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SEASON 3, 1974-1975


Cast List
John-Boy Walton: Richard Thomas
John Walton: Ralph Waite
Olivia Walton: Michael Learned
Esther Walton (Grandma): Ellen Corby
Zebulon Tyler Walton (Grandpa): Will Geer
Mary Ellen Walton: Judy Norton
Jason Walton: Jon Walmsley
Ben Walton: Eric Scott
Erin Walton: Mary Elizabeth McDonough
Jim-Bob Walton: David Harper
Elizabeth Walton: Kami Cotler

Production Staff
Executive Producer: Lee Rich
Producer: Robert L. Jacks
Story Editor: Carol Evan McKeand
Executive Story Consultant: Earl Hamner
Associate Producer/Production Manager: Neil T. Maffeo
Music: Arthur Morton
Theme Song by Jerry Goldsmith
Created by Earl Hamner

“The Conflict” (2 hour episode)
Original airdate: 09/12/1974
Screenplay: Jeb Rosebrook
Director: Ralph Senensky
Returning from a picnic, the family discovers that Martha Corinne, Grandpa’s sister-in-law, widow of his brother Henry, her son Boone, and her grandson and daughter-in-law Wade and Vera will be displaced by a government park project. At home, Boone and Wade request that the Walton men help them defend their homestead, and they arrive at the house without firearms, to Martha Corinne’s disgust. The government has given them three days to move out and the family holds a war council. They are disgusted when John-Boy refuses to fight. Meanwhile, the boys, arrowhead hunting, have to rescue the berrypicking girls from Martha Corinne’s mean hogs. State Senator Lucas Avery talks Martha Corinne into looking at the government housing they will give her in return for the property, despite the protests of the rest of the family, and tells her the construction will cease while they do so. However, the construction men proceed. John-Boy and Grandpa stay at the homestead, where John-Boy tells Wade his wood carvings are good enough to sell, while at home, Martha Corinne helps the family make blackberry ice cream and reminisces about Henry’s war exploits and the family’s past. Next day, Grandpa and Boone go fishing while John-Boy and Wade cut wood for Vera’s baby cradle and Martha Corinne sees the government housing. She likes the conveniences, but not the “flatland” location. Wade has just show John-Boy where he plans to build a house for Vera and himself when Grandpa and Boone tell them that bulldozers are moving in. John-Boy is reluctant to join the fight, but does, while Wade rushes off to fetch John. Martha Corinne demands to go home immediately while John speaks with Lucas Avery. Grandpa is angry at John-Boy’s reluctance to fight for his family, but Martha Corinne takes an interest in his college career—until she hears he’s not interested in helping hold off the “enemy.” The roads to the homestead are blocked and John-Boy tells them their stand is futile, but joins them nevertheless. He tries to negotiate with the head of the construction gang, but fails, and is shot when defense of the homestead begins. Luckily John arrives just then with Senator Avery, but they have bad news: the governor has refused to help them. Reluctantly Martha Corinne says they will leave, and leaves her precious spinning wheel to the Walton girls.
Martha Corinne Walton: Beulah Bondi. Boone Walton: Morgan Woodward. Wade Walton: Richard Hatch. Vera Walton: Lindsay V. Jones. Blake: Mills Watson. Slim: Harry Pugh. Senator Lucas Avery: Paul Fix. Senator Burgess: William Guinn. Senator Rogers: Bill Erwin. Oldest Boy: Hilliard Livingston. Youngest Boy: Eddie Raydon. Construction Worker: Randolph Dobbs. Flagman: Casey Tibbs.
Beulah Bondi’s film career went back to the talkies of the early 1930s. She played Mrs. Bailey in the Jimmy Stewart classic It’s a Wonderful Life.

“The First Day”
Original airdate: 09/19/1974
Screenplay: John McGreevey
Director: Philip Leacock
Nervous about his first day at college, John-Boy is up with the chickens and seeking assurance. The children eagerly and Olivia reluctantly see him off. On the way to the campus, he gives a lift to a garrilous girl named Polly Thompson, and once there, is given advice by a more streetwise freshman, Mike West. Despite all the coaching, he runs afoul of some infantile sophomores and is persuaded by an upperclassman to deliver a billy goat to the head of the English department, William Ghote, whom he has already bumped into—literally—before. When he arrives at registration, he discovers he has forgotten an important admissions card, and when he hurries back to his car, he discovers it has been towed because he parked illegally. He phones the general store and asks Ike to call John and ask him to deliver the registration card because he can’t get the car from the towing company. Mike advises John-Boy not to act so “country,” and he’s attempting to do just that when John shows up in the rattletrap truck, inspiring jeers from John-Boy’s classmates, but the man is a welcome sight to his son, who assures John he won’t let college change him. Meanwhile, Jason, who had been trying to remake himself in John-Boy’s image, until Miss Hunter tells him he cannot be: he is better being himself. Finally John-Boy helps Polly with her schedule, reclaims his car, defeats the sophomores, and arrives home with quite a tale to tell.
Ike Godsey: Joe Conley. Rosemary Hunter: Mariclare Costello. Mike West: Ted Eccles. Polly Thompson: Devon Ericson. Andrew Clark: Tom McAllister. Professor William Ghote: Lawrence Dobkin. Paxton: Dennis Redfield. Hobgood: David Ankrum. Eileen: Kim O’Brien. Crouch: Jack McCullough. Randolph: Joel Kimmel. “Ichabod”: Greg Vigen. Miss Mansell: Nadyne Turney. Eubank: Damon Douglas. Davis: Johnnie Collins III. Shanks: Michael Kearns.
David Ankrum played Adam Stephens in the Bewitched sequel, Tabitha. Lawrence Dobkin was better known for his directing work on The Waltons and other series. As “Teddy” Eccles, Ted Eccles was a busy child actor and starred in the critically acclaimed My Side of the Mountain. He also played the young Franklin Roosevelt in Eleanor and Franklin.

