Episode Synopses - Season 5

Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3 | Season 4 | Season 6 | Season 7 | Season 8 | Season 9 | Specials
  1. The First Edition
  2. The Vigil
  3. The Comeback
  4. The Baptism
  5. The Firestorm
  6. The Night Walker
  7. The Wedding
  8. The Cloudburst
  9. The Great Motorcycle Race
  10. The Pony Cart
  11. The Best Christmas
  12. The Last Mustang
  13. The Rebellion
  14. The Ferris Wheel
  15. The Elopement
  16. John's Crossroad
  17. The Career Girl
  18. The Hero
  19. The Inferno
  20. The Heartbreaker
  21. The Long Night
  22. The Hiding Place
  23. The Go-Getter
  24. The Achievement
In September 1997 I began to offer these synopses in the desire that they may provide a respectful, though totally inadequate tribute to what I regard as the finest series of family programs to be seen on television worldwide.

At that time synopses for some Seasons had not been completed. I now have pleasure in offering Season 5 in which most of the synopses have been written by another Walton fan, Bill Atkins from Illinois, USA. Our collaboration has involved in Bill writing the actual synopses while I have transcribed the Intros, Endings, Goodnights and cast list. I feel sure that Bill's excellent and more detailed work will provide, as it has to me, even more enjoyment.

You may like to be reminded that the paragraphs in quotes at the beginning and ending of each synopsis are the actual words as spoken by Earl Hamner on the soundtracks. They are included for your additional enjoyment.

Once again it is my sincere hope that reading these pages will enable you to recall many favorite moments from this series.

Arthur Dungate,
October 1998.

  1. THE FIRST EDITION (23 Sep 1976)
    Writer: John McGreevey. Director: Lawrence Dobkin. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "I believe that in our family all of us children were sparked to do our best whatever we tried, for two reasons. There was the personal satisfaction we felt, of course, but, just as important we knew that the whole family would take pride in the success of any one of us. But then a day came when I had to face the fact that a goal I had set for myself, was threatening to disgrace and divide the family".

    While in Rockfish gathering material for the first edition of his newspaper, The Blue Ridge Chronicle, John-Boy witnesses a car crashing into a shop front. The driver is Judge Thornbury, who is the worse for drink. Pledged to report the news truthfully, John-Boy intends to publish the story but both his father and Grandpa feel he shouldn't. Later the Judge comes over to persuade him not to print it, but without success. Then the Judge tries to get John and Grandpa to put pressure on John-Boy but they both feel he should decide for himself.

    Ben is spending evenings away from home in Rockfish with a group of other young guys and they break into someone's house while the owners are away. John-Boy comes into town to find out what Ben is doing and goes with the Sheriff to this house just in time to see the boys, and Ben, coming out. The boys are released into the custody of their parents and when Ben gets home Olivia, very angry, forbids him to stay out any more. She also forbids John-Boy to publish the story about Ben. John-Boy proposes a compromise in which he will print it, but will "bury" it, and the one about the Judge, on the back page. However, Ben, who has been helping John-Boy with the paper, has already made out the front page, with the stories on it.

    Meanwhile Corabeth has been very troubled and confides in Olivia and Grandma that she's pregnant. Ike is overjoyed when she tells him. Later she discovers it is a false pregancy and that in fact she's barren and cannot have children. So upset is she that she leaves Ike and comes to the Waltons house, intending to go back to Doe Hill, by herself, but Ike comes after her and with great emotion tells her he can't face life alone again.

    "In spite of all the obstacles and handicaps my brother and I finally did manage to put the first edition of The Blue Ridge Chronicle 'to bed', as they say in the newspaper business. With the publication of that first edition I embarked upon a whole new adventure in my life. As usual, I had the help and support of my family. They shared my pride and my sense of accomplishment. But most of all, we shared the knowledge that rather than dividing or estranging our family, the conflict we had just come through seemed to give us a new respect for the different ways each of us could work for what all of us wanted."

    Elizabeth: Daddy?
    John: What is it honey?
    Elizabeth: I'm thinking about next Saturday night.
    John: Fretting about being the only one with no place to go?
    Elizabeth: Uh hum.
    John: Tell you what. Maybe you and me and your Mama could go into Rockfish for an ice cream soda. Would that help?
    Elizabeth: Oh yes Daddy, and there's one other thing - I wish all the other children would stay home while I get to go out.....
    John: You're gonna have to speak to them about that, honey.
    Elizabeth: Goodnight Daddy.
    John: Goodnight Elizabeth.


    • Richard Thomas is using a walking stick, the script indicating that John-Boy has had an accident with a motorcycle.

    Also appearing -
    Ike & Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley & Ronnie Claire Edwards); Graham Thornbury (Conrad Janis); Mrs Brimmer (Nora Marlowe); Sheriff Bridges (John Crawford); Joe (Michael McDonough); Chuck (Brad Rearden).

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  2. THE VIGIL (30 Sep 1976)
    Writer: Kathleen Hite. Director: Harry Harris. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "I remember so well the carefree designated crossroads of my life, the points where one could stop and thoughtfully consider which road to take. But there were those other particles of time in which decisions were made more quickly and in one snap judgment irrevocable forces were set into motion. I especially recall such a time affecting my grandmother, and my sister Mary Ellen."

    Because his patients pay him with goods and farm produce, Dr Vance finds he isn't able to pay his taxes so is thinking of moving to the city where patients would pay him with money. Erin becomes part-time telephone assistant to Miss Fanny Tatum. When Grandma gets spells of dizziness Mary Ellen thinks it is intestinal flu, and treats her accordingly, but Grandma fails to improve, and it becomes obvious she needs urgent hospital treatment, so Erin leaves her post at the switchboard to find Sheriff Bridges to take her there in his car. The family wait anxiously in the hospital while Grandma undergoes an operation. She has acute appendicitis and Mary Ellen is greatly distressed at her wrong diagnosis.

    "Our grandmother recovered to live long good years with us, and Dr Vance decided to remain on Waltons Mountain. People there who had always appreciated him began to show it by paying him with money when they could. Mary Ellen stayed in nursing, where she surely belonged, to learn all the things she had to learn."

    Erin: John-Boy, will you take me to Miss Fanny's tomorrow?
    John-Boy: Why don't you ride on Blue, he doesn't take gasoline....
    Erin: What's that got to do with it?
    John-Boy: Gasoline costs 15 cents a gallon Erin.
    Ben: Make her pay you John-Boy! She's earning money now!
    John-Boy: It's a good idea Ben. You can pay me too, all your riding around....
    [silence.....] Ben? [silence...] Ben?
    Ben: I'm asleep......
    Erin: Goodnight, Ben.
    John-Boy: Goodnight everybody.

    Also appearing -
    Ike Godsey (Joe Conley); David Spenser (Robert Merritt Woods); Fanny Tatum (Sheila Allen); Dr Vance (Victor Izay); Mrs Vance (Dee Carroll); Sheriff Bridges (John Crawford).


    • Main title music shorter.
    • Richard Thomas is still using a walking stick, and again mentions a motorcycle....

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  3. THE COMEBACK (7 Oct 1976)
    Writer: Seth Freeman. Director: Harry S. Laidman. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "While the great Depression was a time of constant trial and struggle on Waltons Mountain those were, in some ways, easier more simple years, for we knew what the challenge was and what we had to do to meet it. But, one time in 1937 when my brother Jason faced an unusual situation, he found that the answers were not quite as simple as they seemed."

    Jason is told by the Professor at the Kleinberg Conservatory that due to financial restrictions, his scholarship has had to be canceled and he has now to find 300 dollars to pay for his tuition. Yancy Tucker tells him the Dew Drop Inn is looking for a piano player so he goes, plays 'Beer Barrel Polka' for them, and gets the job. Olivia and Grandma are definitely not pleased! Sissy Walker, who works at the Dew Drop Inn comes by looking for Yancy who has proposed to her, but is now having second thoughts and hiding from her.

    When Red Turner's son Seth died (see The Gift, Season 2), he gave up his band and hasn't played since. John goes to see him and gets him to go with him to the Dew Drop Inn, thinking that if he hears Jason playing it might bring him out of his depression, but Red walks out. Later, Red's wife takes him there where Jason persuades him to play for them.

    "It wasn't long before Red was playing again, pleasing audiences with his old skill and a new, more mellow kind of song. Jason had earned enough to scrape together a first downpayment at school, but making those tuition payments remained a constant problem and a challenge for him."

    Grandma: What's that noise?
    Grandpa: Oh just Jason gettin' home.
    Grandma: Oh it must be past one in the mornin'. That Dew Drop Inn.... he might just as well be in Sodom and Gomorrah!
    Jason: Do they need a piano player?
    John: Goodnight, Jason.....
    Jason: Goodnight Daddy. Goodnight everybody.


    • 'Hoe Down' and 'Ironing Board Blues' by Jon Walmsley.
    • Red Turner first appeared in The Gift (Season 2) when he was played by Ken Swofford.
    • Richard Thomas is still using a walking stick.

    Also appearing -
    Merle Haggard (Red Turner); Pat Quinn (Wilma Turner); Jay Robinson (Professor Thaxton); Robert Donner (Yancy Tucker); Cissy Wellman (Sissy); Dorothy Shay (Thelma); Joe Conley (Ike Godsey).

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  4. THE BAPTISM (14 Oct 1976)
    Writer: Andy White. Director: Ralph Waite. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "We were a religious people on Waltons Mountain, the church was the center of our social as well as our spiritual lives. Each year there would come a great religious revival when each of us would be called upon to examine our conscience and to receive salvation. It was a time of joyous reunion, of intense religious fervor and was looked forward to with great anticipation by everyone, except my father."

    When Rev Fordwick announces that the noted preacher Ezekiel Henshaw will be coming to conduct the revival meetings, everyone is excited, but John Walton doesn't promise to attend. Both Grandma and Olivia want the children to be baptised, but he feels they should be left to make up their own minds about it. No sooner had Rev Henshaw arrived, than he gets Matthew Fordwick to drive him to the local 'center of sin' the Dew Drop Inn, where he finds Jason playing and Yancy Tucker and Ben at a table. A shocked Rev Fordwick orders Ben to report to his father.

    That evening a storm comes and John is almost struck by lightning while trying to keep a stack of lumber from getting wet. But since the wood was now too wet to saw, John agrees to go to the church meeting the next day. Rev Henshaw who is a 'hell fire and brimstone' preacher, gives a long sermon, working himself up to shouting at the congregation. This angers John who walks out. Yancy, who has come in to the church only to get out of the rain, is moved with others, to be baptised next day, when he, Ben and Corabeth get baptised in Drucilla's Pond. John, though, resists Olivia's entreaties.

    "Each year revival time would come and go. My father never was baptised, but that did not keep him from worshiping his God as he saw fit, and being, at least to his friends and to his family, the most godly of men."

    Jim Bob, who is trying to build himself a car out of spare parts, finds a peacock which he calls Rover who roosts in the tree-house.

    [peacock crows]
    Grandma: Good Lord! That peacock again.
    John: Jim Bob.
    Jim Bob: Yes sir?
    John: I want that racket stopped.
    Jim Bob: I don't know how to shut him up.
    John: You think of somethin'.
    [peacock crows]
    Ben: Now where are you goin'?
    Jim Bob: Guess I'll have to sleep in the tree-house, so Rover won't be lonesome.
    Elizabeth: Goodnight, Jim Bob.
    Ben: Goodnight Jim Bob.
    Jim Bob: Goodnight eveybody.
    [peacock screams]
    Grandma: Good Lord!

    Also appearing -
    Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards); the Baldwin sisters (Mary Jackson and Helen Kleeb); Rev Fordwick (John Ritter); Rev Ezekiel Henshaw (John Karlen); Sissy (Cissy Wellman).

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  5. THE FIRESTORM (21 Oct 1976)
    Writers: Rod Petersen and Claire Whitaker. Director: Ralph Senesky. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "The quiet strength of Waltons Mountain always seemed to shelter our house from the rest of the world. In 1937 it was hard for our family and neighbors to believe that we could ever be touched by the trouble that was reaching out from Europe."

    Mary Ellen and David Spenser, an intern at the hospital, are sweet on each other, and Erin wants to enter a a beauty contest but her parents won't let her, so Grandpa has an idea, and stages a beauty parade in the parlor, with Erin dressed in a 1910 bathing suit....

    After watching a newsreel about Hitler's conquests in Europe, John-Boy decides to print excerpts from Mein Kampf in his paper The Blue Ridge Chronicle. This arouses a lot of ill-feeling in the district and leads up to Rev Fordwick collecting some German books to ceremoniously burn. The crisis is averted when John-Boy notices what one of the books is, and gets Mrs Brimmer, (who had come to live there to escape the troubles in Germany), to read and then translate from it. It is Genesis chapter 1 verse 1..... Rev Fordwick, ashamed at what he had thought to do, publicly announces that John-Boy is the right person to have the books.

    "My first experience at expressing an unpopular idea nearly turned into a disaster. Fortunately, my family was able to overcome the problems I had helped create for them. The troubles soon died down when people realised I was only trying to let them know that something was stirring in the world that even Waltons Mountain could not keep out of."

    Jason: Ben?
    Ben: Uh hm?
    Jason: How was the Baptists Young Peoples picnic?
    Ben: Well I was just there part of the time.
    Grandma: Where were you the rest of the time?
    Elizabeth: He and Jenny Car went for a walk -
    Erin: - up to Sneedums Hollow.
    Grandma: What were you doin' up there?
    Elizabeth: They were necking.
    Grandma: Good Lord!
    Jason: That's enough out of you, Elizabeth!
    John: Nothin' changes, does it 'Liv!
    Olivia: Go to sleep!

    Also appearing -
    Ike and Corabeth (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards); Rev Fordwick (John Ritter); Mrs Brimmer (Nora Marlowe); Zuleika Dunbar (Pearl Shear); Buck Vernon (Barry Cahill); David Spenser (Robert Merritt Woods); Newsreel announcer (Art Gilmore).

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  6. THE NIGHTWALKER (28 Oct 1976)
    Writer: Paul West. Director: Harvey S Laidman. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "Storytelling was art in our family, it was not only entertaining but a way of preserving family history, local legends, and a few tall tales. Stories of ghosts and nameless things that moved in the night were told by my grandfather in the warmth of the fireplace. But they lived only in our imaginations, until one, quiet, moonless night. It seemed that something was watching us....."

    During the night there was a prowler outside the house. Some thought they'd seen a man. Next night Corabeth sees someone peering in.

    Ike has cleared out the hall next to his store, called it 'Godsey's Hall', and wants to publicise its availability. John-Boy suggests arranging a dance there so Jason gets a band together. However, with the talk of a mysterious prowler about, hardly anyone wants to buy tickets for this dance. While Jason and the band are practicing in the barn, they see the prowler outside. They run and catch him, but the young man is scared, and dumb. He, Lorin, and his mother Mrs Hadley, have come to live in an old shack in the woods to escape the taunts and jibes of the city folk. The only thing he can do, and very well, too, is wickerwork weaving, so he finishes Elizabeth's bird cage and repairs the Baldwins' chairs.

    Since the 'frightening monster' of the woods was found to be harmless, the folk in the area come and make the dance a success, where Miss Emily Baldwin dances with Lorin and makes him feel among friends.

    "Lorin Hadley became a valued member of our community, and his skills supported his mother and himself from that day on. Jason didn't get rich from that dance at Godsey's Hall, but it did provide an unforgettable milestone in our memories of those lean, but wonderful years"

    Elizabeth: All girls like dancing better than boys!
    Erin: Because girls are more romantic!
    Ben: Is a boy supposed to talk to a girl when they're dancing?
    Erin: You're supposed to whipser in her ear.
    Jim Bob: Nobody does that!
    Elizabeth: Oh Daddy does!
    Jim Bob: He does not.
    John: Yes he does!
    Elizabeth: What does he say, Mama?
    Olivia: Goodnight....

