Friday, March 25, 2016



   By now you've heard the news that
Earl Hamner Jr., the man who was
responsible for creating "The Waltons"
TV series, passed away on Thursday.
    My wife and I were devoted fans
of the program. So ,while on vacation
in 1973, we decided we'd try to find
the actual "Walton's home."
     Thanks to a magazine article which
actually pictured the house we knew
our search would take us to Schuyler,
Virginia. While this tiny town is on
the map I must admit I thought I
heard "Dueling Banjos" as I
negotiated the curves and hills
along Rockfish River Road which
lead, eventually, to our destination.
       We came across a small school
and realized the house pictured in
that magazine was just across the
street. A man standing in the yard
confirmed we had found the right
place and a moment later the real
"Mrs. Walton", Mrs. Earl Hamner
came over to greet us. The man
turned out to be one of her sons
who was in the process of moving
in with her.
      We had our 3-year-old and 5-
month-old daughters with us and
had come, of course, uninvited.
But Mrs. Hamner promptly invited
us inside where we chatted about
the show and her real family. She
was a wonderful host.
      A couple of things stand out
from that visit. While Schuyler
is located in a mountainous area,
the only "mountain" near the house
was the slight hill that made up
the back yard! There was a small
driveway. Mrs. Hamner pointed
out small pieces of polished
graphite that could be found on
the ground everywhere!
        If you stop to think about it
Earl Jr. could have done all his
writing without ever buying a
        Mrs. Hamner was such a
wonderful host we came back
the following day to bring her
       That's the last we saw her,
or Schuyler until two years ago
when we found it again, this
time with a GPS, while on a
return trip to Florida. The area
had changed very little since we
first found our way there in 73.
        The school has been turned
into a "Walton's Museum" which
we really enjoyed. The house is
still there. But no one lives there
now and, although a small admission
will get you in, we decided to
rely on the memories of our original
visit when the family Matriarch
took us in as though we were just
more of her treasured children.
        Thanks to his novels and
reruns of the "The Waltons" the
stories, likely formed from childhood
in that home, will be around for us
to enjoy for years to come. Thanks
Earl and Goodnight John Boy!
         Hope you have a good night
too and that all your NEWS is good!

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