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Ep.4 - The Prophecy

 
  Original Airdate: October 2, 1975
Writer: Marion Hargrove
Director: Harry Harris

Description:

  John Walton's 25th High school reunion is set to take place and he is bothered about how little he feels that he has accomplished in life. John-Boy intentions of becoming a full time writer are rattled by a professor on campus.

Prologue:

  "My father was a gentle man. One of the small things I always remember about him was a little trick he had of spinning a half dollar with one hand, usually without even thinking about it. One summer day almost forty years ago, he suddenly found he couldn't do it. As it turned out, it was a traumatic day for both of us."

Synopsis:

 

The episode starts with the children playing on the see-saw with their Daddy. John Walton is beginning to realize that he is showing signs of wear. While the family relaxes in the porch John discovers that he can't spin a coin with his hand like he used to. He then notices a car pulling up and he quickly hides inside the house anticipating the arrival of his old school mate Eula Mae. She has come to demand a reply from John to help with their 25th anniversary reunion for the Walton’s Mountain class of 1911. She is upset that he couldn't even send a penny postcard reply. She expects people to come from as far away as Manchester, Tenn. and since he is the head of the planning committee he needs to step up and do his part of the organizing.

 

Later at the dinner table the family teases him about some old flames like Winnie Tateham who was sweet on John in school. He is embarrassed and tries to change the conversation. Olivia is quite amused by his embarrassment.

 

A number of people arrive at the Walton’s home leading up to the reunion. Zachary Roswell arrives in his old beater car. He comes to talk to John about the reunion that Eula has mailed him about. During their discussion he helps the men stain a new set of dressers.

 

Cleveland “Grover” Cathcart arrives in a fancy suit and cart. He now works for the Federal Trade Commission in Washington.

 

John and Olivia drive in to Rockfish. They stop in to see Martin Renshaw at his general store. He is scheduled to host the reunion dinner.

 

When he stops in to see Eula Mae and much to his surprise Rachel Stumblefield answers the door and plants a big kiss on his lips. She has had quite history of husbands even marring a Prince.

 

B.C Grady arrives with his unruly children who wreck havoc in the Walton’s chicken coop.

 

At the last minute the Waltons are asked to host the Reunion dinner. Jason and some friends provide the musical entertainment. As the class reflects on the who was voted most likely to awards they realize that John was voted the boy most likely to succeed. Grover states that he was always running to keep up with John Walton while John just had to walk to claim his achievements. The rest of the attendees appreciate all that John has achieved as well with the success of his family, home and business. Later that night after the dinner while John sits alone to reflect on the day he tries again to spin the coin and he proves to himself that he still has the touch.

Secondary Story:

 
 

John-Boy meets Dr. Porter on campus who enquires how he intends to support himself as a writer. He tells him that only about 6 authors would actually be able to support themselves as writers only, the rest have to support their writing endeavors in other ways. He says that if he can find a way to make money while writing full time them he’ll be the envy of Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton. Dr. Porter says that there are 10,000 un-employed writers in America who are living on $95 per month from the WPA program.


John-Boy makes up a list of writers who write full time and make a good living at it. Mary-Ellen gives him some names of columnists who write for a living. Jim-Bob questions how if they are writing for themselves can they then be without a job. with other jobs. John-Boy suggests that Margaret Mitchell who had just recently published Gone With the Wind is an example of a successful writer but Mr. Porter says that she is an exception and that greats like Shakespeare and Edgar Allan Poe were not so fortunate during their lifetime. He says that if John-Boy wants to write fiction full time then he’ll need to marry rich.


John-Boy makes up a list of writers who write full time and make a good living at it. Mary-Ellen gives him some names of columnists who write for a living. Later when John-Boy realizes that there are 10,000 un-employed writers in America. Jim-Bob questions how if they are writing for themselves can they then be without a job. John-Boy learns that there are places for writers to write and support themselves but they aren't always writing the next great novel.


John stops by John-Boy’s room and listens to a letter that John-Boy received from Mr. Porter. He apologizes to John-Boy stating that even great writers usually start from humble beginnings.


Epilogue:

  "Success is often measured in terms of how much money or fame one accumulates in a lifetime. My father knew little of either, yet he was the most successful man I have ever known. He lived each day with zest, a sense of adventure, and a twinkle in his eye. He loved his family well, and we miss him."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

 
 
  • Kami (Elizabeth Walton) Cotler's younger brother Jeff appears briefly as the character B.C. Jr. in this epsode. He can be seen chasing chicken's in the Walton's coop and making ice cream at 36:30 into the episode during the reunion festivities. Jeff returns to play a British boy escaping the blitz in "The Children's Carol" (s6-ep11)

Additional Cast:

 
 

Lynn Carlin (Eula Mae), Sandra Deel (Rachel Stubblefield), Deanna Lund (Mrs. Viola Graddy), James Gammon (Zack Roswell), James Ray (G. Cleveland Cathcart), William Phipps (John Martin Renshaw), Noble Willingham (B.C. Graddy), Beaumont Bruestle (Dr. Porter), Nicole Henzel (Ernestine), Jeff Cotler (BC Graddy Jr), Brian Part (Melvin Graddy)



 

Music from this episode:

   
Instrumental transition music which incorporates the Boatwright theme
A country style theme leading in to the arrival of Zack Roswell
Jason and friends play music at the Reunion
John and his Class of 1914 sing "Till We Meet Again"

 


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