Ep.19 - The Cradle

  Original Airdate: January 31, 1974
Writer: Joanna Lee
Director: Ralph Senensky


  "I like to think back on my boyhood because though the times we lived in were hard, the life we lived was good. We were never hungry, for food was plentiful, we took it from the land, but still there was a lack of material things, and I remember with wonderment the way my parents wove the magic around us that kept us from ever feeling poor."


  Olivia begins to sell liquid bubble bath and soap door to door. She sells 4 jars to the Baldwin's who desperately require the glass jars to finish bottling their latest batch of the recipe. Olivia is obviously disturbed by this reason for the sale and the sisters question why she never wants to discuss anything to do with their recipe. Mrs. Brimmer buys 2 bottles and Maud Gormley buys 3 bottles. John just got an order for a 150 railroad ties that will keep them going for a few more months.
  On the way home Olivia asks John-Boy to let her out so that she can walk the rest of the way claiming that she has a few new pounds to lose. When Olivia arrives in the kitchen she is excited about selling all her samples but is put off by the smell of dinner. Grandma says that this happened twice before when she was pregnant with Jim-Bob and Elizabeth. Dr. Vance reports that Olivia is fine, 3 months along but is no spring chicken and should rest and take it easy through this pregnancy. The children get together to discuss what they can do to help their Mama out. They come up with ideas of gifts that will help with the baby since they had given away all of the baby items after Elizabeth was born. John-Boy makes a cradle for the baby. Olivia goes out to sell more bottles of Bubble Beautifier but she loses her strength and returns home to rest. Ben and Jim-bob try to sell the rest of her bottles of soap but it fails to impress when they demonstrate it to Mrs. Breckenridge. Later while the family relaxes in the living room Olivia senses that something is wrong. She loses the baby and John explains to the children that maybe that is nature's way of saying that maybe the conditions weren't right for a healthy baby and that the birth wasn't meant to be. Elizabeth has taken to news of the baby the hardest of all the children. At first she believes that she will lose her place as the baby of the family but later she takes the news of her mother's loss with sorrow.

Secondary Story:

  Mary Ellen wants to become a dancer and is excited that a new teacher at school is willing to teach a dance class for 25 cents. Eventually though when she begins to read a book about Florence Nightingale she decides to become like her instead foreshadowing her career as a nurse.


  "As the years went on and we all went our separate ways, we were to provide my mother and father with so many grandchildren that their lives were never without the sound of a baby or a growing child's voice. And all those grandchildren were beneficiaries of the extraordinary love that was given to us during those years we spent on Walton's Mountain."

Episode Notes and Interesting Facts:

  • Mrs. Breckenridge makes her first appearance. She will help Jason in his music career in "The Choice"(s3-ep20)

Additional Cast:


Helen Kleeb (Mamie Baldwin), Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin), Victor Izay (Dr. Vance), Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer), Merie Earle (Maude Gormley), Adrienne Marden (Mrs. Breckenridge)


Music from this episode:

Music heard as Olivia begins to sell soap door to door
Olivia SINGS "The Riddle Song"!
Ben and Jim-Bob use Blue the mule to help sell their Mama's soap


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