“The Thoroughbred”
Original airdate: 09/26/1974
Screenplay: Michael Russnow and Tony Kayden
Director: Harry Harris
John-Boy enters Blue in the local cross-country race and thinks he has a chance of winning until his classmate, Carl, a rich boy who recently moved into the area from New York, decides he is going to be the first in something in his new neighborhood and enters his thoroughbred, Thunder Bay. Afraid of being outclassed, John-Boy first becomes reluctant, then tyrannical about Blue’s training. Part of the rivalry between Carl and John-Boy has to do with Selena Linville, granddaughter of the sponsor of the race; John-Boy wonders if he has anything to offer an aristocratic girl like her, especially after he sees her with Carl after she did not turn up at their lunch date. (She was really retaking a test, but he doesn’t know that.) He vents his anger on the children, although they are doing their best with Blue, and John tells him he doesn’t want him to ride in the race if he’s going to have such a bad attitude. With Blue decked out in Mary Ellen’s handmade blanket, John-Boy starts the race glowing from Selena’s apology and an after-race invitation. Of course, Thunder stays in the lead on the easy stretches, but following Grandpa’s advice that “a mule likes nothing better than to do it the hard way,” John-Boy takes legal shortcuts across the mountain and Blue beats all the horses by a length. John-Boy and Carl part friends at race’s end.
Ike Godsey: Joe Conley. Colonel Seth Linville: Frank Janson. Selena Linville: Kathleen Quinlan. Carl: Brendan Burns. Roswell: Jim Gammon. Professor Foster: Glen Gordon.

“The Runaway”
Screenplay: Larry Bischof and Carol Evan McKeand from a story by Larry Bischof
Director: Harry Harris
Jim-Bob is caring for the school mascot guinea pig Porthos just as Elizabeth catches a cold and John-Boy is asked by Boatwright employee Amy Partridge to escort her to a students-only lecture given by travel writer Bennett Holmby. Already upset by the family’s teasing, Jim-Bob is hurt by the indifference that greets the news that Porthos has died after falling off the bureau in the boys’ room. Taking only his aviator cap, Jim-Bob hitches a truck ride from one of John’s customers, leaving a note that leaves the family searching for him. Since Ike saw both boy and Elwood Dobbs headed for Westham, John phones John-Boy, who catches up with Dobbs, but after he has dropped Jim-Bob off. While the little boy wanders the city, attempting to find a train out of town, John-Boy misses his date with Amy (he leaves a ticket at the door for her to get in) and is led a chase down Westham streets and even “allowing” Jim-Bob to volunteer for the Air Corps before he loses his temper and sits the younger boy down for a talk. Jim-Bob complains no one paid attention to him, which John-Boy admits was wrong, but says that running away didn’t solve anything. A bearded man listening to John-Boy’s description of home advises Jim-Bob to wait to travel because having a home and family is the most important; John-Boy realizes after a while that the well-traveled man is Bennett Holmby himself! Holmby praises John-Boy’s use of words and pays the check for the two Waltons. Later, John-Boy is able to apologize to Amy, and Jim-Bob is returned home to the relieved and joyful family.
Amy Partridge: Ann Holand. Elwood Dobbs: Geoffrey Lewis. Ike Godsey: Joe Conley. Bennett Lawrence Holmby: Herb Nelson. Sgt. Strong: Gary Vinson. Boy #1: Brad Wilkin. Boy #2: Michael LeClair. Miss Tibbs: Elizabeth Kerr. Railroad Clerk: Jimmy Weldon. Waitress: Kathi Sawyer. Greg Walker: Chris Beaumont. College Student: Ben Wilson.
Gary Vinson was a regular on the series McHale’s Navy as Christy, one of McHale’s crewmen.

“The Romance”
Original airdate: 10/10/1974
Screenplay: Hindi Brooks
Director: Ivan Dixon
When John-Boy discovers his mother water-color painting in the woods, he suggest he teach her to drive so she can attend night-school painting lessons in Charlottesville. Grandma thinks the entire idea is foolish, and also objects to Mary Ellen’s new ambition to be a travelling nurse. Olivia decides she does need a change, and her driving lessons become moments of high drama, but soon she has her license and is attending class. The teacher is a young man named Joshua Williams, who takes an immedate shine to her. Her interest in him is more motherly, but he is soon tempting her with tales of freedom, painting, and Paris. Mary Ellen, having had her nursing plans squashed by both her chauvinistic boyfriend and by Grandma, is sullen until Olivia assures her she can become what she wants to be. When Olivia goes on a museum trip with her class, she enjoys it immensely, until Joshua kisses her before she leaves for home and she realizes he is in love with her. John is worried because she is late, but not as disturbed as Olivia, who finally admits to John that Joshua kissed her. John of course is irritated, but encourages Olivia, who was planning to drop out, to continue attending class and set Joshua straight, but she refuses to attend anymore. Joshua comes to the house to apologize and realizes she is happy, and Olivia agrees to attend art class again. And Mary Ellen’s boyfriend finally agrees that she can become anything she likes, even a doctor.
Joshua Williams: David Selby. Don Millman: Biff Warren. Mrs. Hallet: Iris Korn. Mr. Evanston: Roger Price. Mrs. Riddle: Ysabel MacCloskey.
This is Ivan Dixon who starred as Sgt. James Kinchloe on Hogan’s Heroes.

