Ep.5 - The Roots

  Original Airdate: October 11, 1973
Writer: Sheldon Stark
Director: Philip Leacock



"When I was growing up on Walton's Mountain the great Depression cast its shadow over us as it did everyone, but we were more fortunate than most. We were a close knit family and the house that we lived in was as solid and secure as the mountain itself. Because I had always lived in it I took our house for granted, then, one hot summer afternoon I met others less fortunate. Through them I learned the real meaning of home."



The Walton children have been picking peaches for Mr. Denton, a local grower with their neighbor Verdie Grant and a young boy by the name of Jody Foster and his Father Harley. The Fosters travel from one place to the next looking for working and not staying too long to lay down any roots. They stop at Verdie's for a drink and some cookies on the way home. She ask John-Boy if he will help play matchmaker for her and Harley. The truck overheats and catches fire as they continue down the road. Harley who is trained as a mechanic puts out the fire and gets the truck back on the road.

  They accept the offer to stay the night but Harley is anxious to keep on the move. Verdie though has arranged for Harley to work as a mechanic for Ike, he is reluctant to accept the job but then decides to accept and begins work on the Baldwin's car. Harley finds Jody difficult to deal with which results in a heated argument between him and Verdie Grant. When she hurts his pride he decides it's time to leave. Ike Godsey though has discovered that $23 has gone missing from his till and believes that Harley has taken it. When he tries to prove his innocence he finds the money hidden in his coat pocket. Eventually they discover that Jody had taken the money and planted it on his father with the hopes that even if his father goes to jail they will be able to stay where they are and his father won't be able to take them away somewhere down the road. All he wishes for is his own bed. With the matter cleared up Harley stops by at Verdies to apologize and announce that he and Jody are staying put on Walton's Mountain.

Secondary Story:

  Jim-Bob plants a small discarded peach sapling in the Walton's yard from the grower's orchard. The tree is a metaphor that represents the roots that Harley and Jody have been laying down since arriving on the mountain.


  "Harley and Jody did put down roots in Waltons Mountain, and the romance that blossomed in a peach orchard was to flower and bear fruit of its own. Almost four decades have passed but my own roots are still there, in that house where I was born and grew up with my brothers and sisters."

Episode Notes and Interesting Facts:

  • This is Hal Wailliams first appearance as Harley Foster on the show.
  • This is Erin Blunt's first of 2 appearances as Jody Foster. His next appearance is in "The Fighter" (s4-ep3)
  • Ike appears for the first time riding his motorcycle and sidecar.
  • Verdie is a widow. She has 5 adult children, one son named Albert, a daughter named Esther and another daughter named Sarah that we learn about in "The Scholar" (s1-ep21)
  • John references events that happened in The Homecoming when he explains to Harley that he came home one Christmas while working away from home and decided to earn his living on his own property.
  • Harley says that he has found lodging for him and Jody at Reverend Dooley's place. Hawthorne Dooley appeared in The Homecoming where he was played by actor Cleavon Little and in "The Hunt" (s1-ep4)

Additional Cast:


Lynn Hamilton (Verdie Grant), Erin Blunt (Jody Foster), Hal Williams (Harley Foster), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Noble Willingham (Mr. Denton)

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