And that's definitely how it is with me and John Walton.
So to hear that the actor who portrayed the beloved Walton patriarch, Ralph Waite, passed away today just leaves a huge hole in my heart. He will be so, so missed.
Though I enjoyed him in several films and shows, it was his role as father of the Walton brood that first won my heart. I soooooooo wanted to sit there at that large table amongst fellow redheads (I could have slipped right in there between Erin and Elizabeth!!) and join in their loving family banter.
I was desperate to be mothered as gently as Olivia did and to be fathered with the quiet strength of John. That whole family, hollywood-i-fied as it was, was the family I longed for, warts and all. It was so very far from my own.
So it's kind of hard to say goodbye to Mr. Waite. He wasn't a family member or a friend, but he sure felt like one.
Thank you, John Walton. . .for everything.
Oh, and 'Good Night.'
(picture courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net and can be found here)