    Also appearing -
    Ike and Corabeth (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards); the Baldwin sisters (Mary Jackson and Helen Kleeb); Sheriff Ep Bridges (John Crawford); Mrs Eva Hadley (Peggy Webber); Lorin (Gary Tomlin); "The Rhythm Kings" (Brian Longley, sax; Larry McNeely (banjo), Ralph Henley (drums).

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  7. THE WEDDING (4 Nov 1976) (two-hour episode)
    Writers: Rod Peterson and Claire Whitaker. Director: Lawrence Dobkin. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "On Waltons Mountain our family ties were strengthened by hardship. The walls of our house protected us from wind and weather, and we managed somehow to survive grief, and illnesss and disappointment. Who then could have believed we would find ourselves so defenseless against romance"

    Mary Ellen and David Spencer, a young intern at Rockfish Hospital, announce unexpectedly they are getting married. Although apprehensive at first John and Olivia accept their decision. The children are excited by the news and Grandpa responds by yelling out, 'Whoopee!' The Waltons prepare the house and yard for the engagement party that will be attended by friends, family, and Mr. and Mrs. David W. Spencer, the groom’s parents. During the party John tells the Spencers he was hoping David would stay on the Mountain because of their need for a country doctor. But Mr. Spencer informs John that David will join him in his Richmond medical practice.

    During the engagement party a stranger drives up the driveway and announces he is their new doctor. Dr. Curtis Willard explains he always wanted to start his own medical practice and when he saw the Waltons Mountain’s need for a doctor through an article in The Blue Ridge Chronicle he drove to apply for the position. Dr. Willard further tells the committee, composed of John-Boy, John, and Reverend Fordwick, that he has the cash for the down payment on Dr. Vance’s office and feels he could make the installments on Flossie Brimmer’s arthritis alone. The committee hires Curt but he immediately gets off on the wrong foot as he candidly gives his opinions and medical advice to the community. After realizing he needs help with 'sweet-talking' his patients, Curt asks Mary Ellen if she would help him at the office. Curt again puts his foot into his mouth when telling Mary Ellen he needs help with straightening out Dr. Vance’s 'cock-eyed' filing system. Mary Ellen promptly informs him that she was the one that organized the system and says she will never work for him. But the next morning she changes her mind and becomes his nurse.

    Mrs. Brimmer introduces her niece Patsy to Elizabeth and Jim Bob after she moves in with her aunt. Jim Bob immediately takes a liking to Patsy. Ike checks out Doc Willard’s credit at his last practice and informs John-Boy that he left town owing money. In the meantime, Miss Emily turns ill and Curt, Mary Ellen, Miss Mamie, and John-Boy rush her to the Rockfish Hospital. Miss Emily recovers but Curt is growing more concerned that he does not have the necessary equipment to promptly treat his patients at his office. Mary Ellen sets Curt up with Miss Nora, the county nurse, but when they double-date David notices that Mary Ellen does not like the idea of Curt and Nora having so much fun together.

    All the community attend the Hard Luck Dance in order to raise money for new medical equipment at Doc Williard’s office. The goal of the dance is to raise 50 dollars but actually raise 131 dollars with the help of 10 dollars each from the Spencer and Walton families and a matching donation of 65 dollars 50 cents from the Baldwin sisters. Near the end of the dance Curt takes Miss Nora home but returns for one last dance with Mary Ellen. Mary Ellen hesitates to dance with Curt because of what people would think. Curt says there is nothing for people to talk about ..... unless she also feels the 'chemistry' that he feels. Curt kisses Mary Ellen while Erin secretly sees them kissing from behind the bushes.

    On Sunday morning Grandpa announces the family is giving Mary Ellen 25 dollars for her diary from a Liberty bond he bought on the day John went into the army. Erin stays home from church because she is upset with what she saw last night between Mary Ellen and Curt. She sees Curt drive up and leave an envelope at the front door but burns the envelope so Curt will not stand in the way of Mary Ellen and David’s marriage. Later, Mary Ellen and John-Boy find Curt has vanished along with the money collected for the clinic. They suspect he may have returned to Stony Gap so John-Boy leaves to find him.

    During the wedding rehearsal at the church Reverend Fordwick asks Mary Ellen if she would take David as her true and lawful wife. Mary Ellen is unable to say 'I do' and runs out of the church. Mary Ellen does not understand why but she knows something is missing in her love for David. She gives back the engagement ring that David gave her. Mary Ellen feels ashamed, devastated, and confused by what she has done.

    When John-Boy arrives at the mining company Miss Lynch, the mining company’s secretary, is unwilling to tell John-Boy where Dr. Willard can be located. Although hesitant to jeopardize her job, she knows Dr. Willard tried to help the workers get better working conditions. She finally whispers to John-Boy that a hearing is being held at the Bureau of Mines in the State Capital Building. John-Boy locates Curt who welcomes a friendly face, but a few seconds later is unsure if the face really is friendly after hearing what the people on Waltons Mountain think has happened with their money. Curt explains to John-Boy that he was fired and slandered for reporting the mining company to the Bureau of Mines for unsafe and unhealthy working conditions. With John-Boy’s help Curt wins the hearing, buys medical equipment at very reasonable prices, and returns to Waltons Mountain like a conquering hero. But Mary Ellen is still angry at Curt for leaving without telling them where he was going. Erin finally confesses she burned the letter that informed them where he was going. Erin admits she saw Mary Ellen and Curt kiss at the dance. Mary Ellen defends herself by saying, 'It didn’t mean a thing'. Curt responds 'I hope it did because I’m going to marry you'. Mary Ellen questions his intent, 'I suppose you call that a proposal?' Curt exclaims, 'It's the best one you’re going to get from me'. Mary Ellen retorts, 'Well I wouldn’t marry you if you were the last man on earth!' At the old homestead on top of Waltons Mountain we hear Reverend Fordwick say, 'Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God...' and Mary Ellen and Curt are married.

    "We would always remember that day when our friends and neighbors gathered on the mountain at the site of the first Walton homestead. It somehow seemed fitting that the days leading up to Mary Ellen's marriage had been filled with turmoil. All of us who knew and loved her had learned to expect the unexpected".

    Elizabeth: Can't go to sleep, Mama.
    Jason: They're still outside, Elizabeth. Put your head down; count to a hundred.
    Erin: She won't use her pillow, she's afraid she'll smash her piece of wedding cake.
    Jim Bob: I'll come in and eat it.....
    Elizabeth: No you won't Jim Bob. I've made a wish on it.
    John (shouting from outside): All right everybody, go to sleep! Goodnight!
    Olivia (also from outside): 'Night Elizabeth! 'Night Erin!
    Elizabeth: Goodnight Mama, goodnight Daddy.
    John: Goodnight everybody!
    everybody (growls): Goodnight.....
    Olivia (quietly): Goodnight Mary Ellen.

    Also appearing -
    The Godseys (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards); the Baldwin sisters (Mary Jackson and Helen Kleeb); Rev Matthew Fordwick (John Ritter); Yancy Tucker (Robert Donner); David Spencer (Robert Merritt Woods); G W Haines (David Doremus); Patsy Brimmer (Debbie Gunn); Mrs Brimmer (Nora Marlowe); Dr Spenser (Peter Brandon); Mrs Spencer (Jean Howell); Miss Nora (Kaiulani Lee); Miss Lynch (Molly Dodd); Committee Chairman (Glenn Robards); Radio announcer (Art Gilmore).


    • Reference by Grandma to Mary Ellen’s coming-of-age quilting party in "The Quilting" (S4/21).
    • We learn that Curtis Willard grew up in Wheeling, West Virgirginia.
    • Reference by John who remembers back to when Mary Ellen placed a blue jay’s nest on their Christmas tree in the movie "The Homecoming - A Christmas Story", first aired on December 19, 1971, and learns to dance with G.W. Haines in "An Easter Story" (S1/24).
    • At the end of the marriage ceremony Mary Ellen quotes from the Old Testament book of Ruth:

      Intreat me not to leave thee, and return from following after thee;
      for whither thou goest I will go; and where thou lodgest I will lodge.
      Thy people shall be my people and thy God my God.

      (Ruth ch1 v16, King James translation).

    (Synopsis by William Atkins.)

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  8. THE CLOUDBURST (11 Nov 1976)
    Writer: Paul Cooper. Director: Harry Harris. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "The mountain had been our home ever since the first Walton put his axe to a pine tree and built his cabin on a plateau near the summit. Since then, each Walton child had been instilled with a regard for the traditions of the land on which we lived. Ironically, it was I, who violated those traditions and exposed our mountain to a danger unforseen and literally unknown in our sheltered community."

    John-Boy enters the Charlottesville Bank & Trust Company to discuss with Mr Carter the bank note he has taken out on The Blue Ridge Chronicle’s printing press. John-Boy is two months behind in his payments and Mr Carter informs him that the bank needs collateral to prevent them from calling in his note. John-Boy has only an old car and a few acres of land that are not acceptable bank collateral. Mr Carter does not want to foreclose and suggests to John-Boy that he talk with Mr Shelby who has recently opened a new land office in town. When John-Boy visits the Interstate Land Company Mr Shelby offers to buy his ten acres for four dollars an acre. John-Boy can’t believe he is selling land for that price when most land around Waltons Mountain goes for one dollar an acre or less.

    John has taken work at Waynesboro while Olivia is substitute teaching for Rosemary Fordwick while she is pregnant with her first baby. Rosemary tells Olivia they plan on naming a baby boy Joseph for Matthew’s father or Margaret for her mother.

    After taking Mrs. Brimmer’s weight Doc Willard tells Mary Ellen he is going to the Haley’s whose children apparently have come down with the measles. Before he can leave, Russell Travis rushes in to tell the doctor that his wife, Martha Rose, has fallen off a ladder and is badly hurt. Curt and Mary Ellen rush to their house to find Martha Rose with several broken ribs and bruises on her face. Curt tells Mary Ellen to stay and keep Martha Rose quiet while he visits the Haley’s. Before he can return, Martha Rose’s condition worsens. Russell brings Curt back to the house where Curt decides he must perform a tracheotomy because her throat muscles are cutting off the supply of oxygen to her lungs. When he asks Mary Ellen to assist in the operation she faints.

    John-Boy returns home to see Grandpa rubbing down Old Blue. He knows Grandpa will be furious but must tell him he has sold 'John-Boy’s Meadow'. Grandpa is extremely mad when he says, 'We Waltons have kept that land through the Yankee soldiers, the carpetbaggers, the land speculators and to think .... to think .... you would be the one to just throw it away'.

    Bill Shelby stops by Ike’s store and states that his company has performed geological studies that show a vein of low-grade gold ore on Waltons Mountain. He plays on the potential profit the Godsey’s could make at their general store from the new industry on the Mountain and then offers to buy their twelve acres. After finding out that the Waltons sold some of their land, Ike decides to accept Shelby’s option to buy his land. Corabeth offers to help locate the many other owners of the land Shelby wants to buy by having Ike announce his intentions at church next Sunday.

    John-Boy drives to Route 6 where Shelby’s company is mining for ore. He is disgusted by the destruction the mining operation is having on the land. John-Boy looks for Grandpa at the Upper Meadow to ask him what can be done to stop the mining. John-Boy admits he made a mistake when he sold the land to Shelby without knowing what use he had in mind for the land.

    A storm is brewing while Mary Ellen walks by the Fordwick’s house. Rosemary yells to Mary Ellen for help as she is about to deliver her baby. At the same time Matthew Fordwick is frantically searching for Doc Willard. When John-Boy stops into the general store, Ike informs him that Rosemary is about to give birth while alone in the house. John-Boy races home to tell Olivia and Grandma who immediately have him drive them to the Fordwick’s. But Mary Ellen has already delivered a healthy baby girl. When Matthew arrives a few minutes later, Rosemary says to her husband, 'It's a girl'. The Reverend adds, 'It's our Margaret'. With appreciation to Mary Ellen, Rosemary corrects him by saying, 'It’s our Mary Margaret'.

    John-Boy asks Reverend Fordwick to deliver the sermon up on the mountain because the sermon could affect everyone on Waltons Mountain. While surrounded by the mountain’s glory, Mr Shelby joins Ike and Corabeth and the rest of the congregation in the singing of the hymn 'When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder'. After the service, John-Boy makes an announcement that Mr Shelby is offering to buy land in order to build a mining camp that will destroy the land. Mr Shelby counters by saying the mining company will bring prosperity and jobs to the mountain. Grandpa cannot stand still when he yells to Mr Shelby, 'Where will we be? our great-great grandchildren .... where will be the air and trees and clean air for them to breathe? .... where? ..... after you and your kind get through with it ..... where will they be?' Most people decline the offer to sell their land. John-Boy has stopped Mr Shelby from buying all the land necessary for the mining operation. John-Boy, therefore, figures Shelby will be eager to sell him back the meadow but Shelby says he will keep the land for a day when 'all of you bird watchers and flower watchers are gone'. John-Boy quietly says, 'I hope that time never comes'.

    "Although it had been spared, that piece of land was never again to belong to us. Mr Shelby has never returned, but the flower lovers and bird watchers are waiting."

    Elizabeth: I saw Mrs Fordwick's baby today.
    Jason: How'd she look?
    Elizabeth: Well, I don't know.
    Jim Bob: You saw her, didn't you?
    Elizabeth: Sure!
    Jason: Well, what do you think?
    Elizabeth: Not so hot.
    Olivia: Elizabeth in a few weeks little Mary Margaret'll be a beautiful baby.
    Elizabeth: That's a relief! Goodnight everybody!

    Also appearing -
    Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards); Curtis Willard (Tom Bower); Rev Fordwick (John Ritter); Rosemary Fordwick (Mariclaire Costello); Mrs Brimmer (Nora Marlowe); Martha Rose (Cindy Eilbacher); Russell Travis (Ron Hajek).


    • No John (Ralph Waite).

    (Synopsis by William Atkins.)

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    Writer: John Joseph. Director: Richard Thomas. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "With each passing year of the 1930s we reached out for the hope that times were getting better, and that the Depression which had marked our lives was fading. But in hard truth, things remained much the same. There were changes though in our family. We didn't seem much different to each other until something would happen that made us look and see that time was surely changing us."

    Ike Godsey pushes his motorcycle toward the Walton’s house hoping to borrow some tools to fix his bike. Jim Bob locates the problem (the ignition wire is off) and Ike gratefully offers Jim Bob a spin on the motorcycle. After seeing how natural Jim Bob rides, Ike says he can borrow it anytime. Jason comments to Ben that when it comes to Jim Bob, 'anything with an engine and wheels on it, is duck soup for him'. While at the house Ike announces that he and Corabeth want to adopt a baby.

    While Jim Bob is riding Ike’s motorcycle with Patsy Brimmer in the sidecar, the other Waltons are preparing to eat supper in the front yard. Olivia becomes upset when she learns Ike has allowed Jim Bob to ride his motorcycle. John-Boy tries to calm Olivia by saying there is no way Jim Bob can get hurt because there is a sidecar on the bike. Jim Bob is soon seen by the family contradicting John-Boy’s statement by riding the motorcycle like an acrobat with the sidecar tipped up in the air.

    While delivering the latest edition of The Blue Ridge Chronicle, Ben and John-Boy learn that Eddie Stoker is sponsoring a motorcycle race in Rockfish next Saturday. They strike a deal with Stoker to place an ad in the newspaper and tie it to posters that they will place around the county.

    At Ike’s store Jason buys corn starch, bluing, and a package of washing powder for Olivia, John-Boy puts up a poster announcing the 'Overland Motorcycle Race', Jim Bob notices the motorcycle race is being held, and Corabeth receives a call that their baby has arrived. Ike hurriedly asks Jim Bob to lock up the store while he and Corabeth rush off to pick up the baby. Before leaving Jim Bob asks Ike if he can borrow the bike. Ike says he can do anything he wants with the bike. Taking him literally, Jim Bob removes the sidecar and drives Patsy over to Mr. Stoker’s place to sign up for the race.

