A great photo of the wonderful writer, Earl Hamner Jr.
Earl Hamner Jr. Deserves to be an Honoree of the Kennedy Center Honors
By Richard Mabey Jr.
If there is anyone on planet earth that is more deserving to be a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, it is the incredibly talented writer, Earl Hamner Jr. I have to confess I was angry when Earl was passed up to receive the award last month. I’m not proud of my anger. I’ve just got to channel that anger and disappointment into positive energy and take positive steps to let people know that Earl deserves this award!
When I was a young boy, there were five things that my buddies and I talked about on the old school playground. Life centered upon model cars, baseball cards, comic books, scouts and a science fiction television show called The Twilight Zone! And, one of the writers that Rod Serling chose to write many of the TZ episodes was the one and only Earl Hamner Jr.
Of course that was only the start of Earl Hamner Jr.’s contribution to television. Essentially, Earl single handedly changed the face of television as we know it today. In December of 1971, the hearts of thousands upon thousands of people were touched by the heart warming television film, “The Homecoming.”
“The Homecoming” did not boast any outstanding special effects. It didn’t begin with blaring music and film clip flashes blaring in your face. It simply began with the cry of a coronet, almost as though the musical notes of the film’s introduction were from another time, another era, a forgotten time and place. The introduction had a gentle feeling, a calm serene quality that called us back to a simpler time. It was as if those gentle musical notes of that muffled coronet were calling us back to the America that we were rapidly losing sight of.
I was eighteen years old when “The Homecoming” premiered. I was in my first semester of college. Simply put, that very wonderful, heart warming, endearing television movie deeply touched my heart. Then in the fall of 1972, the family we met in “The Homecoming” came back to television in the outrageously successful television series, “The Waltons.”
It would take reams of paper to list all of Earl Hamner Jr.’s wonderful contributions to American literature, radio, television and film. It’s not so much a matter of reviewing long lists. But, in my humble opinion, it all comes down to this question: has your outlook on life, your own personal philosophy of life, been touched by the writings of Earl Hamner Jr.? If so, please do consider signing the petition to make Earl an Honoree of the Kennedy Center Honors.
This is a very real, practical, concrete way that the fans of Earl Hamner Jr. can say thank you to this wonderfully talented writer. And, it only takes a few minutes. Here’s the URL:
And, please do ask your friends and relatives to sign this petition. Please do consider putting this URL on your Facebook page. Let’s make the Guinness Book of World Records with the most signatures on a single petition…ever known to mankind!