|WALTONS DIGEST 1-2000:
Happy New Year everyone! Welcome to another year of Waltons news. I hope you all had a wonderful and safe time over the Christmas/New Year period. We did here. It was a very hot Christmas Day, and we went out to a restaurant for dinner, then followed it up with visiting Rod's mum for tea, which we all took with us...a combined effort. It was very nice to see everyone and just be together to catch up on everyone's news.
Rod's been having a bit of a break over the past week, but the weather has been just awful. For a couple of days after Christmas we had the worst storms we have had in a long time. Continual heavy pelting rain and very windy. We really haven't had much rain during 1999, but I'm sure the past week would have made up for that a bit. On one occasion the water was up to our front step because it was so heavy and just couldn't get away. Once the rain eases though, it drains very quickly. The poor gutters couldn't cope either, and the next day Rod was up on the roof clearing them out, just in time for the next downpour! Fortunately we had no damage, but I saw on the news that a lot of places all over the world suffered a lot from storms during those couple of days.
It continued raining for the rest of the week, but just light rain, and to mark the new millenium, it did stop yesterday and looks like being another nice day today, it's 9.30 am, Jan 2 today. :-)
We had a very quiet time on New Year's Eve. No you wouldn't have seen me at Sydney, or the Melbourne fireworks! We watched the Sydney display on Friday night and it was wonderful. Then last night on the news we saw lots of different gatherings from all over the world. Fabulous stuff. Some places looked so cold! I don't think I would have been standing out in Russia waiting for the fireworks for instance!!!!! Still it would have been exciting to go to.
What do you think the Walton family would have done to mark the new millenium? Maybe a retrospective newspaper article from John Boy. Perhaps each family would have looked at the high and low points of their lives. Certainly celebrations with family and friends would have been high on the agenda.
Anyway, remember to watch Richard Thomas in Beyond the Prairie on Jan 2nd and send your thoughts. I liked his performance, and would never have picked him as RT if I hadn't known. I enjoyed the film.
Some of you have sent introductions and I'll start posting these with this issue and include some during January. Not all that I've received will be published today though, as I'll do them on a first in basis and depending on the space I've got. Please keep them coming. It's nice to hear from you all, but especially if you're not a regular contributor. Not all of our 400 members write, often telling me that they don't know what to write about, as so many of you are absolute Waltons Wizzes, but you can ALL write about yourselves. :-)
I received my copy of the Waltons Christmas CD this week too. Very quick posting from CD World http://www.cdworld.com if anyone's interested. I had to get another CD for James from there, so decided to give myself a Christmas present as well. I haven't had time to listen to it yet, but the booklet is really nice. Great artwork and photos. Especially nice is the way they show the actors then and now. My guess for the Cousin Jerry debate is that it was simply a way to incorporate, and credit, Jerry Salley who co-wrote Follow That Star with Jon Walmsley. He is mentioned as being one of the singers, along with Jason, Olivia and Toni and I suppose he had to be given a character name.
I should be adding the rest of the 1999 digests to the archives during the next week, so keep an eye open for these if you are a newer member and want to catch up. Hopefully during the holidays more things will go up on the site. I'm working on the Walton Family Album currently but more about that later.
Talk to you all again very soon. Goodnight everyone,
Peace be with you,
KAREN'S COMMENT: It sounds very cold to me. Hope you had a wonderful celebration.
Wish TNN played it like that all year long! Someone mentioned possibly a new movie, has anyone else heard this? Goodnight everyone...Julie :)
KAREN'S COMMENT: Lucky people! Did anyone happen to tape the ET special over
Christmas? What was it like?
There are a few comments on this digest.
One of the people on the Waltons Forum said that Earl had told them there would not be any more specials.
It depends on whether you like the Thomas personality or the Wightman personality to determine who is your favorite Johnboy. Both have good qualities to them
Donald F Nelson and Erin the cat send you best wishes for a merry Christmas. It is already Christmas there.
KAREN'S COMMENT: Can anyone confirm or deny the no more specials which Donald mentions? I thought he was still waiting on the green light, but it has been a very long time.
Happy Holidays to you and yours. Many thanks for your little of cyber-labor of great newsletters. Best wishes for a fantastic New Year.
KAREN'S COMMENT: Thankyou Bill. Doing this is really a labour of love!
Regarding David Harper.... my children think he is the best of the Walton kids. James likes watching the shows with him in them. Jim Bob does seem to get into a lot of mischief....and he is a good actor. Oh well, he likes to have a private life...I just wish he knew how much my kids like him!
With regards to the car....someone on the forum answered this question awhile back....I suggest writing the question for the forum. Someone did buy the cars though.
