Nelson County, Virginia
By Jennie T. Williams
For the first time since 1973, John-Boy Walton is coming home to Schuyler.
Richard Thomas played John-Boy, the oldest of seven children, in the hit tv series The Waltons from 1971 to 1981. He visited Earl Hamner, The Waltons’ creator, and his mother in Schuyler, the town where the show takes place, in the early 1970s, but due to scheduling conflicts hasn’t been able to make it back for any other cast reunions or Waltons Mountain Museum events since.
“Any time I do anything related to the show it feels like a homecoming,” said Thomas. “But I was only in Schuyler once — many, many, many, many, many, years ago. So while it’s a homecoming in the sense that I’ll be connected to the show again, it’s actually sort of a first-time thing for me.”
Thomas is the special guest of the Waltons Mountain Museum 25th Anniversary weekend, Oct. 20-22. Events for the weekend include several autograph shows, featuring Richard Thomas and other special surprise guests, a banquet programs, and a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new addition to the Museum, the Pony Cart Room.
“We’ve made some wonderful additions to the Hamner home to keep Earl’s legacy alive,” said Ray Castro, a third owner of the Waltons Hamner House, formerly the Hamner Homeplace. “And that’s basically what our goal is: to make sure that The Waltons and Earl’s work and his legacy continue long after we’re gone.”
Thomas remembers Hamner, who was born and raised in Schuyler and passed away in 2016 at the age of 92, as a true southern gentleman.
“He had a great run so want whatever he was having,” said Thomas. “He obviously was the father of our show and the father of our success. He was a wonderful writer and a terrific man with a great sense of humor and a very generous spirit.”
The weekend of events kicks off on Friday October 20th at 11:30 AM until 12 Noon at the new Walton’s Hamner House. Richard Thomas will cut the ribbon there officially opening the home.
To purchase tickets for that weekend or get more information, head on over to the Earl Hamner Storyteller website by clicking here.