Star wars: Dueling Waltons events again

Published October 17, 2002 in issue #37 of The Hook.

California-based writer Earl Hamner Jr. is returning to the East Coast, but he's not slated for any public appearances at the Walton's Mountain Museum in Schuyler. As reported in the Hook on August 29 ["Can't get enough of The Waltons? New museum in works"}, Hamner, 79, has thrown his support behind a new repository for his memorabilia– or "marbles" as one detractor called his collection of Emmys, scripts, etcetera.

The proposed Nelson County Museum of Rural History will be located on eight acres along busy Route 29 behind the former Lovingston Elementary School. To kick off the project, Hamner and Waltons star Michael Learned (who played mom Olivia) will be the featured guests at a $50-per-plate dinner at Lynchburg College on Saturday, October 19.

After the dinner, Hamner will read from his latest book, Good night, John-Boy, in the College's Dillard Theater.

In July, in a major break with tradition, the official Waltons International Fan Club brought such Waltons regulars Jon "Jason" Walmsley, Kami "Elizabeth" Cotler, and Mary Beth "Erin" McDonough– not to Schuyler, but to the Doubletree Hotel in Charlottesville.

Meanwhile, back in Schuyler, October 19 also happens to be day one in a two-day 10th anniversary celebration for the Waltons Mountain Museum honoring police, fire, and rescue workers. Among the attendees is Hal Williams, a character actor best known as the drill sergeant in the movie Private Benjamin and in a television show of the same name, who occasionally guested on The Waltons.

Why simultaneous events?

"I guess it's coincidental," says Woody Greenburg, the Lynchburg College communications dean who is coordinating Hamner's visit.

"This was the only weekend that Earl could make it this time of year."


Culture Vulture Cartoon by LINDA SHERMAN


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