    Ike and Corabeth stop by the Walton’s house with their new ten year old daughter, Aimee Louise. They explain to Grandpa and Grandma that the mother of the baby changed her mind. Although crushed by the news, they observe Aimee and fall in love with her.

    Jim Bob tells Olivia he has entered the race. She is upset with Jim Bob for doing this while John is away working at the Cramer place. Jim Bob tells her that he is 'different from Ben, Jason, and John-Boy and is going to drive motorcycles and, someday, airplanes, too'. He adds, 'You gotta understand, I’m growing up!' In the end, she agrees to let Jim Bob enter the race but reminds her youngest son 'you just keep your eyes on the road'.

    Corabeth tells Grandma she is nearly at her wits-end trying to please Aimee. At the same time, Aimee is telling Elizabeth that the Godseys don’t like her and her room looks like it’s for a baby. Elizabeth says the room was for a baby but something happened and Ike and Corabeth adopted her instead. Aimee feels like she is not wanted and decides to leave. Corabeth confronts her new daughter by saying 'we did want a baby - we yearned and prayed for one - but when we saw you it didn’t matter you weren’t a baby. You were what we wanted and you were what we choose'. After telling Corabeth she has been 'putting on airs' Corabeth admits she has difficulties expressing all the love she feels for Aimee. When Aimee tells her not to cry and whispers 'Mama' for the first time, everything between them is fine.

    It’s race day and with family and friends looking on, Jim Bob begins his first motorcycle race. After completion of the first lap Jim Bob rounds a curve but spills his bike to the shock of the Waltons. He picks himself up and returns to the race. Later, several riders crash and Jim Bob maneuvers around them to find himself in fourth place. With only seconds to spare Jim Bob overtakes the rider in front of him to win third place. He receives a kiss from Patsy, admiration from Mr. Stoker, and congratulations from Olivia.

    "Jim Bob won a box of candy from the soda shop in Rockfish, and for the rest of us it was an unforgettable memory, the day our youngest brother took his giant step into the world."

    Elizabeth: Jim Bob?
    Jim Bob: Yeah?
    Elizabeth: What happened to that box of candy?
    Jim Bob: I gave it away.
    Elizabeth: Who'd you give it to?
    Jim Bob: Patsy Brimmer.
    Elizabeth: You stinker!
    Jim Bob: Well one day you'll grow up and meet some good-looking guy. He'll fall in love with you and -
    Ben: Jim Bob go to sleep!
    Jim Bob: - and he'll give you a 10 pound box of candy, and he'll look at you all gooey-eyed -
    Ben: Jim Bob, quiet!
    Jim Bob: - the box of candy to you and you'll marry him and go off to live in South America -
    Jason: One more word Jim Bob and you're going to get it...
    Jim Bob: um, goodnight.
    Grandma: Good Lord!

    Also appearing -
    Aimee Louise Godsey (Rachel Longaker - first appearance); Curtis Willard (Tom Bower); Eddie Stoker (Lewis Charles); Patsy Brimmer (Eileen McDonough); Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards).


    • Ike Godsey’s automobile’s license plate number is 39-4857 (Virginia).
    • Ike Godsey’s motorcycle’s license plate number is 4893 (Virginia).
    • Before becoming an orphan, Aimee Louise lived in Hampton Roads with her parents. Her father was a fisherman.
    • Jim Bob is number 8 in the motorcycle race.
    • Jason bought the corn starch, bluing, and package of washing powder for twenty-four cents.
    • Jim Bob receives a 'ten pound' box of candy for winning third place in the race.

    (Synopsis by William Atkins.)

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  10. THE PONY CART (2 Dec 1976)
    Writer: Jack Miller. Director: Ralph Senensky. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "In the summer of 1937, it seemed as if Waltons Mountain was reborn. The blue misted mountains, the tall stands of evergreens and the wild flowers that grew everywhere gave a fragrance to the air and a spirit to the soul. It was also the summer that Martha Corinne Walton came to visit, and that made it a summer to remember."

    Ben has purchased a pony cart for two dollars from Mr. Monroe down the road. As Ben rebuilds the cart Martha Corinne, the wife of Zeb’s brother Henry, arrives at the Waltons for a visit. After supper she asks Ben to bring her big suitcase so she can present gifts to the family. She gives arrowheads to Jim Bob, Ben, and Jason; mittens to Elizabeth and Erin; a patchwork quilt to Mary Ellen; a shaving brush and mug to Grandpa; a crocheted bedspread to Grandma; a jar of pickled peaches to John; a shawl to Olivia; and family photos to John-Boy.

    Martha Corinne is making her presence known to the family. She generously applies sage and pepper into the Virginia sausage even though Grandma thinks she has applied too much. John-Boy bites into one of her sausage sandwiches and he says it’s the best he’s tasted -- much to the chagrin of Grandma and Olivia. That night while the family listens to 'Swing' on the radio, Martha Corinne teaches Elizabeth how to spin wool. Erin has a date with Tommy Wheeler but when he is late and not polite enough to come up to the door, Martha Corinne forces Erin to wait for him upstairs. Martha Corinne invites the young man into the house and immediately begins to interrogate him -- much to the horror of Erin. When Martha Corinne finds out his family owns the biggest tobacco warehouse in Buckingham County she is impressed and ready to bring Erin downstairs.

    Martha Corinne continues to meddle in the family’s routine when she gives her comments on how Ben is repairing the shay (as she calls the pony cart), inspects Jim Bob’s newly-washed hands, and makes it impossible for John-Boy not to include some of her recipes into The Blue Ridge Chronicle. After a family discussion where everybody, except Jim Bob and Grandpa, think she is meddling, Olivia indirectly indicates to Martha Corinne that her visit is over.

    While driving her home, Martha Corinne asks John-Boy to detour so she can visit her old home place. After seeing the cemetery of her family, now overrun with weeds, Martha Corinne says, 'neglected graves are a shameful thing'. While talking to John-Boy, Martha Corinne has an attack. He finds out she has heart problems and came to visit because she did not want to die alone. He convinces her to return to the house but, in concession, makes him promise not to say anything to the family. Martha Corinne also makes him promise he will make sure she is buried next to her husband Henry.

    When Martha Corinne returns to the house, John-Boy says he brought her back because she is lonely and doesn’t intentionally do anything to bother anyone. After hearing John-Boy become angry at Grandma for criticizing Martha Corinne, Olivia forces him to tell why he really brought her back. When the family learns of her heart attacks, they make Martha Corinne take it easy. She knows that John-Boy told. She angrily walks into the shed and says to John-Boy, 'In my day a man’s word meant something!'. With the family treating her like an invalid Martha Corinne admits, 'I don’t want to be dead before I die!'.

    Martha Corinne decides to leave but will first paint Ben’s shay as she promised. When she begins Ben does not like her paintings of flowers, birds, and hearts but after it is finished the pony cart looks beautiful to Ben and the family. Grandpa and Olivia take pictures of the family surrounding Martha Corinne and the pony cart. While on the first ride in the pony cart Martha Corinne asks Ben to pull over so she can pick daisies. She has another heart attack and dies among the flowers in the mountains she loves.

    "The summer of 1937 was a summer to remember, because it was the summer that Martha Corinne came to visit. She was buried on the mountain next to Henry, and the graves were never again overgrown with weeds because as she said, neglected graves are a shameful thing. Ben never sold the pony cart; he kept it as a sort of legacy for Martha Corinne. But perhaps the most important legacy of all was the one Martha Corinne gave to me."

    Elizabeth: Did you (can't make out the words....) John-Boy?
    John-Boy: Gladly Elizabeth.
    Elizabeth: What'you doing?
    John-Boy: Writin'.
    Elizabeth: What are you writing?
    John-Boy: A new beginning for my book.
    Elizabeth: What is it?
    John-Boy: It's the history of the Waltons that Martha Corinne gave me. That's what's been wrong with the book all the time, it didn't have a beginning. Now it does.
    Elizabeth: I'm glad.
    John-Boy: So am I. Goodnight Elizabeth.
    Elizabeth: Goodnight John-Boy.
    John-Boy: Sleep good!

    Also appearing -
    Martha Corinne (Beulah Bondi); Tom Wheeler (Patrick Slelton).


    • Martha Corinne Walton’s maiden name is Tyler.
    • Martha Corinne states that Zeb and Henry’s mother and father were the first Waltons in Virginia. The father, Samuel Walton, came over from England in 1810 on a ship called a 'whaler'.
    • Martha Corinne states that her second child, little Henry, died only two weeks after being born.
    • The other grave marker seen in the show, besides Henry Walton and Little Henry, was of Floyd Walton.
    • Martha Corinne and her family lived in Blue Rock Creek before they were reluctantly relocated to Brightwood (see The Conflict S3/1).

    (Synopsis by William Atkins.)

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  11. THE BEST CHRISTMAS (9 Dec 1976)
    Writer: John McGreevey. Director: Lawrence Dobkin. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "On Waltons Mountain every Christmas was memorable. Each new year held some special surprise or delight that set it apart. But I think the one we all remember most fondly was what was planned to be our mother's best Christmas. It began with the quickening sense of wonder and astonishment that always accompanied the first snowfall."

    Elizabeth, Jason, and Jim Bob are enjoying a snowball fight, but Olivia is concerned that this may be the last Christmas where all of the family is together. With Elizabeth pressing her hand against an icy window, Olivia vows this will be the family’s best Christmas.

    On the morning of Christmas Eve Grandpa and Grandma leave for Charlottesville for a visit with Maude Gormley who is at a retirement home recuperating from a broken hip. They sing 'Jingle Bells' and swap stories of past Christmases -- especially enjoying the time Grandpa got stuck in the chimney of the church while playing Santa Claus. When it is time to leave, they decide to stay for one more cup of tea hoping their extra time with Maude will brighten her spirits. As they drive home in the dark the falling snow and icy roads make it impossible for them to continue. They return to Charlottesville but find all hotel rooms filled with travelers also stranded from the storm. Knowing they must spend the night in a hotel lobby, Grandpa says they will spend the night in the city’s fanciest hotel lobby, the Jefferson Arms.

    With Grandpa and Grandma stranded in Charlottesville, John-Boy and Elizabeth visit the Godsey’s where they view the Christmas decorations that Corabeth has made for this year’s very special Christmas, her and Ike’s first Christmas with Aimee. John-Boy leaves Elizabeth to play with Aimee while he drives to Professor Parks’ office to meet a book editor from New York City. With the roads becoming icy with the growing storm, the editor is late in arriving. John-Boy finally must leave without meeting the editor in order not to miss Christmas Eve dinner. When he stops by Miss Fanny’s, he learns from Erin, who is operating the switchboard, that Miss Fanny and her niece, Jo Ellen, are missing. While he is driving in search for them, John-Boy is hailed down by Harley Foster. Miss Fanny’s car has skidded off the icy road into Drusilla’s Pond. John-Boy and Harley valiantly attempt to rescue the two while Verdie Foster calls Erin for help. Erin relays the emergency message to Curt and Mary Ellen who immediately proceed to the accident scene. After John-Boy and Harley extricate Miss Fanny and Jo Ellen from the sinking car, Curt and Mary Ellen treat the two for frostbite at the Foster’s.

    With John-Boy, Curt, and Mary Ellen helping Miss Fanny and Jo Ellen, Reverend Fordwick decorates the church and Jason practices the minister’s favorite Christmas hymn 'Joy to the World'. When the Reverend leaves for the parsonage Jason stays to practice. Later, as Jason prepares to depart, the trees outside the church moan from the weight of the accumulating snow. After closing the door behind him, Jason hears a tree on the north side of the church crash through the church’s roof. He races home to tell John that the tree must be removed if church services are to be held on Christmas morning. With Ike and Reverend Fordwick joining John and Jason they patch the roof with tarps and cut the tree so it can be removed from inside the church. Reverend Fordwick says this is the most wonderful present he has received while serving as a pastor -- the friendship and dedication shown by Ike, John, and Jason.

    With John and Jason repairing the church, Ben delivers a Christmas present, a pipe holder, to Yancy. With his wife visiting her parents, Yancy is not expecting much of a Christmas and is very appreciative for this unexpected gift from Ben. He hurriedly finds a shoe shine kit to give Ben in return. With the snow storm gaining momentum Ben tells Yancy he must start home so he won’t be late for dinner. Yancy offers to drive him in his old 'flibber' but the automobile won’t start in the bitter cold weather. Ben decides he must walk home and Yancy walks with him to make sure he arrives safely.

    With Ben brightening Yancy’s Christmas, Jim Bob arrives at Mrs. Brimmer’s to take Patsy as his guest for dinner at the Waltons. Olivia, in the meantime, walks to Ike’s store to bring Elizabeth home. When Jim Bob and Patsy arrive at the house, no one is home. Jim Bob can not understand where everyone could have gone, especially when he notices the food is still on the stove.

    With the electricity out from downed power lines, the Waltons retire to a cold house. Everybody has finally returned home except for Grandma and Grandpa. Even though they are not all together, Olivia says she has never felt closer to them. Early on Christmas morning Grandpa and Grandma arrive at the house with nearly a foot of snow on the ground. Everyone is now home. The Waltons celebrate with the Christmas carol 'I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day'.

    "Next morning the Waltons were altogether again, in reality as well as in spirit. Only a few years later, when circumstances kept some of us in the hedgerows of Normandy, or on Christmas duty in the emergency ward of a big hospital, our memories of Mama's best Christmas helped to comfort and sustain us."

    (No "Goodnights".)

    Also appearing -
    Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards); Curt Willard (Tom Bower); Rev Fordwick (John Ritter); Verdie Foster (Lynn Hamilton); Harley Foster (Hal Williams); Yancy Tucker (Robert Donner); Prof. Parks (Paul Jenkins); Maude Gormley (Merie Earle); Mrs Brimmer (Nora Marlowe); Jo Ellen (Lisa Kyke); Aimee Godsey (Rachel Longaker); Fanny Tatum (Sheila Allen); Patsy Brimmer (Debbie Gunn); Radio announcer (John Heistand).


    • Yancy’s dog is named Earl.
    • The book editor from NYC is Professor Parks’ friend, Hank.

    (Synopsis by William Atkins.)

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  12. THE LAST MUSTANG (16 Dec 1976)
    Writer: Calvin Clements Jr. Director: Walter Alzmann. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "According to my grandfather, legendary creatures once lived and some still existed on Waltons Mountain. There were tales of a bear so huge he had no fear of anything, a snake as big as a railroad tye, and a mythical white deer which could be spotted at the edge of a wood on a snowy evening. One creature we thought was legendary we went searching for one day, and found. "

    One of Grandpa’s tall tales comes true as a mustang appears on Waltons Mountain. Grandpa recounts the fact that this mustang is a descendant of the horses brought over by Cortez.

    Sheriff Ep Bridges visits the Waltons while campaigning for another term as sheriff. Glen Oldfield is a real threat to his re-election because of his handsomeness, outgoing personality, and aggressive campaign style. When John-Boy interviews both candidates for The Blue Ridge Chronicle, Ep comes off as plain while Oldfield is seen as flamboyant. Grandpa compares Ep to the wild mustang - the last of his breed.

    John-Boy is visited by Oldfield and his aid, Arlo Jessup. Oldfield suggests John-Boy run off pamphlets for the campaign. However John-Boy is uncomfortable doing this work for one candidate but not for the other. Oldfield convinces John-Boy it’s a business transaction and nothing else. Later, John-Boy receives unexpected advertising from Paulette Lumber in Scottsville and Miller’s Bootery in Rockfish and John receives an order from Hastings Saw Works in Richmond. Grandpa concludes these are paybacks for supporting Oldfield because Old Man Hastings 'is the biggest political wheel in the whole state of Virginia'.

