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Ep.12 - The Bequest

 
  Original Airdate: November 29, 1973
Writer: Mort Thaw
Director: Alf Kjellin

Prologue:

 
  "As much as every member of our family loved our day to day life, we all had moments when we were prone to consider what life would be like if we had a million dollars. Most of the time those moments of avarice were short lived, and quickly replaced by the real values that made up our lives. But one day a letter came which pushed every member of the family toward a new appraisal of what was really important in life."

 

Synopsis:

  The children stop by the Ike's store on the way home from school. Martha Rose Cloverdale arrives at the store with blond hair. She claims that she had it done in Charlottesville and then brags that she had some photos done and sent them to a agent in Hollywood. Ike implies though that Martha's mother may have come in and bought the supplies to bleach her hair herself instead of at a fancy salon.

  Reverend Fordwich stops by the to the Walton's and announces that the roof of the church needs to be repaired at a cost of $50. Grandma gets a letter from lawyers in St. Louis. She doesn't want to open it but when she gets John-Boy to read it states that her best friend Fern Potter has passed away and bequeathed her $250. When asked what she will do with the money she says that as much they could use the money she's not used to having money and doesn't much like the idea of it. The next morning she announces how she will use the money. She will pay for a new church roof, $10 to repair Zeb's pocket watch, $3 for each of the children and the remainder for John-Boy's education. Because the family needs a new hot water heater they borrow the money from John-Boy's college fund. The children are all excited about all the things they can spend their money on. Grandma warns the children though that “if you build your life on dollar bills you'll have nothing to stand on.” The expected windfall causes some problems. John and Olivia realize that they taught their children how to live without money but not what to do if they got rich. As a surprise John-Boy takes Grandma to see the University where he will be attending. A second letter arrives for Grandma with unfortunately states that there will not be any money forthcoming as it was needed to settle Fern Potter's debts. To make good on Grandma's promise John, enlists the help of the community to help repair the roof themselves. Grandpa sells his pocket watch to the jeweller for $11 and give it to John-Boy to restart his college fund.

Secondary Story:

 
  Mary Ellen want to dye her hair blond like Martha Rose's. She coerces Jim-Bob in her science experiment but her mixture causes his hair to turn pink.

Epilogue:

 
  "To their surprise and to our grief, time crept up on those two vigorous old people. I remember that my grandmother at 94 was still beautiful and wore violets in her hair. And as long as he lived, my grandfather insisted that he'd been kissed by every pretty girl who happened to come by our house. How innocent were those days, how rich we are to have known them."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

 
 

Additional Cast:

 
 

John Ritter (Reverend Fordwick), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Cindy Eilbacher (Martha Rose), Anne Carol Pearson (Receptionist), Eunice Christopher (Librarian)




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