Reception for Earl Hamner, Jr.

03/25/2007 – 3:00pm
03/25/2007 – 4:00pm

On Sunday, March 25, 2007, there will be a benefit appearance by Earl Hamner for the RVCC. There will be a Reception, followed by a Reading from his newest book, Generous Women

3:00pm – Reception ($35, includes Reading)
4:00pm – Reading ($10)

Call 434.361.1999 for reservations.

Earl Hamner is coming home to Nelson County on March 25. He will be at the Hamner Theater in the Rockfish Valley Community Center, near Nellysford, reading from his latest book, GENEROUS WOMEN. Proceeds from this event will go toward supporting the theater by providing funds to match a major three-year $150,000 challenge grant.

Mr. Hamner, who is the creator of the fabled series, THE WALTONS, as well as a lead writer for other TV heavyweights like FALCON CREST and THE TWILIGHT ZONE, has often drawn on his childhood and personal life for material for his writing. GENEROUS WOMEN is a tribute to some of the women in his life who have opened his eyes and heart to life, helped him in his career as a writer, and ultimately contributed to making him the person he is today.

“Some of these ladies have been famous,” he writes, “their names and faces known all over the world. Others are known only in their own communities. But their gifts have been many and varied, and each has enriched my life.”

First there was Doris Giannini Hamner, the gentle woman who gave him the gift of life. Other Hamner women were also generous with him. Foremost is his wife Jane Martin Hamner, who has given him the gift of love. In his teenage years, his father’s three sisters – Nora, Margaret, and Lottie – provided him a home in Richmond so he could attend college.

Women of Schuyler, Virginia, also gave generously. Parkie Sneed gave Earl his first job when he was 10. His sixth-grade teacher Mrs. Olive Giannini inspired him with a quote from Longfellow. Elsie Gusmerotti, another teacher and the coach for the high school girl’s basketball team, was the object of his first infatuation.

He also includes Harper Lee, author of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD; First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; actresses Tallulah Bankhead, Patricia Neal, and Jane Wyman; entertainer Minnie Pearl and presidential mother Lillian Carter. The book is a fond appreciation of all who nurtured, enriched, and sustained him through his 84 years.

Earl Hamner has been an important force in the creation of Nelson County’s resident theater at the Rockfish Valley Community Center. He and artistic directors Peter Coy and Boomie Pedersen have created a special adaptation for the stage of his novella, THE HOMECOMING, which the Hamner Theater produces at Christmas time. Hamner also reworked two of his episodes from THE TWILIGHT ZONE into stage plays that were produced at the theater last September. He is currently working on a script about a family returning to rural Virginia after years of urban living, which, it is hoped, will be produced in Nelson County next season.

Mr. Hamner will read from his book at 4:00 pm, Sunday, March 25 at the Rockfish Valley Community Center near Nellysford. There will be a reception before the reading at 3:00 pm in the Hamner Theater. Tickets for the reception are $35 (includes reading), for the reading alone, $10. Books will be available for sale at the reading. Call 434.361.1999 for information and reservations.