|WALTONS DIGEST March - 2005
I had hoped to get the digest out before this but March has been extremely busy. Last weekend we were at the hospital with Tim, who was having a colonoscopy to check how his crohns disease is going. Not such good news there with it popping up in another part of his bowel. Most of the bowel is in fairly good nick though but he's moved to different medication to try to get this newly inflamed bit under control.
Sunday we went off to my niece's wedding. It's autumn here now being March and usually is very hot at the beginning of March, but last weekend was absolutely appalling weather. Saturday it poured all day and was really cold and I was so worried that Virginia, my niece, would have a wet day for her wedding. It wasn't though, although it was very cold all day. Anyway it was a lovely setting. They had decided to be married at a Baptist Church camping site and they had a big mudbrick room where the reception was held and they had the ceremony outside in the native gardens. Actually it reminded me a bit of Mary Ellen's wedding up on the mountain, and they had church services up there too. It's lovely with all the scenery and the singing up in the mountains. Do you have houses made of mudbricks over there? Many years ago people were looking at cheaper ways to make housing as well as ways to make houses more environmentally friendly, and so started to make their own bricks using mud and clay from their properties. They're really nice and quite warm inside in winter, although they usually have some form of heating.
I haven't watched much Waltons lately, as I've been working my way through the Little House on the Prairie series. I'm up to series 3 at the moment, and just this weekend saw the episode called Little Women, which had Rachel Longaker (Aimee) in it. She starred as Ginny (or could have been Jenny) and sold her hair to a wigmaker just like Jo did in Little Women. She then used it to buy a present for her mother. Apart from having to wear an appalling wig for the episode, she was great, and I thought quite different from the timid little girl she portrayed in The Waltons. It's a pity she didn't do more acting as I always thought she was very good. I wonder if she auditioned for one of the roles on Little House or The Waltons? I had a look at the www.imdb.com site and saw that she did quite a few things in the 70's and 80's and even the odd piece in the 90's but never really seemed to have had that break that she would have needed.
Now for the last digest I asked you to nominate your very favorite Erin episode. Erin often was the sister in the middle...too young for teenager Mary Ellen and too old for little Elizabeth. I must say that she used to drive me nutty with her whining about the others early on, but fortunately the writers soon let that drop and she had some very good episodes. Early on I loved her in The Fawn, where she had to decide to let the fawn she found go free. There's some great scenes in this episode and I love the main storyline of John Boy becoming the rent collector, and getting the better of the man he works for. I love her in The Career Girl, a really great episode for Erin which allows her to think of John Boy and find her own niche, and I just adore her in The First Casualty. Such a heart wrenching episode this one, where GW is killed and he leaves a special letter for Erin. I also love the two 1982 episodes where she gets married and then goes through a very tough period trying to adjust. So although Erin's character started out not really doing much, the part of Erin certainly did grow as the series went on and it was terrific to see Mary McDonough grow as an actress along the way. It was nice to see the writers giving her more substantial storylines too.
Perhaps in the next digest we can look at some of the neighbouring characters such as Ike and Corabeth, Yancy Tucker, the Baldwin sisters, Zuleika Dunbar, Verdie Grant and Harley, Matthew Fordwick, Miss Hunter. Do you have a favorite episode where any of these people featured? If so which ones. Who is your all time favorite Walton neighbour? There were some excellent scriptwriting for some of these characters along the way and it was nice to see that The Waltons was really about the whole community and not just about the family, even though they featured most of all.
You asked for a little more information about what Jon was doing at the antiques and collectibles show in Gaithersburg, MD. He was there with Cindy Williams (Laverne and Shirley), Mako (Conan movies, The Sand Pebbles, Magnum, P.I.), and Butch Patrick (Eddy Munster). Jon was strictly signing photos like the others. Some were of The Waltons, one was your typical cheesecake publicity photo, and he had a few Winnie The Pooh photos since he had done the voice of Christopher Robin when he was young.
KAREN'S COMMENT: Michael thank for sending more information. I love Cindy Williams too so it would have been a good day I imagine. Interesting that Jon was also signing some Winnie the Pooh pics. I have put the photo on my site, but won't link it from the main page. You'll be able to get to it by going to this link: http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/2792/jon_walmsley.htm . Thanks so much Michael.
