Ep.14 - The Birthday

  Original Airdate: December 19, 1974
Writer: Nancy Greenwald
Director: Ivan Dixon


  "The Spring of 1935 was a particularly good one on Walton's Mountain. Peach blossoms exploded in a pink mist and the mallards built their nest early along the Rockfish River. Spring's arrival was so magnificent that it left us unprepared for anything that might in any way deny the beauty of life."



While looking for a part after the wood mill's motor breaks Zeb feels the first signs of an on-coming heart attack.  Meanwhile Esther has used the money from making jam  to buy tickets to the Fitzsimmons lecture on Tahiti at the Boatright auditorium for Zeb's 73rd birthday. At dinner Zeb learns of her plans and celebrates with a little dance for the family’s amusement. He is suddenly struck with a minor heart attack which drops him to the floor. John and Esther run to his aid.  Doctor McIvors makes a house call to check on Zeb.


Esther distraught with worry continues to sew Zeb’s jacket. She is in denial that her husband is ill and is convinced that Zeb will be fit enough to go to the lecture in Westham.

Esther attempts to get Zeb up and active. She suggests that Zeb should go wild strawberry pickin’ up on the mountain but he has no interest in leaving his bed.  He asks John-Boy to go pick out a headstone. But when he visits the monument store he loses heart and tells his Grandfather to pick one out himself if he is convinced that he will die.  

Jim-Bob and Elizabeth have an idea to set up the old carnival tent stored in the barn to make an outdoor bedroom for Zeb. Against the doctor's advice Esther feels the best thing for his heart is to get fresh air and see the sights of the outdoors. When Zeb finally has the strength to eat his first full meal since falling ill she is able to find rest. Two weeks after his birthday Zeb is in much better health and the family gathers in the tent to celebrate his 73rd birthday. John-Boy narrates and projects the Tahiti slide presentation which he has borrowed from the school.


  "And so my grandfather was to recover, and to grow strong again. To savor the coming and going of the seasons, the blossoming of the peach trees in spring, the turning leaves of autumn, and always to enjoy the growth of his sprawling brood of grandchildren, as we were growing up on Walton's Mountain."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:


Additional Cast:


With: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Rance Howard (Dr. McIvors), Brion James (Henry Ferris Jr.)

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