Relevant Ruminations About Culture, Politics, Economics & Personal Responsibility
December 10, 2018
Thank You Earl Hamner
Earl Hamner and John-boy Walton
It is winter and that means it is time for me to start assembling and adjusting Classic American Clothespins. It's monotonous work but I can do it in my house while watching YouTube videos and online movies. That's how I came to watch The Homecoming yesterday.
I assume most everyone is familiar with The Homecoming. It's a Christmas story, and the precursor to The Walton's television series. Both are based on Earl Hamner's early life, growing up in a small rural town in Virginia during the Great Depression.
As far as I'm concerned, The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie were the two best television shows ever produced. Both centered around and celebrated traditional, down-to-earth families and small-town communities.
I don't watch television any more, but in the early 1970s, when those shows were on primetime, I was an avid watcher. Both shows presented fathers that were responsible, hard working family men. As a teenager, I considered them role models.
When my boys were young, I bought the videos of both television series, and we watched them as a family. I'll be watching them myself this winter... as I make clothespins.
As for The Homecoming movie, I must admit that I never thought much of it. Mama, Daddy, and Grandpa Walton were played by different people than in the television series. They were fine actors but not as endearing as their replacements.
As I watched The Homecoming this year, I appreciated it more than in the past. I now think it's on par with It's A Wonderful Life, which I've long loved (and I have written about HERE).
After I watched The Homecoming on YouTube (see below), I started watching several YouTube movies about The Waltons and Earl Hamner. THIS ONE does a good job of telling the story of Schuyler, Virginia and Earl Hamner's family (the real Waltons).
Earl Hamner died in 2016, at 92 years of age. I was pleased to see (from This Obituary) that Earl and his wife were married for 62 years!
That obituary ends with this insightful quote from Earl Hamner...
“What has inspired my work has always been the family and neighbors I grew up with back in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia during the Great Depression of the 1930s. They were decent, God-fearing, patriotic people. Like most Appalachian folk, they were frugal, proud and self-reliant.
To write about such people, it was inevitable that such stories deal with love and honor, pity and pride, compassion and sacrifice. And so much of my writing became a celebration of those traditional American values.”
I like that. God-fearing, patriotic, frugal and self-reliant. Those are, indeed, traditional American values. They are the values that made America great. They are the values that can make America great again.