The Sermon (First aired: 11th September 1975)
Miss Hunter and the Rev. Fordwick make plans for their wedding and a short honeymoon. Their wedding plans rely, however, on Olivia taking Miss Hunter's place as the teacher of the school, and on John-Boy standing in for the Rev. Fordwick and delivering the Sunday sermon in church. Both of them find their tasks challenging, especially John-Boy who feels that he really has nothing profound to say to the congregation. As he watches his family and friends during that week, however, his sermon is gradually written and he realises just how important it is to be tolerant of people's differences and that it is important to treasure these differences.
Written by Kathleen Hite; directed by Harry Harris.
Guests: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Walton), Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Basil Hoffman (Professor Ranney), Cindy Eilbacher (Martha Rose), Mariclaire Costello (Miss Hunter), John Ritter (Reverend Fordwick), Nora Marlowe (Mrs Brimmer).
NOTE: There are some really lovely moments to watch out for in this episode, especially when Grandma has written some bible verses to help John Boy. She takes him down to her room and shows him how it should be done. She thumps away on the dressing table with her fist as she is reading her verses, and each time she does this, all her papers go flying. She suggests that John Boy practise as there must be a knack to it. Grandpa comes in behind her and listens and there is a very tender moment when he recites a bible verse to his Esther. A really lovely episode.
The Genius (First aired: 18th September 1975)
The Dean at Boatwright University, concerned about John-Boy's physics grade, has asked that he be tutored by a 16 year old genius, with a photographic memory. In exchange he asks that John-Boy try to help him by taking him home for the weekend. The genius, Lyle Thomason, has never experienced family life and has absolutely no idea of how to interact with other people, nor how to have fun. He takes a shine to Mary Ellen who he feels is very intelligent, but he doesn't know how to talk to her without sprouting out facts and figures. He further insults the family when he claims that he doesn't go to church because gods are "superstitious beliefs" made up by "primitive societies". Needless to say this does not go down well with the Walton family!
The Waltons are in the midst of preparing for a church bazaar which is being set up to help raise money for one of their neighbours, who are having difficulties at present. Again, Lyle has no understanding of their motives. As part of the bazaar, Erin has written a play based on Joan of Arc and Jason is also in it. He pulls out at the last minute though and just as the play is about to be canceled, John-Boy persuades Lyle to fill the gap. At the end the family finds that Lyle is much more personable than they first thought, and even finds that he has a great sense of humour.
Written by Robert Weverka; directed by Harry Harris.
Guests: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Walton), Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Dennis Kort (Lyle), George D. Wallace (Dean Beck), Alexis Jacks (Little Girl), Kim O'Brien (Secretary), Tim Haldeman (Student).
The Fighter (First aired: 25th September 1975)
James Travis Clark is a young Negro from the slums of Richmond, a city near Walton's Mountain. He arrives at the Walton mill looking for some work. In exchange for his work, he wants food and a bed in their barn. It is soon found that he is there because he wants a place to stay while he trains in the clean mountain air. He is a fighter.
Neither Olivia nor Grandma are very impressed with his boxing aspirations and they insist that he be told to leave. However it is soon discovered that the only reason he wishes to enter a boxing match is so that he can win some money to build a church for his people on Waltons Mountain. It seems that he has "the calling to preach". When he goes into Richmond to sign up for a fight, however, the fight he is scheduled for is a set up where the winner is predetermined, and unfortunately it is not James. He goes ahead with the fight though and does indeed lose, but not through lack of trying. At the last minute his opponent was switched.
Back at the Walton home, while he is recuperating from his wounds, the Negro people on the mountain had taken up a collection to begin building their church. With the Walton lumber, and all the people helping together, the congregation builds the foundations for their church, and James it to be their preacher. The episode ends at the first church service to be held there, even though the church isn't finished yet. The Walton family join the congregation James's church. During the episode Elizabeth and Jim Bob had commented that they didn't enjoy church because the minister spoke over their heads as if they weren't even there. As his first sermon then, James chose to tell a bible story which John Boy had rewritten for Elizabeth, and James specifically directed the sermon to the children.
