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Ep.21 - The Statue

 
  Original Airdate: February 13, 1975
Teleplay: Earl Hamner
Story: Sumner Long
Director: Ralph Waite

Prologue:

 
  "For as long as I can remember I never wanted to be anything but a writer. Nor can I remember ever thinking of giving up writing, although at times the agonies of being rejected were painful and frustrating. I recall one Saturday morning when I had gone to pick up my usual batch of rejection slips. It was a day which was to mark the beginning of a new plateau in my career."

Synopsis:

 

John-Boy arrives at Ike’s store to find him and Corabeth sharing a private moment of passion. They are recent newlyweds and John-Boy sees nothing wrong with their behavior. He has come to get the mail and see if any of his usual rejection letters have arrived from stories he has submitted to magazines for publication. The Appalachian Journal likes and is prepared to print his story based on Miss Emily’s fantasy of unrequited love with Ashley Longworth Jr. provided that he lengthen the story to a minimum of 5000 words.



 

The drawing of a church raffle takes place at Ike’s and Zeb wins a secret top prize which was donated by the Baldwin sisters. Zeb pulls back its cover to reveal a stone statue.  The Baldwins tell him the story of their travels through Europe and how at their last stop in Florence their father bought this sculpture which their mother didn't approve of. They felt that the time had come for them to bring the sculpture out from storage to be enjoyed again. The woman depicted in the sculpture was inspired by the poem “Annabel Lee” by Edgar Allen Poe.  Grandpa on the other hand feels that it is the spitting image of a woman he once courted named Moselle Lewis.

When he unveils the sculpture at home for the family Grandma is disturbed by her resemblance to a face she can’t quite remember. Grandpa stubbornly decides to keep the statue in plain view despite Grandma’s displeasure with it. She eventually recognizes it’s resemblance to the woman Zeb courted before he met her and takes exception to its presence. Zeb promises to move the statue from the front yard but his plans to use it as a headstone in the cemetery further infuriates Esther. When their disagreement disrupts the family dinner Zeb decides to sleep in the hayloft. John convinces his Pa to find a final resting place for the statue. Grandpa and the children take the statue to Drucilla’s Pond and toss her off the bridge into the depths of the water.


Secondary Story:

 
 

John-Boy is having difficulty writing the changes to his story about Miss Emily whom he has renamed in his story as Miss Charlotte. He is upset to discover that Ike has excitedly revealed John-Boy’s intention to publish Miss Emily’s story to the Baldwins. He is concerned that they will not approve of his perspective on the tale. When he finally reads his story to the Baldwins he can see how his words sting with regret and pain. Instead of finishing the story as written he changes the tale to capture the essence of her fantasy to protect the integrity of their relationship. The Baldwins although deeply wounded by truth in his words are also moved emotionally by the way he creatively protects their virtue.

Epilogue:

 
  "My decision not to submit my story about Miss Emily was difficult to make, but later I was glad I didn't send it to the magazine. I did send them a new story called The Statue, it was published and just about everybody who read it enjoyed it very much."

Additional Cast:

 
 

Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer)




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