In the most recent installment of her popular “Behind the Scenes of The Waltons’” video series, Judy Norton discussed details of the “The Graduation” episode. This episode aired during the show’s second season.
Norton has become an authority on the making of the classic family drama. And, why shouldn’t she be? She played one of the children in “The Waltons,” after all. Her character was Mary Ellen Walton – the oldest of the daughter born to John and Olivia Walton. The actress shares her recollections of the show – and much more – via her YouTube channel.
The main storyline in “The Graduation” episode of “The Waltons,” of course deals with a graduation ceremony. This milestone event was reached by John-Boy as he, according to Norton, “graduates from our little community school on Walton’s mountain.” It also follows John-Boy (played by Richard Thomas) and his family as they purchase clothes for him to wear when he goes to college. Sadly, money becomes an issue and the family must decide what to prioritize.
Judy Norton Also Found the Use of Autograph Books Interesting In This Episode of ‘The Waltons’
In addition to this main storyline, there was another part of this episode that Judy Norton found interesting. This storyline involved what the actress described as a “little bit of a romance from season one” between John-Boy and Marcia Woolery.
“(John-Boy) was infatuated with Marcia Woolery – wrote poetry to her,” Norton said. “Marcia was – Tammi Bula was a lovely actress and did a great job of playing a slightly vague and confused young woman at times.”
The character of Marcia returns again in this episode of “The Waltons.” She is a classmate of John-Boy’s. And with their graduation, they – and other students at the school – decide to commemorate the milestone by signing each other’s autograph books.
“In this case, I was amused to see that they had autograph books and the seniors were having each other write in their autograph books,” Judy Norton said.
The Mary Ellen actress said this was something she recalled from her own school days.
“I remember that from being in junior high school myself,” Norton also shared. “But I had no idea that the tradition went back as far as the 1934 graduating class clearly and perhaps even before that. I always thought it was generational to my time. But in this case, you see the two of them writing in each other’s books.”
You can watch Judy Norton talk about “The Graduation” episode of “The Waltons” below. Her comments about the interesting storyline begin around the 3:20 mark of the video.
Also, actress Tammi Bula appeared in seven episodes of the series from 1972 through 1977.