Written by Andy White; directed by Ivan Dixon.
Guests: Cleavon Little (James Trevis Clark), Lynn Hamilton (Mrs Foster), Zachary Charles (Ben Rafferty), Erin Blunt (Jody Foster), James Gammon (Zack), Russ Grieve (Ring Announcer), Martin St Judge (Church Elder), Brett Hadley (Radio Announcer), Jack Nickerson (Iron Mike), Gary McLargy (Comet Kid), Charles Picerni (Sparring Partner).
The Prophecy (First aired: 2nd October 1975)
John's 25th year high school reunion is approaching, and he feels very apprehensive about facing his classmates, whom he feels have succeeded better at life than he has. When the reunion comes about though he finds that most of his classmates envy him for the things which they don't have: a loving wife and family.
Written by Marion Hargrove; directed by Harry Harris.
Guests: Lynn Carlin (Eula Mae), Sandra Diel (Rachel), Deanna Lund (Mrs. Graddy), James Gammon (Zack Roswell), James Ray (G. Cleveland Cathcart), William Phipps (John Martin Renshaw), Noble Willingham (BC Graddy), Beaumont Bruestle (Dr Porter), Nicole Henzel (Ernestine), Jeff Cotler (BC Graddy Jr), Brian Part (Melvin Graddy).
NOTE: Jeff Cotler, younger brother of Kami (Elizabeth Walton) Cotler, appears in this episode as an extra. Watch for him chasing the Walton chickens around the coop.
The Boondoggle (First aired: 9th October 1975)
As a journalism student, John-Boy is given the job of showing around Porter Sims, a reporter who is writing a guide book about Virginia. He says though that he doesn't just want to see the historical sites that John Boy wants to show him, he also wants to meet the people of the community. He claims that everyone has something that they don't want to talk about. John Boy suggests that he meet the elderly Baldwin sisters, but Grandpa is not keen, fearing that Sims may uncover something that will bring shame on their memories of their father, Judge Baldwin.
The ladies are so taken with Sims that they allow him to read the private papers and journals of their father. In the papers Sims finds papers which say that the Judge harbored Union soldiers in his house and that he was charged with treason against the Confederacy. Miss Mamie is particularly distraught by this and both ladies take to their rooms and vow to live a reclusive life. This upsets John Boy and he orders Sims to leave. There appears no way to clear their father's name because it seems that the war ended before the case could come to trial. Further investigation reveals that their father helped both sides during the Battle of Rockfish by taking wounded from both sides into his home until they had recovered. Sims called it an heroic act and that he was a compassionate man. Letters from both sides were sent on his behalf to help to clear his name and the charges were dropped.
Written by Rod Peterson & Claire Whittaker; directed by Ralph Waite.
Guests: Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Richard McKenzie (Porter Sims), Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer), David Clarke (Abel Bingly), Kevin Lee (Buck), Derek Triplett (Benny).
NOTE: This episode was directed by Ralph Waite.
The Breakdown (First aired: 16th October 1975)
Jason becomes very rundown after taking on too many responsibilities and spreading himself too thin. He is working in a band playing gospel music for a radio station first thing in the morning and playing at dances during the evening. In between he has to answer fan mail for the group as well as fit in his music studies at the Klineberg Conservatory. He also finds himself with a girlfriend, after he rescues her from being hurt by her ex-boyfriend. Gradually he finds that he has no time to do all of these things, and that by not doing any of these things to the best of his ability he is disappointing everyone involved. However he keeps thinking that he has been running after John-Boy all his life and feels that because John-Boy seems to be able to cope with everything, then so should he.
John Boy begins working in the library, helping out to shelve books, but the Librarian there keeps talking to him about changing his major to Librarianship. John Boy tries to tell him that he doesn't really want to do that, but he really doesn't listen to him and John Boy really needs the job.
