Posted by: KazK | January 31, 2013

The Waltons Game

I recently came across some of my Waltons memorabilia, including The Waltons game. I wonder how many people have played it?

What has always confused me is that the set doesn’t come with instructions so it seems to be left up to the players to decide their own rules!

I thought I’d post the board game and some of the cards here to give you an idea of it and maybe we can work out rules together.

Here’s the main board.

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As you can see the board has four scenes on it. There are actually enough cards for eight scenes, so I’m guessing these would all get shuffled and each player would choose the one they would then compile.

Each scene has a Waltons Game place card and again I’m guessing that the scene you have to put together goes there. As I said there are eight scenes. Each scene has then been enlarged and is cut into four pieces, which need to be played in the spaces underneath the scene card.

Here are the different place card scenes:

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Here’s one of the scenes made up of the correct “jigsaw” pieces to create the scene. You can clearly see that there are four cards making the scene and the scene is of place card number six.

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Finally there are two Wild Cards which have John Boy on them. If you get this card then you can put it into your scene as the last piece to win. Here’s the John Boy card:

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And there you have all the pieces of the game.

One thing I did find mystifying is that all of the main family members appear at least once in the card scenes with the exception of Jim Bob. I wonder why he wasn’t included. John Boy doesn’t have a scene either but at least he is on the special cards!

The scenes seem to be from Season 1. I think that scene 2, with the girls and another lady, may be from The Carnival but I could be wrong and would be interested to see if we can place the scenes from other episodes.

This type of merchandise based around television shows seemed to be very popular in the 60’s and 70’s. The Waltons had books, the typical lunch box and thermos, dolls and other play things based upon it. They’re fun to look back on fondly and to collect if you’re lucky enough to find them. I’ll share some of my other memorabilia in another post.

In the meantime if you have any suggestions on how to play the game, I’d love to know.

 

Posted by: KazK | December 23, 2012

The Christmas Box

Whilst not a Waltons Christmas telemovie, I’m including it in my list of Christmas specials because it is a favourite with Waltons fans. It stars Richard Thomas too which makes it another good reason to be added in the blog.

Here is the Christmas Box that actually opens and closes the film.

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The film opens with Richard Thomas’ character, Richard, working very hard in his ski shop. In fact Richard is working so hard at establishing his business that he really doesn’t have a great deal of time for his wife and daughter, Jenna. His wife really wants to live in a larger house and so they go for an interview for a job where they would become live in companions to an elderly lady, Mary. She doesn’t really seem to like Richard all that much but she grows to love his wife and child. Mary tries very hard to instil in Richard just how precious his family should be to him. Through Richard’s dreams and some snooping on his part we learn that Mary had lost a child, Andrea, at the age of 5. The age his small daughter is now.

Mary continues to be a bit prickly towards Richard, often asking him questions she clearly wants him to think about and come to realise the correct answer. “What was the first gift of Christmas?” is one that really stumps him.

He does finally come to grasp the answer (which I won’t tell you here!) and then his thinking about his future undergoes a change.

It really is a beautiful film and along with The Homecoming, it is one that is a Christmas ritual with many Waltons fans.

Here’s a screen grab of Richard with his young daughter, Jenna, played beautifully by Kelsey Mulrooney. The lovely Maureen O’Hara plays the no nonsense Mary and Annette O’Toole plays his wife, Keri.

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And here’s one of the final scenes with the family bundled up around their beautiful Christmas tree.

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Posted by: KazK | December 22, 2012

The Children’s Carol

Last year I looked at most of the Waltons Christmas episodes. The one that I didn’t get a chance to write about was the two part special episode, The Children’s Carol.

This episode comes in the middle of season 6 and one of the reasons I love it so much is that a fellow Aussie, Sally Boyden, guest starred as Tess, the English girl.

I watched this episode again this week and one thing I noticed on my DVD edition that I hadn’t noticed before, was the voice over of Earl Hamner at the beginning of the episode. Come to think of it now though, I think there were lead ins such as this one from this season. I’m not sure why they were introduced. Anyway in this one Earl says the following:

“This is Earl Hamner, creator of The Waltons. This year, we bring you a different kind of Christmas story. World War II literally comes to Walton’s Mountain in the form of two English children seeking safety from the London blitz. It’s a story of courage and faith and the victory of the human spirit over the shattering impact of war. After this Christmas, never again will the world be the same. I invite you to enjoy a remarkable special broadcast.”