I preferred Richard Thomas as Johnboy. I just couldn't get used to Robert.
KAREN'S COMMENT: Your kids have excellent taste Cindy. In my opinion, David Harper was easily the best actor amongst the Walton children, especially in the early episodes, with the exception of Richard Thomas of course. He was hardly a child though. I've watched some of the early episodes again and felt that some of the children took a while to settle into their roles but David seemed to be very natural right from the start. What are your opinions?
Hello all, and Christmas greetings,
To John, who is wondering about the Model A cars in the Waltons. I've noticed at the end of the tapes (from Columbia) that when they show the credits, they indicate that the cars are provided by a company.....with a name like Movie World, or Movie Cars.....something like that. I'd have to go watch an episode, but once you know the exact name of the company, why not contact information in Southern California for a telephone number? Or get online in a search engine, and put the name of the company in? They may have a website. Other than that, type in "Model A Cars" in Yahoo and see what you bring up.
Hope this helps!
KAREN'S COMMENTS: Excellent suggestions Nancy.
Thanks for the Christmas Wishes. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. I have to add my vote for the original John Boy- Richard Thomas. I can't imagine them considering changing Grandma or Grandpa. When Michael Learned wanted to leave the show, they worked that out. I don't think that they should have added the other character. He is a good actor but it was a position that I don't think anyone could fill. When you have a character that has lived, breathed and sweated through the years with an actor that gives themselves - heart and soul, the person coming in and filling those shoes has been given an impossible task.. Again, just my opinion. Happy 2000.
KAREN'S COMMENT: I certainly can't think of anyone to replace Grandpa and Grandma. I used to find it incredibly funny when I used to watch the American daytime soaps during the 80's. (I must confess that I'm not a soapie person.) Anyway sometimes they would put a note up at the beginning of a show saying that in today's show such and such a character would be played by such and such an actor, and the actor appearing would be so different! At that time, here in Australia, characters in shows were never replaced by other actors, but rather written out and a new character brought in. Replacing actors seems to be the done thing these days though.
I guess it would have been a tough decision to make.
I watched the 'Entertainment Tonight' episode this weekend that was all about The Waltons. It was really good. The cast is very much like a family in real life. When Mary McDonough was expecting her baby, she called Michael Learned to tell her she was going to be a grandma.
Eric Scott said that he loved Ellen Corby and Will Geer like they were his real grandparents and Mary said that they all called Ellen 'Grandma' in real life. Eric said that when Will Geer was there, it was like having Santa Claus on the set because he was such a jolly guy. The cast also talked about how hard it was for them when Ellen had her stroke.
There was some sad and serious stuff like Eric losing his wife just after their daughter was born and Mary being sick because of problems from breast implants that leaked silicone into her body. There was also some happier stuff like Kami is expecting her second baby. Michael said that when she first screen tested for the part of Olivia that she was actually really hung over. They also showed clips of the cast recording their Christmas CD.
This weekend the tabloid TV show 'Extra' also did a story on the Waltons cast. I thought it was cool because they talked to David Harper. He said that he dropped out of acting because he was really tired of being recognized as Jim-Bob and I guess it was hard for him to get other acting jobs. He worked as a scenic painter for a while and is trying to make it in the music business here in Los Angeles. He said that tabloid reports that he's broke and living in his car are NOT true. I was glad to hear that.
Happy New Millenium!!
KAREN'S COMMENT: Thankyou for sending this so that some of us poor "ET-less" people could catch up with the program. :-)) I'm really happy to hear about Kami, and also about David. It's nice to hear of the bond between the actors.
Richard was the John Boy I fell in love with as a girl, so naturally he'll always be my favorite. But Robert did such a wonderful job playing him that I have no complaints........Except that I missed Richard.
KAREN'S COMMENT: I liked Robert as well but I still missed Richard too.
KAREN'S COMMENT: Glad to hear The Waltons came through for you. Hope your littlie is well again now. How well I remember sitting up all night, and many nights, while James had croup too.
Which new Walton movie was Nancy referring to? Also, is Beyond the Prairie the Ingalls Family story that Richard Thomas is starring in?
Happy New Year everyone.
KAREN'S COMMENT: The new Walton movie is the one that we're all hoping for, but not sure if it's going ahead, and Beyond the Prarie does have RT in it. It's about the Ingalls family.
Have a question..... I had heard not long ago that the "Waltons" had gotten together to record a CD of songs an talks and they all got together (of course minus the grandparents ) and recorded it for Christmas....
Any word on this and where it is to be ordered?
