Growing up as a child in the seventies and teen in the eighties some of my favorite shows were Gilligan’s Island, Little House on the Prairie, Good Times, Magnum P.I., Growing Pains, Dallas, and The Waltons. What can I say, I have an eclectic taste when it comes to entertainment.
Last night, Ren and I took a couple friends and headed to a church in Warren County, Kentucky to hear Mary McDonough speak about her new book Lessons from the Mountain: What I learned from Erin Walton. I am well on my way into reading the book and so far, so good.
It was a very pleasurable evening and it was fun to listen to Ms. McDonough give a lot of behind the scenes details on what it was like to work on one of my favorite shows as a child. Ren, who has dreamed since she was four or five to one day be an actress, really soaked in this part of the evening, too, even though she has only seen part of an episode or two of the show (she being much more a LHOTP fan). I think she was more enamored by the fact she was able to meet a celebrity.
Ren with her signed book.
Describing what it was like growing up Walton.
Mary with some of her fans. This one woman brought her husband and three daughters and EACH of them had their own copy of the book. Now that's a fan! The girl seated in the blue dress to the left is Ms. McDonough's daughter, who is the spitting image of her mom.
Ren watching as her book was signed.
Ren was thrilled..."She ripped my book. That's so cool!"
So sorry Ren, My Bad!! Mary McDonough "Erin"
So, given last night’s fun, let me list here a few of my favorites connected to the show.
My two favorite episodes were “The Burnout” (which Mary said last night was her favorite episode to film) and “The Ghost Story” (you know me, I love anything scary).
My favorite characters on the show were the grandparents.
I love the performance Ellen Corby gave on an episode of The Andy Griffith Show entitled “Barney’s First Car”...totally opposite from her role as Grandma Esther Walton.
My favorite of the Walton children was Jason.
With only one sister myself, I always thought it would be great to grow up with a bunch of brothers and sisters. My mother and father would probably disagree.
John Walton always reminds me of my own father just a little when he is shown sitting at the Walton kitchen table in a work shirt and wearing his glasses while figuring out a lumber project. I have seen Daddy do this many times at our kitchen table when working up a bid for some construction project.
The real Walton’s Mountain is a little place called Schuyler, Virginia (pronounced “Skyler”) and was the childhood home to the show’s writer and narrator Earl Hamner, Jr. John, Ren, and I took a little side trip there in 2003 on the way home from D.C.
Ren and I with "Erin"