|WALTONS DIGEST 18-2000:
After an extremely busy week, I am a little late getting the digest together. By the way, did anyone notice that I slipped up with the numbers last week. There's been two issues of 16-2000 sent, both different so don't go deleting one of them. We're back to the right numbering now. Sorry!
We have had, not one, but two trips to the theatre this week, both of which were wonderful. We saw a concert version of Call Me Madam, the fantastic show which originally had Ethel Merman in it. Then on Friday night, we went to see a performance of Piaf. I believe Elaine Page did the show in London, but here we saw Caroline O'Conner, who was just brilliant in the role.
Anyway, I remember a few weeks ago, promising you a bit of a look at what was in all the Waltons newsletters I had recently received. For those of you who are members of the various ones, please bear with us.
The last two issues of The Blue Ridge Chronicle both arrived together earlier this year, due to difficulties in Carolyn's (the editor) household. As the subscription promises, you do indeed get four issues per year. :-)) Anyway issue three has a photo of the good old Walton radio on the front cover, a scene which actually opens season one. The one where Elizabeth races down the path and is picked up by John Boy. The rest of the family are on the porch with John unloading the big radio. I really wonder why they changed that opening, because I thought it set the scene very well.
The featured episode is The Odyssey, Sissy Spacek's second appearance on the show. With each featured episode there is a nice remembrance from Earl Hamner, his point in time which the episode spawned from I imagine. Inside there is also two other articles about the delivering of the radio from the Smithsonian Institute to the Waltons Mountain Museum.
There is also a small piece on The Conflict, the outdoor drama very that now seems to be performed each summer. I think that was a wonderful idea. I wonder if any more episodes could be adapted. Which ones would be good do you think. What about the episodes where Mary Ellen nurses the mountain folk?
Finishing this issue there is also an article in a series which has been running during the year called Crossing The Water, featuring different members of the Waltons International Fan Club, from all different countries in the world, showing just how far reaching The Waltons really was. Finally we see photos of Richard Thomas as King Richard (Shakespeare's play, not because we think he is simply the best LOL), Michael Learned in her role of Mary Benjamin on The Nurse, back in the early 80's and Ralph Waite as King Lear.
Just finally before I head off to your messages this week, I did happen to spot Lee Purcell (Bobbie Strom in The Wingwalker) yesterday when I was watching some taped episodes of Promised Land. I think I mentioned that I had been taping them since it's on out here at 5.10 am, and I'm definitely not that much of a morning person! Anyway she was on an episode from season 3 called Restoration. It's the first time I think I have seen her on anything else, although I'm sure that she has done other work. Interesting that she is still working. She is very pretty. Played a real southern woman who seemed to care more about what the neighbours thought than she did about her own family.
Enough for this week. Have a great one and I'll talk to you all again soon.
During the past week or so we are getting more Waltons-sometimes 4 shows a day which is a lot better.
There were a few mistakes on one episode The Prophecy was about the class of 1911-then on the Diploma John was slated to graduate in 1917 but never did. Then why didn't Ike come to the reunion? I thought he was in John's class? Also John made an error when he spoke to Eula Mae-he said he had four boys and two girls, not three! I posted this on the Forum and also on the 38 Blueridge Parkway(Alex and Marca's website) which is for bloopers. They haven't posted any in some time.
KAREN'S COMMENT: I'll have to have a look and see if I can spot the bloopers you mention. They're always fun to spot. As for the website, I would imagine that it is simply a time factor keeping the updating a little slower than probably you and they hope for. With our very busy lives it is very difficult to fit things in and I suppose that websites just take a lower spot in our priorities. If anyone wants to visit this site Donald mentions, and check out the bloopers, go to Blue Ridge Parkways. I've just checked and it has been updated earlier this year.
I'd just like to add my own comment and perspective about Mother's Day. This includes the way that it is portrayed on TV, in programs like the Waltons. As you wrote, there are a lot of glowing references to motherhood, and the idea that mothers are to be honored. That's great, and certainly to be wished for.
However, it makes those of us whose lives have been completely different feel like outsiders, and makes our pain even more acute, without the space necessary to know that there is also room for those of us who are different.
My only child was kidnapped when he was 8. I didn't see him again for 15 years. He had a rough life, and decided to reject me because of it. So, I'm a mother but I'm not. Mother's Day is literally hell for me. Am I a mother? I gave birth to a son. I don't have a son now. Am I not a mother? There is no recognition for those of us in this kind of position. So, we're left to paste a smile on our face and wish others a Happy Mother's Day, and cry inside. Every year. The same thing.
I wish that a show like the Waltons, that had sensitivity to other issues, had made some of the obvious observations that not everyone who has given birth is honored and loved. Some of us are hurting a lot, and not from our own doing. There are also mothers whose children have died, mothers who had miscarriages, women who always desired to be mothers and illness has prevented that. There are so many of us, and yet this is one day when our suffering is increased. I just wish that we were included in the day, somehow.
Thanks for listening.
KAREN'S COMMENT: Thank you for your letter Bobbie. I cannot say that I know how you must feel, because your experiences are something well outside my own, but I can imagine how painful reminders like Mother's Day and indeed all those other special days in yours and your son's lives must be for you. I would imagine that every day there would be something which would make you remember your son. Having had him for eight precious years does not in the least make up for the pain you obviously still feel.
Television, particularly at the time of The Waltons, traditionally showed the loving nuclear family, one Mum, one Dad, and several children. I would imagine that the portrayal in The Waltons was based on the loving mother which Earl and his siblings were lucky enough to have. Obviously there would have been many other children across the world who were not as fortunate. However I don't believe that Earl Hamner ignored the plight of mothers who felt as you do. We saw a mother's pain when John Curtis was born, and kidnapped by another mother who had lost her own baby. I'm referring here to the pain felt by the mother losing the child, not Mary Ellen's. We saw the pain suffered by Corabeth when she was unable to have the hoped for child. We saw further pain when Mary Ellen felt that she could not give Jonesy the children they had planned together, and we were also shown some of the turmoil in the marriage of Ben and Cindy when their daughter Virginia had died in the 1993 movie.
I think Mother's Day must be very painful for those mothers who have lost their children or their hopes for the future, but to me, it is still a day to celebrate those mother's in our own past (my own mother, mother in law, grandmothers, other special women who have nurtured me) who have played a part in making me who I am today. It's a time of remembering these special people too.
The Christmas Box is an excellent movie and you can purchase the VHS video version. I found mine at Media Play! The kids love the movie as well.
By the way, I have been searching for a picture of Ike Godsey's store...particularly the store front. I would love to find one...even if it is on the web. Please let me know!
KAREN'S COMMENT: Cindy I thought I may have had a pic on the website, but I can't find it, so maybe I just have one at home. If I find it I'll email it to you as a jpg.
Please help me here. Today I got my daily Comedy on Tap and for birthdays on May 13th it said the following:
"TV actress Leslie Winston, who played the Waltons' Cindy Brunson Walton, then went on to become a XXX-rated actress, was born..."
Now I did some research in the Internet Movie Data Base and there is a Leslie Winston adult movie actress. But they also list a Leslie Winston who played Cindy in the Waltons. Anyone know anything of this. It has me confused. Any help on this would be appreciated.
KAREN'S COMMENT: Is Leslie another actress who thought taking her clothes off would enhance her career? I don't know. Perhaps there are two Leslie Winstons. Any help here?
Gee, I must have missed it. When did Kami have her baby? Did she have a boy or a girl? What's the name??
KAREN'S COMMENT: Kami had a little girl I believe, and I'm sure I read the name somewhere, but I can't remember it. Sorry, however she was born late April I think, this year. A little Walton Easter baby perhaps?
Hope you are well. I've been pretty much Waltonless this past half year, except for your digests. I'm in an incredibly busy period of life, with work, children's' sports and the like, so there's not much time for TV or even checking out the web. I used to visit the Waltons forum daily, but haven't seen it but once this year. I know I've missed a lot, but appreciate your digest.
I don't have Gina's e-mail address, but please pass along my thanks to her for telling me about Homefront airing on TV Land. It was an excellent show, one of the very best on TV, but it lasted only one season or two at the most before it was yanked off the air. Ginger was a classic on that show. In fact, her romance with Kyle Chandler's character was hilarious. I will make it a point to tape these shows. Then, when my kids are grown and I have a life of my own, I'll watch them.
A couple of other suggestions that folks might like, providing they can find them on tube. The same year Homefront debuted as a series, another show called "I'll Fly Away," debuted. It was set in a Southern town, with Sam Waterson as a district attorney and Regina Taylor as his maid. The show was about the major character's coming to grips with the early beginnings of the Civil Rights era, plus numerous, equally compelling subplots. In all honesty, it was a superb show, dare I saw an equal to The Waltons. It may be playing in reruns, and is definitely worth watching and re-watching. Also, currently on Saturday nights, is a show called Early Edition, with Kyle Chandler from the previously mentioned "Homefront." Early Edition is about a guy who gets tomorrow's paper today, and it's one of the best on TV.
KAREN'S COMMENT: Thanks for sharing this info with us Jim. Being Waltonless is a bit of a pain isn't it. We are here too. I liked Early Edition. It's buried away here on a Sunday afternoon, after not doing particularly well. I think it's currently paired with Touched By an Angel, another show which people out here don't particularly like. I'm beginning to think I'm an alien with very strange viewing tastes here in Australia. :-)