Hi. Would you know the name of the song Zadok asked Jason to play on The Remembrance episode.
KAREN'S COMMENT: Anyone know this?
Answer: The song Old Rosin the Beau that Zadock Walton requests to be played by Jason on the old fiddle that he gave to the family.
See my web page: http://users.galesburg.net/~atkins/wsong.html
KAREN'S COMMENT: Thanks for the information Bill.
I have been receiving your digest for several months now. Thank you for all your hard work. I hear all the fans saying they cannot get enough of the Waltons. I have a suggestion. I have a DVR (digital video recorder.) It works similar to a TIVO but is actually better, you can record 2 shows at the same time. I have mine set to record every week day at 8 am est. for the Waltons on 28 Hallmark. I also set it to pick up any other showings of the show. It really is an amazing machine.
On another subject, I have always wondered what every happened to the original Waltons (or Hamners?) I mean who did they marry where did they move and I know they would be very old but if any of them are still living.
Thanks again for all you do,
KAREN'S COMMENT: Thanks for the tip Kate. We actually don't have the TIVO thing out here yet either, but the DVR sounds great. Not sure if we have them available too. Now onto your other question - yes several are still living, although sadly two of Earl's siblings passed away last year. Leave it with me for the month and I'll put something together for next month. In the meantime, if you have any information which could be relevant to me setting up this Hamner family history, could you send it to the digest please?
My favorite good night closing is from the two part, The Conflict, when Olivia sings The Spinning Wheel. Even though I just love hearing everyone mention everyone else's name as they say good night,that song really touches me. The same way any mother's lullaby would send a child into dreamland. Michael Learned has such a beautiful voice, I wouldn't mind hearing her every night as I drift off to sleep! Dreamland couldn't get any better than that!
And with that, I'll say Good Night Karen,
KAREN'S COMMENT: Excellent choice for the goodnight sequence. Actually how many episodes did have singing or music in the goodnight sequence? I know there's one with Jason playing the piano.
Favorite Erin Episodes:
KAREN'S COMMENT: Two of mine are the same!!!
Didn't I see the actor who played Mary Ellen's first husband-also playing the pilot on "The Wingwalker"?
Jason heard all kinds of sounds as music (ie. Grandma's 'ironing board blues', Trevor's jump-roping sound-the wind over the wings in "The Wingwalker". Anyone remember other unique sounds that inspired Jason?
KAREN'S COMMENT: Good spotting in The Wingwalker. It was Mary Ellen's intended playing the pilot. Interesting question about Jason. I'd need to watch some of the episodes again. Any ideas?
Hello Walton Fans!
I'm so glad Season 2 is finally coming out! :) I've already pre-ordered my copy from Amazon.com. I hope it won't be such a long wait for Season 3.
One of my favorite Erin episodes is "The First Casualty." I felt the episode was very well done and everyone did a great job. It showed how the war was coming closer to Waltons Mountain (even though it was still 1940) and things really hit home after G.W. was killed. I remember the first time I saw that episode. I cried when John Sr. read G.W.'s will to Erin in the field. What a heartwrenching, yet beautiful scene. Another one of my favorite episodes about Erin was "The Career Girl." She doesn't know what she wants to do after graduation, but in the end Erin gets a job at (and later attends) the Girls Secretary School (I think that's what it was called). Yes, I feel Erin suffered (just as Jan Brady did on The Brady Bunch) from "middle child syndrome." Also, "The Competition" where Erin meets Chad was good and so was "The Elopement" where she almost marries Chad. I liked Chad, I wished she would've married him instead of Paul Northridge. I didn't really care for him.
In the last digest, someone brought up a question I've also been wondering. One of the things I do like about the Waltons is that it leaves some things to the imagination. We really don't know if John-Boy and Madeline Bennett spent the night together. When I first saw this episode, I thought "No, they didn't do that back then!" The screen faded to a commercial after that one kissing scene in the hotel room. Earlier in the episode, John-Boy let his parents know he was staying at the dorms over the weekend because he was showing Madeline around. This was before he fell in love with her. Since his parents thought he was staying at the dorms, he did have a chance to be with her. No one knew him in Westham, like everyone knew everyone else on Waltons Mountain. So, the opportunity was there. So, yes, perhaps something did happen. He was old enough--19/20 at that time. And something had to happen at some point. I mean, he doesn't get married to Janet until 1964. That's a long time to wait, and also unrealistic at the same time.