“The Ring”
Original airdate: 10/17/1974
Screenplay: Nigel McKeand
Director: Philip Leacock
Nervous that she will look babyish at her first college dance, Mary Ellen purchases a used evening bag from the junkman. She discovers a valuable amethyst ring in the bag, but even after Mrs. Breckenridge, the original owner of the purse, comes to the house looking for the ring, Mary Ellen keeps it a secret. She plans to wear it to the dance, then give it back. John-Boy is nervous himself because he isn’t sure he likes the girl he’s taking to the event, but John assures him he will know when he meets the woman for him. Wearing the ring gives Mary Ellen courage, and she enjoys her date with Mike West, and even John-Boy’s beginning to have a good time with his date Audrey, when Martha Rose Coverdale appears. Ashamed of having to attend with her brother, Martha Rose notices the ring, and Mary Ellen is so unnerved by her attention that she drops the ring in the ladies’ room. Mary Ellen’s first grownup date has Grandma and Grandpa “spooning,” but the girl doesn’t notice—upon arriving home she discovers the ring is lost. Erin helps her look for it, but she eventually has to own up to John-Boy, who takes her back to the college to look for it. When they find the hall locked, Audrey sneaks in and is caught, ruining her chances to get into a cliquey sorority, but when she shrugs it off, John-Boy realizes she is really nice after all. Mary Ellen confesses what she did to the family and the ring is returned to Mrs. Breckenridge.
Mike West: Ted Eccles. Martha Rose Coverdale: Cindy Eilbacher. Vernon Rutley: Roy Engel. Audrey Butler: Kathleen Cody. Mrs. Breckenridge: Adrienne Morden. Girl Student: Deborah Newman. Girl Student: Alpha Blair. Tedrow: Leigh Webb. Arthur Jackson: Jason Johnson. Boy Student: Jay McKenna.

“The System”
Original airdate: 10/24/1974
Screenplay: Jeb Rosebrook
Director: Harry Harris
John-Boy is asked to tutor Tom Povitch, an athletic scholarship student who is failing his classes, and takes him home over a school holiday, where Tom charms the family. John-Boy finds that between football practice and his job Tom doesn’t have much time to study. While they cram for exams, Jason tries to discover why Ben has become so secretive. During the exam, John-Boy sees Tom look at another student’s paper, and reluctantly he must report Tom to the honor council. However, he also defends Tom, who looked at the other paper in fear that he would not pass the test and not fulfill his dream to be a lawyer in the small Pennsylvania coal town he was born in. Jason solves the mystery of Ben when he finds him smoking, but is reluctant to tell; Grandpa eventually finds out and cures Ben of wanting to smoke by forcing him to have cigarette after cigarette until he is sick. Tom’s confession only elicits sympathy from the Waltons and John-Boy thinks the system is at fault, setting friend against friend, and he agrees to represent Tom at the council meeting. Tom’s father arrives to withdraw him from school, but when he hears John-Boy’s plea and Tom’s dream, he decides against it. Tom is indeed found guilty, but only suspended for a week, and the family and father and son celebrate.
Tom Povitch: Richard Masur. Mike Paxton: Dennis Redfield. Victor Povitch: Jacques Aubuchon. Dr. Emory: Tom Lacy. Coach: Don Matheson. Faculty Member: Glen Gordon. Townsend: Tim Haldeman. Council Secretary: Barbara Litsky. Council Member: Stuart Taylor.
Richard Masur is more well-known for his comedic roles.

“The Spoilers”
Original airdate: 10/31/1974
Screenplay: Carol Ledner
Director: Jack Shea
Olivia and Grandma help the Hanover family, Ted and Susan and their children Alicia and Charles, former city dwellers, settle into their new house. They are a little snobby, especially the children, but Alicia takes an immediate shine to John-Boy, and Charles to Erin. Ted, an out-of-work stockbroker, wants to start a garden and adjust to country living, bu the others are certain he’ll be sick of it soon and they can go back to New York. Alicia gives Mary Ellen a castoff Paris gown, discontenting the already restless girl, and Alicia’s manner disturbs Olivia, especially when she keeps John-Boy away from his homework. Exposure to the spoiled Hanover children start the Walton children squabbling among themselves, and John wonders if city-bred Ted will be able to adjust to country living, even though he already loves the mountain. Susan’s stories of Europe begin making Olivia restless, and Alicia’s criticism of John-Boy’s writing leaves the young man cold. Charles also loses Erin’s friendship when he tries to press her into necking, and Olivia assures her she’s done the right thing, but later complains to John about the turmoil the Hanovers are causing. John speaks to Ted about his responsibility to his children, and a discouraged Ted wonders to Susan if this move to the country wasn’t just an escape from the realities of New York, just like their trips to Europe. The Hanovers eventually move back to the city, where they belong.
Theodore Hanover: Mark Miller. Susan Hanover: Barbara Cason. Alicia Hanover: Linda Purl. Charles Hanover: David Gruner.

