In Loving Memory of Earl Hamner

July 10, 1923 - March 24, 2016

In Loving Memory of Carolyn Grinnell

November 01, 1938
- March 23, 2022


The celebration of the 40th Anniversary of

The Homecoming

Source: DVD

Little sensation on the Today Show in the morning of Dec 2nd, 2011. Michael Learned (Olivia Walton) and all of her seven „children“ from the famous TV show THE WALTONS came together for an appearance on TV after a very long time. The appearance lasted for about 8 minutes. Even Richard Thomas had found his way into the studio and it was a great pleasure seeing him together with the rest of the family. Only Ralph Waite was too busy to come to the east coast. Too bad.

At noon, the owners of a sponsor ticket got the opportunity for a luncheon together with the cast members. Here, everybody had the chance to get in touch with his favorite cast member and everybody could admire a very special cake, the House of the Waltons baked by Walton fan Candy! Great job, Candy!  

The cake !

On the evening of December 2nd, 2011 more than 1000 fans came together in the beautiful old Loew's Jersey Theatre in Jersey City, New York, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the movie The Homecoming, based on the book by Earl Hamner. The film from 1971 was the forerunner of the one year later successfully started American TV series The Waltons.

The Theatre

The Theatre in New Jersey

This night the guests of honor came to the theatre a huge stretch limo: Michael Learned (Olivia Walton), and all seven Waltonkinder Judy Norton, Mary McDonough, Kami Cotler, Richard Thomas, Jon Walmsley, Eric Scott and David Harper.

Other special guests were the actors:

David Huddleston (A. J: Covington from "The Literary Man" and Sheriff Bridges in The Homecoming)
Radames Pera (Paul Mann from "The Ceremony")
Lynn Hamilton (Verdie Grant)
Hal Williams (Harley Foster) and
Ellen Geer, daughter of Will Geer (the legendary Grandpa Walton). She played Paul Mann´s mother in „The Ceremony“.

In the beginning of the evening Earl Hamner's brother Paul was reading a letter from Earl Hamner, who unfortunately could not attend. Earl Hamner wrote the screenplay for the film, which is based on his own book, The Homecoming.

Besides the film screening of The Homecoming the cast members were interviewed , a home video of Kamie Cotler from the time of the creation of the film The Homecoming was shown and there was a beautiful tribute to the great actress Patricia Neal, who played Olivia Walton in The Homecoming and sadly died last year.

It was getting very quiet in the theatre when Richard Thomas recited the beautiful poem A Visit From St. Nicholas (Twas the Night Before Christmas, can also be heard on the Waltons Christmas CD from 1999).

Finally, Jon Walmsley took his guitar and played and sang some carols along with Judy Norton. Gradually, the other cast members joined in and everybody sang together.

Jon Walmsley, Judy Norton, Eric Scott und Mary McDonough

All seven kids of THE WALTONS on stage

With a cheerful "Good Night" all guests were lead into the night later.

Michael Learned, Mark Miller, Carolyn Grinnell 


Waltonfan Mark Miller kindly provided us his pictures. Thank you for your support, Mark!

More pictures can be found here: Zimbio Jersey Journal



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