The Waltons is a family drama about the struggles to make a decent life during the Great Depression and World War II for one's self and family. The Waltons are headed by John and Olivia Walton and followed by their seven children and John's parents, Zebulon "Zeb" Tyler and Esther Walton. The family's story is seen through the eyes of John Boy, the eldest son and an aspiring journalist and novelist. John Walton and his father operate a lumber mill and also provide temporary shelter for travelers. Their Virginian mountain town also sustains several colorful townsfolk, including the moonshining Baldwin sisters, general store owners/postmen Ike and distant cousin Cora Beth Godsey, Sheriff Ep Bridges and Verdie Foster. Starring: Ralph Waite as John Walton; Michael Learned as Olivia Walton; Richard Thomas as John-Boy Walton; Richard Wightman as John-Boy Walton; John Walmsley as Jason Walton; Judy Norton as Mary Ellen Walton; Eric Scott as Ben Walton; Mary Elizabeth McDonough as Erin Walton; David W. Harper as James Robert "Jim-Bob" Walton; Kami Cotler as Elizabeth Walton; Will Geer as Zeb "Grandpa" Walton; and Ellen Corby as Esther "Grandma" Walton.