September 14, 2021

REAL AND IMAGINARY

This photo was taken when Heather and I stopped by Schuyler, Virginia, to pay homage to a family favorite television show of the 1970s and beyond, “The Waltons.” Earl Hamner, Jr. wrote Spencer’s Mountain in 1961, which was made into a movie two years later.  From that came first the CBS television movie “The Homecoming: A Christmas Story” followed by 9 seasons of the weekly television show “The Waltons.” Walton’s Mountain was an imaginary place (based on Hamner’s family home in Schuyler) and the Walton family was based on his family.

The closing scene of each show had the seven Walton siblings calling out “good night” to each other—and “Good night, John Boy” was a line familiar to almost everyone that decade.  When we stopped by to take a look at this little Virginia community, they were having a craft sale outside the country store (which was adjacent to the Hamner home). We strolled around, gazing at memorabilia of the television show and the family on whose story it was based. 

On another trip in North Carolina, Patrick and I once stopped by Mount Airy to take a look at the town that was Mayberry in “The Andy Griffith Show.”  This long-running television show seems never to end because of reruns. These places and characters seemed so real to us! 

We didn’t have a television set until I was in high school, but “I Love Lucy” was the show not to be missed.  I would go to my friend Barbara’s house almost every week to watch it!  And it too continues in reruns and popularity.  Granddaughter Charlotte is a big fan of “I Love Lucy”—although she mostly would find “The Andy Griffith Show” and “The Waltons” a bit slow.  

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