Ep.14 - The Intruders

  Original Airdate: December 18, 1975
Writer: Seth Freeman
Director: Richard Bennett


  Walton and Sons Lumber Mill have to compete with a new Mill operation that is quite unscrupulous in their tactics to win business. Ben looks for work and independance in an attempt to become more mature.


  "Whoever sees his father clearly? I believe I often saw my father, not as he was, but as I needed him to be. Then one difficult autumn I had a chance to glimpse the whole man and to understand him more fully."



Murdock Wood Products has moved into the area and one of their delivery trucks almost runs John and John-Boy off the road. Murdoch has bought the old Dawkins Mill and are given John a run for his customer’s business. John drops off an order to Horace Brimley who is building a barn. Horace tells John that he will be buying his future orders from Murdock’s because of the lower price. John-Boy and Grandpa discover that the Murdock's are clear cutting the side of the mountain with no regard for erosion or the replanting of new trees. That ruthless behavior is what allows them to sell them so cheap.

When the railroad has a need for lumber for a washed out trestle bridge it sparks a competition between the Murdock and Walton Mills to win a much larger contract to supply wood for a new warehouse.

Grandpa is put out that he hasn't been included in the arrangements but then comes up with a scheme that tricks the Murdock Mill into floating their order down the Rockfish River which then gets stuck on a sandbar in their attempt take a shortcut to the delivery spot.

Secondary Story:


Ben brings home Courtney Wallace, a new girl who has just moved to the area to show her around. They can't find much privacy to be by themselves. She decides that she can't be with Ben anymore because while she is ready to be an adult and she feels that he is still tied down to his childhood surrounded by his brothers and sisters. This enrages Ben and he decides to move out and find a job in Charlottesville. He wants to prove to everyone that he can be a man. Olivia is fit to be tied at the news especially when a storm hits on the very night he leaves.

Ben is unable to find work. Olivia drives in to town the next day to find and bring him back home. She goes with Grandma but they are unable to find him. When he is unsuccessful in finding work he heads back towards home but lucks into a job working at the Murdock Mill. When he discovers that he is competing for a job against his father he quits and returns home to his distraught Mother.


  "Like the tortoise in Aesop's Fables, like Brer Rabbit in the Tales of Uncle Remus, my grandfather had outwitted the opposition with his cunning. We arrived at the site a full half-day ahead of our floating competition, and were awarded the warehouse contract. It kept us going for most of that winter."

Additional Cast:


Bill Lucking (Cobbs), Cal Haynes (Ferris), Tom Howard (Parsons), Don Freeman (Workman), Paul Harper (Grier), James E. Brodhead (Store Manager), Hal Riddle (Willis), Karen Purcil (Courtney), Wilford Brimley (Horace)


Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:


For a little bit of fun we used the storyline from this episode to create an intro to a Star Wars like opening title crawl. This idea came from the Star Wars Crawl Creator.


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