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Earl Hamner Continues Homecoming In Nelson County Over Weekend : 11.7.09

[ 5 ] November 7, 2009 |
Photos By Tommy Stafford : ©2009 www.nelsoncountylife.com : Earl Hamner, Jr (right) walks with Carolyn Grinnell, President of The Waltons Int'l Fan Club, from his boyhood church Saturday morning in Schuyler. Virginia. : Click on any photos to enlarge.

Photos By Tommy Stafford : ©2009 www.nelsoncountylife.com : Earl Hamner, Jr (right) walks with Carolyn Grinnell, President of The Waltons Int'l Fan Club, from his boyhood church Saturday morning in Schuyler. Virginia. : Click on any photos to enlarge.

Schuyler
Nelson County, Virginia

Decades after leaving Nelson County, Earl Hamner, Jr. comes back as often as he can. He was born in Schuyler, Virginia in 1923. We first told you about Earl’s return last week when he made an appearance at The Hamner Theater in Afton. The theater was named in his honor in 2005. Earl is the creator of The Waltons, a highly popular television series based on his childhood growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Nelson County. Over the weekend in Schuyler as part of a Walton’s International Fan Club event, Earl along with actor, Jon Walmsley (he played Jason on the television series) accompanied Earl back to his birth town of Schuyler.

Hamner, Grinnell, and Walmsley sit on the front porch of the house in Schuyler where Earl grew up as a young man. The house was just renovated and opened for a tour Saturday.

Hamner, Grinnell, and Walmsley sit on the front porch of the house in Schuyler where Earl grew up as a young man. The house was just renovated and opened for a tour Saturday.

A crowd of fans wait outside the Hamner home place in Schuyler on Saturday.

A crowd of fans wait outside the Hamner home place in Schuyler on Saturday.

Fans gather near the porch of the Hamner house to chat with Earl and Jon.

Fans gather near the porch of the Hamner house to chat with Earl and Jon.

Before heading over to the restored childhood home of Hamner, a special chruch service was held inside The Schuyler Baptist Church where Earl attended church as a young boy in the 30's

Before heading over to the restored childhood home of Hamner, a special chruch service was held inside The Schuyler Baptist Church where Earl attended church as a young boy in the 30's

Earl clutches an old light fixture preserved from the original church, given to him Saturday as a memento. Jon Walmsley watches in the background from a piano where he played hymns for the crowd.

Earl clutches an old light fixture preserved from the original church, given to him Saturday as a memento. Jon Walmsley watches in the background from a piano where he played hymns for the crowd.

Hamner was greeted by a packed house at The Schuyler Baptist Church Saturday morning.

Hamner was greeted by a packed house at The Schuyler Baptist Church Saturday morning.

Jon Walmsley plays the piano at Saturday's event in Schuyler. His wife Marion is to his left.

Jon Walmsley plays the piano at Saturday's event in Schuyler. His wife Marion is to his left.

Rev. Tom Fowler and Earl sing from a hymnal at Saturday morning's special service in Schuyler.

Rev. Tom Fowler and Earl sing from a hymnal at Saturday morning's special service in Schuyler.

Earl poses on the porch of his childhood home in Schuyler with his remaining siblings, the fan club president and Jon Walmsley with his wife Marion on the far right.

Earl poses on the porch of his childhood home in Schuyler with his remaining siblings, the fan club president and Jon Walmsley with his wife Marion on the far right.

Jon Walmsley (Jason) chats with a fan inside the old Hamner house in Schuyler.

Jon Walmsley (Jason) chats with a fan inside the old Hamner house in Schuyler.

Folks pile into The Waltons Mountain B & B Gift Shop Saturday during Earl's visit back to Schuyler.

Folks pile into The Waltons Mountain B & B Gift Shop Saturday during Earl's visit back to Schuyler.

After leaving Schuyler, Earl headed to the Nelson County Museum of History where a special display of memorabilia was on display honoring Earl for his work.

Earl looks over an emmy he received for his television work. It is on display at the museum. Woody Greenberg with the museum and a close personal friend of Earl's is in the background.

Earl looks over an emmy he received for his television work. It is on display at the museum. Woody Greenberg with the museum and a close personal friend of Earl's is in the background.

Earl along with his real life sister, Audrey and Paul Saunders look at a picture of Audrey she discovered in Paul's book, Heartbeats of Nelson.

Earl along with his real life sister, Audrey and Paul Saunders look at a picture of Audrey she discovered in Paul's book, Heartbeats of Nelson.

After visiting the museum, it was back to Charlottesville for a reunion dinner at The Doubletree. From there Earl heads to New York where he met his wife Jane decades ago, and later married. They will be celebrating their anniversary before heading back home to California.

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Comments (5)

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  1. Anne Ford says:

    This is wonderful write up on the Reunion.Thank you so much!

  2. Carolyn Grinnell says:

    Hi Tommy or whomever this is being sent to:
    What an exciting site you have here. I don’t remember meeting you at the reunion, but maybe I did. It was an extremely busy week-end for me but I enjoyed every moment of it. Looking at your pictures here left a longing in my heart to see everyone again. We have such wonderful, caring people in our fan club. What a joy it was to spend a week-end with folks who share the same values (Walton Values) that you do. And to have Earl Hamner in our presence at his home was an extra special treat. And then our dear Jon Walmsley and his wife, Marion. One would have thought we were at a “Walton Taping” as Jon played and we sang old hyms that they sang in some of the Walton episodes.

    Would it be possibe for me to obtain a copy of the article from Nelson County Life Magazine?

    Thanks,

    Carolyn Grinnell – Presaident of The Waltons Int’l Fan Club

  3. Tommy says:

    Carolyn, thank you for your kind remarks about our coverage. We did meet, but very briefly, lots happening that day for sure! PLease send me your mailing address and I’ll be glad to send you a copy of the magazine out. Merry Christmas! Tommy

  4. Cathi in Georgia (catie) says:

    Tommy I am only now seeing these. You did a great job. You didn’t realize it at the time but you were getting a close-up shot of me and my son that day (5th pic down)! I am sorry I was unable to locate you after the service. I wanted to say hello to the guy who produces one of the best magazines in the USA! Maybe I’ll catch a moment to say hello on the next visit. Thanks for all the copies you sent to me and my husband in the past. I still have them. He loved them too. He would have been so happy to know that I got to finally go to the reunion. God bless you and yours Tommy. Keep up the great work.

  5. […] Erin Walton.” The Emmy award-winning television program was a long running CBS series created by Nelson County native, Earl Hamner, Jr. who was born and raised in Schuyler. The show was loosely based on his childhood in the Nelson County community. According to the Nelson […]

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