“The Marathon”
Original airdate: 11/07/1974
Screenplay: Nigel McKeand
Director: Ralph Senensky
John-Boy meets vivacious Daisy Garner in a dime store and is a bit bewitched by her, and her plans to get out of the country, so he decides to enter a dance marathon with her in Scottsville. Olivia thinks the idea is a “trashy exhibition of self” and refuses to even listen to the competition on Ben’s hand-built crystal set. Grandpa tries to soothe her by telling her about allowing his son Ben to go to war. There are all sorts of people that have entered the contest, people desperate for money, a vaudeville couple Spanky and Helen, and some, like John-Boy, just there for the experience. One couple is even trying to earn money to be married. The sleaziness of the competition becomes apparent to John-Boy as the hours wear on, especially after first Spanky and then P.M. collapse, but his determination to finish what he started keeps him going. Daisy’s desperation to get out of Scottsville and make a new start in the city keeps her on her feet, and when John and Olivia come to the dance to speak to their son, he confesses to them that he thinks the marathon is ridiculous and tries to talk Daisy into quitting. But she keeps on with P.M.’s partner Steve, and John-Boy goes home; he and his mother come to an understanding about independence and growing up.
Daisy Garner: Deirdre Lenihan. Spanky: Lennie Weinrib. Helen: Joyce Jameson. Bracket: Bernie Barrow. P.M.: Ellen Moss. Steve: Don Miller. Fred: Charles Haid. Radio Announcer: Brad Trumbull. Mr. Patterson: Lindsay Workman.

“The Book”
Original airdate: 11/14/1974
Screenplay: Joseph Bonaduce
Director: Harry Harris
John-Boy is overwhelmed in doubt after he is accepted into a prestigious creative writing class in which all the other students are sophomores who seem to be reading intellectual novels and cannot take any pleasure in an old boat that the children are restoring. To cheer him up, Olivia goes into town and submits some of his short stories to a publisher who placed an ad looking for new talent. To John-Boy’s surprise, the publisher, Majestic Press, wants to print them! His news completely overshadow’s Jason’s successful audition to play with Bobby Bigelow and His Haystack Gang, a local radio group, and the adulation of his fellow students, college friends, and the family go directly to John-Boy’s head. He views the children’s boat as childish nonsense and accepts a local radio interview, and when the books arrive, he rides on air, giving Ike the first autographed copy. Then he discovers a bill for the books in the box. Angrily, he appeals to a lawyer, who discovers that they read the contract incorrectly and the publisher has indeed fulfilled his contract—as a “vanity press.” The family feels foolish and also guilty for neglecting Jason, who tells them about his new job, and they all attend one of his performances. John-Boy confesses what happened on his radio interview and is able to take small joy in the launching of the new boat.
Ike Godsey: Joe Conley. Bobby Bigelow: Mayf Nutter. Professor Parks: Paul Jenkins. Sally Barstow: Kathy Cronkite. Mr. Guffy: Garry Walberg. Miss Webb: Julie Rogers. Mr. Andrews: Granville Van Dusen. Mr. Carpenter: Gene Massey, Jr. Casper Tice: Robert Sorrells. Mr. Tatlock: Bruce Reasman. Tim Collins: Gerald McRaney.
Kathy Cronkite is newsman Walter Cronkite’s daughter; this was her screen debut.

“The Job”
Original airdate: 11/21/1974
Screenplay: Nigel McKeand
Director: Ivan Dixon
Reading a book on Florence Nightingale inspires Mary Ellen into nursing just as John-Boy applies for a part-time job reading to a blind young woman. The reading is her mother’s idea, and Ruth Thomas herself is so rude and resentful that John-Boy reconsiders his having taken the position. Mary Ellen convinces him to stick with the job. He finds out that Ruth, who was a college student who lost her sight after a bout of scarlet fever, had coped with her handicap well until her beloved father died. She sits emotionless while John-Boy reads, and resists her offer of friendship. The family wonders if Ruth is using her blindness as a type of blackmail. Mary Ellen, who experiments with a blindfold to get the sensation of being blind, finds an unusual stone that she thinks Ruth will appreciate and asks John-Boy to give it to her. Ruth, as usual, misinterprets the gift as an insult to her (that she is “stone” blind) and, stung at the insult to his sister’s thoughtful gift, John-Boy tells her off and storms home only to find that Ruth has left a message at the store that she’s visiting the mountain the next day. When she arrives she apologizes to John-Boy and tells him that his speech made her consider trying to go out into the world again. The family takes her on a picnic and Ruth talks with Mary Ellen about possibly resuming her teaching career. Then Elizabeth falls into the pond while walking on a forbidden bridge and Ruth is unable to save her. Elizabeth is rescued, but feeling useless, Ruth tries to drown herself until John-Boy tells her to stop running away and not to retreat into her lonely world again.
Ruth Thomas: Elaine Heilveil. Mrs. Thomas: Peggy McCay.

