Ep.9 - The Marathon

  Original Airdate: November 7, 1974
Writer: Nigel McKeand
Director: Ralph Senensky


  "Entering Boatwright University in 1934 meant that I was also entering a whole new phase of my life. Although exposure to the outside world brought excitement and challenge, it also brought changes and conflicts which neither I nor anyone in my family had been able to foresee."


  John-Boy stops at Mr. Patterson's 5&Dime store in Scottsville to pick up a set of headphones that Ben has ordered for a radio he is building. While John-Boy picks up a few more items he notices that the counter girl as she says goodbye to the owner as it is her last day working at the store. As John-Boy walks back to the car he sees big signs advertising a 7 day dance marathon with a $200 grand prize. The girl from the shop, Daisy Garner, is in the line up and she convinces him to sign up and be his partner. When he gets home and announces his entrance in the marathon but his mother is immediately against his decision and she tries to forbid him from entering such a trashy event. John-Boy is determined to go as he is now an adult and able to make his own decisions.


When John-Boy arrives at the dance he meets Spanky Logan & Helen Faith who have entered 8 marathons already. Another couple he meets are hoping to win to pay for their wedding. Harry Bracket is the organizer. The radio station W.Q.S.R. broadcasts the news of the marathon that is taking place at the Ramada Dance Palace. When the dance starts there are 19 teams. Spanky and Helen start off with a bang doing some big showboating type dance moves later though during an elimination round Spanky falls to the ground with chest pains and Helen runs after him to the hospital. Daisy tells John-Boy that she needs to win the money so that she can get out of Scottsville and go to New York where the skyscrapers are so tall they can actually touch the clouds.

Grandma walks part of the way to the store with Olivia. They stop on the bridge at Drucilla's Pond and Esther tells Olivia about when she had to let go of her children in 1917 at the start of the first world war. Later Olivia realizes the reason that she is so bothered by the dance is that John-Boy has grown up and no longer shares his dreams and ideas with her as he once did. She decides to go see him in Scottsville but once there she can't stand the sight of the event and waits outside. John convinces him that he can leave but Daisy is determined to stay in the dance till the end and the two part ways as dance partners.

Secondary Story:

  Ben builds a crystal radio and gets his brothers and sisters involved in helping him.


  "As I continued growing up, the horizons of my world widened. I eventually moved far from Walton's Mountain, but the things we had then, the love we shared and the delight we took in each other's company have never faltered and remain constant to this day."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • Actress Deidre Lenihan would appear in 5 more episodes between Season's 5 and 7 as Daisy Garner, John-Boy's love interest.
  • This episode ends with the children saying goodnight to John-Boy who has just gone to bed as the they are waking up. Elizabeth realizes that it is silly to say goodnight and she says good morning instead.

Additional Cast:


Guest Stars: Dierdre Lenihan (Daisy Garner) With: Bernie Barrow (Bracket), Joyce Jameson (Helen), Lennie Weinrib (Spanky), Ellen Moss (P.M.), Charles Haid (Fred), Don Miller (Steve), Lindsay Workman (Mr. Patterson), Brad Trumbull (Radio Announcer)


Music from this episode:

2 dance pieces including "California, Here I Come"



Promo Images


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