Jim Bob charged: More trouble on Walton's Mountain
In the latest episode of the never-dull continuing saga in Schuyler, birthplace of The Waltons' creator Earl Hamner, Hamner's baby brother has been charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
A Nelson County sheriff's deputy served James Edward Hamner with a misdemeanor warrant on August 25. County commonwealth's attorney Philip Payne says he cannot provide specifics on the charge– even the age or gender of the minor.
However, a knowledgeable source says that one of Hamner's Schuyler neighbors accuses him of getting her 13-year-old son drunk. The boy's mother obtained a warrant from the Nelson County magistrate on August 24.
Hamner, whose character in the popular television series was called "Jim Bob," denies the charge, calling it "trumped up."
He's scheduled to appear in Nelson County Juvenile and Domestic court October 24. The charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor, says Payne, with a maximum $2,500 fine or 12 months in jail or both.
This is not the first problem Jim Hamner's had in his hometown this year. In March, he was terminated as treasurer of the Walton's Mountain Museum. That led brother Earl Hamner to withdraw his support and possessions from the museum. A new Waltons-inspired museum that will look like the famous farmhouse from the series, to be located on U.S. 29 in Lovingston, is in the works.
Meanwhile, the Walton's Mountain Museum, located in the old school that Earl and Jim Hamner attended (it's right across the street from the family home), has lost two directors this year and is struggling to keep the legions of Waltons' fans who come annually to pay homage to John-Boy's hometown.
The museum is celebrating its 10th anniversary in October. Unlike its opening a decade ago, when most of the show's stars came to Schuyler, the 10th anniversary can so far boast only Hal Williams, who played a minor supporting role as Harley Foster.
Some well-known cast members– Mary "Erin" McDonough, Kami "Elizabeth" Cotler, and Jon "Jason" Walmsley– were in town in July for the Waltons International Fan Club meeting. Instead of gathering at the museum in Schuyler, they met fans and signed autographs in Charlottesville at the Double Tree Hotel.