“The Departure”
Original airdate: 12/05/1974
Screenplay: Joanna Lee
Director: Ivan Dixon
Grandpa has been having a great deal of trouble with a toothache when John suddenly becomes restless and longs to do the unexpected, feeling his age and his shortcomings. Olivia tries to understand his feelings, but is angry when his restlessness leads him to take a job at a shipyard in Norfolk where he can only come home on weekends. The children become depressed on his departure, especially Elizabeth, who fears he may never return. John is enlivened by his arrival at his boarding house and at the attentions of his landlady, Laura Sue Champion. Things begin to sour the moment he leaves: John-Boy is failing biology and his counselor is suggesting he drop it, the children miss John’s help with their homework, and Olivia is so lonely for him that she spends money on a long-distance call only to find that John is scheduled to work that weekend. John’s only solace is talking to Laura Sue about his family, but his attention to his landlady arouses jealousy in a fellow boarder, Stavros Kristopolous, who wishes to marry Laura Sue. When John-Boy finds out his father won’t be home that weekend, he drives to Norfolk to consult him, where his father tries to explain how he feels and John-Boy admits he’s already decided not to drop biology, but stick it through. Father and son go for a drink at a nearby bar, where Stavros starts a fight with John, but both escape unscathed and return home to the the family. There’s perhaps a little too much joy on John’s return: Grandpa finally went to the dentist and is now giggling from laughing gas!
Laura Sue Champion: Joanna Moore. Ike Godsey: Joe Conley. Stavros Kristopolous: Panos A. Christi. Hester White: Anne Loos. Lady #1: Kelly Gilmore. Sailor #1: Bob Bralver. Clerk: Seaman Glass. Lady #2: Colby Haines. Sailor #2: Louie Elias. Mr. Gary: Jack Garner. Bartender: Don “Red” Bealle. Donovan: Jimmy Don Moore.

“The Visitor”
Original airdate: 12/12/1974
Screenplay: Kathleen Hite
Director: Ralph Waite
The children are making fun of Elizabeth’s imaginary friend Jimmy when they discover that the door to the supposedly deserted Beardsley home is open. Grandpa finds out that Mason Beardsley has returned from Atlanta and is preparing to live in the old house again. Together they talk about old times, and, at supper, Grandpa asks the children if they will pitch in and help Mason clean house before his wife Delia arrives. The Beardsleys’ former housekeeper, Minnie, learns of the family’s return and pitches in with the housecleaning, but is worried because Mason seems distracted and not himself. When Grandma talks to him, he seems to be dwelling in the past excessively, and when Minnie later returns to the house to offer to fix supper, he tells her Delia has arrived, but she is asleep. John-Boy and Ike are puzzled when James Lee Beardsley arrives from Atlanta to visit his father (not mentioning his mother), and Grandpa wonders if Mason’s continual obsession with his wife is good. Elizabeth finds Mason near the set of swings searching for Delia, and when James Lee arrives, with the news that Delia has been dead for two years, Elizabeth tells the young man where his father is. Grandpa tries to talk to him, but Mason insists mistily that Delia is always with him. He passes away not long afterwards, after Elizabeth learns that it’s okay to have an imaginary friend, as long as you know it’s imaginary.
Ike Godsey: Joe Conley. Mason Beardsley: John Beal. Minnie Doze: Madge Sinclair. James Lee Beardsley: George Garro.

“The Birthday”
Original airdate: 12/19/1974
Screenplay: Nancy Greenwald
Director: Ivan Dixon
Grandma has been selling homemade preserves to buy tickets to a college lecture about Tahiti as a birthday present for Grandpa, but right after she tells him the news, he suffers a heart attack, having hidden from the family a seizure he had earlier in the day. The attck is mild and John asks the children to help cheer him up. Grandma refuses to believe he won’t be better in time for the lecture, and Grandpa worries not only about being helpless, but of disappointing her. By the time Grandma has become resigned to his long recovery period, Grandpa has begun to lose hope and sends John-Boy to choose a tombstone for him. John-Boy cannot do so and instead takes Jim-Bob and Elizabeth’s advice to set up a tent outside where Grandpa can see the mountain and also his plants. Dr. McIvers strongly objects to the plan, but Grandma says he will die if he has to lie cooped up any longer. The tent is the best medicine: Grandpa’s appetite immediately improves and on his birthday two weeks later, he declares that he feels well. He and Grandma indeed do get to see the slide show about Tahiti, courtesy the college, who allow John-Boy to borrow the projection equipment and give the show at home.
Ike Godsey: Joe Conley. Dr. McIvers: Rance Howard. Henry Ferris Jr: Brian James.

“The Lie”
Original airdate: 01/02/1975
Screenplay: Hindi Brooks
Director: Jack Shea
Ben is attracted to Nancy Madden, a classmate whose mother Victoria ran away from her bad marriage. Nancy learns her mother, who is in Charlottesville, is leaving for Florida soon and begs Ben to take her there. Reluctantly, he borrows John-Boy’s car to do so without telling his brother after Nancy pleads with him not to say anything. While Nancy has a tearful reunion with her mother, who married too young and didn’t realize her error until too late, a drunken young man takes John-Boy’s car for a joyride (Ben left the key in the ignition) and has a hit and run accident, but Ben doesn’t know it. Deputy Pete Wallace is investigating the accident and finds the fender crumpled, to Ben’s consternation and John-Boy’s shock, and Ben confesses to taking the car without mentioning Nancy’s name despite everyone’s anger at him. Eager to clear Ben, John-Boy asks Nancy if she knows anything about what happened, and both of them are shouted at by her overprotective father. John-Boy later finds a matchbox from the hotel in his car; by dint of investigation he finds out the real story and confronts Ben. Olivia remembers that Eustace Madden was always smotheringly overprotective and suspicious of his wife and realizes that he is treating Nancy the same way. John convinces Eustace that if Nancy hated him and wanted to leave, she would have done so long ago. Eustace relents when Nancy tells him she loves him, and she is able to clear Ben.
Nancy Madden: Cindy Fisher. Eustace Madden: Warren Kemmerling. Victoria Madden: Hersha Paraday. Boy: Tom Henschel. Girl: Susan Blu. Ira: Rick Militi. Pete Wallace: Don Barry. Orin: Stuart Lee. Waiter: John Pearce. Danny: Peter Neilsen. Man in Car: Tim Wade.
Hersha Parady later played Alice Garvey on Little House on the Prairie.