Written by John McGreevey; directed by Ivan Dixon.
Guest: Mayf Nutter (Bobby Bigelow), Ivor Francis (Professor Hoadley), Jay Robinson (Professor Thaxton), Doney Oatman (Betsy), Harry Moses (Ralph), Dave Cass (The Deputy).
The Wing Walker (First aired: 23rd October 1975)
John-Boy is intrigued when he is sent by the local newspaper to do a story on a wing-walker who is performing at the local fair. He is even more intrigued when he discovers that the wing-walker is a woman. He invites her to stay at the Walton home and emotional entanglements follow. Bobbie Strom, the wing walker, discovers that she is being courted when she receives small gifts of things such as flowers, but thinks that the young man involved is John-Boy. Conflict arises though when Bobbie kisses John-Boy, thinking he is her assailant, and the real besotted young man is revealed.
Written by Andy White; directed by Harry S. Laidman.
Guests: Lee Purcell (Bobby Strom), Tom Bower (Rex Barker), John Mitchum (The Announcer), Merie Earle (Maude Gormley).
NOTE: Tom Bower returned to Waltons Mountain from season 5 when he was introduced as Curt Willard, Mary Ellen's future husband.
The Competition (First aired: 30th October 1975)
John-Boy meets a handsome young college man who is walking towards Waltons Mountain. As he is studying forestry and is researching the forestry on Waltons Mountain, John-Boy naturally invites him to come home with him and speak to his father and grandfather about their lumber business. While the student is there both Mary Ellen and Erin develop quite a crush on him and a competition ensues, each one trying to win his affections. Tempers fly as each girl feels that they are the one who should win Chad's attentions.
Teleplay by Nancy Greenwald & Paul West; story by Nancy Greenwald; directed by Alf Kjellin.
Guests: Michael O'Keefe (Chad), Elizabeth Gill (Joleen), Rance Howard (Dr McIvors), Gary Dontzig (Dan), Trish Soodik (Amie), Dee Anne (Social Worker).
NOTE: Michael O'Keefe returned to reprise his role as Chad during season 5, "The Elopement".
The Emergence (First aired: 6th November 1975)
The Walton children find that it really isn't easy having their mother as a substitute teacher whilst Miss Hunter is on her honeymoon, especially Elizabeth who has never had to share her mother with so many other children before. When a young man comes to school whom the other children call slow and simple, she is distracted even further. During the course of the school lessons she realises that the reason he can't read is because he needs glasses, however his parents are unable to buy them. She does, however, persuade them to pay a minimal amount and buys a very cheap pair for him.
Meanwhile one of John-Boy's old girlfriends returns to Waltons Mountain to sell the old house left to her by her father. She wants the money to invest in her fiancÚ's new business venture, however John-Boy feels that the fiancÚ really just wants to marry her for the money she supposedly has.
Written by Hindi Brooks; directed by Alf Kjellin.
Guests: Tammi Bula (Marcia Wollery), Bob Marsic (Samuel), Don Hammer (Mr. Gordon),
Sam Gilman (Mr. Miller), Deborah Newman (Gloria), Joel Kimmel (Randolph), Cindy Eilbacher
(Martha Rose), Jackie Earle Haley (Tom), Penelope Sudrow (Annie), Mavis Neal Palmer (Mrs.
Meriwether), Jan Burrell (Mrs. Miller), Damon Douglas (Eubank), Ric Militi (Ira), John
Walsh (Employment Manager).
The Loss (First aired: 13th November 1975)
Young Olivia, who was married at the Walton's in The Shivaree, returns to stay with the family, however she is now a widow. Her husband, Bob, was killed suddenly in an accident. The family is at a loss to know how they can best help her to recover from her grief, especially since the only things which Bob seems to have left her are memories of when they met flying kites.
The episode shows Olivia going through the stages of the grieving process, with all of the family trying to find ways to help her to cope with her future, which now seems so bleak. While all this is progressing we learn that the elderly Walton cat, Calico, is soon to have kittens. It is through having to help the new kittens to survive, after Calico dies, that Olivia eventually begins her own healing process.
