Hi everyone,

Hope you've all had a fabulous week. We go into our last week of term next week and then we break for nearly three weeks, for term break and Easter. What a lovely long holiday it will be. We're all looking forward to it immensely.

It's been a very busy week for us this past week, as James has been on stage once more. This time for "Anything Goes". He played Lord Evelyn Oakleigh, a British gentleman who is really very naive. He was terrific in the role, and had people roaring with laughter. He was so funny, and it's not just this proud Mum's opinion either. :-) This one was with Tintern Girls Grammar, a nearby girl's school who had trouble getting enough good men to fill the roles, so James was asked to help out. He starts rehearsals for his own school musical next term. This time it's only a very small role in West Side Story. He is a Puerto Rican gang member and will be a specialty dancer in this one too. All the main parts call for tenor voices and he just can't reach the notes! He's a baritone.

Enough from me this week. I'll talk to you all again next week.

Goodnight everyone,


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My mother grew up during the Depression here in Virginia in Nottoway County about ninety miles from Nelson County. Her father owned a store but she said there were many nights they had vegetable for dinner and not any meat during the depression. They had four girls and four boys to feed and they just could not do it every night. There were not the extras that our children are used to and spoiled by. Sometimes I wonder if this is why my mother keeps two hundred cans of food at a time in the pantry and has three freezers of meat. She buys things on sale and stores them. It is just her and my father so she really does have a large supply. Enjoy your column.


KAREN'S COMMENT: Yes, we younger ones :-)) really don't appreciate the times that our parents or grandparents had to live through I don't think. I know my Mum has made comments about the Depression years from time to time, in reference to her own and my Dad's parents. It must have been very tough.

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Thanks, Karen, for the Snowy River related article! Interesting to have an update, of sorts.

I know nothing about the differences in VCR types. What does the NTSC mean that you mention in this week's Digest? (I have a standard U. S. VCR for VHS tapes.) I know they are different in England but have no idea what you have there.

You do know that they are not running all the episodes of The Waltons here? They have not been running them strictly in the order listed on the web site showing the original dates, either, but are now in season #3 (1974 - '75).

They seem to have renamed the two specials listed for April. I think what they list for the night of April 3rd as "The Life and Times of The Waltons" must be the one originally called "A Decade of The Waltons". For April 20 and 21 they list "The Crisis", which seems to be the two hour one named "The Easter Story" in 1973. Are they trying to confuse us?! (:-(grrr! -


KAREN'S COMMENT: I've discovered we're on repeats of Snowy River again here on Foxtel. It has proven a very popular show. For any others who were confused about the videos, in the USA your video taping system is VHS-NTSC, which is a different one to those of us in Australia, Britain and several other countries, which have VHS-PAL. I'm not sure what the differences are, but it does mean that you can't play one type of video in a different systems equipment, unless your VCR and TV have a switch allowing the other system to work. I believe that anything taped in PAL though, can't be watched in the USA. Hope that makes more sense. I'm lucky here, in that our equipment copes with both.

Yes, I had seen that there were some problems with the order of the programs. Some of the 2 hour episodes are repackaged I think, and shown as movies too. Very confusing.

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On the comments about the biblical readings from Maryellen's wedding the book of Ruth, I think, chapter 1, 16th verse. Very good biblical passage. My favorite wedding is when Mary-Ellen got married to Curt.

hope this helps


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Hi, Karen,

Regarding the digest reader who wanted to know where the scriptures came from used in Mary Ellen and Erin's weddings. I don't recall Erin's wedding, but the scripture used by Mary Ellen and Curt came from the Bible's Book of Ruth. It's Chapter 1, Verse 16. My wife and I had the same scripture in our wedding 16 years ago.


KAREN'S COMMENT: Thanks to both Jim and Linda for their responses. I don't know that we've uncovered the readings which Paul and Erin had. In fact did we hear readings at all during the service.

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Karen, it was very interesting to read Marion Hamner's posting, especially about wearing shoes and the saw-mill in the back yard. I think I remember reading that her father worked at the soapstone quarry in town so I am guessing that the saw mill was a side activity for him. It would be interesting to know what parts of the Waltons depiction is real and what part is fictional. For example, is there a particular mountain in the Schuyler area that has an historical connection with the Hamner family? In an early issue of the "Blue Ridge Chronicles," there is a picture of the editor, Earl Hamner and one of his nephews walking the old trails on "Waltons Mountain" with Earl talking about his aunts berry-picking on the mountain. Was there ever a Hamner family cabin on a mountain as in the Waltons? Did Earl Hamner, Senior ever plan to build a mountain-side home like the Clay Spencer/John Walton characters? Has Earl Hamner, Junior ever written a non-fiction history of his family? Has anyone else?

Just some thoughts and questions - Dennis

KAREN'S COMMENT: Interesting questions Dennis, but I suspect that much of it was based on a small amount of fact with a lot of poetic license. Authors of fiction do often tend to base their stories on a tiny amount of fact, then embroider it into a fantastic story that we all enjoy. That's their craft and isn't Earl Hamner a fantastic storyteller...very sensitive.

