Good night, John-Boy

The Waltons was a television series broadcast during the 1970s. It was based on the childhood recollections of Earl Hamner. It is a story about the trials and triumphs of a multi-generational family during the Great Depression and World War II eras in rural Virginia. Each week, we were invited into their story of struggle and growing up. The storylines did not just involve the family of 11 individuals but their interaction with the folks in their small mountain community: the Baldwin Sisters, Preacher Fordham, the storekeeper/postmaster Ike and his wife Cora and local likable ne’er do well, Yancy Tucker.

John-Boy wrote in his journal early on in the series: Waltons’ Mountain was an everlasting presence in our lives. Whenever I could, when I was growing up there during the Depression years, I would climb its slopes. Up there I could get lost in dreams, dreams of becoming a writer, of becoming a man. I knew no writers, so I had no writer to model myself after; but as a boy aspiring to manhood, I had only to follow the footsteps of a remarkable father.

From the journals of creator Earl Hamner, the episodes of the television drama were created. Thus, preserving memories of the life and times of that period in the history of our nation. Nearly ten years ago the folks of Vision 2020 took on the task finding a home for all the family stories and history of our beautiful little community. To that end, the old RBS bank building was purchased and work began to restore the long empty historical structure to its glory days of the 1920s and 1930s.

Progress has been slower than the group would have liked. First, work was completed on the exterior brick and the roof. On the inside, the entire floor in the little building had to restored and repaired. Repair work on the walls has begun. 2019 saw two of the building’s windows repaired and refitted in the front of the building.

As it was last year, at the Folk Medicine Festival in June the building will be open for folks to see the progress being made. Displays of some of what the committee is hoping to house in the building soon will be available to visitors as well.

The financing for the restoration work has been achieved through the generous support of local businesses and individuals. Much of the work has been done through volunteer labor. Vision 2020 is determined to see this building restoration completed and a heritage museum open for all to enjoy as soon as we can. This is a community-wide effort. You can be a part of it.

You may make a donation through our Go Fund Me page. This past year, we printed a cookbook that includes historic recipes from the area, a little history and a whole of love. We have ordered our third printing of “Simple Pleasures” that tells the story of Red Boiling Springs in its heydays of the 1920s and 1930s. Both of these are available at the Step Back in Time Shop in town. Each summer we hold an old fashion ice cream social and auction. Come judge the ice cream, make a purchase of the auction items or donate something to be auctioned.

Before all the “John-Boys” of our town out there are gone, we need to capture their stories in writing. Do you have any old documents or other historic items that tell the story of RBS? Put them aside, when the museum is open, if you will loan them, we will find a place for them. There is a place for you in this effort.

Come see us on June 6th during the Folk Medicine Festival!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: