Ep.16 - The Fire

  Original Airdate: January 11, 1973
Writer: Earl Hamner Jr.
Director: Harry Harris


  "Most of us on Walton's Mountain prided ourselves on our friendly hospitality, our family's good name, and our dignity as individuals, but in a remote hollow lived a man named Lutie Bascomb with his daughter Lois May. If Lutie prided himself on anything, it was his cussedness."



  Lutie Bascomb walks his daughter Lois May to and from school. He is fearful that his daughter may run away like his wife did. He protects his daughter from meeting boys or learning non-biblical thoughts at school. When Miss Hunter teaches about Neanderthal man she leaves the class knowing that her father would not approve. She says that Miss Hunter is teaching atheism. Lutie becomes enraged when he learns of the class. He confronts Miss Hunter and makes wild threats. Later he returns to the school and sets fire to the school books and teaching materials using alcohol that he stole from the Baldwin's as a propellant. The town works to save the school but it burns to the ground. Later it is discovered that Lutie had died in the fire and he had also beat Lois May in the build up of his rage. Lois May is upset when her mother doesn't attend the funeral.
  Miss Hunter works to find suitable classrooms for her students during the last 6 weeks of classes before the summer break and when the school house will be rebuilt. Ike lets her use his pool hall for the high school students. Olivia finds Lois May's mother who comes to meet her at the store after school is let out. Her Mother says that she had to leave Lois May behind because she was afraid of her violent husband. Lois May understands but still feels abandoned. The two walk off to discuss their issues and try and build a new relationship.

Secondary Story:

  Ike hatches a plan to distress some old furniture and to sell it off to city folk who think that it looks like valuable old antiques. John-Boy helps him on his first load to Charlottesville and earns enough to buy a dictionary that he has his eye on.


  "I can only ask you to take my word for the end of the story of Lois May Bascomb for truth is far stranger than fiction. I was to meet her many years later when she had become not a scientist but the wife of a diplomat. She now lives abroad and I expect that sometimes her memories as mine do, return to those Depression years, and Walton's Mountain."

Episode Notes and Interesting Facts:

  • This is the second and last appearance of the character Hawthorne Dooley whos first appearance was in The Homecoming
  • It's a wonder that the children can see the school burning from John-Boy's bedroom window.

Additional Cast:


Guest Stars: Richard Bradford (Lutie Bascomb), Laurie Prange (Lois May Bascomb) with: Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin), Helen Kleeb (Mamie Baldwin), Mariclaire Costello (Miss Hunter), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Scott McCartor (Beaumont), Mark Montgomery (Addison), Lisa Eilbacher (Jeanett), Nancy Jervis (Mother), Theodore Wilson (Hawthorne Dooley)

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