Even if you have never seen a single episode of “The Waltons,” you know that at its core it is a show about family. That focus on family became very well known in pop culture. The family’s adorable “good night” routine is a very famous example of this.
So, it might come as a surprise for you to learn that the man who created such a family-oriented show did not want to get married nor have a family of his own. Later, of course, “The Waltons” creator Earl Hamner, Jr., changed his mind. But there was a time in his life that having a wife and children were not priorities for him.
According to MeTV, Hamner wrote about his feelings on marriage and children. He explained that he was more focused on his work than on his personal life. He also wanted to see the world. These thoughts appeared in his memoir, “The Avocado Drive Zoo.”
“I resolved to never get married. Life was too full to be burdened with children, responsibility, and routine. I would write more books. I would travel,” the creator of “The Waltons” shared in his book.
While imagining his life, Earl Hamner, Jr., also pictured that he would live somewhere very different than the fictional Waltons Mountain from the long-running series. “I imagined myself … (in) a cozy little apartment where I would write my novels to the music of an accordion playing a song about the joys of being young,” Hamner also said.
The Views of Marriage of ‘The Waltons’ Creator Earl Hamner, Jr., Changed When He Met His Future Wife
One reason for his resistance to marriage was how Hamner saw the ways people changed after getting married. He particularly disliked how the married people who knew stopped being social.
“Beautiful young things who use to dance until the Rainbow Room closed and then take the ferry to Staten Island to watch the sun come up … overnight became saintly and maternal, seemingly interested only in the merits of formula over breastfeeding,” he also wrote.
“The Waltons” creator’s views on marriage and family eventually changed. That change began when he met Jane Martin – the woman who would become his wife. The two were introduced by a friend of Hamner’s he knew from working at NBC. Meeting his future wife for the first time was a moment he never forgot.
“The earth moved,” Earl Hamner, Jr., recalled. He also very clearly remembered how Martin looked on that day. “She was blonde. She wore her hair in a bun. Her eyes were blue and when she smiled the whole room was illuminated,” he also wrote.
Hamner and Martin got married in 1954. And he realized that he could have a wife and a family and continue with his work. In fact, it was after he married Martin that he wrote “Spencer’s Mountain.” That book was the inspiration for “The Waltons.”
Earl Hamner, Jr., and Jane Martin had two children. The beloved author passed away in 2016.