|WALTONS DIGEST 15-2000:
I trust you all had a lovely Easter break. It seems so long ago, although it was only last weekend. We went out to lunch with family and friends and we all had a terrific time. We'd gone to a restaurant, so no one was stuck with either the cooking or the washing up, although we all usually pitch in and share these jobs anyway. Still it was nice not to have to cook anything at all this year. We're back at school and work now, and really busy again. May looks like being a frantic month, with lots of meetings and other things on.
It's still really warm here. It was a bit chilly earlier in the week, but today's top was 26 degrees, but very windy. Actually I heard on the news tonight that there was a bushfire burning in one of the forests. That's almost unheard of for this time of the year. It's still very dry here too. I was told the other day that Eildon Weir, a favourite holiday spot for a lot of people (waterskiing, boating, houseboats etc) is only at 14% capacity and you can just about walk across it. It hasn't been that low for simply ages.
This year I decided to join all three Waltons fan clubs and a couple of weeks ago I received mailings from each of them. I still haven't caught up with all of the news, but I thought I'd share a little with you in the coming weeks. If you are looking for Waltons fan clubs, I can highly recommend all of them. The information you receive is varied and very interesting.
The Waltons Friendship Society is the newest one I've joined, and is based in the UK. It's great for all the UK people, in particular, because it tells you about anything Walton related, that is happening over there. The first Mailbox of the year mentioned that Michael Learned would be appearing on the So Graham Norton show in January, whilst the latest one advertises the play "Art", which Richard Thomas is appearing in. Lucky UK people. James tells me that "Art" is a fantastic play, and add RT to that, and I'd suggest it would be a fabulous outing. :-)
Also in this Mailbox is the transcript of an interview featuring Earl Hamner. It was a terrific insight into Earl's writing career and his involvement in TV. There's also an update on what each of the cast members are doing these days, taken from an article in Star Magazine. The article was written when the cast got together to publicise their Christmas album last year. One part of interest was something Ralph Waite had to say about Will Geer:
"...he was a socially conscious guy. One time we were doing a show about an Indian and they wanted to hire a white actor to do it. We went to the producers and said no, no, you've got to hire an Indian."
I'm assuming the episode was "The Warrior". It's interesting that they did that. There was an Australian actor, Michael Pate, who is very well known over here for only playing Indians in USA television and films, who often comments that it just wasn't done to hire real Indians, and that's how he got so much work. I'm glad things have changed, and I'm glad the cast suggested that they did hire "the real thing". Was The Waltons ahead of its time in this?
Another thing noteworthy is Michael Learned. She says that she is writing a screenplay and is also "going to Washington to emcee a press conference about educating parents on how to keep guns away from children." Hear, hear! I hope she has some success with that one...there's been far too many tragedies already.
All in all, the first issue of the year was a fantastic read, and well worth getting.
I'll tell you about the second one for the year next time.
John Boy has been frequently called John Walton Junior, and Erin was Erin Esther Walton.
BTW the Waltons Christmas song didn't win any of the awards I didn't see the show so maybe it was one of the runner ups however.
KAREN'S COMMENT: I remember Erin being Erin Esther Walton, obviously after Grandma, and John Boy is named after his father too. Don't know if he has a middle name. What about Ben?
Mave in the UK
Hi Karen, I just wanted to share with you a small Waltons triumph! I have been a fan of the Waltons for over 25 years and have seen so many episodes so many times that my husband thinks I could answer questions on the English show "Mastermind" about the subject!! Well you know I have been searching for "Spencer's Mountain" book for twenty of those years! My sister and her husband were working in the US on several occasions and they tried really hard to find a copy for me with no luck, I had virtually given up hope of ever finding it! then in the past two weeks I suddenly thought to try via the computer and searched "Ebay" auctions, I found a copy and yesterday it arrived! you would not believe how excited I am to have finally found this book after so many years searching! why I didn't think of checking cyber auctions before I don't know!
Now for the fun of reading it !..........
One other thing I wanted to add, I saw that Bethany in the last digest said "Only the UK and the US as far as I know) are backward enough to use Fahrenheit and feet! Well I have news for her!!! We use Celsius and Metric too!!!!!!! her info must be out of date!!!!!!
Karen I just love receiving the digest, it is great to know that there are so many Waltons friends the world over!!!!! Love to all !
KAREN'S COMMENT: It's just amazing what you can find on the Internet. Hope you're enjoying your book Mave. If it weren't for the Internet I wouldn't have my collection of Waltons books and magazines either.
