I find myself with a little extra TV viewing time lately, thanks to good old Mr. Coronavirus and our resultant stay-at-home way of life.

I find myself with a little extra TV viewing time lately, thanks to good old Mr. Coronavirus and our resultant stay-at-home way of life.
One evening this week, I tuned in to watch a couple old episodes of “The Waltons,” one of my favorite shows as a teenager.
For those of you too young to remember (gasp!), “The Waltons” told the story of a salt-of-the-earth family trying to eke out a living in rural Virginia during the time of the Great Depression and World War II. It was based on the real-life story of Earl Hamner Jr. , which he told in his book “Spencer’s Mountain.”
I loved that book, and when the television show came along, although the names were changed the characters and their stories were the same and “The Waltons” remained on TV for about nine years.
When I run across some of the episodes today, I still enjoy watching them and have found that many of the stories - although set during a time over 80 years ago - still resonate today.
The episode I watched Wednesday evening, for example, couldn’t have been a better fit for the times that our young people are experiencing today.
It was a later episode, and many of the Walton children were grown. Three of the four boys - John Boy, Jason, and Ben - were already in the service and facing being shipped out to various locations as the United States had been catapulted into World War II during the attack on Pearl Harbor three years earlier.
Eldest sister Mary Ellen had already lost her husband in the war, and younger sister Erin had received a “Dear John” letter from her boyfriend, who had met someone else as he, too, served his country.
Jim Bob, the youngest boy, was about to graduate from their one-room school and he and his fellow soon-to-be grads were finding themselves faced with a graduation like no other in their recent history.
Not only had the events of the war cast a distinctly gloomy shadow on any kind of celebration at home, but the graduates knew they would either soon be following in older siblings’ uniformed footsteps or, in the case of the female grads, they would be watching their loved ones go off to an unknown fate in a far away land.
They decided they did not want the routine pomp and circumstance that their teacher had planned, but that this graduation-like-no-other needed to be different.
Sound familiar?
Today, our high school graduates are faced with their own graduation-like-no-other. With their senior year cut short by our own war of sorts - this one against an invisible enemy - they have found themselves undeservedly thrust into a scary and uncertain world with no guess as to when the war will end.
I have seen a lot of posts on social media expressing the opinion that this year’s seniors deserve a special send-off, and I agree wholeheartedly.
Superintendent Troy Ravenscroft has said they will definitely get their graduation ceremony … he just doesn’t know exactly when.
On Friday, he posted on Facebook that the county is looking at ceremonies in late June or July, depending upon when social distancing regulations are lifted.
In the meantime, virtual ceremonies will be held by each school on the dates which would have been their graduations: May 29 for the Tech Center and May 30 for Keyser and Frankfort.
Not only was I so glad to hear that come from our superintendent, but I also hope that when the schools are able to hold a ceremony, all three schools will go above and beyond in giving these graduates the one-of-a-kind special ceremony that they deserve.
Just as the Walton children had no say in whether or not the United States would go to war, this year’s seniors certainly never dreamed their final year would be abruptly cut short by a pandemic.
There’s certainly nothing we can do to take away the mess that their senior year has become, but we can do everything possible to try to turn the mess into something positive!

Liz Beavers is the award-winning managing editor of the News Tribune and can be reached at lbeavers@newstribune.info.