Ep.7 - The Wedding

  Original Airdate: November 4, 1976 - 2 Hour Episode
Writers: Rod Peterson & Claire Whitaker
Director: Lawrence Dobkin



Mary-Ellen announces her engagement to David Spencer but when Curt Willard arrives on the mountain to become the new Doctor her plans become less sure.

Jim-Bob discovers his first love when Patsy Brimmer arrives in the community.


  "On Walton's Mountain our family ties were strengthened by hardship. The walls of our house protected us from wind and weather, and we managed somehow to survive grief, and illnesss and disappointment. Who then could have believed we would find ourselves so defenseless against romance."



Mary-Ellen and her boyfriend David Spencer arrive home. Just as her parents prepare for bed Mary-Ellen storms in and announces that she is engaged and plans to marry David in 6 weeks after he has finished his internship. At first her parents are concerned but they soon realize that they were young once too when they committed themselves to each other. Elizabeth has heard the news from the staircase and brings the rest of the family down to celebrate. The family prepares for the engagement party. Grandma is upset that nothing is as fancy or nice as she would likeit to be for the Spencers.

David's father has plans for his son to join his medical practice in Richmond. Mary Ellen will be well taken care for. Jim-Bob works on his car during the reception. He is not too interested in all the "love stuff" going on. Elizabeth and Jim-Bob make a pinkie-promise-pack to never fall in love, get married or leave the mountain. A back firing medical van pulls up and Curtis Willard interupts the party to announce his intentions to take the job as the community’s new doctor.

John, John-Boy and Reverend Fordwich meet with him at Dr. Vance’s old office. They quiz him on his qualifications. He knows quite a bit about the community from reading John-Boy's newspaper. After some consideration the men decide to bring Curt Willard on as the new doctor.

Curt shows up at Ike's store and takes a few more items without paying for them. Corabeth is not pleased that Ike has agreed to giving him store credit while he settles in. Dr. Willard makes a house call on Yancy Tucker who believes that he is suffering from a poor heart. After Dr.Willard looks at the chilli he ate and the unsanitary condition of his house and he tells Yancy that he has indigestion. Yancy is insulted by Curt’s accusations of unsanitary conditions and does his best to chase Curt of his property. He then stops in to see Mrs. Brimmer who complains of the arthritus in her feet. He prescribes that she lose 20 pounds and get new shoes with arches. He slaps her on the butt and tells her to lose some weight. When she accuses him of being forward he accuses her of being fat.

While Curt is out for a Sunday walk he runs into John who is preparing to take honey comb from a natural bee hive. John smokes the bees and Curt gets covered in honey as he breaks off the comb and tosses it into a bucket. John invites him to dinner when they wash up back at the house. At dinner Curt asks Mary-Ellen if should would like to help him settle in to the community and his office but then unknowingly insults her efforts in how she organized Dr. Vance’s filing system. Curt’s harsh, matter-of-fact bedside manner continues to ruffle the feathers of the mountain community.

Curt upsets the Baldwin sisters when he tries to check Miss Emily's breathing with a stethoscope. They say that their modesty is more important than their health and hurridly leave his office. Mary-Ellen coaches him on how to deal with the delicate ladies from the previous era.

Grandpa looks for a Victory Bond that he and Esther bought 20 years before when John joined the army. He plans to give it to Mary-Ellen as a dowry but he can't remember where is was hidden and accuses Esther on misplacing it.

Mrs. Brimmer stops by the farm and introduces her niece Patsy to Jim-Bob and Elizabeth. Patsy is from Baltimore and she will be staying with Mrs. Brimmer while her father is away working in Panama. Jim-Bob seems quite smitten by the pretty blond girl. Elizabeth is disturbed by this and reminds him of their pact.

Ike stops by John-Boy's newspaper to express his concerns about Curt who has built up a fair sized tab at his store. Ike has checked his bank credit rating and learns that it is zero and is surprised that the men didn't do more investigation into Curt’s past.

Emily Baldwin has taken a turn for the worse and Curt diagnoses her with pneumonia. Mary-Ellen drives Miss Emily and Curt the 26 miles to the hospital in Charlottesville. She recovers but Curt realizes that he needs to serve the community’s health needs on the actual mountain. He plans to raise money to build a health clinic at his office.

On their way home from Charlottesville Curt stops to take in a view of the mountains. Mary Ellen who has joined him on the ride home quizzes the Doctor why he hasn't married. When he admits that he hasn't met the right girl she makes plans to introduce him to Nurse Nora who spends most of her time treating patience in the back country.

Grandma alters her old wedding dress for Mary Ellen while Erin writes the wedding invitations but she has made one out that announces her own wedding. Jim-Bob plans to take Blue out for a ride but Elizabeth notices that he is all slicked up and suspects that he plans to see Patsy. She manipulates her way into going with him. When Jim-Bob arrives at the meeting place he has planned with Patsy she climbs onto Blue in front on Jim-Bob leaving Elizabeth stuck on the back like a third wheel.

