(Gayle Harvey Real Estate photo)

SCHUYLER, Va. (AP) _ Three longtime fans of the popular TV show “The Waltons” have purchased the Virginia childhood home of the show’s creator in an effort to keep it open to the public. Ray Castro, one of the buyers, tells The News & Advance he was worried someone would buy the Schuyler home of Earl Hamner Jr. and use it as a private residence. The home on the Virginia Landmarks Register was the basis for the show, which drew upon Hamner’s Depression-era upbringing. The new owners are instituting a few changes, including the hiring of a full-time docent who will conduct guided tours. Hamner, a prolific writer, died in March 2016 at 92. His show aired for nine seasons and won more than a dozen Emmys.