Written by Joan Scott; directed by Alf Kjellin.
Guests: Deborah White (Young Olivia), Bruce Davison (Bob Hill), Vernon Weddle (Dr Culler).
NOTE: Young Olivia, the daughter of one of Olivia's closest friends, first appeared in The Waltons during season 3, when her wedding took place at the Walton home, and new husband Bob was abducted by Yancy Tucker and Ike Godsey.
The Abdication (First aired: 20th November 1975)
An old writer friend of John Boy's returns to Waltons Mountain, where a film company is making the screenplay that he wrote. The people of Waltons Mountain who are watching the dramatic scenes being filmed begin laughing at the way the scenes have been written. John Boy explains that this is just not the way the people of the mountain speak, unless they are making jokes. John Boy is then asked to rewrite the speech to make it more authentic, and the director ends up firing John Boy's writer friend, and asking John Boy to move to New York to work with him. John Boy must then decide whether the time is right for this move.
Mary Ellen, meanwhile is quite taken with one of the men helping to organise the making of the film, and romance blooms for her. This episode also details the events leading up to the abdication of Edward the Eighth, King of England, who is facing the decision of losing the one he loves and remain the King of England, or abdicating so that he may continue his romance with Mrs Simpson, the American divorcee.
Teleplay by Matt Robinson & Paul West; story by Matt Robinson; directed by Harvey S. Laidman.
Guests: George Dzunda (A.J. Covington), Stephen Collins (Todd Clarke), Brian Avery (Gordon Farrell), Ellin Gorky (Sylvia Marsh), James Karen (Martin Walters), Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer), Walker Edmiston (The Announcer).
NOTE: A.J. Covington first appeared during season 1, but was played by a different actor.
The Estrangement (First aired: 4th December 1975)
Vera, a cousin by marriage of the Walton family, has left her husband Wade, and she and her baby take refuge in the Walton home. She feels that Wade is ignoring her and no longer wants to be married to her. City life, she claims doesn't suit either of them, although they have tried to make it work. She is afraid that Wade is seeing other women. In actual fact Wade is trying to make some extra money by running moonshine for his uncle, Grandpa Boone. He gets arrested and then realises that neither he nor Vera really should be in the city and so tries to make a go of it by working at the Walton mill.
Written by Michael Russnow & Tony Kayden; directed by Harry Harris.
Guests: Lindsay V. Jones (Vera), Richard Hatch (Wade), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Burton Gilliam (Paulson), John Bellah (Corky), Tom Bush (The Worker), Paul Linke (Pete).
NOTE: Vera and Wade were first seen in the Season 3 opening episode, The Conflict.
The Nurse (First aired: 11th December 1975)
Just after graduation, Mary Ellen receives a letter from the University of Virginia, School of Nursing, asking for her to take an examination for a place in nursing school. She goes to take the exam, only to find that she needs the prerequisites of algebra and chemistry, two courses which she has not done at the Waltons Mountain school. She is given two books to study by the nursing school and told to come back when she knows them to try for the exam again.
John Boy offers to help her, however he is also doing badly at chemistry, so she decides to ask the public health nurse, Nora Taylor, for some help. Nora is staying with a family high on the mountain. The mother is dying of a heart condition. Mary Ellen offers to stay there and help her in exchange for the tuition she needs. After having helped Nora nurse the sick woman, Mary Ellen becomes even more convinced that she must become a nurse to help the mountain people.
Written by Kathleen Hite; directed by Alf Kjellin.
Guests: Barbara Eda-Young (Nora Taylor), Charlotte Moore (Nurse Jenny Stevens), Jon Lormer (Lait Basham), Tamar Cooper (Essie Basham), Ann D'Andrea (Nurse Collins), Elizabeth Roger (Nurse Smith), Stephanie Silver (Joyce), Shannon Terhune (Violet Basham), Kim Durso (Sue Basham).