As they prepare for bed Grandpa bolts out of bed when he remembers where he hid the Liberty Bond inside the frame of a picture of John in his army uniform.

Mary Ellen and David double date with Curt and Nora. Mary Ellen is bothered to see Curt having so much fun with Nora. She tries to block her feelings and focus on her wedding.

The children try to save money to buy a radio as a wedding gift for Mary-Ellen and David but are short $2.25 for the $9.75 radio they have picked out at Ike’s.

The dance is held at Godsey’s Hall. David Spencer’s family contributes $10 as does Grandpa on behalf of the Walton family. John-Boy announces that they have raised a total of $65.50 dollars and with the Baldwin’s matching contribution the total adds up to $131 dollars. Curt thanks the community and apologizes for the toes he stepped on when he first arrived on the mountain.

Curt takes Nora home and locks up the donations at the medical office and then returns to the dance and finds Mary Ellen outside the hall. He wants to have one last dance with Mary Ellen before she is married off. It is at this moment that the two admit that they have feelings for each other which results in a passionate kiss that Erin witnesses.

The next morning Erin is quite beside herself and not interested in joining Mary Ellen at church. Downstairs Grandma and Grandpa give Mary Ellen a $25 dowry for her wedding. John thinks back on some memories of Mary Ellen as she was growing up. Olivia interupts him and he walks her to church. After the family has left Curt leaves a note under the door for Mary Ellen but Erin burns it in the stove instead of giving it to her. On the way home from church Jason questions Mary Ellen about her feelings for Curt. He sensed something between them when he saw them dancing the night before. Mary Ellen says that she can't build a life on chemistry.

John-Boy stops by the Doctor's office and finds Mary Ellen in an empty office. Even the money is gone. John-Boy tries to find out more information about Curt by calling the mining company where he used to work. Although he doesn't find out much he does learn that he was fired.

Elizabeth catches Jim-Bob kissing Patsy by Drucilla’s Pond and she pushes the rope swing knocking them into the pond. Later before dinner she apologizes to Jim-Bob.

Mary Ellen asks Nurse Nora about her feelings for Curt to which she reports that while is a lot of fun he's not for her.

Ben helps to hang a sign for Corabeth down at the store but when she learns the he and the children are too short to pay the full price for the radio they plan to give Mary Ellen as a wedding present she decides to let them have it for the amount they had raised.

John-Boy travels to the mine to get some answers about Curt. The secretary reluctant to divulge information but says that Curt try as he did couldn't beat the system. She tells him that a hearing is taking place at the Bureau of Mines at the State Capital Building.

The family gathers at the church for the wedding rehearsal but Mary-Ellen isn't able to say her vows. She runs out of the church and he catches up with her outside. She says that she is making the hardest decision of her life to turning her back on the wedding. When he won’t take back her engagement ring she drops it at his feet and runs off.

John-Boy tracks Curt down during the recess outside of the hearing room. He explains the reasons for all the questions John-Boy has. Curt had charged the mine with unsafe working condition and was fired as a result. John-Boy stands up as a character witness for Curt who wins his case against the mining company.

Back at home the kids give Mary Ellen the radio they had planned to give her as a wedding present. John-Boy and Curt arrive back at the house. Erin comes clean about having burned the note she admits to having seen Mary Ellen and Curt kiss at the dance and didn't want that to affect the wedding plans. Curt makes his intention of plans to marry Mary Ellen. She scoffs at his less than romantic proposal and states that she would never marry him. The next thing we see is their wedding that takes place at the remains of Rome Walton’s old cabin up on the mountain.


  "We would always remember that day when our friends and neighbors gathered on the mountain at the site of the first Walton homestead. It somehow seemed fitting that the days leading up to Mary Ellen's marriage had been filled with turmoil. All of us who knew and loved her had learned to expect the unexpected."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • Actor Tom Bower becomes a regular member of the cast as Dr. Curt Willard he previously appeared in "The Wingwalker" (s4-ep7)
  • John has bought his first pair of reading glasses.
  • John-Boy is noticeably absent through much of this episode. Most likely to give prominance to Mary Ellen's storyline.

Additional Cast:



Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), John Ritter (Reverend Fordwick), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), John Crawford (Sheriff Bridges), Robert Donner (Yancy Tucker), Robert Merritt Woods (David Spenser), Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer), Peter Brandon (Dr. Spencer), Debbie Gunn (Patsy Brimmer), Kaiulani Lee (Miss Nora), Jean Howell (Mrs. Spencer), David Doremus (G.W. Haines), Molly Dodd (Miss Lynch), Glenn Robards (Committee Chairman), Art Gilmore (Radio Announcer)


Music from this episode:

Jason and the Rhythm Kings play background music at the engagement party
Jim-Bob takes Pasty Brimmer for a ride on Blue the mule
Jason and the Rhythm Kings perform dance music at the fundraising dance. Tunes include: As Time Goes By, We're In The Money, You Do Something To Me
Corabeth sings the Wedding Hymn during the rehersal for the service



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