Ep.8 - The Competition

  Original Airdate: October 30, 1975
Teleplay: Nancy Greenwald & Paul West
Story: Nancy Greenwald
Director: Alf Kjellin


  Olivia feels the urge to care for another baby and she decides to do foster care for a baby girl while the adoption process is completed. Chad Marshall, a foresry student, arrives on the mountain and causes some friction between Mary Ellen and Erin while they compete for his atention.


  "Our home at Walton's Mountain was far off the beaten track, but we were connected with the rest of the world by a picturesque back-country road, muddy or frozen in winter, hot and dusty in the summer, rutted always, the road brought us many adventures. Sometimes a herd of deer would leap in front of the headlights, or the pine forest dappled with newly-blossomed dogwood or red bud would refresh the eye and lift the spirit, and I remember one occasion when I met a stranger on the road, a casual incident which led to fireworks in the family such as we had never seen before."



Olivia goes up to the attic to get some Mason jars for Grandma. She finds a number of old memories in her trunk. She heads down to Ike’s to buy some jars. She meets Joleen Guthrie who has come back to town with a new baby girl. Olivia is smitten by the little infant when she asks to hold her. Later she talks to John about how the children have all gotten older. She wonders if there is a chance for another baby. They decide to see Dr. McIvers for a check-up and advise. He says that after 7 children and a miscarriage that her body has become too worn to go through the process again. The news comes at a great disappointment to her. The doctor stops by their house later and suggests that they could do foster care for a 8 month old baby while the adoption process is taking place. John worries that she won't be willing to give up the baby when it's time. Olivia decides to go ahead and they bring home little baby Jennifer. Most of the family is charmed by the little girl. Before too long though they receive word from the welfare office that adoption process has been completed and that it is time to give her to her new family. The social worker from the welfare office, Blanche Pigeon brings the the new family, Ida & Jim Pearcey a couple who can't have children of there own to take little Jennifer to her new home.

Secondary Story:

  John-Boy picks up a young stranger, Chad Marshall who is a forestry student from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Richmond. On the drive home he picks up Mary-Ellen and Erin. Mary-Ellen manipulates her way in the back rubble seat with Chad leaving Erin to sit up front with her brother. A competition for attention begins to develop between the two girls. Mary-Ellen puts on her Sunday best dress and make-up for dinner. Erin initiated a egg tossing game with Chad which ends with Chad getting egg on his face. At dinner Erin makes eyes at Chad which Mary-Ellen detects. The next day Erin sprinkles water on Chads head while he helps out in the mill. Mary-Ellen catches her and takes the ladder away from the roof of the mill. Erin tries to flee from being discovered by Chad and falls into the pig-pen. Chad dumps a bucket of water over her head which is covered in mud and slop. Later Erin asks John-Boy for help but he says that all is fair in the game of love. Later as Erin and Chad walk near Drucilla’s Pond they both end up in the water. They share their first kiss. Erin finds it bit awkward but they doth realize that they have fallen in love for each other. Chad realizes that he needs to leave early. Erin is still too young for a relationship. He tells her that maybe they will have a chance again someday when the time is right.


  "The cradle was never far back in the attic, it was used again and again as our own families grew, and I think she is never so happy as when one or all of her grandchildren come to visit in that house on Walton's Mountain."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • Chad Marshall returns in "The Elopement" (s5-ep15)
  • Erin is 15 years old.
  • This episode draws a comparison between the sacrifice that Chad and Erin must face in giving up their relationship and Olivia having to give up the care of baby Jennifer.

Additional Cast:


Michael O'Keefe (Chad), Elizabeth Gill (Joleen), Rance Howard (Dr. McIvors), Gary Dontzig (Dan), Trish Soodik (Amie), Dee Anne (Social Worker)

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