The Intruders (First aired: 18th December 1975)
Ben decides that the whole family, and his girlfriend are not treating as an adult, so he decides to leave home and fend for himself. The only job that he can find, however, is at a lumber company, one which has recently opened in opposition to the Waltons company. The Waltons are losing business because this new company seems to be able to undercut their prices, and the Waltons can't match this. When the railroad urgently needs lumber for repairs, both companies make a deal that the first company to make the delivery wins an important contract. When Ben discovers that the mill employing him is vying for the same contract as his father he leaves and returns to his family. Even with all hands on deck, it doesn't look as though the Waltons will meet the deadline, however Grandpa does some scheming to send the other lumber company on a wild goose chase.
Written by Seth Freeman; directed by Richard Bennett.
Guests: Bill Lucking (Cobbs), Cal Haynes (Ferris), Tom Howard (Parsons), Don Freeman (Workman), Paul Harper (Grier), James E. Brodhead (Store Manager), Hal Riddle (Willis), Karen Purcil (Courtney), Wilford Brimley (Horace).
The Search (First aired: 1st January 1976)
Olivia is preparing to visit a friend and takes Elizabeth and a very reluctant Jim-Bob with her. Ben and Jason are asked to change one of the tyres on the truck before they leave and each leaves it to the other so that it is not done. The jack is also left at home and, needless to say, the tyre blows out and the car runs off the road and into some bushes. Problems further arise when the hen they were taking to Olivia's friend escapes and Elizabeth follows it into the woods trying to catch it. Olivia and Jim-Bob follow her to stop her from becoming lost and all three end up not being able to find their way back to the road. They finally see smoke coming from a house, only to find that it is a bootleggers camp and they are making illegal moonshine. These people bundle the three onto the back of their truck and take them further into the woods before letting them off, leaving them hopelessly lost, with a storm brewing.
At the Walton home, John is alerted that the three are missing and a search party is formed to try to find them before the storm hits. The three on the mountain set up markers and survive because of the things Jim-Bob has heard from both his father and his grandfather. They are finally located and taken back home. Pity poor Erin and Mary Ellen though...they had to wait around the house doing chores for Grandma all day because she says that it is better for them to keep busy!
Written by Paul West; story by Ellen Corby; directed by Harry Harris.
Guests: Helen Craig (Mountain Woman), Robert Sorrells (Older Son), Red Currie
(Younger Son), Bill Smillie (First Flagman) Edmund E. Villa (Second Flagman), Wilford
The Secret (First aired: 8th January 1976)
When Erin and Ben begin to tease Jim Bob about the fact that he may not be a Walton because he doesn't look like any of the others, Elizabeth pursues the idea until Jim Bob himself doubts that he is really a Walton, instead thinking that perhaps he was a foundling. He begins asking questions and discovers that a lot of people seem to remember the time when he was born, mainly because of the difficulties his mother experienced during his birth, however these difficulties had never been talked about and so appeared to be quite mysterious. The mystery and secret which have been kept since that time, however, are finally uncovered when John Boy takes Jim Bob to see his birth record at the county records office.
Written by Rod Peterson & Claire Whitaker; directed by Harvey S. Laidman.
Guests: Adrienne Marden (Mrs. Breckenridge), Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer), Eddie Reider (The Yo-Yo King).
NOTE: Most Walton fans would remember this episode which reveals that Jim Bob had a twin brother who died at birth. His name was Joseph Zebulon. The date given here is different from another date given for Jim Bob's birthday. This one in the register is January 13th, 1923.
The Fox (First aired: 15th January 1976)
Grandpa has continually told the Walton children about the battle at San Juan Hill where he was part of the unit which charged to the top of the hill, with Teddy Roosevelt, during the Spanish-American War. Each time he mentions it though his wife becomes quite irate. However when John Boy begins to organise a reenactment of the event, Grandpa will have nothing to do with it. Apparently he has been "embroidering" the tale, as he puts it, to make it more attractive and his task in the war was nothing like what he had told the children. All the same, though, there is one man at the reunion who makes a special trip to Waltons Mountain to meet Zeb simply because he sees Zeb as a hero.
