by Fred Barbash, The Sydney Morning Herald
“Good night, John-Boy.”
If those words mean nothing to you, you’re probably under 40. If they do, you’re probably a boomer, to whom they are unforgettable, bound to bring back visions of a better time and a better place, an era, in the words Thursday of one fan of The Waltons, when “family was so much more appreciated.”
That era, however, wouldn’t be the ’60s or the ’70s. The setting of The Waltons, from which “Good night, John-Boy” derived fame, belongs to the Depression, where it was set in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, just below the “taller ridges … rimmed with a fading autumn silver,” as Earl Hamner Jr. wrote in his semi-autobiographical novel Spencer’s Mountain, from which The Waltons was based.
On The Waltons, John-Boy was played by actor Richard Thomas, better known these days not as the bookish country boy he once personified but as the spy-hunting bureaucrat Agent Gaad on another hit series, The Americans.
© 2016 Fairfax Media