Hi, Karen! I thought this was an interesting article to pass along. Looks like Richard Thomas' career is kicking into high gear again!
Friday April 21 8:05 PM ET
Dallas And the Waltons Combine for Art's Sake
LONDON (Reuters) - Dallas and The Waltons are to combine for Art's sake. Patrick Duffy, who played Bobby Ewing in the oil soap Dallas, is to star in London in the hit comedy ``Art'' with Richard Thomas, forever famous for his role as John Boy in The Waltons.
``Art'' -- the bittersweet tale of a soured friendship -- has made theater history around the world from London to Los Angeles, from Toronto to Sydney.
The international success story started when Hollywood star Sean Connery's wife saw the play in Paris, rang her husband in Los Angeles and urged him to buy the rights.
The English version of the comedy by Parisian playwright Yasmina Reza has been performed in 46 countries and in 30 different languages.
The show, launched in London by British stars Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay, is now approaching its fourth anniversary and 13th cast change.
That is where Duffy and Thomas come in, starring in the long-running show from next Tuesday.
They are the latest American stars to be attracted to the London stage -- after Kevin Spacey, Nicole Kidman and now Kathleen Turner in "The Graduate."
The play, that has struck a universal chord with audiences, is run through without a break in 90 minutes.
The actors are paid 3,000 pounds ($4,742) each for a 12-week run in "Art", which tells the tale of three Frenchmen squabbling over the merits of an abstract painting.
KAREN'S COMMENT: Thankyou for sending the "art"icle!!! Sorry I couldn't resist that...my weird sense of humour is coming out! Must be bedtime. Yes, it has been in Sydney. One of the actors was a fabulous, and very popular star from Seachange, a series doing very well over here. I'm not sure who the other one was. Wish I was there...I would love to see RT on stage. Australia rarely brings actors in from overseas anymore. Actors Equity has strict rules about it, and once nearly all of the theatre and film and TV production in Melbourne, including ballet, closed down when members of Equity went on strike about it. I think they were on strike for about 3 weeks.
My name is Marion and I'm from England. This is the first time I have ever written to you. I have been receiving the Waltons Digest for some time now and I feel I should write to let you know how much I enjoy reading them and that I really appreciate all the hard work that you do to produce it. I've been a fan of the Waltons ever since the first showings of the programme in the 1970's.
For the benefit of those who are avid fans of Richard Thomas, I'd like to let you know that he will be taking part in a play called 'ART' at The Wyndhams Theatre, Charing Cross Road, London. WC2. He stars alongside Patrick Duffy and Paul Freeman from 25th April 2000 to 16th July 2000. You can find out a little more about the venue by going to
My husband has booked a night out for us at the theatre, even though we're not regular theatre-goers, I just want to see Richard Thomas in 'real life'!
Thanks again Karen and keep up the good work.
KAREN'S COMMENT: What a wonderful husband you have Marion. Please let us know what you thought.
Thank you for continuing to send me the Digests. I am guilty of not reading them straight away but I download them straight onto disc, then print out them out and put them on file.
The reason I am writing today is to put out an appeal to any other member in United Kingdom who would be willing to copy or sell me any Richard Thomas movies. I have a few but would like a lot more. If anyone interested could email me I'll let them know which movies I don't need. Thank you in advance.
Last week Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing) was on a chat show in England and he was talking about the play he is starring in, in England with Richard. Just wondering why Richard wasn't on the show!
KAREN'S COMMENT: There's such a wide variety of his work. I've seen some fantastic stuff. What is your favourite Richard Thomas work outside anything remotely to do with The Waltons? Write and let us know and I'll tell you some of my favourites next week.
Further to this query, here is a more detailed letter:
I am writing from England, so any videos would have to be in VHS format.
Here is a list of the videos I have:
Sept 30, 1995 (James Dean)
Berlin Tunnel 28
Death In Small Doses
All Quiet On The Western Front
Mission Of The Shark
A Thousand Heroes
Down, Out and Dangerous
all the Waltons movies
I have just ordered from Amazon.com "All Quiet On The Western Front" because my copy is a bit wobbly. "The Todd Killings" "Flood - A Rivers Revenge" and on Tuesday I shall be recording "Beyond The Prairie" as it is on T.V.
Amazon have 7 pages of RT videos, but they don't have them all.
Hope this helps. Julie