Good night, John-Boy. Good night, Earl Hamner Jr.


#1

“Good night, John-Boy.”

If those words mean nothing to you, you’re probably under age 40, perhaps a millennial. If they do, you’re probably a boomer, to whom they are unforgettable, bound to bring back visions of a better time and a better place, an era, in the words Thursday of one fan of “The Waltons,” when “family was so much more appreciated.”

That era, however, wouldn’t be the ’60s or the ’70s. The setting of “The Waltons,” from which “Good night, John-Boy” derived fame, belongs to “The Greatest Generation.” The television series was set in the Depression, in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, just below the “taller ridges … rimmed with a fading autumn silver,” as Earl Hamner Jr. wrote in his semi-autobiographical novel “Spencer’s Mountain,” from which “The Waltons” was drawn.

On “The Waltons,” John-Boy was played by actor Richard Thomas, better known these days not as the bookish country boy he once personified but as the spy-hunting bureaucrat Agent Gaad on another hit series, “The Americans.”

In real life, John-Boy was indeed Hamner, creator and narrator of the show as well as author of “Spencer’s Mountain.” Now he is gone. He was 92, a veteran of World War II, one of America’s best-loved writers and, as the narrator of “The Waltons,” a much-loved voice.


#2

I loved the movie “Spencer’s Mountain” starring Henry Fonda and Maureen O’Hara but never cared much for “The Waltons” on TV.


#3

[quote=“Pappadave, post:2, topic:48516”]
I loved the movie “Spencer’s Mountain” starring Henry Fonda and Maureen O’Hara but never cared much for “The Waltons” on TV.
[/quote]I too was not a big fan of the Waltons


#4

James MacArthur played the oldest son. He was later known as Dan-O on Hawaii 5-0.


#5

[quote=“John_Blutarski, post:4, topic:48516”]
James MacArthur played the oldest son. He was later known as Dan-O on Hawaii 5-0.
[/quote] And the son of first lady of the theater, Helen Hayes. She won her last Oscar as the best supporting actress for her role as the elderly stowaway in the Burt Lancaster movie, “Airport.”


#6

Earl Hamner had an excellent reading voice, perfect for the setting, but it was kinda odd how a boy who grew up in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mtns. obtained a Canadian accent. lol

I like the overall theme of The Walton’s - a close-nit family being brought up with old-fashioned values whose faith in God and one another got them through some pretty rough spots in life.
However, that theme got a little lost with 7 kids who competed for who could whine the best. (Mary Ellen wins, hands down; Ben, a very close 1st runner up.) A bunch of spoiled brats whose so-called “chores” you rarely ever got a glimpse of them actually doing. Heck, their mamma even made their beds for them!

Aww, but a lot of it was fun. And who could resist the charms of the Baldwin sisters? Or Maude w/her infamous, "Land sakes! lol Drama queen, Corabeth Godsey?
But I think my favorite character of all is/was Yantsey Tucker.