In Loving Memory of Earl Hamner

July 10, 1923 - March 24, 2016
 

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The story of the Waltons

 
The American TV series "The Waltons" ran from 1972 to 1981 with a total of 221 episodes on American TV and lagged from 1975 on German television.

The Waltons are a large family, honest, hard working people during the Great Depression in Virginia. The show portrayed the lives of ordinary rural population at the time of economic crisis. They tell the adventures of John Walton, his wife Olivia, their seven children, John-Boy, Jason, Mary Ellen, Erin, Ben, Jim-Bob and Elizabeth and John's parents, Sam and Esther. They all live together in a house in Walton's Mountain in the famous Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. They also own their own mountain. 

Father John runs a small saw mill and he is supported by his father Zeb and later by his sons. The mother Olivia and grandmother Esther take care of the home and the family. In the beginning of the show the age of the children was between about 4-5 (Elizabeth) up to about 16 years ( John-Boy). The Waltons are sincere, honest people whose door is always open for visitors. They care about their friends and neighbours and they are very popular. 

It is important to the parents that their children will obtain a good education. As an inquisitive young man their son John-Boy will visit the Boatwright University in Charlottesville and later he will publish his own newspaper, the Blue Ridge Chronicle. The eldest daughter Mary Ellen will become a nurse. Later she marries a doctor and together they work in their own doctors office. Son Jason has a great musical talent. He makes some extra money by playing piano in a bar in Scottsville and later he will study music at the Conservatory. The smart son Ben will go into his fathers business and run the saw mill together with father John. The youngest son Jim-Bob is a sensitive boy. His dream is to become a pilot some day. Daughter Erin later is working as a secretary and Elizabeth,the youngest one .....

All stories are told from the perspective of the elders, John-Boy. Every day he sits in his room at the table by his window and writes down his thoughts and experiences with his family. Later he will write short stories first, then a book about his family on Waltons Mountain.

The stories about the Walton family are based on the childhood experiences of the author and producer Earl Hamner Jr., who grew up in the small town of Schuyler in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Virginia. Many of the places mentioned in the series such as Charlottesville, Scottsville, Rockfish and others actually exist within Schuyler and like the Rockfish River play a role in the series.

Each episode ends with the famous good night dialogue between the family members.

Good night, John-Boy!

 

 

Specials

After the end of the series in 1981 Warner Bros. decided to shoot six specials between 1982 to 1997.

The titles are:

A Wedding on Waltons Mountain   1982
Mother's Day on Waltons Mountain   1982
A Day for Thanks on Waltons Mountain  1982
A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion  1993
A Walton Wedding  1995
A Walton Easter   1997

   

  
       

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