On a similar note, the Waltons does seem to have quite a few 'adult themes' if you read between the lines. In "The Rebellion" there's a scene where the family was having a picnic and it was shortly after Curt and Mary Ellen married. Erin asked Mary Ellen if she missed living at home and she said she did sometimes, but she would rather live with Curt. Mary Ellen smiles. Elizabeth says something and then says something like, "Don't tell me, this is one those things I'll learn when I grown up." What do you think Mary Ellen was talking about??? After all, she had just married Curt. I felt the adult scenes were handled well and in a good manner. I like how the screen fades, leaving the viewer to their imagination. Television shows today leave nothing to the imagination and show too much of everything.
I have a book called The Body Project : An Intimate History of American Girls by JOAN JACOBS BRUMBERG (I bought this from Amazon.com) This book is about adolescent girls who have grown up in different times during the 20th Century. The author talks about how they felt during certain times in their life as a teenager. She does mention a little bit about boys and what it was like for them. The book covers the late 1800s to today. After reading this book, I realised that even though the times changed, people still have those same feelings as everyone has when they're growing up and confused about certain times in their lives. I remember the Waltons episode where Elizabeth was confused about growing up and yet still wanting to remain a child. Her mother wasn't there to help her out, but her father was. That episode was very good and it had the touching scene toward the end with Elizabeth dancing with her father.
Anyway, back to "The Woman," if John-Boy did spent the night with her, he of course wouldn't have told anyone but his notebook. Back then, things like that weren't talked about in the open like they are now.
It wasn't a "silly high school" question at all. I'm sure others have wondered the same thing. This is getting long, so I'll end here. I hope I didn't bore anyone. I enjoy reading these digests and "meeting" other fans of the Waltons around the world.
KAREN'S COMMENT: You've mentioned a couple of the ones I mentioned too but I'd forgotten about the two episodes with Chad. They were also terrific ones, and among my favourites. I think with the GW storyline, that it was just so tragic that he was killed in a training accident, and I'm sure that must have happened more times than it should have. Even recently out here we sometimes see young men from the forces being killed in what is supposed to be a routine exercise. They are certainly interesting questions you raise. I actually wonder what the censors may have cut from The Waltons over the time it was on the air?
Happy belated Valentine's Day to you as well. I just got the newest edition of the Waltons Digest. You are sure right. There are not many Valentine episodes per se but, I think the whole series was based on the idealism that love should be shared all year around and not just on one special day.
As for news from around here.....I have been looking for work for some time. I was laid off in October then picked up a little work here and there but, nothing significant. I took a course for 3 weeks to get my TESL Certificate (Teaching English As A Second Language) hoping that would help in my job search. Then I went for an interview last week with a Private College that has branches all over Canada and the US and even some in Australia. It is called The Academy Of Learning. They are endorsed here by the Ontario Colleges and Universities Association. Anyway they are starting a new course in April to teach Early Childhood Education Assistants (I have my ECE diploma) and I will be teaching the course full time. Each course is 10 months long and runs right through the summer. Then I begin teaching another batch of students. Classes will be small. 10-14 students. They will be required to do one field placement and I will be supervising that! I am so excited. This is a dream come true. I just wish my parents were alive to see this!
KAREN'S COMMENT: Congratulations Cally. All your hard work has paid off.
I have a Waltons spotting for you!
I was watching Munsters Go Home (in color- 1966) today and Miss Mamie had a short two-line part as an upset wife. Just thought I'd pass that along!
KAREN'S COMMENT: Actually Julie I have another too. I spotted Yancy Tucker in an episode of Mork and Mindy the other day!!
Hi Karen. So enjoyed the latest Digest. Regarding the song Uncle Zadok asked Jason to play........I believe it was "Rosined up the bow". May be wrong, but if memory serves me.