As for the non fiction history of the Hamners, I don't know. Does anyone? My thoughts are that what makes The Waltons so good, is that the episodes are written about very ordinary characters, but their interaction with each other, and the other characters they meet, altogether make an extraordinary story.

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Hi . This is the first time to respond to something in the digest. I love reading it , many interesting subjects and thoughts on all aspects of the Waltons ! I have two small children , so it is hard to find time to sit and make a reply. Someone had written in response to an earlier digest discussing religion, stating that perhaps Olivia had loosened up in later episodes with her religious beliefs . Well, in my opinion, It wasn't that so much as maybe times were changing, her children were growing up .....becoming adults. And I feel that maybe it was one of those '' they know what my beliefs and feelings are, now they need to decide for themselves , and she trusted them. as for Jason working at the "Do Drop Inn" we saw her short lived look of concern or her approval, but then a shrug or sigh, letting us know that " hey he's growing up and i trust him."

Well, I hope that wasn't too long winded!!!

Thank for listening !

Sincerely, Judy

KAREN'S COMMENT: You're probably right Judy. As anyone with nearly grown up children knows, there comes a time when you have to just trust that you've brought your children up well enough to hope they will make intelligent decisions, and the right ones.

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Oh how I wish we still had cable, I would do it for you. Eventually I could, but I have a feeling as nice as these Walton fans in you newsletter seem to be you'll have every episode long before then. Take Care.........

One more question, what is the conversion equation from Centigrade to Fahrenheit? I've been curious just how hot your summer was, but I can't remember how to figure it out:(

Many thanks to anyone out there who remembers......Donna

KAREN'S COMMENT: I found this really nifty little conversion chart at the following site, so anytime I tell you temperatures, you could do a little calculation. :-)


Basically our summer days have been in the high 30's this year, with temperatures at night getting into the 20's, sometimes high 20's. Days during winter get to a maximum of about 12 or 13. Sometimes our summer temps go well over 40, to about 44.

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Thought you'd all want to know this so you can be watching for it and not miss it.

Monday, April 3

The Life and Times of The Waltons

TNN presents The Life and Times of The Waltons, featuring memorable moments from the series, as well as biographies of the many actors who brought the Walton family to life, including Ralph Waite (John Walton), Ellen Corby (Grandma Walton), Will Geer (Grandpa Walton), Jon Walmsley (Jason Walton) and Mary McDonough (Erin Walton).

The "Life and Times" series is telecast Mondays and Thursdays (10 p.m. ET/PT).


KAREN'S COMMENT: Thanks for the notice of this Tammy. Hope you all enjoy it. Boy we miss a lot when we're not living in the USA.

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Hi Karen! Just a quick note. A good piece of news for us in the UK - though I am sure someone else will mention this - but for everyone who lives in London particularly or fancies a trip down - you might have heard that Richard Thomas is in the play ART in the West End from the end of April (I think it is) when the new cast takes over.

Just thought I'd mention it!


KAREN'S COMMENT: Boy, we miss a lot not living in England too!!! LOL I think it sounds wonderful.

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Hi everyone,

Found this little snippet while looking around the net, I think it was from the TV Guide web page. I can't think who Lewis Arquette is in the Waltons, does anyone know?

Question: I have seen every Scream movie and noticed that in Scream 2 the police chief is played by Lewis Arquette. Is he actually related to David Arquette?


FlickChick: Veteran character actor Lewis Arquette, whom some older readers may recall from his three-year stint on the popular '70s TV series The Waltons, is the father of David, Patricia, Rosanna, Richmond and Alexis Arquette. His father, Cliff Arquette, played the vintage TV personality

Charlie Weaver.

And here's another snippet!

TV STARS BUY INTO ART: Where do former American TV stars go when the work dries up in the States? London's West End, apparently! the BBC reports that Patrick Duffy (Dallas) and Richard Thomas (The Waltons) join the London cast of the hit play Art April 25. Charles Corday, who played Alex Kingston's father on ER, completes the cast have a happy day


KAREN'S COMMENT: Interesting surfing you've been doing Kaz. Lewis Arquette played J.D. Pickett from about season 6 or 7. You know, Erin's boss at the Pickett plant? Talented family.

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Hi all,

Not long ago, someone asked about the poem that John Boy read to Olivia for her birthday in one episode. I happened across "The Air Mail Man" tonight, and watched the part where he reads this poem. It is "The Windhover" by Gerard Manley Hopkins, who was a poet during the Victorian era. If you want to read the poem, go to this address online.


I "tried" reading it and found it very difficult. Definitely a different style of English than we speak today. Makes you realize how lovely the poem is when Richard Thomas reads it.

On another subject, I have been listening to "Spencer's Mountain" on book tape when I drive to work. That is the book by Earl Hamner Jr. which the Waltons series is based on. I've read it in book form before, but had forgotten how earthy it is in comparison to the series. Today on the way home, I listened to the part where Clay Boy gets a sunburn on his backside after being up on the mountain with his lady friend all day!! HA! That is certainly different than the series, but it is a good book nevertheless. Well worth the reading/listening to.

That's all for tonight,


KAREN'S COMMENT: Actually John Boy mentions when he reads it, or maybe it was Olivia, that it was difficult to understand the meaning of the words, but they talked about what John Boy though it might mean, and just how lovely the words were.

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