“The Matchmakers”
Original airdate: 01/09/1975
Screenplay: John McGreevey
Director: Jack Shea
Ike delivers cousin Corabeth Walton to the house; her mother has died and she is stopping for a visit while on her way to Richmond. Ostensibly resting, Corabeth instead moves right in. The family sees her as garrilous and demanding, but to their surprise Ike starts sending her candy and wants to see her. Next thing everyone knows, Corabeth is inviting people for tea as if she owns the house. In the meantime, Erin is feeling down and “invisible” in such a large group of children and John-Boy is determined to do something about it; he takes her to a professional photographer to get some pictures made and there Erin meets Rebecca, an attractive girl who thinks she’s ugly, just as Erin does. To get rid of Corabeth, the family tries to accelerate Ike’s shy courtship, but the storekeeper is unsure of himself: he brings along a book of quotations in order to have something to say when he takes Corabeth, John, and Olivia out to dinner. The night seems to have gone badly until Corabeth rushes in, sobbing, and announcing that Ike has asked her to marry him. But when Ike excitedly shows her where they will live and work together, the panicked woman, afraid Ike will never give her the “romance” she wants out of life, gets ready to leave until Olivia convinces her that her attraction to Ike can ripen into the kind of love she wants. Ike almost panics, too, on their wedding day, but the two are nervously joined in marriage. Erin unselfishly is overjoyed when Rebecca, not she, wins a contest that the photographer entered both girls in.
Corabeth Walton: Ronnie Claire Edwards. Ike Godsey: Joe Conley. Miss Mamie Baldwin: Helen Kleeb. Miss Emily Baldwin: Mary Jackson. Rebecca Cook: Audrey Berindey. Reverend Matthew Fordwick: John Ritter. Mrs. Cook: Lanna Saunders. Belden: John Locke.

“The Beguiled”
Original airdate: 01/16/1975
Screenplay: Kathleen Hite
Director: Ralph Senensky
Jim-Bob’s friend Danny, whose accomplishments at sleight-of-hand are not appreciated by his father, is having supper with the family the night that John-Boy triumphantly announces the completion of his chemistry project. On his way to class next day, he blows out a tire on his car while avoiding another automobile illegally crossing the intersection. The driver is Sis Bradford, a spoiled rich girl who is constantly cutting class, including the chemistry class John-Boy just finished the project for. She has been threatened by the professor with expulsion if she doesn’t get better grades—if she’s expelled she will lose her allowance, so she steals John-Boy’s notes in order to pass. But because of Danny’s behavior, John-Boy blames him for purloining the notes as a joke, which Danny denies. John-Boy then believes him, but Danny’s stern father finds out and blames him. Sis thinks it’s all a joke and attempts to charm John-Boy, but Danny is still smarting from the accusation, although he continues with his tricks to get the attention he craves. When Sis takes John-Boy a new tire, Jim-Bob and Danny show her the way, and when she accidentally drives off with the boys’ books, she takes the opportunity to return the stolen notes by sticking them in Danny’s schoolbag. After Danny and Jim-Bob are caught playing “tricks” at Ike’s store, the notebook is discovered in Danny’s bag, but Jim-Bob saw Sis slipping the notes there and tells John-Boy. A crestfallen John-Boy realizes that Sis has used him and tells her off, and Danny’s father decides to pay a little more attention to his son so he’ll feel wanted.
Ike Godsey: Joe Conley. Mrs. Brimmer: Nora Marlowe. Danny Comley: Willie Aames. Sis Bradford: Darlene Carr. Tom Comley: Beeson Carroll. Professor Whitley: Glen Gordon.
Willie Aames went on to star in other series such as Swiss Family Robinson and Eight is Enough. Darlene Carr is the sister of Charmain Carr, who played oldest sister Liesel in The Sound of Music.

“The Caretakers”
Original airdate: 01/23/1975
Screenplay: Richard Carr
Director: Ivan Dixon
Grandpa, tired of being what he thinks is coddled by John, is thwarted at playing pool at Ike’s store because Corabeth is redecorating, and instead visits Henry Townsend, an old friend who needs a caretaker for his house while he’s away. When he finds that the family has no time for him and that Grandma is sick of the children sassing her, he decides that they will take the job and they walk out. The family is immediately guilty and misses them, but John is stubborn and will not ask them to come back. Grandpa and Grandma are lonely, too, but will not admit it. John-Boy even goes over to the house to apologize for the children, but Grandpa says the conflict is really between John and himself. However, he grudgingly does accept John-Boy’s ride to the store, where he sees the big “help wanted” sign John has had to put up in order to get a large order fulfilled. Grandpa storms off, angry at the thought of John using anyone but him, so John must hire inept Easy Jackson to work at the mill. Easy is a disaster and John finally swallows his pride and asks Grandpa to come back after Elizabeth comes running home from the Townsend house in tears because she misses her grandparents. They return and Grandpa talks Easy into taking over the caretaking job.
Ike Godsey: Joe Conley. Corabeth Godsey: Ronnie Claire Edwards. Mrs. Brimmer: Nora Marlowe. Easy Jackson: Britt Leach. Henry Townsend: Dan Priest.
The first appearance of Britt Leach's Easy Jackson character, a very occasional recurring character.

