Nelson Native & Walton’s Creator, Earl Hamner, Here Next Week! : 10.30.09

©2007-2009 : Earl Hamner during his last visit to the Afton, Virginia theater named in his honor. Peter Coy, Nancy Mulrine and Boomie Pedersen of The Hamner Theater, chat with Earl before he enters the theater.
©2007-2009 : Earl Hamner during his last visit to the Afton, Virginia theater named in his honor. Peter Coy, Nancy Mulrine and Boomie Pedersen of The Hamner Theater, chat with Earl before he enters the theater.

Nelson County, Virginia

If you are a lover of The Waltons or any of the other countless works Earl Hamner, Jr is responsible for, you don’t want to miss his own homecoming to Nelson next week. Next Thursday, November 5th, Earl will be appearing at a fund raiser for The Hamner Theater beginning at 6PM. We first told you about the special occasion here. I speak with Earl from time to time by phone and in our most recent conversation a few days ago, he was so excited to be coming back to Virginia! He will be appearing in several other locations as part of his international fan club.

Be sure to get your tickets now for the event at The Hamner Theater. Their phone number is 434.361.1999

The best way to get the feel is by reading what Earl has posted over in his website at

We’ll see you next week Earl!


Old Earl is going home! Home to my beloved Virginia, home to where everybody knows your name, home to people who invite you to sit up and talk till bedtime, people who know how to fry chicken, how to properly make ham biscuits, and how to correctly pronounce the words – about, house, and mouse!

Carolyn Grinnell is throwing a party! Those of you who have attended past reunions of the Walton’s International Fan club know it is a day long adventure capped off with an unforgettable banquet.

The 2009 Reunion will be held on November 7th at the Doubletree Hotel in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Carolyn has invited Jon Walmsley and me to be guests of honor, and we are looking forward to the day. Her theme this year is an Early Christmas and every guest is asked to bring an old fashioned decoration to dress up the tree.

The day will be a full one. It will include a visit to the Schuyler Baptist Church where the Hamner family worshiped, The Waltons Mountain B and B with its extensive collection of Walton books and Virginia antiques, and a stop by the Hamner house which has been so lovingly and faithfully restored by owner Pamela Rutherford as well a visit to the Museum of Rural History at Lovingston.

Guests will need to arrive on November 6th since activities will start early on the next morning. Space is limited but for further information contact Carolyn at 336-993-2752.



I was once invited by the director of a stage production of “The Homecoming” to perform at the Laguna Playhouse here in California. With my knees knocking in fright, I looked out over an ocean of people and read an opening, a kind of curtain raiser, and at the end of the play a closing paragraph. You should have heard the applause!

I have never been the same and always craved for more! So when Peter Coy and Boomie Peterson, Directors of the Hamner Theater back home in Afton, Virginia, invited me to spend an evening with them and to perform with the cast of their production of “The Homecoming” I leapt at the chance.

At 6:00 PM, Thursday November 5th, 2009, along with the cast of the upcoming production, I will be on hand for the festivities.

From 6:00 to 7:00 I look forward to saying hello and to autographing copies of my books that will be on sale at the theater.

From 7:30 to 8:30 I will read scenes from “The Homecoming” with the cast of the upcoming production.

I look forward to this evening. It is not only a source of pride to me that the theater is named after me, but that it continues to bring quality drama and entertainment to Nelson County and the surrounding area.

All tickets are $50.00. Proceeds of this event will go to support the on going work of the theater.

After the reading we can visit as long as you like.

I should stress that I will be there only for this special event. The actual run of the play will begin on Thursday, November 19th at 7:30 pm and will end on December 13th. Tickets for these performances are $10, $5 for 12 and younger. Reservations are suggested. Call 434-361-1999.

Who would have ever guessed that the glorious words of William Shakespeare, the production of a play recently on Broadway, original drama, highlights from the world of dance and music from all over the world, a school for actors, directors and writers and a play written by a boy from Schuyler, would find a home at 190 Rockfish School Lane, Afton, Virginia!

See you there!



Down at Hendersonville, Tennessee the Steeple Theater Players will also present–


Friday, November 13th through Sunday, November 22nd Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 2:00.

The Staples Players’ Program Notes were so beautifully written that I couldn’t resist reprinting them.

A play based on the book by Earl Hamner, Jr. (and the inspiration for the 1970s TV series, “The Waltons”). The time is the great depression and the large Spencer family, living at the foot of a Virginia mountain, is struggling just to survive. With his father having to take the only available job a long way from home, Clay-Boy is stuck with unusual responsibility for his brothers and sisters. Just reaching manhood, Clay-Boy has a secret yearning that’s quite extraordinary for the practical, earth-bound community in which he lives. He wants to write! His father comes home and brings a special gift for his son, a gift that reveals unexpected understanding and the strength of a loving family.

The Steeple Players Theater is devoted to encouraging the development of God-given talents in a supportive Christian, family environment through the experience of producing quality entertainment. The Steeple Players is a non–profit community theater located at 206 Main Street in the City Square Shopping Center in Hendersonville, Tennessee. It has presented family-oriented theater to the local and surrounding community for over fifteen years.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Kym Sims, Director of “The Homecoming” and when I suggested a few slight changes in dialogue from the original script she was not only happy to make the changes but to welcome me to taking an active role in the production – typical of the warm reception I have always found in Tennessee.

I would like to take advantage of this occasion to send greetings to my many friends in Hendersonville and the nearby Nashville area. I will never forget filming the pilot for BOONE there and being allowed to film in such legendary sites as the Ryman and next door at Tootsies. I will never forget that when the Governor gave a reception for us visiting fireman that one of the guests was Minnie Pearl and that when I went over to greet her I said, “I have loved you all my life.” And she said, “Honey, I feel the same way about you.” And I am endlessly grateful to all those friends who worked at Ron Pit kin’s Cumberland House Publishing who have kept my books alive all these years.

Warm thoughts to one and all.



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