Written by Max Hodge; directed by Richard Thomas.
Guests: Frank Ferguson (Allen McCreary), George Chandler (Bob Allerton), Arline Anderson (Elaine Allerton), Merie Earle (Maude Gormley).
The Burn Out (First aired: 22nd January 1976) (two-hour episode)
John Boy is asked to submit part of his novel to a publishing company, but as he is preparing to do so he loses the whole novel in a fire, which destroys most of the Walton home. Olivia tries to keep the family together as best she can, but with all of the sleeping quarters destroyed, John and Olivia decide that it would be best to allow the children to stay with friends and neighbours. John Boy has to struggle with the guilt he feels after realising that it may have been his lit pipe which caused the fire, and he struggles to rewrite his novel.
Mary Ellen stays with Dr. Vance and his wife, but angers the wife with her efforts to learn about medicine and help Dr. Vance with his work. Jason lives in luxury with the Baldwin sisters, and finds that he enjoys the attention and solitude of being the only child around. Erin and Jim Bob stay with the Reverend Fordwick and his wife. Erin also has to deal with guilt as she feels that she is to blame for John Boy's destroyed novel. If she hadn't waited to save her best dress she wouldn't have been overcome by smoke and needed John Boy to drop his novel and rescue her. Elizabeth, at the Godsey home, feels that she shouldn't love her family too much, as something bad happens to whatever or whoever she cares about. Ben discovers that he does in fact need some rules, after he finds life without them at Yancy Tucker's awkward and not as appealing as he had thought. The family finally ends up back at the rebuilt house, happy to be with each other once more.
Written by John McGreevey; directed by Harry Harris.
Guests: Paul Jenkins (Professor Parks), Pearl Shear (Zuleika Dunbar), Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer), Victor Izay (Dr. Vance), Robert Donner (Yancy Tucker), Dee Carroll (Mady), Loutz H. Gage (The Man From Wilkes Barre).
The Big Brother (First aired: 29th January 1976)
When dropping John and Olivia off at the bus station, John Boy meets a young girl, 12-year-old Muffin, who tells him that she has run away from her stepfather who beat her and her mother, but she has become separated from her mother during their travels. John-Boy takes her home, and all of the Waltons, apart from Grandpa, take her and her plight, to their hearts. Grandpa, however, remains quite suspicious of her story. She has come into their lives at a time when John Boy is beginning to feel as though his younger brothers and sisters are becoming so independent that they no longer want his advice, so he is quite happy that Muffin seems to need him. As the story unfolds we discover, however, that Muffin is trying to raise money to get her swindler grandfather out of jail. She uses a variety of cons to try to raise this money, and is generally successful, until she tries it just once to often with the wrong people.
Written by John McGreevey; directed by Ralph Waite.
Guests: Vicki Schreck (Muffin Maloney), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Bert Conway (Nifty Mulligan).
The Test (First aired: 5th February 1976)
Olivia is feeling down and in need of a close girl friend to talk to, and John is upset when equipment fails and there is no money to fix it. Olivia however, finds that she can make some money from home when she is asked to make some dresses for the Baldwin sisters. Her needlework skills are then spotted by a woman who owns a dressmaking business in town, and she offers Olivia a full time job, which she accepts. Olivia finds the close friendship she yearned for, but as talk the dress shop owner talks of expansion, leaving Olivia in charge of one of the shops, Livvy decides that the place she really wants to be is at home with her family.
Written by Kathleen Hite; directed by Harvey S. Laidman.
Guests: Abby Dalton (Stella Lewis), Merie Earle (Maude Gormley), John Wheeler (Leonard Gormley), James O'Connell (Ed Knightley), David Clarke (Abel Bingley), Nancy Gallant (The Waitress).