“The Shivaree”
Original airdate: 01/30/1975
Screenplay: Max Hodge
Director: Lee Philips
The family prepares for the wedding of Olivia’s goddaugher, her namesake, and her fiance, Bob Hill, which will take place at the Walton home. Bob, who was raised in the city, is perplexed by the neighbors’ references to a local custom called a shivaree and feels out of place in the country, but is having the wedding there to please Young Olivia. When Bob finds out what a shivaree is, he says he will not go through with it and is branded even more of a “stick in the mud” than he was before. Young Olivia is frightened on her wedding day, but Bob tells John-Boy that he doesn’t believe in showing fear. The ceremony is beautiful, but when night comes, Ike and Yancy, who were away on a fishing trip and didn’t hear Bob’s objections to the shivaree, raise a ruckus and “kidnap” the groom. While the family, including a worried Young Olivia and John-Boy, search for him, Bob is dumped off in the forest, found by a coon hunter, and led to the road—and his bride and John-Boy—in a fury. He sits up all night and tells Young Olivia he thinks they made a mistake in being married, leaving her in tears. Next day he decides that he and his wife will leave for Richmond, but the family fixes up the old mountain cabin for them to honeymoon in and Ike and Yancy finish the shivaree, by singing sweetly to the young couple. There at the cabin they finally have their honeymoon.
Ike Godsey: Joe Conley. Yancy Tucker: Robert Donner. Bob Hill: Bruce Davison. Young Olivia: Deborah White. Hyder Snow: E.J. Andre. Zack Roswell: James Gammon. Horace Brimley: Wilford Brimley. Minister: Lee Philips.

“The Choice”
Original airdate: 02/06/1975
Screenplay: Nancy Greenwald
Director: Alf Kjellin
John has plans to expand the family sawmill as soon as Jason is out of school and ready to join them, but after playing guitar at school, Jason is encouraged by Miss Hunter to take music lessons. When John-Boy visits her, Miss Hunter also suggests that he ought to try writing a novel—even if he hasn’t done anything “exciting”—for a class project. An ex-music teacher is enthusiastic about Jason’s talent and encourages him to learn compostion, so he’s a bit dismayed when John includes him as being on the mill staff. The family, except for John-Boy, who remembers how he felt about writing, all think that Jason’s interest in studying music is just a phase he’s going through, but Mrs. Breckenridge thinks he should apply for a scholarship at Kleinberg Academy to study composition. John, who wants Jason to learn a “sensible trade,” is against the idea, but John-Boy supports his dream and Jason sends off the application, breaking the news to John just as his father is exulting over his loan approval for expanding the mill. Jason says he’ll run away rather than work in the mill, and John-Boy reminds his father that he always told them to follow their own interests. Olivia agrees with him, and when John catches Jason about to storm out, he tells him that he finally understands and offers him a job at the mill—part time.
Rosemary Hunter: Mariclare Costello. Mary Breckenridge: Adrienne Marden. Boy: Mans Kjellin.
“The Maiden and the Soldier” was written and performed by Jon Walmsley.

“The Statue”
Original airdate: 02/13/1975
Screenplay: Earl Hamner from a story by Sumner Long
Director: Ralph Waite
Among some rejection slips, John-Boy discovers that a local magazine will publish his story about Miss Emily’s fantasized romance with Ashley Longworth if he lengthens it, but Olivia wonders if it won’t hurt the elderly woman’s feelings. Grandpa pulls John-Boy away from his thoughts to attend the church raffle, where the old man wins a statue donated by the Baldwin sisters. The half-clad statue, based on Poe’s “Annabel Lee,” is not welcomed by Grandma, after she takes a close look at it, saying it resembles one of Grandpa’s old girlfriends, Moselle Lewis. Meanwhile, since the Baldwin sisters have found out about the story, John-Boy wonders how he can re-write it so it does not hurt Miss Emily, and tells the sisters that he highly fictionalized the story, but they don’t understand. John-Boy bawls out Ike for babbling about the story. Grandma grows cool toward Grandpa after she recognizes the statue and orders him to move it out of the house. It ends up in the barn, where it frightens Chance. Annoyed, Grandpa returns it to the bedroom, but Grandma says a statue like that belongs in a graveyard, so that’s where Grandpa eventually takes it, and keeps staying nearby. When Grandma finds out he intends to use “Annabel” as their own gravestone, she explodes and won’t speak to him. Grandpa finally admits to John and John-Boy that he wants to get rid of “Annabel”—she’s been bad luck—so she is interred by them in Drusilla’s Pond. Meanwhile, John-Boy rewrites the story as he sees it and reads it hesitantly to the sisters, but although they enjoy it, he decides not to submit it. Instead he submits a story about the statue, it’s published—and the whole family is annoyed at what he said in it!
Ike Godsey: Joe Conley. Corabeth Godsey: Ronnie Claire Edwards. Miss Emily Baldwin: Mary Jackson. Miss Mamie Baldwin: Helen Kleeb. Mrs. Brimmer: Nora Marlowe.