    John-Boy attends the Baldwin sisters’ tea party in honor of Oldfield and Bridges. Ep’s quiet demeanor is lost to the charms of Oldfield’s outgoing personality. Afterwards, a dejected Ep tells John he does not know what he will do if he loses his job after fifteen years. Jessup takes John-Boy to their headquarters to ask him to join the team. He admits that Hastings is grooming Oldfield to be a state assemblyman; and their campaign is just a stepping-stone for the more important position. When John-Boy states the people need to know what Oldfield is doing, Jessup says what he said was 'off the record'. John-Boy claims he never agreed and will publish his findings. Jessup, in no uncertain terms, predicts all future contracts and advertisements may be canceled if John-Boy prints the news.

    Professor Ainsley, a naturalist from Boatwright College, comes to the house to find more information about the mustang. While he talks with Grandpa, Ben announces that the mustang has been caught near Green Creek by Carl Muntner, a store owner from Rockfish. Muntner hopes to attract customers to his store after seeing huge crowds attracted to a filling station that had a wildcat and monkeys on display. Grandpa confronts Muntner about capturing the mustang that he believes is owned by the Waltons. Without proof of ownership, however, Ep can legally do nothing about what Muntner has done. Zeb leaves angry because of Muntner’s actions and feels the horse may kill itself if left tied in the corral.

    On the way home John-Boy comes across the mustang which has broken its ropes. John-Boy is later stopped by Muntner who is trying to recapture the mustang. John-Boy does not tell him he just saw the horse. Grandpa must now figure how to protect the mustang from further capture. At the same time, John-Boy must decide what to do about Oldfield’s carpetbaggery. John-Boy knows if he prints the news, his father will lose all contracts from Oldfield supporters. With John’s approval John-Boy writes a front page headline stating the underhanded intentions of Oldfield. When Jim Bob delivers newspapers the next morning, he special delivers one to Ep who breaks out into a big smile when he sees his opponent’s true intentions. A few days later, John receives a telegram stating his contract has been canceled.

    After losing the election, Glen Oldfield stops by to apologize to John-Boy for hurting the family. With the headline stating 'Oldfield Ambitions Revealed' Oldfield admits he was wrong when he thought he could buy off people to win his campaign and realizes it was no way to run a political campaign.

    Grandpa decides to brand the mustang so they will have proof of ownership in order to allow it to run free. Grandpa, John, John-Boy, Curt, Jason, Ben, and Jim Bob corral the mustang, brand him, and release the horse back into the forest. With Ep’s re-election as sheriff and the mustang’s release back on the Mountain, two vanishing breeds are once again in their natural environments.

    "The mustang remained free after that. We would see it from time to time and it always brought a rush of excitement and a feeling of being in touch with something primitive, and rare, and very special. Ep Bridges continued on as Sheriff for more years than anyone can remember, and Glen Oldfield, to no-one's surprise, became a member of the State Assembly."

    Elizabeth: John-Boy?
    John-Boy: Yes Elizabeth.
    Elizabeth: If you ran for something I'd vote for you!
    John-Boy: Well thankyou Honey, but I'm not planning on it right now.
    Elizabeth: If everybody in the family voted for you, you could be President!
    Ben: Elizabeth, you know how many votes it takes to be President? Millions!
    Elizabeth: I guess we'll need a bigger family. (pause) Mama?
    Olivia: Goodnight Elizabeth.
    Elizabeth: Goodnight everybody!
    John-Boy: Goodnight Elizabeth.
    Ben: Goodnight.

    Also appearing -
    The Baldwin sisters (Mary Jackson and Helen Kleeb); Glen Oldfield (John Fink); Sheriff Bridges (John Crawford); Carl Muntner (Wayne Heffley); Prof. Ainsley (Arthur Malet); Arlo Jessup (Alan Fudge); Ike Godsey (Joe Conley); Campaign worker (Asta Hansen).


    • Ep Bridges’ wife, Louella, has died sometime in the past.
    • Ep Bridges is 46 years old and has been sheriff for 15 years.
    • John-Boy’s printing press has a brand name of Chandler-Price that was made in 1912. It is nicknamed a 'snapper'.
    • John-Boy is 20 years old.
    • John-Boy’s car license number is 672-489.

    (Synopsis by William Atkins.)

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  13. THE REBELLION (23 Dec 1976)
    Writer: Kathleen Hite. Director: Harvey S. Laidman. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "The years brought many changes to us on Waltons Mountain, but when change did not come often enough to suit my mother, it was her way to seek it. She would search for change, reach out to it, and welcome it when it came."

    Olivia suddenly begins to curl her hair and complains to John about how her dresses look like flour sacks. While at the family picnic she says the fried chicken tastes terrible even though everyone else knows the chicken tastes as good as always. Later Olivia asks John why he always catches carp, perch, or catfish when he goes fishing. She wonders why, just once, it can’t be salmon. She vows to change something in her life.

    When John-Boy and Ben drop off announcements for the church supper to Reverend Fordwick, they find that Zelda Maynard wants to play the organ at Sunday services. Knowing how protective Grandma is of being the organist, John-Boy reminds the Reverend about the resulting turmoil when Grandma finds out. He therefore insists John-Boy tell his Grandma that she will have to share the playing. John-Boy informs Grandpa that he will be the one to tell Grandma about the new arrangement at the Baptist Church. That night while telling her the news Grandpa tries to use 'Christian charity' as the premise to convince his wife that sharing is the Christian thing to do. With Grandma a member of the church for 50 years, she feels playing the church organ is a Walton’s tradition she could only share with Jason. Grandma does concede she will pray that night for guidance.

    Mrs. Brimmer is sweeping the porch while Zelda Maynard complains about how things are not done as well without a man around the house. Zeb comes up the sidewalk hoping to talk Zelda out of playing the church organ. While sitting with her on the porch swing, Grandma walks by and assumes Grandpa likes Zelda’s playing better than her own. Grandpa chases after her but she will not listen to his explanation. When Grandma stops by Ike’s store she finds Corabeth too busy to talk with her. Grandma smells something burning and learns that Corabeth is operating a beauty parlor in the back room. All of a sudden an 'Ouch' is heard and Grandma thinks it sounds like Olivia. Curious about the goings-on, Grandma hurries to the beauty parlor to find Corabeth giving Olivia a permanent wave.

    Grandma visits Reverend Fordwick to discuss organ playing at the church. Grandma tries to calmly talk about Zelda but abruptly loses control of her emotions and says, 'I will not resign my organ playing to just anyone'. With a stunned look from Reverend Fordwick, Grandma says in no uncertain terms, 'I will resign from the church ..... I will turn Methodist!' Reverend Fordwick tells John and Grandpa what just happened with Grandma. As he speaks he observes Olivia running to the house half-hidden by a tree with her hair underneath a scarf. Olivia locks the bedroom door behind her and wonders what she will do about her 'Shirley Temple' hairdo. When she reveals her new look the children laugh and John just stares at her with his mouth wide open.

    On Sunday morning Olivia runs out of the house after becoming mad at John who criticizes her impetuous behavior. She visits Verdie Foster, hoping she will know how to straighten her curly hair. Verdie does not know the technique but does know how to cover her hair in a pretty way. Grandma is defiant about not attending church. After everyone leaves, John says he is glad he won’t be the only 'backslider' anymore in the family. He then convinces her that church means more to her than her pride. Grandma arrives at the church in time to hear Zelda play the organ for the first hymn. Much to the delight of Grandma, Zelda has trouble coordinating the pedals and keys at the finish of the hymn. Though she will share duties with Zelda, Grandma remarks to Grandpa, 'There is one thing I won’t share ..... YOU!'

    After finding Olivia talking with an inebriated Mrs. Brimmer on her front porch, John decides his wife does need something different in her life. With a reservation at a hotel he and Olivia take a short vacation for a night away from everyday life.

    "And for a time after that, peace reigned in our valley. No-one again challenged Grandma's right to play the church organ. My mother? Well, this was surely not her last rebellion, but most certainly, it was her last 'permanent wave'."

    Elizabeth: Mama?
    Olivia: Yes Elizabeth?
    Elizabeth: John-Boy says your hair grows every single second.
    Olivia: That's enough of that.
    John-Boy: There are four kinds of human hair -
    Olivia: John-Boy -
    John-Boy: there's short and crisp, straight, lank -
    Olivia: John-Boy -
    John-Boy: Long and coarse, wavy and curly, and a special fourth kind of hair called 'Frizzy'.(pause) Mama?
    Elizabeth: Mama!
    John: Your Mama can't hear you - she's got her head under the pillow.
    everyone: Goodnight Mama!
    John: 'Frizzy' says, 'Goodnight'!

    The organ has been part of the Baptist Church for over sixty years.

    Also appearing -
    Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards); Rev Fordwick (John Ritter); Zelda Maynard (Audrey Christie); Verdie Foster (Lynn Hamilton); Curtis Willard (Tom Bower); Mrs Brimmer (Nora Marlowe).

    (Synopsis by William Atkins.)

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  14. THE FERRIS WHEEL (6 Jan 1977)
    Writers: Rod Petersen and Claire Whitaker. Director: Lawrence Dobkin. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "Most of our memories of growing up on Waltons Mountain are good ones. But there did come a time when a dark remembrance from Elizabeth's childhood rose to haunt everybody in our house."

    Elizabeth is having nightmares, and a stormy night brings more of them. She dreams about riding alone on a ferris wheel that moves faster until she falls out. She awakens screaming at the bottom of the stairs. It’s the second nightmare this week and the family is concerned about her dreams. John-Boy explains to Olivia that he believes the dreams are a code message from something she is trying to forget or wanting to hide.

    In the morning, when Ben comes down to the kitchen he is dressed up to visit the Jarvis Used Car lot. John-Boy thinks he is giving special service to Mr. Jarvis ever since his daughter Darlene went to work for him. While making lunches, Olivia asks Ben to take a jar of peanut butter off of a high shelf. He is unable to reach it, but Jason easily removes the jar for him. Ben wonders about his stature. Ben arrives at the Jarvis office to talk with Darlene about new advertisements. He says the Chronicle is taking care of the advance publicity for the Daws Carnival that is coming to Charlottsville. He is about to ask her to the carnival when one of salesmen calls Ben 'Shorty' and Darlene stands up to a height taller than Ben’s.

    Jim Bob makes a contraption to wake Elizabeth when she sleepwalks. With Jim Bob behind him in the mirror Ben sees he is shorter than his younger brother. That night Jim Bob catches Jason, not Elizabeth, with his trap as he comes in from the Dew Drop Inn. The next morning Ben questions Grandpa about the wall marks showing their height over the years. Ben does not feel he is growing as fast as the others.

    The Baldwin sisters purchase house locks from Ike’s store. They are scared after being robbed the last time the carnival was in town. They tell Ike their mama’s diamond necklace and matching tiara were never recovered. The sisters also mention the sheriff was about to question a carnival worker when he was killed. At the store John-Boy sees Elizabeth turning the large coffee grinder - that looks similar to a ferris wheel - with a far-away look in her eyes. John-Boy questions Elizabeth about the day she wandered off, the same day the sisters were robbed. She does not want to talk about it and gets upset when questioned.

    While sitting around the radio, Grandpa asks Jim Bob if the 'March of Time' is on. Jim Bob says it isn’t but 'Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy' is on. John is upset that the article he has been reading on Dizzy Dean was cut from the newspaper. Later John begins refinishing a chair and Ben admits he cut the article. On the back of the article is an ad for elevator shoes that Ben wants to buy after being concerned with his height. John says he should concentrate on the inside but Ben says it’s the outside everybody sees. Later in the evening Olivia finds Elizabeth sleepwalking in the treehouse and must be rescued by John. The next morning Olivia and John decide a physical exam is necessary for Elizabeth. Curt does not find anything physically wrong with her but suggests that if the nightmares do not stop she may need to see a psychologist or psychiatrist in Richmond.

    Ben’s elevator shoes arrive but when he wears them no one notices his additional height. John finds Ben on his bed and explains to him that he has noticed how people look at him,'They don’t see someone tall or short, fat or thin; they see a steady, hard-working young fellow with a good sense of fun - knows how to frown once in awhile. They see a big man in lots of ways.' Ben says, 'Yeah, but not big in the way I want to be.' John agrees, 'Yeah, I know what you mean. I always wanted to have red hair and be good lookin’.' John concludes, 'When people look only at your outside, it’s them that come up short.'

    Olivia tucks Elizabeth into bed comforted that all the doors are locked. But later that night Erin finds their bedroom window open and Elizabeth gone. With a vision of the ferris wheel on her mind Elizabeth walks in her sleep to the carnival. John-Boy and Ben find her sitting in the top cab of the ferris wheel. Ben climbs the girders while John-Boy tells Elizabeth not to move. She recalls seeing the ferris wheel worker and the sheriff down below. She then observes the worker hiding something in a cave. When he returns the rotating ferris wheel hits him in the head and knocks him out. Ben reaches Elizabeth just in time before she tries to jump from the cab. The next day Sheriff Bridges reaches into the cave. He finds a wrapped cloth and gives it to Elizabeth who takes it to the Baldwins. They identify their mama’s jewelry. While Ben is on a date with Darlene she says he was a real hero last night. John notices Ben is not wearing his new shoes. After what has happened the past few days, Ben realizes he doesn’t need them anymore.

    "Never again was Elizabeth to experience the terrors brought on by that frightening memory. And never again would I attempt to unravel the mysteries of the unconscious mind. Once more we could enjoy quiet and peaceful nights in our house on Waltons Mountain."

    Jim Bob: Ben? When you put your arm around a girl are you supposed to ask her permission or anything?
    Ben: Course not.
    Jim Bob: How about when you kiss her?
    Ben: Uh huh. It's like offering her the last piece of candy.
    Jim Bob: I don't get it.
    Ben: Well she's goin' to feel silly if she says 'yes' and bad if she says 'no'.
    Jim Bob: 'sound pretty smart.
    Ben: Well I've been around.
    Jim Bob: Around girls or around candy?
    Ben: Goodnight Jim Bob.
    Jim Bob: 'night everybody!

    Also appearing -
    The Baldwin sisters (Mary Jackson and Helen Kleeb); Darlene Jarvis (Debi Richter); Wilbur Daives (Dave Shelley); Curtis Willard (Tom Bower); Sheriff Bridges (John Crawford); Car salesman (Jeff Maxwell); Ike Godsey (Joe Conley).

    Note: The license plates on John-Boy’s car are 672-48.

    (Synopsis by William Atkins.)

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  15. THE ELOPEMENT (13 Jan 1977)
    Writer: Hindi Brooks. Director: Harry Harris. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "Of all the people who's lives touched ours on Waltons Mountain, my sister Erin remembers most vividly a young forestry student who visited us briefly in the summer of 1936. He was her first love. In the spring of 1937 with the blossoming of the dogwood, Chad Marshall returned."

    Chad and Erin had fallen in love the previous summer but the romance ended with heartbreak for Erin because she was too young a girl for Chad. After learning more in a week while exploring Waltons Mountain than he had learned in a year at college, Chad buys the old Fairchild Place with plans to settle there, build a log cabin, and marry Erin.

    Ike and Corabeth are taking Aimee to visit relatives at Doe Hill. While gone Ike asks John-Boy to take care of the store. John-Boy is too busy but suggests Jason can handle the job. Although Ike is hesitant at first about letting an inexperienced Jason run the store, John-Boy reassures Ike that he will periodically check in on Jason. When Ike shows Jason around the store he specifically tells him that transactions are only 'cash-and-carry' with 'no credit to strangers'.