The Quilting (First aired: 12th February 1976)
When Grandma comes home from nursing a sick relative, she and Mary Ellen clash because Grandma takes it upon herself to organise Mary Ellen's quilting. A quilting was a "back woods" custom to announce to the community that a young lady was of an age when she could accept young men who wished to court her. Mary Ellen, however, finds the custom demeaning and is adamant that she will not participate in it. Grandma on the other hand, goes ahead and sends out the invitations to all the women folk of Waltons Mountain and the quilting does indeed go ahead. John Boy tells Mary Ellen that the quilting is a way of the women showing just how much they care about her and that she should think about the breach she is causing between both her grandmother and herself, and her grandmother and her mother.
Written by Rod Peterson & Claire Whitaker; directed by Lawrence Dobkin.
Guests: Robert Donner (Yancy Tucker), Merie Earle (Maude Gormley), Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer), David Doremus (G.W. Haines), Art Gilmore (The Radio Host).
The House (First aired: 19th February 1976)
Grandma finds that the old Whittley house is going to be demolished and she feels that instead it should be renovated for all the community to share. Together with the Baldwin sisters they try to collect signatures to petition that the house not be pulled down. Grandpa, however, goes ahead and gets the contract for the Walton company to demolish the house, not realising or remembering why his wife has such sentimental attachments for the old house. In his eyes the house needs to be pulled down, because it is a hazard the way it is, and there is excellent lumber which can be salvaged from the house, which someone may as well use. Needless to say, tempers fly as the two take opposing sides, and John Boy gets caught in the middle when he is given his first editorial to write...about whether or not the house should be saved!
Written by Kirby Timmons; directed by Harvey S. Laidman.
Guests: Jay Robinson (Professor Thaxton), Walter Brooke (Mr. Johnson), Rusty Keller (Hollis), Bill Sorrells (Mr. Wheeler), Sherry Hursey (Felicia), Jane Lambert (The Secretary).
The Fledgling (First aired: 26th February 1976)
When the newspaper, where John Boy works as a stringer, is closing down, his boss offers to sell him an old printing press so that he might start his own country newspaper. John Boy has to take a full time job in order to earn the down payment for the press, at the same time trying to juggle school and his other commitments. He eventually finds that he has very little time left to even sleep, so he moves into a boarding house near the college. He also feels that he is being pressured by his professor at Boatwright University, who keeps reminding him that he is meant to be working on his novel. His job at the bus depot ends suddenly and he finds himself with only half of the money he needs for his down payment, so he disappointedly leaves the boarding house and returns home. At home, however, he finds that his professor at college has already made the down payment on his behalf and the printing press has already been delivered to his home and is waiting for John Boy to write, edit, publish and print his first edition of the Blue Ridge Chronicle.
Written by Earl Hamner; directed by Harry Harris.
Guests: Walter Brooke (Mr. Johnson), Dennis Redfield (Mike Paxton), Lucille Benson (Tillie Shanks), Virginia Gregg (Mrs. Butterworth), Eddie Firestone (Rudyard Davis), Billie Bird (Mrs. Cox), Norman Andrews (Man #1), F. William Parker (Man #2), Beth Peters (Woman in Line), Michael McDonough (Boyd), Ted Jordan (The Carpenter), Paul Jenkins (Professor Parks).
NOTE: Juke Box music is by Mayf Nutter.
The Collision (First aired: 4th March 1976)
An old flame is rekindled for John Boy when Selina Linville returns to Waltons Mountain after being away at boarding school. She has grand ideas that John Boy should join her and go to Spain and write about a war which is happening there. She claims that he is a coward by not jumping at the chance to go, however he maintains that all of the mountain folk are already fighting their own war: the war against poverty.
Written by John McGreevey; directed by Richard Thomas.
Guests: Kathleen Quinlan (Selina Linville), Eduard Franz (Col. Linville), Doreen
Lang (Meg Phillips), Karen Teitelman (Ariel "Effie" Robins), Virginia Capers