I think it would have been a difficult time to celebrate Christmas during the war years. Many of the young men in families would have been missing and lots of different items would have been scarce. I imagine that many families simply didn’t feel Christmassy at all.

This episode tells us of two English children who had been evacuated to the US after London bombings. Their home, their neighbourhood and their parents had all gone from their lives. The two children, Tess (played by Sally Boyden) and Pip (played by Jeff Cotler, Kami’s brother), arrived on Waltons Mountain, traumatised and determined to look after each other. In fact young Pip is so traumatised that he has stopped speaking.

They were initially billeted to stay with the Baldwin sisters, but they found it difficult to cope with them. The Baldwin’s wondered whether being with a family, in the midst of other children, might help them to recover.

Elizabeth does not really accept the two children. They just want to be together and don’t really want to join in with anything. She feels that they just want to watch and they’re spoiling her fun.

Olivia’s faith is tested as well during this episode. She wonders how God could possibly have allowed these, and so many other children to be affected by the horrors of war in the way they have.

Jason is also questioning his life. He is being taught to kill and he wonders how music will continue to play a part in his life. As Olivia tells him, perhaps if he feels that the job he is being trained to do has no place in it for music, then maybe it’s not the right choice for him. As Jason says though, to serve in the war is something that the country is expecting of him.

The final scenes are just beautiful. Jason has penned a Christmas carol, titled The Children’s Carol and the family and friends gather around the Walton’s Christmas tree to sing and finally enjoy Christmas for that year.

Here’s a few screen grabs from it.

Two photos of Tess and Pip, the English children.

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Here’s some of the final scenes of family and friends around the piano.

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Posted by: KazK | August 1, 2012

Interview with Kami

You might also enjoy watching this interview with Kami. Enjoy.

Posted by: KazK | August 1, 2012

Special Waltons Events

This September we celebrate 40 years since the first Waltons episodes appeared on television. I think it’s a wonderful milestone for the show, and one we really should celebrate.

Leading up to this special anniversary, our Waltons Digest members will be having a look at the first season of The Waltons.

You might want to comment here about your favourite season 1 episodes, the characters who were introduced during Season 1and perhaps some of the themes that were introduced. If you are not a member of the Waltons Digest pop on over the my main Waltons site and send me an email.

Have a read of Earl Hamner’s latest blog post. It’s interesting to read how the show was perceived by critics in those early days. You might also want to pop over to my Waltons site, and have a look at some Waltons reviews by Variety. You’ll find them in the Waltons Articles link.

No matter what the critics thought of the show it won many awards that first season. It became the Outstanding Continuing Drama Series and the Outstanding New Series in the Emmys. Richard Thomas, Michael Learned and Ellen Corby all won Emmys in their categories and Will Geer was nominated. Single episodes were honoured with various awards. The Scholar, The Love Story, the Actress, The Literary Man and the Dust Bowl Cousins. Golden Globe awards were won. The list went on and on. The show went on to be well represented amongst the awards for many seasons. Earl Hamner’s show certainly rewarded the faith shown by the network which aired it.

Earl also mentions the Waltons reunion, being held in Los Angeles this year. Rod and I will be attending and I hope to meet up with some of our Digest members. Please make yourself known to me, as I only know some people by their email address and first name! You’ll be able to identify me. I’ll be the one with very strange accent! This one is being hosted by Carolyn, the president of the Waltons International Fan Club. Earl lists Carolyn’s email address in his blog post. Apparently the dinner is now fully booked but there may be a wait list if you are interested.

The other special event in Los Angeles is the following night. A special fund raiser is being hosted by Ray and is raising money for Kami Cotler’s school. Kami runs an Environmental Charter School and proceeds will go there. I think it’s a wonderful idea. The slogan is “Celebrating Family and Education” and those two things I wholeheartedly support. I’ve had a look at the website of Kami’s school and there seems to be some very interesting, innovative things happening there. It’s quite different to anything we have out here in Australia. I wonder if I could visit whilst I’m over there? Anyway, I am looking forward to attending this as well. Here’s Kami’s commercial for this special night.