    One of Jason’s first customers is Maude Gormley who buys ten packs of flower seeds, small cans of red, yellow, blue, and orange paint, and five cents of soft cherry and orange candies. When Jason informs her that the bill comes to two dollars eighty cents, Maude says to put it on her charge account. She hurriedly leaves to catch a ride home with Abel Bingley, the ice man. While John-Boy later buys sixty cents of gasoline, Jason asks him if it was okay for him to give credit to Maude. John-Boy believes it is okay because Maude has been like a grandma to Ike.

    Maude returns to the store and buys additional flower seeds and cans of paint, along with coffee and oatmeal. When Ike later calls the store, Jason learns that under no circumstances should he give Maude credit. Ike knows Maude squanders the money she receives from her son Leonard and already owes the store twenty dollars. Jason relates to John-Boy what Ike told him and John-Boy agrees to confront Maude. At her house, John-Boy explains that if the seven dollars and seventy cents she charged while Jason was operating the store is not in Ike’s cash register before he returns, Jason will have to replace the money himself. Maude knows Jason and John-Boy do not have that kind of money and knows she does not have enough money until her son’s monthly check comes in. Maude decides to show John-Boy her bird paintings because she thinks they might bring in some money after remembering a salesman bought one for two dollars. John-Boy thinks the paintings are 'absolutely beautiful' and suggests she display them at the store. When Ike returns he notices the paintings and can not understand why anyone would buy one of them. Jason explains that a book salesman just bought two of them for five dollars apiece.

    Chad and Erin move rocks that will be used as the foundation of his new house. Later that night they dance to romantic music on the radio while Elizabeth sleepily looks on from her hiding place. The next morning Grandpa stumbles into Chad and Erin running out of Ike’s store to drive to a picnic. The two laughingly argue about whether to put up curtains or place shutters on the house windows when Chad suddenly proposes to Erin. She says yes. They wait for John to return to the house before telling Olivia and John their decision. Upon returning, John will not allow Erin to marry until she finishes high school.

    The next day Chad and Erin decide to elope that evening while everyone sleeps. They drive to Reverend Caldwell’s house, the Methodist minister, hoping he will marry them. He realizes that if the pair had their parents’ permission they would not have arrived at this late hour and would be asking the family’s Baptist minister, not him. After Chad and Erin leave, Reverend Caldwell rushes to the Waltons to inform Olivia and John what just happened. John and Olivia think they have gone to the Justice of the Peace in Rockfish so travel there as fast as they can.

    Erin and Chad have indeed traveled to the home of Justice of the Peace Andrew Farrell. During the civil ceremony Erin observes Mr. Farrell is mumbling and yawning and Mrs. Farrell is wearing hair curlers. Even though she knew this wedding would not be as beautiful as Mary Ellen’s wedding, she can not finish the ceremony which, she tells Chad, was 'ugly'. While Chad comforts Erin, Olivia and John arrive to find their daughter still unmarried.

    "Erin came home and finished high school and spent most of her free time helping Chad build his cabin. And a fine cabin it was, built with careful loving hands and sitting proud on the land with the front porch facing the mountain."

    Jim Bob: Jason ran the store a whole week and he never even gave us a handout.
    Jason: It was Ike's store, not mine.
    Jim Bob: And he wouldn't even give us a jelly-bean.
    Elizabeth: If I had a store I'd let all my friends have everything free.
    Ben: Sure and you'd be out of business in a week!
    Elizabeth: That's why I'd do it. I'd hate to run a store.
    Jim Bob: You're crazy Elizabeth.
    John: Close up the store and go to sleep!
    Olivia: Goodnight everyone!

    Also appearing -
    Chad Marshall (Michael O'Keefe); Maude Gormley (Merie Earle); Rev Cauldwell (Vernon Weddle); Andrew Farrell (David Hooks); Radio announcer (Hank Stohl).


    • This is the last episode in which Grandma appears, as Ellen Corby had a severe stroke after this episode was filmed. She very courageously made her next appearance in Grandma Comes Home (S6/1) and in occasional episodes thereafter.
    • Chad Marshall is introduced in the previous season of The Waltons in the episode The Competition (S4/8).
    • Chad’s car license plates are 25-3604.
    • Chad went to college at VPI.
    • Chad put twenty dollars down for the purchase of the old Fairchild place and is paying the Virginia State Bank two dollars a month in order to pay off the balance.
    • Chad is originally from Richmond, Virginia where his father works at the Telegram Company and his mother is a teacher.
    • The key to Ike’s store is under the coffee grinder and the combination to the safe is 'five'.
    • Maude Gormley does not like licorice because they 'make my teeth black; no man is going to look at a woman with black teeth'.

    (Synopsis by William Atkins.)

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  16. JOHN'S CROSSROAD (20 Jan 1977)
    Writers: Andy White and Paul West. Director: Richard Thomas. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "When I was young the thought of distant and mysterious cities would send me daydreaming for hours. But cities did not beckon to my father. He was content in the woods and fields of Waltons Mountain, until 1937. That was the year my grandmother became ill, and my father ventured away from the mountain into new and perplexing experiences."

    With Grandma in the Charlottesville hospital and very little work coming into the mill, Grandpa is searching for one of the children to accompany him on one of his adventures; this time to inspect the new orchard. But Jim Bob is fixing his old car and Ben must finish newspaper advertisements for John-Boy so can not go with a disappointed Grandpa. Following in Mary Ellen’s tomboy footsteps, Grandpa discovers Elizabeth is interested in seeing the young trees and uninterested in Lucas Farnham as a boyfriend.

    With little cash coming in, John observes a government job opening that is posted in Ike’s store. The office position in Charlottesville requires work experience in construction, five years of county residency, and a high school diploma. While standing in line with other applicants John finds that one man has two degrees in engineering and ten years of highway experience and another man has one degree and three years of building construction. John arrives home with a new hat and a new job after beating out the two college men. With the family seeing him off in the morning John drives off to his new job in a suit, tie, and hat that make him look 'like a Philadelphia lawyer'.

    The new boss, Mr. Morgan, informs John that the office compiles information on the age and condition of bridges and buildings. Morgan introduces John to Miss Agnes, Clem Beal, Mavis Crawford, and Kyle Jeffers. When Morgan ignores Mel Parson, John makes his own introductions to him. John later learns that Mel has nearly twenty years with the company and is just waiting for his pension. Morgan is very strict because he wants the highest rating in the state. As John prepares to stop work at quitting time he is informed that no one leaves until Mr. Morgan leaves. John continues to depart until Mr. Morgan tells him to look over log sheets. When John returns home very late, he explains to a waiting Olivia that it is difficult getting used to sitting around all day but feels everything will be okay.

    During John’s first day at his new job, Grandpa is smoking bacon in the smokehouse. He teaches Elizabeth that green hardwood, such as hickory or chestnut, must be used to generate a slow, easy fire. Grandpa feels Elizabeth could be his best farm hand. With no encouragement from Elizabeth, Lucas asks if he can walk her to school. Lucas continues to be persistent when he sends Elizabeth a love letter.

    Later at work, Morgan criticizes Mel about his poor quality of work. Mel becomes flustered and drops a pile of papers. Picking up the mess, John suggests to help with the assignments. Morgan tells John not to help but John quickly counters by saying everyone helps each other because it makes the work easier. Miss Agnes says Mr. Morgan is not pleased with him. John responds that he is not pleased with him either.

    Grandpa and Elizabeth go looking for beavers and find them eating birch bark. They step a bit too close to one of their tunnels and fall into the beaver pond. Grandpa exclaims, 'We’re swimming with the beavers!' When they return home Olivia finds Elizabeth and Grandpa covered with mud She says to Grandpa that she wants his help to keep Elizabeth a girl because she does not need another boy.

    Knowing Olivia did not want Elizabeth acting like a tomboy, Grandpa tells Elizabeth he can not take her fishing. Elizabeth angrily responds, 'You want me to be a girl, too!' While talking with Erin about boys, Elizabeth changes her mind and decides to look like a girl. With flowers in her hair and wearing a pretty dress, Elizabeth finds Lucas and Grandpa fishing. She informs Lucas that Ike has a sale on strawberry ice cream, two for a nickel. Lucas leaves Grandpa with his fishing pole and walks with Elizabeth to Ike’s.

    On Sunday, John’s only day off, the family lets him sleep late. With everyone supposedly at church, John finds breakfast waiting for him. While eating Olivia sneaks up from behind wanting to spend some time with her husband. She tells him that Curt and Mary Ellen are coming for dinner. John says he is looking forward to playing horseshoes, sitting out under the tree drinking lemonade with Olivia, playing baseball with the kids, pushing Olivia in a swing, and taking a nap on the porch.

    Monday morning comes too soon and John is off to work again. While walking into the office, Mavis informs John that he was hired to replace Mel. Morgan observes Mel arriving late and tells him about his incompetence and how he is dragging down the office. John has heard enough and yells back at the boss. Morgan admits he could lose his job if he does not attain the amount of work that is expected from his boss. Morgan states that if John does not like his management he can leave. In frustration, John throws up a folder and quits. After observing the confrontation, Mel opens a window in defiance of his boss.

    Later in the day, John-Boy tells Olivia that he saw their truck outside the Dew Drop Inn. When Olivia finds John inside the bar he admits he does not have a job anymore. John says the people in the office were 'like trapped animals .... like a rabbit that is scared, and doesn’t move'. After talking with Olivia, John feels better now that he is back on the Mountain and is ready to go home after one more beer. Olivia agrees to have an 'Orange Squeeze' if John promises 'you don’t dare tell'.

    "My father never stopped looking to learn for himself and to support his family. He would be forced to go to cities from time to time to find work, but his stays there were always as short as he could make them, and his joy and ours was always his return to the mountain."

    Elizabeth: Grandpa did you catch any fish?
    Grandpa: Some little ones Elizabeth, I threw 'em back.
    Ben: Hey Elizabeth got a fish - Lucas Farnham!
    Jim Bob: Hope you threw him back.
    Elizabeth: I may, and I may not.
    Ben: Hey Elizabeth, are you in love?
    Elizabeth: Maybe I am, maybe I'm not!
    Jim Bob: Yucks!
    Elizabeth: I hate you, Jim Bob....
    Ben: She's in love....
    John: Goodnight everybody.
    everybody: Goodnight Daddy!

    Also appearing -
    Curtis Willard (Tom Bower); Mr Morgan (Donald Moffatt); Lucas Farnham (Christopher Gardner); Clem Beal (Kenneth Tiger); Mavis Crawford (Patch Mackenzie); Miss Agnes (Betty Jinnette); Kyle Jeffers (David Levas); Clint Davis (Tom Howard); Mel Parsons (William Phipps); Ike Godsey (Joe Conley).


    • No Grandma (Ellen Corby). This is because Ellen Corby has suffered a stroke in real life. Her character, Grandma, is written into the episode where she is in the hospital so that tests can be conducted to find out what is wrong with her. (See the Note to previous episode - The Elopement (S5/15)
    • John is making 'well over one hundred dollars a month' at his job.

    (Synopsis by William Atkins.)

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  17. THE CAREER GIRL (27 Jan 1977)
    Writer: Kathleen Hite. Director: Harry Harris. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "It had been my father's dream that each of his children received at least a high school education, and for a good many years there was a Walton in every graduating class of the Walton Mountain school. So it was, in 1937 when it came time for my sister Erin to leave behind the security of high school and to face an uncertain future."

    Family and friends gather for the high school graduation ceremony that includes another Walton, this time Erin. Before the ceremony Rosemary Fordwick must ask John-Boy to give an impromtu graduation speech after Superintendent Tolliver’s car swerves off the road. While passing out diplomas Mrs. Fordwick tells the audience what each graduate’s plans are after high school: Claire Bates will attend West Hampton College, John Charles Ridings will work for the Civilian Conservation Corps, Merle Towbridge will attend trade school in Westham, and Molly Zimmerman will be a secretary at the highway department. When Mrs. Fordwick reaches Erin she has no idea what the young graduate wants to pursue and explains that Erin’s plans must be secret. Graduation suddenly becomes bittersweet for Erin when she realizes she is the first Walton not to have a career goal. At her graduation party Erin seems lost when she realizes John-Boy is developing his talents as a writer, Mary Ellen has realized her dream to be a nurse, and Jason is involved with his musical abilities. Grandpa senses Erin’s sadness when he gives Erin a gift of a gold locket with her great-grandmother’s picture in it that he knows she loves.

    During her party Erin overhears John-Boy tell Jason that he needs a typewriter in order to type the manuscript he is writing about Waltons Mountain. He can not afford a new one at fifty dollars and renting one will probably cost as much due to his poor typing skills. Later Erin admits to Olivia that she feels strange and different about not knowing what her goals are now that school is over. Erin has been working at Miss Fanny’s telephone office but does not feel the job is well-suited for her. She says that even though she knows everyone, she never sees anyone so no one can connect a name or a face to her.

    Jim Bob is watching the gas pump for Ike but it is a slow day with not much to do. Ike thinks the book John-Boy is writing is about him because his store is ‘at the crossroads of life in the area’. Ike can not wait for the published book so tries to convince Jim Bob to sneak a peek at the unfinished manuscript. Jim Bob is not sure about the idea because John-Boy does not want anyone to look until it is completed.

    Ben takes Erin to Shirley’s Truck Stop after she sees a sign for a job opening. The owner is unsure if Erin can handle the job because the place is not exactly a ‘tea room’. Shirley wants Erin to get permission from her parents. John and Olivia give their permission but tell Erin that, 'you make sure the people you work for know you are a lady'. Jason arrives a few minutes before the end of Erin’s first day of work to take her home. A customer, however, becomes too friendly and Jason must remove his hand from Erin’s arm. A fight ensues that results in a bloody face for Jason and, more crucially, a bruised right wrist. Doc Willard says the bone bruises will take a month to heal. The news upsets Erin because she knows Jason will lose a whole month of pay from playing the guitar, all because of her.

    Ike is practicing on his new key making machine when Jim Bob walks into the store. Jim Bob tells Ike that he looked at John-Boy’s manuscript and found absolutely no reference to Ike or the store. Ike believes it is impossible for John-Boy not to mention the store in a book about Waltons Mountain.

    Erin is sick over being the cause of Jason’s injuries. She feels everything she does turns out wrong and that she is a failure. John-Boy says to think about others instead of just herself. She apparently does not listen and continues to cry. While being driven to work Erin sees a sale sign for a used typewriter. She jumps out of the truck and walks into the Rockfish Business School. With the telephone ringing and no one in the reception area, Erin answers the phones and takes messages. When Jane Stevens, the owner of the school, observes the easy way Erin handles the equipment she asks if Erin would work for her. Erin agrees to work as receptionist and bookkeeper in exchange for the typewriter. John-Boy accidentally finds out that Erin has been working at the school. When he learns how much she likes the job John-Boy offers Stevens anything in the way of advertising in his newspaper in exchange for her tuition. Stevens remarks, 'What kind of a family are you?' She explains to John-Boy that Erin has been working to pay for a typewriter that he needs. John-Boy looks at Erin and gives her a big hug for her kindness.

    "The family was grateful and pleased that Erin found a role for herself in life. She did go to business school, enjoyed it, and excelled in her work. Later, she married and mothered a family of her own. The typewriter, well, it typed my first novel, and interrupted the quiet nights on Waltons Mountain for years to come."

    Ben: Hey John-Boy I can't sleep when that typewriter's goin'.
    John: No one can. I mean it son, stop the typing!
    Elizabeth: John-Boy's not home yet, I'm working on something.
    Olivia: Elizabeth?
    Elizabeth: I want to get an early start on my career Mama. after all, I graduate from high school in about 8 years!
    Olivia: Goodnight Elizabeth.
    Elizabeth: Goodnight Mama, goodnight Daddy!
    John: Goodnight everybody!

    Also appearing -
    Rosemary Fordwick (Mariclaire Costello); Shirley (Billie Bird); Curtis Willard (Tom Bower); Jane Stephens (Alice Hirson); Eli Carr (Donald Hotton); Spurgeon Connors (Ted Jordan); Fanny Tatum (Sheila Allen); Ike Godsey (Joe Conley); Mrs Brimmer (Nora Marlowe).

