Saturday Memory: Christmas on Walton’s Mountain

Like most folks in their 40’s and above, I grew up watching wholesome television like “Walton’s Mountain” – a CBS family drama that aired from 1972 to 1981. I probably only watched the final 3 or 4 seasons and caught the remainder in reruns. I was fascinated by the time period – it was like Little House on the Prairie in the sense of being “olden times” (it was set in the late 30’s and early 40s) but it had a slightly modern feel to it. Imagine my surprise when I realized that my grandparents had actually lived during this time period albeit not in a mountain woodland.

I was in college when I first saw the “pilot” episode – a made for TV movie starring Patricia Neal about a Christmas Eve on Walton’s Mountain circa 1933. It was so Christmasy and homespun – caroling, visiting, gifts from the heart, and even a little nip of “the recipe.” It also reminded me of many of our holidays – waiting for my father to come home from working a shift in the local steel mill. It was rare that he had a holiday off so we did a lot of waiting.

This is a good memory. It is a lovely episode that focuses on the things that matter and also pulls back the veil on the true hardships people endured. And endure today.

And there’s a reference to KDKA AM 1020 in Pittsburgh.





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