Guests have been continually added and you’ll find the latest updated guest list at the official 40th site.

You will find further information on both of these events in Earl’s blog post. Please support it if you can. Our future is with the children we are educating today.

Posted by: KazK | May 23, 2012

The Walnuts

Thought you might like to see The Walnuts, a spoof on The Waltons from the Carol Burnett Show. I’d never seen it, so thanks to daniela over at The Waltons Forum for alerting me to it. Do you know of any other skits based on The Waltons? If so, please let me know.

Posted by: KazK | December 26, 2011

The Homecoming

Last year I listed some thoughts on several of The Waltons Christmas episodes. Since this year marks the 40th anniversary of the screening of The Homecoming, it seems fitting that I start with it.

I watched The Homecoming again just recently, after not having watched it for such a long time. So interesting to see how little the children looked, especially the very young Kami, David and Eric. Those three actors playing the Walton children so beautifully really did look very young indeed. The Homecoming is such a simply told, honest story of a father missing at Christmas time, and his family waiting at home for him to arrive. Earl Hamner writes in his book Goodnight John Boy that it was based on a Christmas Eve that his family really lived through. The Depression and the closing of the mill in Schuyler necessitated Earl’s father seeking work elsewhere. He found work in Waynesboro, fifty miles away and would take the bus home each weekend, finishing the journey by either walking or hitchhiking. The Christmas Eve the the Homecoming is set, 1933, snow began early and fell steadily during the day, making it difficult for the Father to get home.

I loved the report written about The Homecoming script, which says in part:

It is obviously slanted toward Christmas Eve audiences and I believe it could potentially become a classic. It is filled with rich characterization and the warm family relationship is beautifully portrayed.”

How right the executive story editor, Joanne Brough, was. It has indeed become classic Christmas viewing for so many people.

Obviously we know that many of the cast from The Homecoming did not go on to reprise their roles on The Waltons, for one reason or another. Here’s a snapshot of The Homecoming cast for you:’

The beautiful Patricia Neal played Olivia Walton, seen above. I loved her crustiness in The Homecoming. She was very forthright and quite unsure of how to handle John Boy, who disappeared at times to hide behind a locked bedroom door. She knew that he was keeping secrets and wanted to know what they were. John Boy explained that he was just writing his thoughts, and that puzzled her a great deal. Patricia Neal did not reprise her role as Olivia Walton. Michael Learned was chosen as Olivia in the series of The Waltons.

Here’s the three older boys as they appear in The Homecoming. Ben (Eric Scott), Jason (Jon Walmsley) and John Boy (Richard Thomas). All three boys stayed with the series, and I have to say that I have always admired Richard Thomas as John Boy throughout the series. Earl was particularly taken with him when he saw him in the movie Red Sky at Morning. Apparently Richard wasn’t all that keen on becoming a part of television, as his film career seemed to be forging ahead, but he liked the script and decided to join the cast. I am so glad that he did because I think he is superb as John Boy. I have continued to follow his career over the years and have greatly admired his work since. He seems to choose a wide variety of character types and his work is always well worth watching. I was lucky enough to see him in Race on Broadway and again was struck by the intelligence he lends to his work. You can see a picture of Richard and myself here.

The two eldest Walton girls are pictured above – Mary Ellen (Judy Norton) and Erin (Mary McDonough). Mary looks just gorgeous as Erin, but this picture reminds me of how much she grew up on the set of The Waltons. She appears to be so young when The Homecoming was filmed. You can read more about her recollections in her book, published this year, titled Lessons From the Mountain, which is an excellent read. I loved the scenes in The Homecoming where the children went to see presents being given to children on Christmas Eve, in exchange for bible verses. Mary Ellen quickly tells the other children different bible verses to quote, so that they might receive a wrapped present.

Of course the two little ones were David Harper, playing the role of Jim Bob, and Kami Cotler, playing Elizabeth. Aren’t they both so tiny! They did such a wonderful job as the little ones in The Homecoming and both grew into fine actors during the run of The Waltons.