    A tidbit - excerpt from the dialog. John-Boy has just given the speech at the Graduation ceremony, and later, Ben is commenting -
    Ben: By the way John-Boy you talked really good today!
    John-Boy: Thankyou.
    Ben: Ever thought about goin' into politics?
    John-Boy (laughing): No, never.
    Ben: Well you should - you sound real good at the time and then later on no-one knows what you said.........

    (Synopsis by William Atkins.)

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  18. THE HERO (3 Feb 1977)
    Writer: Kathleen Hite. Director: Tony Brand. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "It had been my grandmother's idea to bring out the first commemorative issue of The Blue Ridge Chronicle, but she was still in the hospital, and the job of organising the event came to rest on my shoulders. If I had expected wholehearted support from the community and my family, how wrong I was!"

    Olivia and Grandpa sit at the table while Grandpa confesses he misses Grandma. John-Boy walks in to convince them he needs their help with Honor Day. Olivia does not like anything involving war but John-Boy reminds her that Honor Day honors the day World War 1 ended. Grandpa recounts the day when the boys came home and, to this day, says he can still hear footsteps of the boys that did not make it home. Grandpa suddenly remembers he must feed the chickens even though Ben knows he performed the job earlier. John-Boy reminds Ben that their daddy came back from the war but their Uncle Ben, Grandpa’s other son, did not make it back. While Jim Bob looks at a problem in the Sheriff’s car John reminisces about returning from the war. John-Boy is attempting to fill the Chronicle with war stories when he hears Ep recount the times he saw Rolls Royce trucks rolling in a column. He asks Ep if he drove an ambulance in the war. Ep said he didn’t and leaves before John-Boy can further inquire about his role in the war.

    Using Ike’s telephone, John-Boy finds that the Hall of Records does not possess statistics from the war because all records before 1925 were burned in a fire. John-Boy is referred to the city of Richmond for such records. Ike suggests that while in Richmond he should visit the Red Cross because it kept war records. Ike also suggests he talk with Ep who has records at the Sheriff’s Office. While talking with the Sheriff John-Boy asks him what he did in the war. Ep hesitantly states, 'I figure that’s my business.'

    The family look over war souvenirs to be placed on display for Honor Day. Grandpa shows letters that his son, Ben, wrote from France, along with his Victory medal and Certificate of Merit. Ben asks John why he was named after his Uncle Ben. John said he wanted to keep his name alive and, like his son Ben, John’s brother had red hair, and was smart and full of ideas. After hearing this, Ben decides to build a memorial bench to his namesake in time for Honor Day.

    Olivia and John-Boy drive to Richmond to meet with Sarah Griffith of the Red Cross. Griffith provides them with large books of records; one specifically from the Second Division of Virginia. While searching the documents John-Boy finds a reference about a 'Marmaduke Ephram Bridges' who captured an enemy gun emplacement at the Battle of Marne, was critically wounded, and then decorated by General Pershing. When Sara Griffith hears about Marmaduke Bridges she asks where Waltons Mountain is located.

    John-Boy shows Ep the information he found and asks him why he kept the honors and medal quiet for nineteen years. Ep says, 'Does a man deserve to be honored for killing a man? A gun emplacement' Ep declares, 'is not concrete, it’s men like you and me'. Ep finally agrees to allow his war honors to be part of Honor Day as long as John-Boy agrees not to call him 'Marmaduke'.

    Jim Bob is riding old Blue when he comes across Sarah trying to fix her car. While walking to the house, Jim Bob finds she was a nurse and ambulance driver in France during the war. When John-Boy and Ep approach the porch, Sarah is talking with Olivia. John-Boy introduces Ep to Sarah but it is obvious that Sarah has already met Ep. She says that the first time they met was late spring in 1918 and he had just brought in his wounded and prisoners before collapsing from his injuries. The last time she saw him was when he promised her an evening in Paris with a bottle of wine. The two walk off recollecting their time together in France and catching up with their lives since then. Sarah has never married, later admitting to Olivia that Ep always stood between any man that came into her life. Ep did marry but his wife passed away and his two sons are grown.

    At the Honor Day festivities Jason and his band sing and play songs from the World War 1 era. John-Boy thinks it would be nice if Sarah would settle around Waltons Mountain. Ep responds, 'You never know'. Ep later tells Sarah he regularly gets over to Richmond and Sarah reminds him she is still with the Red Cross. John-Boy speaks at the Honor Day festivities about the local men in the Great War; especially the men who are not buried at the cemetery but lie somewhere in France.

    "We were all grateful for the success of Honor Day, and to Grandma for suggesting that first commemorative issue of the Chronicle. But my brother Ben, and his memorial bench will always be best remembered. The bench is still there, for all the Waltons and all the others who came to remember those who gave the best they had. And for Ep and Sarah Griffith, there was a rekindling and a new beginning, that Jim Bob didn't grow up first."

    Erin: Jim Bob?
    Jim Bob: Yeah?
    Erin: Did you know the first valve-in-head engine was built in 1902?
    Jim Bob: What about it?
    Erin: I'll bet you don't know who Alice H. Ramsey was!
    Jim Bob: I don't even care who she was.
    Erin: She drove from New York to Oakland California in 1909. The first woman to drive from coast to coast.
    Jim Bob: No kiddin'.
    Erin: In a Maxwell-Briscoe.
    Jim Bob: You sure didn't know anything a couple of days ago.
    Erin: Well I'm not going to be just a wife, you know!
    Olivia, (gently): Goodnight, Erin!

    Also appearing -
    Sarah Griffith (Lynn Carlin); Sheriff Bridges (John Crawford); Mrs Brimmer (Nora Marlowe); Patsy Brimmer (Eileen McDonough); Ike Godsey (Joe Conley).


    • Three of the crosses in the cemetery contain the name of Earl Hamner, the creator of The Waltons, and the names of Harry Harris and Lawrence Dobkin, two of the directors of the television series....... (were they 'sending themselves up' one wonders?)
    • Ep Bridges is originally from Washington County in Virginia.

    (Synopsis by William Atkins.)

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  19. THE INFERNO (10 Feb 1977)
    Writers: Rod Peterson and Claire Whitaker. Director: Harry Harris. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "In the spring of 1937 my family and I were totally unaware that a truly catastrophic event was about to take place, and that I would be there to witness it."

    The quiet of the evening is interrupted by the clanking of the printing press as John-Boy readies another edition of The Blue Ridge Chronicle. Olivia and John suddenly hear cussing from the shed and find John-Boy holding a broken pedal. In exchange for a half page advertisement in the next six issues John agrees to weld the pedal onto the press. While making repairs, John-Boy decides to submit a paper for a contest at National Press Services. He is hoping for the cash prize to offset delinquent bills and the chance to cover a special news event.

    Curt and Mary Ellen prepare for a romantic evening alone when Erin bursts into the house. Curt is feeling like the family is smothering him. The next day is no better when Curt finds Mary Ellen in the examination room sewing Elizabeth’s doll. Curt is upset that while playing doctor the monthly statements lie unfinished and the account book is open for patients to see. Ben walks in to tell Mary Ellen all the latest happenings. Curt becomes mad about the gossip, shows Ben the door, and fights with Mary Ellen.

    A letter arrives announcing that John-Boy won the contest. The prize is twenty-five dollars and an assignment to interview passengers arriving at Lakehurst, New Jersey from the transatlantic flight aboard the German dirigible Hindenburg. John-Boy meets Stewart Henry, a newspaper reporter, at a local bar afraid he is late because of inclement weather. Henry calms his worries saying the Hindenburg is also waiting for bad weather to pass. After driving to the landing strip John-Boy and Stewart watch the huge dirigible land. Without warning, however, the air ship explodes in front of them. Employees under the ship’s shadow frantically run to escape, passengers scream in horror, and onlookers gasp in disbelief.

    John-Boy arrives back in Rockfish with Jason waiting to take him home. The family patiently wait and Grandpa reads The Daily Progress that accounts the disaster. When John-Boy walks into the house he is tired and distraught from his horrible experiences. Grandpa lightens the mood by telling the story of when he and Grandma rode the bus to Hickory Creek for Bertha’s wedding. The trip, Grandpa recounts, took so long that Bertha was pregnant by the time they arrived. Olivia reminds Grandpa not to tell the story in front of Grandma. John-Boy is tired and just wants to sleep; hoping he can sleep after what has happened.

    Curt and Mary Ellen are making plans for a picnic. Curt is reading poetry to Mary Ellen and she is preparing tuna sandwiches, potato salad, and deviled eggs. But when Curt asks why there are so many eggs, Mary Ellen admits that Elizabeth, Aimee, Patsy, and Jim-Bob have invited themselves on the picnic. Curt madly stomps out of the house after concluding he will never get a chance to be alone with his wife.

    John-Boy attempts to write about the disaster but stares at blank paper while reliving the horrible moments. Grandpa informs John-Boy that a surprise awaits downstairs. He finds Ike, the Baldwin sisters, Mrs. Brimmer, and the family in the living room. Ike presents John-Boy with a certificate on behalf of the community expressing their appreciation for writing the biggest newspaper byline of the year. John-Boy is angered when everyone just wants to hear more about the story. He blurts out that a lot of people were killed and he can’t make sense out of it. John-Boy later admits to John that he can not write about it. John says that when his saw breaks and he can not finish a job, he has to admit he did the best he could do.

    Mary Ellen spends the night at the house after Curt does not return home. While making breakfast, Curt arrives at the house. After Olivia hears both of their complaints she says there is a solution. She relates that when they were newlyweds, Grandpa and Grandma seemed to go out of their way to always be around. John placed a potted geranium on the front porch whenever the new couple wanted some time alone. It worked and Curt and Mary Ellen return home with the hope of doing the same thing.

    John asks John-Boy to help him cut down a tree that was hit by lightning. While chopping John-Boy relives the incident that concludes with the downing of the Hindenburg just as the tree falls to the ground. The crashing of the tree brings John-Boy back to reality and he is now able to recount the horror of seeing a woman on fire. John-Boy did not understand the German she was speaking and kept repeating, 'I don’t understand it. I don’t understand it'. John tells John-Boy he thinks the story can now be written. John-Boy does finish the story just in time to make his deadline. Grandpa decides to go with him when he sees Olivia holding a potted geranium. John decides to take the rest of the morning off.

    "Forty years have passed, but that house still stands, and the solace and comfort and love we knew there as children, continued to sustain us to this day."

    Elizabeth: Erin couldn't Marylin ever gonna have a baby?
    Erin: Well I think that's their business Elizabeth.
    Elizabeth: I hope she has a little girl, 'cos I can be Aunt Elizabeth!
    Jim Bob: If it's a boy are you goin' to be Uncle Elizabeth?
    Elizabeth: No, silly, you will.
    Jim Bob: I'll be Uncle Elizabeth?
    Ben: No, you'll be Auntie Jim Bob....
    Jason: And you'll be Auntie Ben!
    Ben: Goodnight Uncle Erin!
    Erin: Goodnight Aunt Jason!
    Jason: Goodnight Uncle!
    Elizabeth: I'm sorry I asked.
    (everybody laughs.)

    Also appearing -
    The Baldwin sisters (Mary Jackson and Helen Kleeb); Stuart Henry (Jack Ging); Curtis Willard (Tom Bower); Mrs Brimmer (Nora Marlowe); Bartender (Tom Maier); Ike Godsey (Joe Conley).

    Note: Elizabeth’s doll is named Miss Margaret.

    (Synopsis by William Atkins.)

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  20. THE HEARTBREAKER (17 Feb 1977)
    Writer: Seth Freeman. Director: Ralph Waite. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "On Waltons Mountain the marriage vows once pledged usually remained in force until the contract was ended by the death of one of the partners. Divorce was a taboo word spoken in whispers. And then one day a young woman who had left her husband appeared on the mountain with serious consequences for my brother, Jason".

    The Rockfish bus station has Curt, Mary Ellen, Erin, Jim Bob, and Elizabeth awaiting for Curt’s sister to arrive. Vanessa steps off the bus bringing news that she has left her husband because of being bored with life in a coal town. With their guest settled in, Curt and Mary Ellen leave to see patients. While alone in the house Jason stops by and meets Vanessa. She tells Jason that she wants to be a singer. Jason tells her he plays piano and sings at the Dew Drop Inn. It is obvious that Vanessa and Jason are interested in each other, even though Vanessa is still married.

    Ben and John-Boy discuss why the circulation of his paper The Blue Ridge Chronicle is not growing. Ben remarks that people know what is going on before it is written. To spark reader interest Ben suggests that John-Boy place excerpts of his manuscript into the paper. John-Boy decides to insert a story about Grandpa into the paper.

    A friendship has developed between Vanessa and Jason based on their musical interests. While at Jason’s secret place, he states that, 'To be good at something, like singing, you have to be willing to try different things, to explore what you can do. You have to be willing to be terrible!' Love also forms between the two as they share a kiss. They later spend the day practicing the song 'I’ll Fly Away'. When they audition for Thelma at the Dew Drop Inn, she loves the sound of the duo and Vanessa is invited to sing with Jason.

    Curt confronts Vanessa wondering if she can be happy on Waltons Mountain. He worries that Jason might get hurt if she decides to leave. Vanessa tells her brother she was not given all the talents he was given, but she 'knows how to take them'. Olivia is also afraid that Jason will be hurt. She does not like the idea that Vanessa takes her marriage vows so lightly and tells Jason, 'taking people so lightly - that can’t be right'. Olivia wants Jason to take the relationship slowly, but Jason admits that he is ‘past slowly’.

    After composing a love song to Vanessa he softly sings to her 'Vanessa’s Song'. She is overwhelmed by the gift Jason has given her. Later, she sings the song at the Dew Drop Inn while Jason accompany’s her on the guitar. While singing, Country Joe Martin, a regional singer, and his manager, Lou Rhymer, loudly barge into the bar stopping their song. The two men announce they spent two weeks singing in Chicago, just played Richmond, and are on their way to the Grand Old Opry. Jason and Vanessa finish their performance to loud applause from the travelers.

    Curt talks with Jason about his sister whom he loves but realizes is not an easy person and has always been very restless and full of discontent. Jason loves her spirit and admits he loves her. But while walking home Jason has a fight with Vanessa. She has forgotten their date making Jason mad when he says, 'We had an arrangement!' Vanessa responds, 'Jason, you don’t own me. I am not your personal property!' While helping deliver the Chronicle, Jason observes Vanessa and Country Joe drive to a hotel. Jason is despondent when he confides in his father. John remembers when Jason adopted a mallard duck. He fed the duck until it flew away. It was natural for the duck to leave - like Vanessa.

    The family read the newspaper excerpt from John-Boy’s novel. Grandpa reads the article out loud but does not know what to make of the phrase, 'relying on vast resources of vulpine cunning'. He looks up ‘vulpine’ in the dictionary and concludes it means double-dealing and deceitful. Grandpa is offended after believing John-Boy has called him a liar in print. When Grandpa confronts John-Boy, the young writer admits vulpine does mean ‘conniving’ in one sense of the word but also means ‘smart’. John-Boy recounts the story when Grandpa fooled a rival lumber company into sending their wood down a dangerous river. John-Boy tells Grandpa he ‘outfoxed’ them with natural intelligence. After reconsidering his grandson’s words, Grandpa tells John-Boy not to change a word of the book.

    Jason is looking lovelorn as he sings a depressing sounding song. When Vanessa walks in Jason says he saw her walk into the hotel with Martin. Vanessa did not mean to hurt him but must do what it takes to further her career. She is leaving to tour with Country Joe Martin, feeling he can help her with her career. She says she hates what she is doing but is driven to do something with her life.

