The family nickname of John Walton, Jr. (Richard Thomas), the eldest son of seven children living on Walton’s Mountain in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Jefferson County, Virginia on the family drama THE WALTONS/CBS/1972-81.


John-Boy shares a two-story home with his father John, a sawmill operator, his mother  Olivia, as well as his six siblings, Mary Ellen, Jim-Bob, Elizabeth, Jason, Erin, and Ben and with John’s father Grandpa Zeb and his wife, Grandma Esther.

Alone in his room, John-Boy recorded his private thoughts and stories of his family, friends and his life on Walton’s Mountain, dreaming someday of becoming a writer.

When John-Boy’s love interest first heard about his nickname during the “Walton’s Thanksgiving Reunion” (11/23/93), he quickly reminded her “It’s a nickname…only members of my immediate family are allowed to get away with it!”

 Note: The series was based on the movie Spencer’s Mountain (1963) written by Earl Hamner Jr. who based the story on his own youthful Depression days in rural Virginia. Earl Hamner, Jr. also narrated the series as the voice of John-Boy.

The house seen on the series is a recreation of the boyhood home of Earl Hamner located on Route 617 in the town of Schuyler, Virginia. In 1992, a museum dedicated to the memory of the series opened across the road from Hamner’s childhood home.


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Family Nicknames, Writing

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