This column is being written once again from Crozier, Virginia. Crozier is about 60 miles East of Schyler, Virginia. Schyler is the homeplace of Earl Hamner, the creator of the television series, “The Waltons.” It was there he recalled events from his childhood and turned them into a television series. The house his mother and father raised him in, along with his siblings, still stands in the same spot at the foot of a mountain. The real schoolhouse where he received his education as a young child still stands along the gravel road just past the Hamner home. It now serves as a Walton Museum where fans like me can see the stage set-ups that were used in making the series. A trip to the fictitious Walton’s Mountain was a bucket list item for me. I checked it off on my first trip here. It is my goal to take my Mama on the next trip to the mountain.

This trip is about Vicki getting an opportunity to spend time with her family. Mr. and Mrs. Mason are always gracious in providing us accommodations when we visit. I have my own room in their beautiful home with its hardwood floors that creak when you walk on them. The room I stay in has been named the John-Boy room by the family. It has the hardwood floors and is decorated with family pictures from many years ago. I’m talking black and white pictures of families that could easily be portrayed on The Waltons. It’s also the room where they allow me to write in peace. I’ve learned to love it here. Crozier is a second home for me. I can’t wait to share it with Mama and Lindsey. This is important to me and hope it will be to them.

Nine hours is a long time for me to spend in a car regardless of where you are going. Even though it is all interstate, that’s a long time to dodge some of the crazies on the road. So, after we arrived here just after 11 p.m. on Wednesday, I slept-in the next morning to recover. I woke up at some point and just laid in bed thinking about what the day may bring. I could hear Vicki and her Mama talking and laughing in the kitchen. Mr. Mason was busy on this day at the capitol in Richmond. Although I couldn’t hear the words being said in the kitchen, it was evident I was hearing an important conversation that would be remembered for many years to come. My Mama lives 10 miles from me. Maybe 10 miles. We talk almost daily and see each other on a whim. Vicki’s mama lives over 500 miles away. They can’t see each other on a whim. This is what made their morning conversation so important and meaningful. It was time spent that many of us take for granted. Maybe you don’t. But many do. It’s easy to do if we aren’t careful.

As I laid there listening to the heart-warming conversation going on in the kitchen, I knew if the trip ended immediately, the time spent between mother and daughter had made the entire trip worth the effort. There’s a lot of stuff going on in the world and much of it is bad. It is no longer necessary to watch a horror movie to feel afraid. All we must do is watch the news. It’s equal or worse to any horror film I have ever seen. During all this, there was a conversation going on in Crozier, Virginia. The contents of the conversation I heard may not have changed the world. It may not have solved the many problems we face today. It did however bring an already close mother and daughter closer together while they still have the time and opportunity. I thought about it all day. In the end, I had to call my Mama and share with her the story I have shared with you. Mama told me when her mother died, she didn’t think she would survive it. She said she talked to Granny Free about everything both good and bad. I asked her if that sounded familiar. I do the same with her. We talk almost every day. Without that call, my day isn’t complete. Nobody loves us like our mamas. So if you still have her, call her. Or go see her. You’ll be glad you did. To God be the glory!

Chris Collett is a lifelong resident of Canton.

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