Hope all are well at your home.
KAREN'S COMMENT: Thanks for this Sandy. Bill mentioned the same one so that must be it.
Here are some more good episodes for Erin:
KAREN'S COMMENT: Can't wait to finally see the Little House ep you mention. Season 8 is out in June.
I loved the episode when Olivia and Grandma went to a family wedding, and Erin was sick and had to have her tonsils out. She played that to the hilt, so that she got a lot of attention. Olivia figured out what Erin was doing, and taught her a lesson by not letting her go to a Church party. Very well done episode.
KAREN'S COMMENT: There's actually more good Erin episodes than I thought.
My favorite Erin show is the one where she got the job at the secretarial school to buy John-Boy a typewriter. It showed how much she really loved her brother and also that she found the thing she did best. So much was made of the talents of the older kids it was nice to see she had a talent in her own right. I also enjoyed the Valentine show from 1982. Does anybody know if those two hour specials are available on VCR or DVD. There was also the Thanksgiving show, the Mothers Day show and the Valentines day show. Please, if somebody knows how I can get copies of those shows let me know. My husband has been working on a model of the Waltons house. He found some pictures on the internet and has copied the outside. It looks very much like their house. Well Karen I've got to go, I really look forward to these newsletters. I love hearing from other devoted Waltons fans.
Hi Karen, I am from Atlantic city area here in the United States and I was able to order my season 1 of the Waltons from a store called Sun coast video. I can't wait for season 2! I am a Walton fan big time! My sister swore she new more about little house then I did about the Waltons, Until I proved her wrong- I even new more about little house then her !! My favorite ending is during the show that they realised john-boy was going to leave for New York. What's most dishearten is my cable company does not have the hallmark channel so I the Waltons are not playing for now. I have surfed many hours to find them and finally went out and got my season 1 because I needed my fix of the Waltons.
KAREN'S COMMENT: I hope that we won't have to wait so long for the next seasons to be released.
I am home today as I do not start teaching till next week (I originally was going to start in April but, now I start Monday) and when I am home during the day I watch the soaps All My Children and As The World Turns. Anyway I am now watching All My Children and who should be playing the Family Court Judge in this big custody hearing but, Michael Learned. She was fantastic by the way. Today was her only day on so if you missed it and have not taped the episode try and see if a friend has. I am sorry I did not but, I did not know she was going to be on.
KAREN'S COMMENT: I don't know that we get either of these over here any more. Did anyone else see Michael Learned on it?
BITS AND PIECES by Karen:
Any ideas where Andrea might pick up The Easter Reunion movie? Does it ever come up on Ebay?
Dear Karen, I absolutely love the Waltons, however I have not seen the entire 1997 Easter Special, I love Elizabeth and Drew. I have looked everywhere for it and even contacted CBS to see if it was in print which it is not. Do you have any idea where I could buy a copy or download it onto my computer. Thank you so much for your time, Andrea
I thought this was interesting, especially since I had just found the book second hand! I didn't know it had been produced as a play.
We are performing a Play called You Can't Get There From Here. A Hamner novel by the same name was a best seller years ago. The main character in Cook's play is a woman, E.K.Hannigan.She loves to fish, do crosswords, and hates answering machines. I'm betting she is fashioned after Earl Hamner. We are an amateur theatre group, and I am a first time director. Imagine my excitement when I found Hamner's page.
Looks like Seasons 1 and 2 will also be released as another box set!
Dear Karen Kearney,
We've added a release for "Waltons, The" to the site. "Seasons 1 & 2" will be released on 4/26/2005. For all the information, you may visit http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/releaseinfo.cfm?ReleaseID=4637
Finally, does anyone recall this scene?
I was googling around and found your Waltons episode site. I'm trying to locate an episode of the Waltons and thought you might be able to help me. This is the way I remember it...it's Christmas time and John-Boy is helping set up the family Christmas tree. Something happens and John-Boy gets mad or frustrated at some/all of his younger brothers and sisters. Mama sits John-Boy down and explains that he has to be a better role-model for his younger brothers and sisters.
Is that in The Homecoming or another episode? Does it ring a bell at all?
Thanks for any help you can give me.