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EARL HAMNER : (John Boy) Happy 85th Birthday Today!

[ 2 ] July 10, 2008 |

REFRESH Nelson County Life Magazine for the latest updates:

Earl signs book for fan
Above, in March of this 2007, Earl signs a photo for one of his younger fans that only knows his hit television series, The Waltons, through reruns. Earl was back in March 2007 for a brief visit and to see The Earl Hamner Theater built in his honor.

Today is an important day for Nelson County and its native son, Earl Hamner, Jr. Our friend Earl turns 85 years old. He was born back in 1923 in a small hospital room in what was then the Schuyler Hospital. Today it’s a beautifully renovated home that Isis Ringrose of Schuyler owns. She remains one of Earl’s best friends today though they met later in life.

EH-UOC
Photo courtesy of: University of Cincinnati, Creative Services.
Above, Earl delivers the commencement address to the 2008 graduating class at The University of Cincinnati in June 2008.

He was most recently back in the Eastern U.S. last month to receive an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Cincinnati, he attended the school way back in 1948. (You can download his entire commencement speech by clicking here.)

Earl in old hospital
Above in 2005, Earl looks toward the area in the old Schuyler Hospital where he was born on this very day back in 1923. Today it’s the home of Isis Ringrose.

Earl became an instant friend of ours after first meeting him in 2005. Since then we talk on occasion by telephone and e-mail. Today Earl lives in California near Los Angeles. We jokingly call him the California Country Boy. Everything you’ve ever heard about him being the nice gentleman, is true. We are so fortunate to have Earl contribute occasional stories to Nelson County Life.

Earl, Stafford & Person
Above, Earl poses with us along with Jim Person and his family. Jim Person wrote a huge selling biography, From Walton’s Mountain to Tomorrow, on Earl back in 2005. This was at a reception in Isis’ home in 2005.

Hamner in stage
At age 85 and over two decades since The Waltons ended, Earl is still as popular as ever. During his March 2007 visit to The Earl Hamner Theater inside the Rockfish Valley Community Center, it was sold out and packed.

Today has a special meaning for Yvette and me as well. We found out just after first meeting Earl that his birthday coincides precisely with our wedding anniversary! So Earl, though you may be way out there on the West Coast now and far from that Rockfish River where you played as a child, we will raise a glass in your honor from your home here in Nelson County, Virginia.

Happy 85th Earl from all of your friends, family, and fans back here Virginia!

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Comments (2)

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  1. sandie says:

    I have all 9 dvds of The Waltons and Spencers Mountain and The Home Coming.. Are their any other DVD’s out there I do not have? When and where will teh series be on the air. // We Have Little House and those tohers ones, but never Walton’s Mountains. Our Children need to see these.

  2. Dolores says:

    Oh to go back to those innocent times!

    I never miss an episode of “The Waltons”.
    I was one of the fortunate people to grow
    up in the 1930’s. We were just as poor
    as everyone else (never knew it, though)
    but family values were top-most.

    Thank you, Mr. Hamner for the stories.
    I wish they were required reading in
    all the schools.

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