All about Christy

Back in 2001, I  stumbled on to a TV series called, Christy which aired on the Hallmark channel, totally by accident.  And it happened to be one of the best episodes of the entire series, “Amazing Grace”.  How fortunate for me.  I was sucked in immediately. The backdrop of the The Great Smoky Mountains was visually stunning.  And the music was gorgeous.  The quality of acting was unbelieveable…Tyne Daly, Kelly Marin, Tess Harper, Emily Hope Webster, just to mention a few.  The costuming was dead-on turn of the century and the writing was excellent.  I hadn’t seen such quality in TV series EVER!

Emily Hope Webster as Ruby Mae and Kellie Martin as Christy

 

 I was fairly new to the internet community so I did a quick search on the TV show and had lots of results.  I headed on over to a Christy forum/message board and wonder of wonders, there were many Christy fans all over the world.  Instantly I discovered that there were Doc fans and Preacher fans.  I learned that the series aired in 1994 and 1995 and ended suddenly when CBS cancelled it, for mysterious reasons, most of which hinged on the Christian theme that was the mainstay of the series and the book upon which it was based, Christy by Catherine Marshall.  Surprisingly enough, I found that a festival celebrated the series in the Tennessee town where it was filmed, Townsend.  Now THAT was cool!!

The television set of the Christy schoolhouse/church-from my stash, 2002

Author of Christy, Catherine Marshall

Being the detective that I am, I also did some research on Catherine Marshall.  I wondered why I had never read this book since it was released in 1969.  The answer was easy: at that time, I was working full-time and knee-deep in college English Lit, Biology, American History, etc.  There was little time for pleasure reading.  Then I married and had three little boys and somehow, Christy just slipped past me.  Even the TV series went unnoticed around here, probably because I was working full-time at our local high school, coaching cheerleaders, baking cakes, going to basketball, football and baseball games AND keeping a semi-clean house.  Sort of.

So when I finally discovered Christy, I found myself immersed in her story, Mrs. Marshall’s life, Townsend, the Smoky Mountains…and the Christy fans, who seven years later, were still protesting the way CBS ended the series and actively trying to get it back on a network.  But the fans were the best.  What a wonderful bunch of people!

Although I desperately wanted to go to the festival, known as ChristyFest, that summer of 2001, we were expecting our first grandchildren, twins, that same month, and NOTHING was going to make me miss that spectacular event!!!!  So, I waited until 2002 to go to TN, which is a whole nuther story as  I went by myself and was extremely nervous about meeting perfect strangers much less, spending 4 days with them.  What if we didn’t click?  What if they were freaks?  What if they hated me? What if….well, you know the bit. 

WWPA official photo…Women With Possessed Appliances. The stories we could tell about computers that crashed, washers that died, fridges that blew up. Sad really! We had just completed our registration, 2002.

Made it to Kentucky!! Only 5 hours away from Townsend!!!

 The thing is, I was 52 and had never been anywhere by myself.  EVER. Really never.  The main thing is..I went to TN.  I learned lots and met some fantastic people and including the actors, producers, writers and even set carpenters who were all a part of Christy.

from left to right, back row: Lane Batot, crewmember; Mike Hickman aka Birdseye Taylor; Tom Blomquist, writer; Buck Ford aka Bob Allen. Front row, left to right: Bruce McKinnon aka Jeb Spencer; Andy Stahl aka Tom McHone. 2008

And here it is ten years later, and now I’m on the planning team for the festival for…heck…Scarlett, how long have we been doing this?  We still have fun!  We still meet new people every year.  We still love Christy!  Come July 26th, we’ll mosey on over to Tennessee again!! 

Affectionately dubbed “The Del Rio Dozen”-from my stash, 2002

You can find more out about Christy here.

More to follow….

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15 Responses to All about Christy

  1. I am a Christy fan. I loved the show and miss being able to watch quality, wholesome shows like this. I read the book some years after the show was cancelled. Wise choice, Christy!

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  2. grammyjj says:

    I’m not sure how many years we’ve been doing this – but in that time, I’ve gone from Mom of 1 to Grammy of 3; from Ms. Scarlett (which does sort of apply still) – to more accurately Lucy to your Ethel. I’ve had so much fun and learned SO much over the years…I can’t imagine a time before CF! And to think it’s just around the corner.

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    • The Queen says:

      I think we’re on our 9th year of CF’s, 8 on the team? Thereabouts. Let’s see…I had twins to start with and will welcome #11 next month! And I was BluebonnetBelle to begin with and yeah Ethel now. It has been fun hasn’t it? And remember, YOU were the red-headed stepchild. 🙂

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  3. Lynda Clifford says:

    One of the best weekends I have ever spent in my life. Life long friendships were made that weekend. an entire scrapbook sits on my shelf dedicated to 4 days and amazingly different people. I can still identify the faces in your pictures and regularly email most of them. how many times did we take that picture as more and more people showed up! miss you love you and will some day stop by the farm to swap howdies. afterall you are only a 3 day drive.

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    • The Queen says:

      Dearest Bitsy…Yeah. I know. Just a hop and skip and you’re here!! Did I ever tell you how nervous I was to meet you? I mean, you were from New Jersey…almost another country!!! BTW, I may be in your neck of the woods come December, believe it or not!

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  4. servetus says:

    I had read the book when I was in middle school, but I hadn’t known about the screen version.

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  5. The Queen says:

    Did anyone know CC is on Channel 191 on Dish Net? I just stumbled across it!!!! Of course, it’s too late now for Hobbit stuff.

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