The roles of Grandma and Grandpa were played by Ellen Corby and Edgar Bergen. Ellen Corby went on to become the beloved Grandma in the series of The Waltons, but Will Geer was cast as Grandpa, and such a wonderful character he was. Waltons fans can quote many episodes where Grandpa featured and he was a much loved cast member and his character is well loved by fans.

Finally, the Baldwin sisters were played by Dorothy Stickney (Miss Emily) and Josephine Hutchinson (Miss Mamie). They are pictured above, trimming their Christmas tree, when John Boy and Hawthorne drop by in the hope of borrowing their car to go out and look for John Walton. They are wonderful characters, but both were replaced for the series by Helen Kleeb, playing Miss Mamie, and Mary Jackson, playing Miss Emily. It was interesting to note that Miss Emily’s reminisces of Ashley Longworth began during The Homecoming.

Finally I really should urge you to find a copy of Earl Hamner’s The Homecoming book and have a read.

Also pop over and have a look at the wonderful Homecoming website my good friend Shirley has put together. You’ll find it here. One thing you will find here of great interest is the recipe to Olivia’s Applesauce Cake. You’d be amazed how often I get asked about it. Can’t say I’ve ever made it but it does sound yummy and looking at the ingredients, I can just imagine it baking in the oven before Christmas Day.

Finally, you might like to have a look at this review, written about The Homecoming, and complete with some excellent photo still from the movie.

Posted by: KazK | December 14, 2011

Eric Scott

I was alerted to a wonderful article about Eric Scott and his acting career and time with The Waltons, thanks to Mary McDonough posting on her Facebook page. (Thanks Mary.) And was a great article it is. Have a read of it here and be sure to have a good look at the gorgeous photos of Eric through the years. I especially liked the one of Eric at 7 years old.

Reading the article I was struck by what a close, and very grounded, family Eric must come from. Such an asset for any child in show business I would think. I particularly share his mother’s ideas about education. Very sensible woman.

I also liked Eric’s comments about the critic’s statements that the show was sweet. His thoughts make interesting reading. And as a fan of Michael Landon as a storyteller, I also appreciated his thoughts on the work of Landon.

A great article!

Posted by: KazK | December 14, 2011

The Homecoming – 40 Years Old

Just recently a special reunion was held at at the Loew’s Jersey Theatre in New Jersey. Christmas Eve this year will mark the 40th anniversary of the first screening of The Homecoming, and the recent reunion was to celebrate this milestone. Many of the original cast of The Homecoming, and others from The Waltons series, gathered together to watch the screening of The Homecoming, with fans, at the theatre. Present were Richard Thomas, Mary McDonough, Judy Norton, Kami Cotler, Jon Walmsley, Eric Scott, David Harper and David Huddleston, all of whom appeared in The Homecoming. Also present were Michael Learned, Lynn Hamilton, Leslie Winston, Hal Williams, Ellen Geer and Radames Pera, who appeared in the series of The Waltons. Following the screening there was a question and answer panel discussion with these cast members.

You can can read about the reunion at in this article, and have a look at a gallery of photos from the evening here. One of the photos from the gallery is the one below, taken by Richard J McCormack, for The Jersey Journal.

You’ll find another article, complete with photos, here.

Finally, the cast did a special interview on the Today Show on Friday December 2nd, in the morning. The video of it can be seen here.

And hot off the press, here’s another link telling us more about this special event! Have a look here.

Posted by: KazK | September 18, 2011

The Homecoming – celebrating 40 years

There will be a Walton Family Reunion celebrating the 40th anniversary of The Homecoming. This very special night will be held on Friday December 2nd, 2011. Several of the cast members will be at this reunion, which will be held at the Landmark Loews Jersey Theater, in Jersey City, NJ.

A special screening of The Homecoming will take place, along with guests: Richard Thomas, Judy Norton, Mary McDonough, David Harper, Jon Walmsley, Kami Cotler, Eric Scott and Michael Learned. The site is advertising a Q & A panel discussion after the screening of the film.

More information can be found at the Theater website, and also at this website from Monday.

It sounds like a really fun night. I love old theaters and would adore visiting this one. I did consider whether I would be able to manage to head over there for the weekend, but with only one more week of school left by then, here in Australia, I guess I’d better just wait for another opportunity.

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