Good Morning Karen:
Hope that your Christmas was enjoyable and that the 3 days were everything you hoped that they would be. Have any plans for New Years Eve? I'm going over to my girlfriends, who is have a small house party. Now back to the Walton's. The question with Mary Ellen, and the number of children that she has been blessed with, is one of those hollywood miracles. That only the writers can answer. Along with Ben and Cindy baby Charlie. My kids and I have been talking about both John boys and have come up with this. Richard has always played the older big brother and when it was time for him to play an adult, he just quite didn't fit in the role. While Robert seem to fill the adult role, with just the right amount of big brother stuff and good grounding that a successful young writer need.
The only place that I have found for the Walton Christmas CD was through the internet.
Good Night Karen
KAREN'S COMMENT: Interesting thoughts Brenda. One of our members mentioned that her husband had found the CD among other Christmas CDs in a store. Actually I thought it was funny when she wrote that her husband mentioned The Waltons and the man in the store laughed and said he'd never heard of them. I was really becoming frustrated when I first searched for The Waltons (TV show) on the Internet way back, because I kept getting all these listings for The Waltons, a singing group from Canada!
My name is Susan and I am from North Carolina. Being 37 years old, I grew up with the Walton's. It was my very favorite show then, as it is today. I teach school, so my "winding down" time is to watch the show each night on TNN while relaxing on the couch. I have been to two reunions in Schyler. I like to collect Walton memoribilla.
Thanks, Karen, for working so hard on this project!
I'm Teresa from Ohio. I'm 36 and have been married 14 years, no kids. I was a technical writer and editor until carpal tunnel syndrome reared its ugly head. I loved the show when it was first on, and I rediscovered it about ten years ago. As a matter of fact, when I was in 5th grade, in my school we could choose an instrument and join the band. I chose flute, and I remember one of the first songs we learned to play was the theme from "The Waltons." My hubby and I have lived all over the country, but the whole time we were roaming I kept telling him I wanted to ultimately have a "Walton" house in the country. Well, finally two years ago I got my wish! We live on 15 acres in a country farmhouse that was built in 1909.
I loved the character of "Grandpa" best. What a wonderful actor Will Geer was! When he passed away, I cried as if he had been a member of my own family. But I really liked all the characters on the show. I think the writers on "The Waltons" were terrific.
Thanks, Karen, for all your hard work!
I'm Nancy in Virginia. I'm married, have two children and have watched The Waltons since it started. I grew up in Michigan (in the U.S.) but have lived here in Virginia for the past 20 years. The first Walton's episode that I remember really liking alot was "An Easter Story". This one remains one of my favorites today. When it first aired, I was getting ready to go off to college, and remember wishing that my life was as solid and secure feeling as The Walton's made me feel! Fortunately for me, today life is solid and secure (although quite hectic too!) and I love living in Virginia. I attended the opening of the Museum in 1992 and enjoyed that tremendously, but have not been able to get back for the reunions. I do get to the Museum now and then. I don't have much time to watch TV, and the only thing I generally watch is The Waltons. The simple, honest, hardworking lifestyle they portray is very heartwarming. I can't help wishing life today was that way. I've very much enjoyed reading the digest and hearing about others who share a love for this special show.
Nancy in VA
Hello again Walton's Digest,
I just wanted to respond to Sharon and Karen's requests for us to introduce ourselves. I live on a lake in northern Minnesota (in the USA) and I am a 34 year old professional. My husband stays home and takes care of the house and our 3 kids (aged 1, 6 & 11.) My occupation is in arts administration.
I work for an agency which funds arts projects for organizations and individual artists in our area.
I grew up not far from Walnut Grove and so a person would think (as many have assumed) that I am an avid Little House fan. But, somehow the character of John Boy and all of his aspirations, strength, and the welcoming atmosphere of the Walton's and their extended family always resonated more deeply with me.
As a girl every Thursday night I would walk across the alley to our neighbor's home. The Bunkers were a wonderful elderly couple in their 70's.
There would be cookies and milk, and "Aunt" Christine knitting mittens for all the neighborhood kids, and usually a fire in the fireplace, but most of all there was the Walton's on the television. I'd sit with Puddy (their cat) and watch the Walton's and the Bunkers would enjoy the experience as much as I. They even reminisced and brought their own history to light.
So now, even with the new millennium dawning, every time I hear the Waltons theme- no matter where I am or what I'm doing- I am brought back in spirit to those evenings with the Bunkers. It gives me that same sense of relaxation, being taken care of, and of well-being even though my life is now cluttered up with responsibilities, business, busyness, and pressures.
Thank you Karen for having the Digest because it truly does mean a lot to me personally. Also, thanks to the rest of you for all your input because even though I may not write in often I do read all of your comments faithfully.