    "At 20, it's hard to believe that time heals most pain, even that of a badly wounded heart. But time did work its wonders and as each day passed the hurt in Jason's eyes showed less and less, until finally it wasn't there at all"

    Elizabeth: 'Night Mama!
    Olivia: 'Night Elizabeth 'night Erin.
    Olivia: Erin asleep already?
    Erin: No I was just thinkin'.
    Olivia: About what?
    Erin: Jason.
    Ben: About what a fool he is!
    John: Alright, that's enough now go to sleep.
    Jason (outside, sitting on the swing): I guess I have to admit - I was kind of naive.
    Grandpa: I'll have to teach you how to be more vulpine!
    John: Come on everybody let's go to sleep!
    (Grandpa chuckles).

    Also appearing -
    Corabeth Godsey (Ronnie Claire Edwards); Vanessa (Lynda Purl); Joe Martin (Victor Arnold); Thelma (Dorothy Shay); Lou Rhymer (J.S. Johnson); Curtis Willard (Tom Bower); Horace Brimley (A. Wilford Brimley); J.D. Waters (Paul Weaver).


    • Grandpa’s favorite spring vegetables are mustard and turnip greens.
    • Curt and Mary Ellen Willard’s house address number is ‘301’.
    • Vanessa’s husband name is Taylor.
    • The words to “Vanessa’s Song” are: There’s a place up on the mountains, where I go to be alone. And I bring you here my darlin’, to share my love with you alone. Red birds flyin’ through the valley. Crickets singin’ in the dew. Rivers rollin’ through the valley. They all know my love for you. They all know my love for you.

    (Synopsis by William Atkins.)

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  21. THE LONG NIGHT (24 Feb 1977)
    Teleplay: Rod Peterson and Claire Whitaker. Story: Rod Peterson, Claire Whitaker, and Katharyn Michaelian Power. Director: Harry Harris. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "It has always seemed to me that 1938 was the springtime of my life. I was engrossed in completing my novel and as the words poured out I felt as if the whole world was unfolding. It was a time of rising hope, not only for me, but for my grandfather".

    While John-Boy concentrates upon the writing of his novel, John joins Grandpa in bringing Grandma home from the hospital. In preparation for Esther’s return, Olivia makes a special supper, Ben hangs a ‘Welcome Home Grandma’ sign, and Jason practices Grandma’s favorite song. Grandfather and son return home alone, however, after learning only Grandpa thought Esther was ready to leave the hospital. Grandpa retreats to the bedroom after causing an uproar when the doctors would not release his wife. The doctors order Grandpa not to return. Grandpa can only fret alone in his room.

    Early the next morning Grandpa is completing a job of fence posts after sleeping fitfully in the rocker. Later, while Grandpa is transplanting azaleas, Mary Ellen stops to apologize. She says when the doctors mentioned Grandma was doing better, it did not mean she was well enough to go home. But Grandpa is still much happier than he was yesterday, because he has ‘something up his sleeve’. Ben and Grandpa take a load of lumber to Charlottesville Fence and Lumber. When arriving, Grandpa leaves for the hospital while telling Ben to pick him up there when he finishes unloading the cargo. With a pot full of azaleas in front of his face Grandpa nearly makes it past the watchful eye of the receptionist. But the woman stops him saying hospital rules dictate only the staff can take flowers to patients. He, therefore, insists the nurse on that floor be summoned to take the flowers immediately to his customer. Mary Ellen arrives after being called. She feels sorry for Grandpa and allows him to follow her up to the second floor. As they enter the elevator, Curt intercepts the two and stops Grandpa from going any further. Grandpa says, 'The time was, you was born at home, got sick at home, was taken care of at home by people who loved one another'. Curt quickly interjects, 'They died at home, too, because they did not have doctors on duty twenty-four hours a day'.

    Elizabeth cleans the chicken coop while Aimee looks on because she is allowed by Corabeth only to perform ‘feminine and domestic endeavors’. Later, Elizabeth visits Aimee who is involved with her music appreciation lesson. They have little in common because Corabeth is teaching Aimee all the finer things in life without just letting her be a little girl, like Elizabeth. Olivia, at the same time, is talking with Corabeth who is quoting her book on child rearing. Olivia does not have much faith in the guide and reminds Corabeth that she is Aimee’s mother not the book. Later, while picking wildflowers, Aimee finds a Magic Circle flower and Elizabeth says she has a wish coming to her. Aimee wishes she could pick wildflowers every day instead of her usual activities.

    It is obvious to the family that Grandpa is feeling ‘sick at heart’ without Esther. After seeing Grandpa mope around the house, John-Boy tells Grandpa that the whole family is looking for his support. He also points out that if Grandma saw him acting like this she would ‘probably slap the fire out of you’.

    After racing home with handfuls of violets, irises, sweet rockets, wild asters, daisies, and Virginia blue bells, Elizabeth and Aimee are found by Corabeth on the Walton’s front porch. She sees Aimee with a dirty and torn dress and with her new 'Mary Janes' covered in mud. Grandpa tries to defend the girls but Corabeth will not listen. She feels Elizabeth is a bad influence on her daughter. That night Ike tells Corabeth that she has been teaching Aimee to be too ‘hoity-toity’ for Waltons Mountain. Corabeth does not like what she hears and decides to sleep on the sofa. But while passing Aimee’s room she finds her daughter gone. At the same time, Grandpa is trying to sleep on the couch when he hears a late night knock on the door. It’s Aimee! She has run away from home because she would rather play hopscotch and is tired of having Corabeth say, 'Aimee, stand up straight. Aimee, don’t do that'. Grandpa admits that all parents say that, but Corabeth is worse because she is so inexperienced at being a parent. Aimee wonders if he would be her Grandpa. Zeb is honored at the suggestion and says he will most gladly be her adopted grandfather. His first advice to his new granddaughter is for both of them to return to Ike and Corabeth and explain how she feels. Grandpa explains to Corabeth that she has neglected Aimee’s education at just being a child. He further suggests she forget her child-rearing book and trust herself. Aimee admits she just wants to be like the other kids and, sometimes, just do nothing. With Corabeth remembering back to her own childhood, Zeb relates how doing nothing can often seem like doing something very exciting.

    The next night Grandpa is listening to everyone say their ‘good-nights’ when he realizes why he can not sleep. He takes off to the hospital so he and Esther can say good-night to each other. He has made arrangements with Mary Ellen to give him a signal through Grandma’s window. John and John-Boy follow Grandpa without knowing why he has driven off. Finding him on a park bench facing Grandma’s window, Grandpa explains why he is there. John-Boy and John leave so he can be alone with his wife.

    Grandpa (sitting outside the hospital): Goodnight, Esther dear, goodnight.

    "Grandpa's quiet vigil so moved the hospital staff that he was eventually allowed to sit with her again in her room. But until that time, he came every evening to the bench where he could see her lighted window".

    [No other "Goodnights"]

    Also appearing -
    Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards); Aimee Godsey (Rachel Longaker); Hospital receptionist (Lynn Wood); Curtis Willard (Tom Bower); Poetry Pantry announcer (Art Gilmore).

    (Synopsis by William Atkins.)

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  22. THE HIDING PLACE (3 March 1977)
    Writer: John McGreevey. Director: Walter Alzmann. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "Although the years of my boyhood and youth on Waltons Mountain were a time of uncertainty and desperation for millions, somehow in our home we were sustained by a sense of being safe and secure. And then, a visitor came into our world, and though she tried to close the door against the storm that was sweeping across Europe, the force of it was felt even on Waltons Mountain".

    The family has been invited to a reception at the home of the Baldwin sisters in honor of their cousin Hilary Baldwin von Clinst who has arrived from Europe. At the party Ike, Corabeth, Curt, Mary Ellen, the Waltons, and other members of the community listen to Jason play songs on the piano. After Jason’s entertainment, questions are directed toward Hilary pertaining to her country of residence, Germany. With Hitler’s rise to power John-Boy expects serious answers to his questions. Hilary provides only humorous answers that do not satisfy John-Boy’s curiosity about Hitler. She admits she makes it a practice not to talk about politics during social events. After the discussion Hilary requests Jason play Schubert’s Serenade. During the performance, John-Boy notices that Hilary is staring intently off into space.

    After the party John-Boy tells the family that he believes Hilary knows more than what she is telling. Grandpa adds that he believes she is a troubled lady because of what he saw in her eyes. Jason then stuns Olivia when he announces his intentions to join the Virginia National Guard. He down-plays his involvement to console his mother by saying it is only drilling every Thursday night at the Rockfish Armory. Olivia is firmly against any involvement with the military but Ben and John-Boy defend their brother’s decision. John mentions the honorary position that the military man in Virginia has maintained over the years. Later the Walton men listen to FDR on the radio talk about the world conflict. Olivia finally concedes she can not stop Jason from joining the Guard but tells Jason not to expect her blessings.

    Jim Bob has purchased a Rolls-Royce horn for his old car. The horn cost eight dollars from Sikes Junk Yard that he bought ‘on-time’. A few days later Jim Bob is unable to pay for the horn so is walking towards Sikes Junk Yard in order to return it. As he blows the horn he finds a crowd following behind him. When he arrives the crowd ends up buying twelve dollars of stuff. Jim Bob agrees to walk around Rockfish carrying a billboard advertising the junk yard and blowing his horn. Sikes will give him ten percent credit on anything sold as a result of his advertising until the horn is paid.

    John-Boy desperately wants an interview with Hilary but she declines his request. He decides to switch tactics when he makes a telephone call at Ike’s store in order to investigate the von Clinst name. While at the store Corabeth announces she has persuaded Hilary to speak at the Women’s Club on ‘My Years in Germany’. At the meeting Jason plays the piano, again to the delight of Hilary. But John-Boy is bored and disappointed to hear Hilary speak only about Octoberfest, beer drinking, and the music of Schubert and Beethoven. He asks her that the charming picture she portrays of Germany does not seem to have changed with the rise of power of Adolph Hitler and his Nazi regime. Hilary responds that she does not feel qualified to answer such questions. Afterwards at the reception John-Boy asks her more pointed questions about such things as: ‘Was Mendelssohn’s music banned because he is a Jew?’ and ‘Why have so many major newspapers have been forced to close?’. Hilary leaves the room visibly upset after John-Boy’s interrogation. Everyone is upset with John-Boy because he has ruined the festivities. The next morning John-Boy promises Olivia that he will apologize to the Baldwins and Hilary and invite them to dinner. Hilary accepts his apology as long as Jason will again play the piano.

    When Jason learns he is expected to play the piano at the dinner on Thursday night he admits he will be unable to attend because that is his first night of drilling for the Guard. She states that is a poor excuse because Hilary expressly asked for him to play. Jason compromises by saying he will play before dinner and then excuse himself so he can leave for the National Guard activities.

    John-Boy finds that Hilary’s husband was a liberal publisher and is now in the diplomatic services but only in a minor post in Vienna. He also finds the couple have a son. When the guests arrive at the Walton’s home Jason is playing the piano in his uniform. When Hilary sees his outfit she faints. Curt says she is in shock and is unsure whether she will come out of the coma. As the family waits for news they listen to Edward R. Murrow on the radio reporting from Vienna that tensions are high as the Austrian Chancellor is nearly assassinated by Nazis.

    John-Boy and Curt think that Hilary may respond to Jason’s piano playing. At the Baldwin’s house Jason plays the piano while everyone hopes for the best. Hilary does respond and admits for the first time she was running away from the war after her son was killed. While in the Youth Movement the group was told to destroy the business of three Jews. Her son would not help so the other members beat him to death. Hilary grieved and ran away from the pain for three months. She now explains she can not hide anymore and is grateful to everyone, especially John-Boy. She states, 'There are no hiding places, no forgetting'.

    "Hilary did return to Europe, letters were exchanged and then Vienna fell. Our letters came back stamped - 'Address unknown'. Hilary, her husband, and the others who stood against the Nazis couldn't stem the tide. Other Americans did go to Europe, to Africa, to Asia, and found the same courage that carried Hilary Baldwin von Kleist out of the sanctuary of Waltons Mountain and back into the heart of battle".

    Jason: Daddy?
    John: What is it Jason?
    Jason: I guess you remember just about everything that happened to you in the war. I suppose some of the things you don't want to remember.
    John: That's right!
    Jason: There were good things?
    John: Oh sure, good and bad.
    Jason: What would you say was the best thing happened to you?
    John: Coming home!
    Jason: Goodnight Daddy!
    John: Goodnight Son.

    Also appearing -
    Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards); The Baldwin sisters (Mary Jackson and Helen Kleeb); Hilary (Jean Marsh); Curt Willard (Tom Bower); Newscaster (Joe Cala); voices of Roosevelt and Edward R Murrow (Walter Edminston).


    • Hillary Baldwin von Clinst, who speaks five languages (Italian, English, German, French, and one that is not mentioned) is from the Baltimore (Maryland) branch of the Baldwins.
    • Her husband’s name is Earnst; her son’s name was Peter (and was of similar age as Jason).
    • Jean Marsh, who played Hilary, starred in and co-produced the 1970s series " Upstairs Downstairs".

    (Synopsis by William Atkins.)

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  23. THE GO-GETTER (10 March 1977)
    Writers: Andy White and Paul West. Director: Lawrence Dobkin. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "In the spring of 1938 I began to feel the burden of publishing The Blue Ridge Chronicle and finishing my novel. It would be the newspaper which would create a crisis affecting the entire family".

    John-Boy is ill-tempered as he remains under constant pressure from publishing the Chronicle and writing the final chapter of his first novel. The family is not helping as they loudly push Jim Bob’s car, Ike drives off on his noisy motorcycle, and Chance bellows out several ‘moos’ in response to all the commotion. While Ben visits the Jarvis Used Car Lot, he suggests to the owner, Mr. Jarvis, that he try a radical new advertising campaign in order to sell more cars. Mr. Jarvis finally agrees with Ben and says he is a natural salesman. Darlene, Mr. Jarvis’ daughter, is impressed with Ben’s get-up-and-go attitude. She drives Ben home in one of her Daddy’s cars; and as they say ‘good-bye’ she gives Ben a kiss.

    Sarah Griffith is back on Waltons Mountain specifically to see Ep Bridges whom she loves. She tells Olivia her marital intentions much to the delight of Olivia who wants her friend married and permanently on the Mountain.

    At dinner, John-Boy is still tense from his many deadlines. He skips dessert and tells Ben to join him for more work on the newspaper. Ben would rather borrow John-Boy’s car so he can visit Darlene, but reluctantly follows his big brother. As John-Boy works frantically on the newspaper, Ben makes a paperweight with Darlene’s name on it. Accidently he drops it into the printing press and almost breaks the machine. John-Boy becomes irate at Ben for not doing his job. Ben storms out telling his boss he does not need the job because Mr. Jarvis will hire him. The next day, Ben does get hired as an used car salesman. Ben’s first customer is Arnie Shimerdy whom he slick-talks into buying a run-down truck. That night, he boasts to the family of his eight dollar commission. John asks Ben if he told the buyer all the things wrong with the truck, knowing it was previously owned by Mort Sellers. Ben says the customer never asked but states the truck was well worth the selling price. No one believes him.

    Olivia tells John that she and Sarah are going shopping tomorrow in Rockfish. John grins while saying that Charlottesville has better stores; knowing they are going to Rockfish for one reason, and it is not to shop! The next day the pair park in front of the office after noticing Ep is sitting outside. Ep invites Sarah in for coffee while Olivia walks to Barton’s Dry Goods Store. After learning from Olivia that nothing happened while Sarah was with Ep, John explains that Ep does not make fast moves in anything he does.

