October, along with the rest of the cast of “The Walton's” I appeared on ABC’s early morning show “Good Morning America.” It turned out to be the most humiliating experience of my life.But even such a horrible experience can have a happy ending. I’ll let my friend Ray Castro tell how that came about.
Ray is a native of New Jersey, a very creative producer. We have been friends for over twenty years. Last October Ray watched a Walton cast reunion of “Good Morning, America” and noticed that I had been placed in the back, nearly out of sight of the actors.“I thought it was very disrespectful,” said Ray. “They didn’t mention his name or identify him at all. And knowing Earl, I thought this must have hurt. This was the Creator of the series, the Narrator, the Co-Executive Producer, The Executive Story Editor, the model for the role of John-Boy and a man who had contributed richly to the medium of television since its inception more than sixty years ago.”
A few days later, Ray met with Producer/Writer, Mike McGreevey, and Producer Tim McAbee. They decided to produce a filmed documentary about me and my life’s work called “Earl Hamner, Story Teller.”Today the film is almost completed. The Producers have traveled all over the country to interview the actors, writers, directors and crews that I have worked with and projects range from my television specials to my series as well as my feature films. There is just some editing to be done but there remains one hurdle to overcome. To illustrate my work requires extensive film footage from the movies and television specials or series. Most of this film is owned by various studios and they charge an arm and a leg for the use of every single foot of it.
Frankly, we need your help. The production team has enlisted a company to raise the needed sum. If you will see the website “Earl Hamner, Story Teller, Documentary” you will see that contributions have already started coming in. It would be a special favor to me if you would join us in this effort.The clip from “Good Morning, America” still turns up on television. Now when you watch the Documentary you will be able to identify and name the nice looking, unidentified old man hidden behind the rest of the cast.