“The Song”
Original airdate: 02/20/1975
Screenplay: Richard Carr and Armand Lanzana from a story by Richard Carr
Director: Richard Thomas
To impress Sally Ann Harper, Ben asks Jason to let her sing a duet with him in Bobby Bigelow’s band, a song to be featured on a radio broadcast. Sally Ann has a good voice, so Jason agrees. A bandmember’s cousin, a garrilous girl named Betsy, was hoping to sing the song herself and spills the beans to Sally Ann in a way that the girl thinks it was Jason’s, rather than Ben’s, idea. When Sally Ann then starts paying more attention to Jason, Ben is at first perturbed, then jealous. In the meantime, there is a pool tournament at Ike’s store at which all the wives take umbrage, but John and Grandpa are determined to win it. When Ben catches Sally Ann kissing Jason, his mood darkens and John-Boy cannot even placate him. Jason discovers how his brother feels and tries to tell him that his relationship with Sally Ann is just professional, but Ben won’t listen. Sally is also upset when Jason says he doesn’t love her, but she does recognize how badly she has hurt Ben. She promises Ben a dance and a chance to walk her home after the broadcast, but when Jason relays the message, Ben accepts his apology but not the invitation. Grandpa concedes the pool game to get to the broadcast on time, and when Ben hears Sally Ann’s heartfelt message to him on the radio, he sheepishly turns up, has his dance with her, and walks her home. And Jason walks home with Betsy.
Ike Godsey: Joe Conley. Sally Ann Harper: Erin Moran. Betsy Morgan: Doney Oatman. Zack Roswell: James Gammon. Horace Brimley: Wilford Brimley. Bobby Bigelow: Mayf Nutter. Easy Jackson: Britt Leach. Elvira Roswell: Mary Jo Catlett.
Erin Moran was a regular on Daktari and then on Happy Days as Joanie Cunningham. Doney Oatman played Felix’s daughter Edna on The Odd Couple.

“The Woman”
Original airdate: 02/28/1975
Screenplay: Hindi Brooks
Director: Harvey S. Laidman
While the children plan what to get for their parents for their 20th wedding anniversary, John is talked into renewing their vows by Olivia. Meanwhile, because Professor Parks is busy, John-Boy volunteers to escort and entertain a visiting poet, Madeleine Bennett, who left Maine as a teenager to pursue her career. As he escorts her around Westham, listens to her lectures and her talk, John-Boy is drawn to her and soon is infatuated with her, especially after they kiss at a picnic. His interest in Madeleine draws him away from the anniversary plans and the children’s gift, which will be a painting of the house with all of them in it. While in a Westham dress shop buing a dress for Olivia for the ceremony, John sees his son and Madeleine acting like young lovers, and later the two can hardly wait for dinner at Professor Parks’ home to be over so they can be alone. Olivia is overjoyed by the simple elegance of the dress John—and Madeleine—picked out for her, and she gives him a sweater knitted from yarn from the children’s old sweaters. When Madeleine leaves, John-Boy cannot bear to be parted from her and talks her into leaving later so he can accompany her back to New York after the ceremony. He leaves the celebration early, and reluctantly, for some of his parents’ love, his family, his home, has rubbed off on him. When he shows up at the train station, his eyes tell Madeleine what he cannot—that she will have to leave without him.
Reverend Matthew Fordwick: John Ritter. Madeleine Bennett: Laura Campbell. Professor Parks: Paul Jenkins. Mrs. Parks: Sally Kemp. Gloria Webb: Julie Rogers. Sally Barstow: Kathy Cronkite. Saleswoman: Gloria Stuart. Railroad Conductor: Ernie Brown. Bellhop: Jeffrey Winner.

“The Venture”
Original airdate: 03/06/1975
Screenplay: Joseph Bonaduce
Director: Ralph Waite
Elizabeth is sure that John-Boy’s newspaper interview, Jason’s interview at Kleinberg, and John’s mill expansion will do well—a gypsy told her! But when Grandpa gets sick and John is unaware of the fact and accepts a back-breaking contract, the future of the mill is threatened. With John-Boy now having a job, John knows he cannot expect any help finishing the mill building. Coming down with a cold, John pushes himself to the utmost, accepting no pleas to stop, and collapses in a rainstorm while finishing the roof. He ends up the hospital with pneumonia and Olivia defies hospital regulations to stay with him. To help pay off the loan, John-Boy and Jason throw their wages into the family pot and Olivia tries, unsuccesfully, to get a job, but, unwilling to lose the house, John orders the mill equipment sold to pay the debt. The children decide not to do this and pitch in to finish the mill. It turns into a disorganized operation and John-Boy pushes everyone to frustration. To help, Jason offers to give up his scholarship, but John-Boy forbids it and instead decides to quit college for a year to work full time on the paper. He pleads with John to allow it, but his father angrily forbids him to do so. Ike overhears their argument and soon all the neighbors arrive to have a “mill raising,” and the bank extends the loan for them.
Ike Godsey: Joe Conley. Dr. McIvers: Rance Howard. Zack Roswell: James Gammon. David Fletcher: M. Emmet Walsh. Joseph: Craig Hundley. Barbara: Celia Bonaduce. Walt Catlett: John Carter. Nurse Walsh: Claudia Bryar. Mr. Bennett: Herbert Anderson.
Herbert Anderson starred for many years as the long-suffering dad of Dennis the Menace.

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