Monday, November 3, 2014

Dear Friends

      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.

     Warm regards,



  1. Thank you for the update. So happy to hear you are feeling well ! I just watched a tribute to Ralph and was so moved by his complementary remarks about you and hearing him speak so freely from the heart. I have made a recent contribution to the documentary and would strongly encourage all the fans to do the same. I can't wait to watch it !!

  2. Congratulations on your Literary Lifetime Achievement Award Mr. Hamner! How wonderful!
    I am so sorry to hear of your health issues but relieved you're doing better. I pray for your continued good health.
    I am and always have been a huge 'Walton's' fan and really enjoy reading your blogs. Oh if I could have an hour with you, I would have a multitude of questions!
    'Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.' Voltaire
    Blog on dear man. Love and Respect to you.

  3. The fundraising page Mr. Hamner referenced:

  4. Earl Hamner, I too had my right kidney removed (6yrs ago now!) for cancer. I know the rounds of CT scans, blood tests and all, but it gets farther and farther apart until now, just an ultrasound and one blood test a year! I too, felt much better after surgery, following the initial healing period. I feel even more a kindred spirit to you, that we have a shared experience, as I have happily shared The Waltons since the first airing of The Homecoming, up to ths present. Please know you will continue to give me joy as I watch these episodes.

  5. A very touching letter from a man as humble and sincere as ever. Earl is asking us to give back just as he gave of himself and his family for years of quality entertainment that he helped to produce. If you haven't done so please help make this the best tribute possible by supporting this documentary.

  6. I am so happy you are doing well and keep and say my prayers for you daily and a very happy Anniversary to you !
    Much love

  7. Earl, I'm a writer myself. I've read everything you've written and like to think I'm a better writer by your example and through the inspiration you have provided in the character of John Boy. I find it ironic that GMA would stick you in the back and ignore you because, in every Walton's episode it is you I see, graciously in the background, but omnipresent in my mind as the family lives out their lives up there on Walton's Mountain. Thank you for making millions of lives richer and causing us to aspire to be better people.

  8. Hats off to Ray Castro, Michael McGreevey and Tim McAbee. Thank you gentlemen and the rest of the team for putting this together!

    Mr. Earl, we pray your health continues to improve. God bless the entire Hamner Family. You have inspired so many more than you know.

  9. Happy to hear from you! It's a shame the media world doesn't want to allow such recognition for someone who has inspired millions. But don't worry, others see that, and they are still impacted by your accomplishments & meekness. Even as a 19 year old, the storyline of "The Waltons" and of your life has been a huge encouragement to me (not just because my last name is Walton. Ha-ha!) It has been an inspiration to my writing & music. I will continually reflect on the life lessons from that show & use it in my own life. I wish I could contribute something towards this documentary, but as of for now I will be praying for you, your family, and this whole project. Thank you for what you have done & God bless.

    -Catlin Walton

  10. Happy to hear from you Mr. Hamner and continued good wishes for your health. As a member of the Waltons fan club I've already made my donation to assist in the completion of the Story Teller documentary. I look forward to seeing it when it's done! You've made such a great contribution to so many lives - it was a huge thrill when I got to have my photo taken with you on the old Waltons set at Warner Bros when you were there for 40th Waltons reunion. I'll treasure that experience always!

  11. Happy 60th to you and Jane. A lot of prayers were sent your way this pass year. So very happy to hear from you and looking forward to your blogging ... Blessings!!!!

  12. Dearest Earl, you continue to be an inspiration, and I thankyou for updating us all and wishing you a a most gracious Happy Anniversary and please continue to do what inspires you, makes you laugh, smile, etc :)
    Hugs from Canada way , EH ?!

  13. Good week Earl!
    The ceremony Nichols Screenwriting @ AMPAS was awesome! I met and received encouragement to enter again from the winners, enchanted by the cast and crew, Looking good I am publishing my book which the screenplay is based..

    If you like I would be glad to send you the manuscript thesis book on gangs post trauma and dance culture The Crown

    I had an amazing week and end in LA Hollywood I took some pictures straight up Holly blvd. Missed a late night bus in the fashion district and walked and absorbed a defeated character as I walked up skid row 7th avenue. Sitting in Italian made jacket ( I got from The Sally Ann) a with no cuff linked white shirt a reminiscent photo of a David Cassidy junkville sitting on a clean curb playing crazy and desolate. Method Man Ackin' my Brando till morning and pancake. Broke and hungry

    Rest finally as I go back to my room in Pico Rivera, helicopters buttering above to make sure I'm followed. Followed with 2 days of rest and praise and evangelistic prayer and Spanish television free breakfast.

    When to Hollywood and Vine to take Walk of Stars photos felt sooooo comfortable there I could actually live there as a Montreal ex pat!!!
    Made it back before the Buffalo storm! Amen

    always look forward to your mentoring!

    MY LA Nichols Experience

  14. I was so offended as well-- more like furious! That is a great example of why I never watch ABC.
    Thankful you are feeling better than ever, Earl.
    Tonight I am once again enjoying the Easter
    episodes from 1973 and 1997, grateful for all the hours of heart and soul-warming, meaningful hours of entertainment your writing has brought to us all!
    My best thoughts for continued good health and happiness!

  15. Dear Sir,
    Thank you for all your beautiful writing, words can not express how great a fan I am and how especially, the Walton's and many of your other family shows you have crafted Unlike any other

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