    Mrs. Brimmer arrives at Ike’s store complaining about her aching feet. Mary Ellen suggests she buy a car and Ike adds that she should buy one from Ben who is working at Jarvis’. Later at the car lot, Ben shows Mrs. Brimmer the car that Preacher Parker from Scottsville had previously owned. Mr. Jarvis knows they can sell that car anytime so convinces Ben to sell her the more difficult to sell Studebaker sedan by adding a five dollar bonus when it is sold. With another twelve dollars in commissions and a five dollar bonus Mr. Jarvis tells Ben he is the best salesman he has ever employed. With Ben’s ego boosted from the compliment, Ben informs Jim Bob that the car he is fixing up will never be anything but a piece of junk. Jim Bob does not like the comment and calls his brother a 'Big Shot' behind his back.

    Olivia visits Sarah at Mrs. Brimmer’s boarding house to invite Sarah for dinner, along with Ep. While visiting, Mrs. Brimmer says her new car stopped running a day after she bought it. Sarah thinks she should return it for repairs. Later, John and Olivia have a quiet dinner with Ep and Sarah. Ep then takes them to the movie ‘Naughty Marietta’ featuring Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. Unfortunately Ep has Sarah sit next to Olivia while he sits next to John. Then Ep drops off Sarah before he drops off Olivia and John. Olivia is upset because the two barely spoke to each other the entire night. However, Ep returns to see Sarah. The next morning Olivia and Mrs. Brimmer find out that Sarah is leaving for Richmond. But, they soon are informed she will return to Waltons Mountain, after the honeymoon.

    Jim Bob tells Ben that Mrs. Brimmer paid one hundred twenty five dollars for a car that will not run because of a broken timing chain. Ben denies knowing anything about it when he sold her the car. After having guilty feelings about the car, Ben confesses to John-Boy that he spent most of the money from his job on Darlene. John-Boy suggests he try to fix the car himself and, if necessary, ask Jim Bob to help him. Ben admits Jim Bob is mad at him. With Blue, the old mule, pulling Mrs. Brimmer’s car, Ben brings the car to the house to fix it. Ben does his best but has little luck fixing it. He wakes up in the middle of the night and hears someone working on the car. At the same time, John-Boy is still struggling with the last chapter of his book. He is frustrated with not knowing how to properly end his novel. John-Boy takes a break and walks outside. He sees Ben and Jim Bob working on the car together. John Boy feels rejuvenated after seeing his two brothers mend their differences. He returns to his typewriter confident he can now write the last chapter to his first novel.

    "They are grown now, those boys, men set apart by time and distance. But the patterns that were set in those early years still remain. During the years that followed, my brothers and my sisters came to each other's aid often in time of trouble, and they still do".

    Elizabeth: Mama, are you awake?
    Olivia: Yes, Elizabeth.
    Elizabeth: Why do ladies put candles on the table when they invite men for supper?
    Olivia: Because candlelight makes ladies look prettier.
    Elizabeth: Oh why is that?
    Jim Bob: 'Cos candles don't put out much light and you can't see too much.
    Elizabeth: Isn't that kind of sneaky?
    Olivia: Goodnight Elizabeth.

    Also appearing -
    Sara Griffith (Lynn Carlin); Mr Jarvis (Lew Brown); Darlene Jarvis (Melody Thomas); Sheriff Bridges (John Crawford); Mrs Brimmer (Nora Marlowe); The usher (Brian Malone); Fester (Jeff Cotler); Arnie Shimerdy (Don Keefer); Ike Godsey (Joe Conley).


    • Eggs at Ike’s store have gone up in price to thirty cents per dozen.
    • A small boy named Fester appears in this episode with Ep Bridges tying his shoes strings. The young actor’s name is Jeff Cotler. Is this Kami Cotler’s brother? (Editor: according to a comment in one of Karen's past Waltons Digests, yes he is!)

    (Synopsis by William Atkins.)

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  24. THE ACHIEVEMENT (17 March 1977)
    Writers: Dale Eunson, Earl Hamner and Andy White. Director: Harry Harris. Music: Alexander Courage.

    "It came as a co-incidence that just as I finally completed my first novel, Elizabeth for the first time became enthralled with a book. I wondered if what I had written would ever be published and read half so avidly"

    Riding Old Blue to Godsey’s store with Elizabeth, John-Boy again asks Ike if a letter has arrived in response to his submittal of his finally completed novel to Hastings House in New York City. Ike knows that John-boy is very anxious to know whether his writings have been accepted or not. John-Boy is disappointed again when Ike informs him that no letter has arrived. While at the store, Elizabeth is investigating the list of 'Most Wanted' criminals being sought by the F.B.I. She is engrossed in the book Jessica: Girl Spy by Edith Catharine Hubert and believes she is the real girl detective. Back at the house, Elizabeth writes a letter to Miss Hubert whom John-Boy finds out is living in New York City with her mother. Elizabeth says to John-Boy, 'Maybe someday someone will write you a letter.'

    Another trip to Ike’s store finds no news about his still unpublished novel. Ike tells John-Boy that the book could possibly be lying in the dead letter office. John-Boy can not stand it any longer and calls Miss Belle Becker of Hastings House. He talks with the publisher’s receptionist, Miss Mattocks, who informs John-Boy that some writers have to wait three to four months before their book is reviewed. With the prospect of waiting several more months and still not knowing if his novel even made it to the publisher, John-Boy decides to travel to New York City and find out for himself. Feeling that his life ‘lies in the balance’, John-Boy informs John and Olivia that he purchased a bus ticket for New York City that leaves Rockfish at 8 o’clock the next morning. John drives him to the Rockfish station after Elizabeth requests he find out if Edith Catharine Hubert has published another book. At Hastings House Miss Becker shows John-Boy several piles of unsolicited manuscripts that someday she will find the time to read. John-Boy finds his novel within the stacks. Knowing that John-Boy came all the way from Virginia she invites John-Boy to sit and tell her about his book.

    John Boy begins by saying. 'Most of what’s in here is the truth. I mean, I fictionalized parts of it but most of it really happened. It’s about my family and me.'

    Miss Becker states, 'Start with you.'

    John-Boy continues, 'Well, I’ve always wanted to write. I can’t ever remember wanting to do anything else. As far back as I can remember I always kept a journal, with my thoughts and feelings about things in it. But because I felt that no one would understand that, I always kept it a secret. And then one Christmas Eve my mother found out.'

    Olivia: I don’t understand you, hidin’ things under a mattress. Is it something you are ashamed of?
    John-Boy: What’s in that tablet, Moma, all of my secret thoughts, what I feel and what I think about; what it’s like late at night to hear a whippoorwill call and hear its mate call back, or just watching the water go behind the creek and knowing someday it will reach the ocean and wonderin’ if I’ll ever see an ocean and what a wonder that would be. You know, Moma, sometimes I hike on over to the highway and I just sit and watch the buses go by and the people in them, and I’m wonderin’ what they’re like, what they say to each other, and where they’re bound for. Things stay in my mind, Moma. I can’t forget anything. And it gets all bottled up in here and sometimes I feel like a crazy man. I can’t rest or sleep or anything until I just rush up here and write it down in that tablet. Sometimes I think I really am crazy.
    Olivia: I do vow.
    John-Boy: If things had been different, Moma, I could have done something with my life.
    Olivia: You will John-Boy. You have a promisin’ future.

    John-Boy continues to speak to Miss Becker, 'You see in families like mine, as soon as he is able to, the oldest boy is suppose to go to work as soon as he can, to help support the rest of the family. Now I fully intended to do that and I thought that my father expected that of me. But on that same Christmas Eve, I found out that my father knew all along about my writing. He had been working in Waynesboro that year and he had a hard time getting home that night. But when he finally did, there was presents for everybody.'

    John: Open yours, Son.
    John-Boy: Oh, yeah. (As he opens his present he sees Big Chief writing tablets.)
    John: I don’t know how it got way up to the North Pole that you wanted to be a writer?
    John-Boy: Well, guess he must be a right-smart man.
    John: I don’t know much about the writing trade, Son, but if that is what you want to take up, give it all you’ve got.
    John-Boy: Yes sir, Daddy.

    Speaking again to Miss Becker, John-Boy says, 'After that I wrote whenever I could make the time -- short stories, poems, scenes -- but I was floundering, I didn’t have any direction. And then one day I showed one of my short stories to someone for the first time.'

    John-Boy: Aside from the grammar part though, what do you think?
    Miss Hunter: I find it very moving. It’s a wonderful story!
    John-Boy: You really believed it?
    Miss Hunter: Every word.
    John-Boy: Well what do you know about that!
    Miss Hunter: And the characters of the mother and father are (m-m-m) especially fine.
    John-Boy: Well, I guess you know where I got my inspiration for them.
    Miss Hunter: What are you going to do with the story now?
    John-Boy: I don’t know. What do you think I ought to do with it?
    Miss Hunter: I think you ought to try to submit it to a magazine and try to get it published.
    John-Boy: Just like a real writer.
    Miss Hunter: You’re a real writer ..... young and inexperienced, but the talent is there, the gift is there, something totally your own, something to guard, to treasure and to use.
    John-Boy: Thank you. I sure appreciate you reading it for me.
    Miss Hunter: Thank you.

    John-Boy continues, 'One of my best influences was my teacher, Rosemary Hunter, and one of my most unexpected influences was my grandmother.'

    Grandma: My family was storytellers and long before we had luxuries like electric light and radio, and all this modernism’s, why we would sit around the fireplace at night and each one of us would take turns telling stories: ghost stories, witch stories, long ago stories of Indians and wars and things that happened in the history of our family. And I’ve kept them and now they’re mellow in my mind and ready to tell again.
    John-Boy: You know, Miss Hunter told me the talent of being a writer was a gift and now I know where that gift comes from.
    Grandma: Now all these stories I remember. I’ll tell them to you, John-Boy, and that’ll be my inheritance to you.
    John-Boy: Grandma, I cherish you.
    Grandma: And I you, boy. Good night!
    John-Boy: Good night!

    John continues telling Miss Becker, 'By chance a professional writer came to the Mountain, A.J. Covington.'

    A.J.: Moral stories are out of style, John-Boy, but then so am I. But my story has a moral. Don’t waste your life searchin’ for the one big story you were born to write. Write the little stories. Who knows, the sum total of them might be the big one. Write about Waltons Mountain, your feelings about your family and this place, just the way you’ve been doin’. Write about how it is to be young and confused and poor and groping; but supported by a strong father and a loving mother, surrounded by brothers and sisters that pester you and irritate you, but care about you. Try to capture that in words, John-Boy. That’s as big of a challenge as the Klondike, or the white whale, or flying the Atlantic Ocean alone. It was too big for me but I think you might just be up to it.

    Miss Becker is reading several books this weekend. John-Boy asks her that if he stayed in the city for the weekend, would she read his book and give him an answer on Monday. She agrees.

    Back home, Grandpa and Elizabeth are tracing an outline of Old Blue’s hoof prints. After doing the entire family’s fingerprints, she is next tracing the prints of Chance the cow and Myrtle the goat.

    Still in New York City, John-Boy calls John and Olivia at Ike’s store (and reverses the charges because he is low on money) telling them he is staying the weekend so Miss Becker can read his novel. As John-Boy walks the streets of New York City, he enters a dance establishment advertising ‘Ten Cents a Dance’. John-Boy hopes to find Daisy Garner inside, since this is the last address she gave him. After locating her, Daisy tells him she earns her living there but is a dancer who has performed in two musicals and tomorrow is auditioning for her first speaking part.

    Later in the weekend John-Boy visits the address of Edith Catharine Hubert. Her mother tells John-Boy that her daughter died nearly two months ago. John-Boy explains that his sister practically lives the life of Jessica, girl spy. And Elizabeth asked him to find out, while he was in New York City, if the author had published any other books. John-Boy describes Elizabeth as 'twelve years old, and she’s small for her age, she’s got beautiful, beautiful red hair, and kind of an impish face, she’s full of surprises, a wonderful girl'. Mrs. Hubert gives Elizabeth a copy of Jessica, Girl Spy that has been personally autographed by her daughter. After reading the letter that Elizabeth sent her daughter, she also gives Elizabeth a page from the manuscript her daughter was working on before she died. Missing contact with other writers, Mrs. Hubert listens intently while John-Boy describes some of his experiences while writing his first novel. John-Boy goes into details about how a fire that destroyed their house also burn his writings, forcing him to rewrite his entire novel.

    On Monday morning John-Boy is announced by Miss Maddocks to Miss Becker. As John-Boy is ushered into the publisher’s office, Miss Becker smiles at Mr. Walton’s innocent enthusiasm and anxiety.

    John-Boy is met at the bus station by Jim Bob who is driving the car he has been fixing up. It finally runs. At the house John-Boy shouts that Miss Becker loved his novel, liked the title ‘Waltons Mountain’ for the novel, will publish it, and gave him an advance of one hundred fifty dollars. She also wants him to write another book. Olivia wants to read the book now but John-Boy admits he wrote her part ‘as kind of a Baptist’ and wrote the father’s character as ‘appearing to be a bit of a heathen from time to time’. Later he sets Elizabeth aside to tell her than Edith Catharine Hubert died. John-Boy gives her the personally autographed copy of her book and the page from her unfinished manuscript. Elizabeth feels she has lost someone very special.

    At dinner John-Boy tells his experiences from New York City. At an opportune time, Mary Ellen announces she is pregnant. The boys yell they all are going to be uncles and the whole family showers her with hugs and kisses. After being ignored, Curt exclaims, 'Excuse me! Who’s the father of this child?'

    As John, Olivia, Grandpa, and John-Boy sit on the porch later in the evening John-Boy tells them how New York City ‘has stirred him up like nothing else he’s seen’ and that his reaction to the city was ‘like a love affair right from the start’. With his feelings of promise and adventure from his trip to New York City Grandpa asks John and Olivia what they think of their son ‘flying the coop’. John reluctantly knows he couldn’t get his son to stay - he understands. Olivia states she better start to darn his socks -- but really just wants to be alone for the moment. Grandpa says, 'Don’t forget your way home.' John-Boy responds, 'I never will.' John and John-Boy say nothing, just grasp each other. John-Boy then runs to the front yard, emotional at the prospect of going to live in New York City and leaving the only life he ever knew.

    "I did leave Waltons Mountain to live and work in New York City. I wrote more novels and raised a family of my own. Today, we live in California, but no matter where I am, the call of a night bird, the rumble of a train crossing a trestle, the scent of crab apple, the lowing of a sleepy cow can call me home again. In memory I stand before that small white house, and I can still hear those sweet voices".

    Ben: Goodnight Mama.
    Olivia: Goodnight Ben. Goodnight Jim Bob.
    Jim Bob: 'Night Mama, 'night Erin.
    Erin: 'Night Jim Bob, 'night Grandpa.
    Grandpa: 'Night Erin, goodnight Jason.
    Jason: Goodnight Grandpa, goodnight Daddy.
    John: Goodnight Jason, goodnight Elizabeth.
    Elizabeth: Goodnight Daddy. Goodnight John-Boy.
    John-Boy is standing outside listening to the voices. He answers quietly: Goodnight everybody, - I love you.

    Also appearing -
    Belle Becker (Bettye Ackerman); Miss Maddocks (Maggie Malooly); Daisy (Dierdre Lenihan); Mrs Herbert (Joan Tompkins); Curtis Willard (Tom Bower); Ike Godsey (Joe Conley); Ticket seller (Lynda Sainte-James); Mail boy (John Dayton).

    - and in flashback sequences -
    Grandma (Ellen Corby); Rosemary Hunter, as she then was (Mariclaire Costello); A.J.Covington (David Huddleston).


    • Flashback sequences from (Grandma tells J-B she'll tell him stories)(S/), The Burn-out (S4/18).
    • John-Boy's car no is 65-72.....
    • Jim Bob's car no is 33-4829.
    • Daisy (Dierdre Lenihan) previously appeared in The Marathon (S3/9).
    • Other than several appearances later in the television series and roles in movies continuing the Waltons saga, this is the last episode for Richard Thomas in the regular occurring role of John-Boy Walton.

    (Synopsis by William Atkins.)

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