From Earth To Heaven: Happy Birthday Earl Hamner Jr.

#1 Earl Hamner Jr

One of my hands-down, absolute favorite pictures of Earl Hamner Jr. In this photo, Earl is at a book signing for his book, “The Twilight Zone Scripts.” I just doesn’t get any cooler than that!

From Earth To Heaven: Happy Birthday Earl Hamner Jr.

By Richard Mabey Jr.

Today, July tenth of 2016, the great Earl Hamner Jr. would have been 93 years old today. Although, I only had the high honor to meet Earl once, I still mourn dearly for him. Earl was an incredibly kind man. And, even though he was a huge success, he maintained a very real sense of modesty throughout his life.

#2 Richard Mabey Tribute to Earl Hamner Jr

Just one of the many, many articles that I have written in tribute to the one and only, Earl Hamner Jr.

I think that Earl was a great source of inspiration and encouragement to thousands upon thousands of writers, throughout the globe. Often times, I wrote tributes to Earl on my blog. More than once, he wrote me back, with kind words of appreciation. You just have no idea what those words of encouragement, from the great Earl Hamner Jr., meant to me.

#3 Richard at Walton's Mountain - Copy

Yours truly standing by the Walton’s Mountain Museum sign. This is the very spot in the road where my beloved father and I talked with Earl Hamner Jr.

My Dad and I visited Schuyler, Virginia (the real Walton’s Mountain) many, many times. Dad loved Schuyler. On one fateful afternoon, the angels smiled down upon us and we got to meet the great Earl Hamner Jr. Dad and I had just finished the tour of the Walton’s Mountain Museum. We were standing there by the Walton’s Mountain Museum sign. If you are facing toward the uphill section of the road, Ike Godsey’s Store is about a half-mile up the road. Well, lo and behold, there came Earl walking down from Ike Godsey’s Store, walking to his old homestead.

#4 Hamner Homestead

The old Hamner Homestead is right across the street from the Walton’s Mountain Museum sign.

Both, Dad and I, waved to Earl. He waved back. We walked out to edge of the road, upon where Earl was walking to his old homestead. We talked for a few minutes. I was tongue tied. I was star struck. Somewhere in our short conversation, Dad mentioned how much he loved The Waltons television drama. Earl was so humble and modest. He simply smiled and thanked my Dad for the compliment. Truly, this was not a big Hollywood stuck up star. Earl Hamner Jr. was a genuine, real, caring person, with a heart of gold.

#5 Lassie by Earl Hamner Jr.

In 1998, Earl’s book “Lassie, A Christmas Story” was published. It was co-written by Don Sipes.

One of my favorite books written by Earl is “Lassie, A Christmas Story.” It was published in 1998 and was co-written by Don Sipes. The plot of the book has a similar feel to that of “The Homecoming,” which was the two-hour drama that set the stage for “The Waltons” television drama. Timmy and his grandfather go out on the day before Christmas to find an evergreen tree to cut down. It involves a series of dramatic events, which include Lassie tangling with a mountain lion!

#6 Richard & Sunday 10-31-68

My boyhood dog, and on through my teen years, was an endearing collie named “Sunday.” I loved her very much.

I loved Earl’s Lassie book. I’ve read it several times. As a boy, I had a wonderful collie named “Sunday.” I was 20 years old when Sunday went to Rainbow Bridge. In so many ways, Sunday was my best friend. She was an endearing collie who had a heart that overflowed with love for others. So naturally, Earl’s Lassie book, dearly touched my heart.

#7 Earl Hamner Jr, TZ1

Twilight Zone premiered on October second of 1959. I was six years old. TZ, more than any other television show, helped me to grow in my imaginative thinking.

Earl Hamner Jr. wrote the script for eight Twilight Zone episodes. TZ had the single most powerful affect upon me, as a boy, to help me grow in my imaginative thinking. I remember that when I was in grade school, Twilight Zone was on Friday nights. I loved that because it meant I could stay up a little later to watch it. Earl Hamner Jr. brought something very special to TZ. His TZ episodes had a common thread of ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges and coming through it all, victorious.

#8 Bewitichin Pool Earl Hamner

Aunt T shows love and kindness to Jeb, showing him the simple joy of spreading icing on a cake.

“The Bewitchin’ Pool” is one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes that Earl Hamner Jr. wrote. In this TZ episode, Jeb and Sport are brother and sister. They both are mistreated by their wealthy parents who are on the road to a divorce. When Jeb and Sport jump into their backyard pool, they swim to the bottom, only to find this wonderful, magical place that is inhabited only by children. With the exception of Aunt T, for she is the only adult living in this enchanting place. Aunt T shows Jeb and Sport love and teaches the brother and sister the values of patience, kindness and understanding. It is simply a fantastic TZ episode!

#9 Earl Hamner at his desk

A priceless picture of Earl Hamner Jr. sitting in his boyhood bedroom at his old desk, writing!

I believe that Earl Hamner Jr. is one of the greatest writers that ever graced planet earth. Earl has been a great inspiration to me. Earl’s shining example gave me the courage to take the plunge and begin to write and produce for television, with the Cable Television Network of New Jersey that was based in Trenton, New Jersey. Earl was truly a great man, while at the very same time, remaining to be so very humble and kind.

#10 Richard editing

In a million and one ways, Earl Hamner Jr. was a great inspiration to me. One example of how Earl inspired me was in my getting the courage to take the plunge to write and produce a television talk show for Cable Television Network of New Jersey.

I think that Earl gave so much to so many, many people. He had this incredible insight into what makes people tick. He had such a wonderful gift to move the human heart. Earl Hamner Jr. was truly a genius. I thought a lot about Earl today, of how much of an inspiration he was to me. Not to sound like a wimp, but I cried in mourning for Earl today. So, from earth to heaven, Happy Birthday Earl!

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This entry was posted in Believe in yourself!, Dad, Determination, Dreams, Earl Hamner Jr., Encouragement, Faith, Finding Your Purpose in Life, Homecoming, Kindness, Leadership, Life's Dreams, Love of Family, Memory, Never give up!, Schuyler, Small Town America, Television, The Waltons, Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to From Earth To Heaven: Happy Birthday Earl Hamner Jr.

  1. You were so fortunate to have met Earl. I just watched one of her Twilight Zone episodes the other day. He had a way with telling stories about ordinary people. He will be fondly remembered.

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