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Ep.1 - The First Edition

 
  Original Airdate: September 23, 1976
Writer: John McGreevey
Director: Lawrence Dobkin

Description:

 

John-Boy is put in a tough position as he prepares articles for the first edition of his Newspaper. Will he write the story about Ben and his break-and-enter offence?

Corabeth announces that her and Ike are expecting a baby.

Prologue:

  "I believe that in our family all of us children were sparked to do our best whatever we tried, for two reasons. There was the personal satisfaction we felt, of course, but, just as important we knew that the whole family would take pride in the success of any one of us. But then a day came when I had to face the fact that a goal I had set for myself, was threatening to disgrace and divide the family."

Synopsis:

 

John-Boy is busy collecting stories for the first edition of his newspaper, The Blue Ridge Chronicle. He goes into Rockfish with his brother Ben to look for stories. He asks the Sheriff if he has any headlines for the front page. Sheriff Bridges just reports that the crime rate is decreasing. Ben who is busy selling ads to shop owners for the paper sees his friends across the street. They ask him to go shoot some pool. Just at that moment a car comes racing down the street, careening around the corner and through the front window of the soda shop. People om the street race over to the car and the Sheriff helps the bewildered Judge Thornbury out of his car. He claims that something is wrong with the steering but John-Boy suspects that the Judge had been drinking. The Judge notices John-Boy collecting eye-witness reports from those who saw the accident. He asks the Sheriff what he is doing that and is informed that he will write and publish the story in the paper. Later Sheriff Bridges tries to influence John-Boy from writing the story but the young newsman says that is the kind of story he's readers want.

Ben come down to the kitchen and tells his parents that he is going out with his friends in Rockfish and John-Boy announces his quote for the masthead of his paper, “The Search For The Truth”

John-Boy enlists the help of brothers and sisters to submit and help print his paper. It causes nothing but commotion and stress for him. The Judge stops by to prevent John-Boy from publishing his story. When he gets no where with John Jr. He goes to John Sr. who tells him that he wouldn't be a very good father if he prevented his son from printing what he wanted in his own newspaper.

Later that evening two young men wait silently on the Walton couch for their double date with Erin and Mary-Ellen. Ben goes off to Rockfish again after driving John-Boy to Boatwright University. Elizabeth is bothered that all her siblings have somewhere to go on Saturday night except for her cause she needs to stay home with the old people.

Ben meets his friends who decide that they need a place to play a game of poker. They sneak into a empty house while the owners are away but after their game they are met by the Sheriff who has received word from a concerned neighbor. John-Boy is on the scene as well who was waiting for a ride home from Ben.

At the County Jail, the Sheriff discusses the situation with Ben, John-Boy and their Dad. At home Olivia sends the excited children off to bed. She then lays the law down for Ben, grounding and banning him from selling anymore ads in town for John-Boy's paper. She blames his paper for causing the current problems in the family.

John-Boy confronts her later and says that although he loves Ben and wouldn't cause him any harm it is his duty to report the news accurately and without preference or prejudice. Although he feels that his Mother is dead wrong he concedes to meet half way and will bury Ben's and the Judge's story on the back page. Olivia is dismayed that John didn't intervene. He says that they raised their children to never hide the truth even if it hurts and that they shouldn't tell them anything different now that it is inconvenient. He takes her for a walk, telling her of all the trials they have made it through like fire, drought, depression and civil war and that this story won't finish them now.

Ben chooses to print the story on the front page and has already set the type and printed a test page for his brother. When John-Boy questions his choice he says that if they weren't brothers then the story would be front page news.

Secondary Story:

 
 

At Ike Godsey's Olivia asks for some cloves which causes some turmoil between Corabeth and Ike. She says she is out of sorts and asks Grandma and Olivia to join her for some tea. She tells them that she is expecting a baby. The ladies are quite surprised by the news that she has been bursting to share.

Later after Corabeth shares the news to Ike, she shows off her maternity wear and the nursery to the Walton women. The Walton men talk to Ike about the baby names they have picked out. Once the Godsey's have a moment alone Ike asks Corabeth if she would call him by his first name around the baby.

Driving home a few days later John finds Corabeth in tears walking down the road with her suitcase. She asks him to take her to see Esther and Olivia. She tells them that she had a false pregnancy. She has learned that she is barren and never will be able to bare children. Embarrassed that she cannot give Ike a child she plans to leave him and return back to her hometown of Doe Hill. Ike arrives to speak with Corabeth but she is not willing to see him. He spends a chilly night sleeping on the Walton's porch choosing to stay close to her. Olivia speaks on his behalf to persuade her to see him. Ike goes upstairs to see her and claims that he couldn't bare to be alone again and that they can work to make things better. She lovingly accepts him into her consoling arms.

Epilogue:

 
  "In spite of all the obstacles and handicaps my brother and I finally did manage to put the first edition of The Blue Ridge Chronicle 'to bed', as they say in the newspaper business. With the publication of that first edition I embarked upon a whole new adventure in my life. As usual, I had the help and support of my family. They shared my pride and my sense of accomplishment. But most of all, we shared the knowledge that rather than dividing or estranging our family, the conflict we had just come through seemed to give us a new respect for the different ways each of us could work for what all of us wanted."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

 
 
  • Richard Thomas uses a walking stick for this and the next couple of episodes. It is explained that he hurt himself on Ike Godsey's Motorcycle.
  • Jim-Bob now want to be known as James Robert.
  • Mary (Erin Walton) McDonough's brother Michael McDonough appears in this episode as "Joe", a suitor who goes on a double date with Mary Ellen and Erin. It appears that he is actually meant to be Erin's date which implies that the actor is pretending to go out on a date with the actress who is his actual sister.

Additional Cast:

 
 

 


Sheriff Ep Bridges (John Crawford), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Conrad Janis (Judge Graham Thornbury), Hal Riddle (Mr. Lowenthal), Michael McDonough (Joe), Meegan King (Louie), Laird Fenwick (Tinker), Brad Rearden (Chuck), Rick Meyer (Wally)

 

Music from this episode:

   
Theme as run away car crashes into a front window of a shop in Rockfish
Two themes
Three themes
1 theme

 

 

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