Ep.13 - The Rebellion

  Original Airdate: December 23, 1976
Writer: Kathleen Hite
Director: Harvey S. Laidman


  Olivia decides it's time for a change and perms her hair. Grandma defends her position as the church organist.


  "The years brought many changes to us on Walton's Mountain, but when change did not come often enough to suit my mother, it was her way to seek it. She would search for change, reach out to it, and welcome it when it came."



Olivia is looking to make a change in her life. She tries curling her hair. Erin walks in and teases her about the smell of burnt hair. John-Boy and Ben are out delivering newspapers. They stop by the parsonage and John-Boy discovers that Zelda Maynard is auditioning for the position of church organist. It is obvious that there is bad blood between Esther and her. John-Boy warns the Reverend that his Grandma will go right through the roof when she finds out. Rev. Matthew asks John-Boy if he will break the news to his Grandmother. The family attends the church picnic. Verdie stops by to talk with John and Olivia. She passes her compliments on to Esther about the lovely organ music she heard as she passed the church. Olivia knows that Grandma hasn’t played the organ since the previous service on Sunday. Meanwhile John-Boy dumps the responsibility of informing Grandma onto his Grandfather. Olivia and Esther go for a walk. Olivia mentions what Verdie had said about the church organ. Esther thinks she must be mistaken as it wasn’t her and Jason was in Wetham.

Back at home Olivia, Mary Ellen and Erin discuss ideas about how she can change her hair. John overhears them and makes his feelings known that he doesn’t want Olivia to cut her hair. Downstairs, Grandpa tells Esther that it was Zelda Maynard who was playing the organ. She is beside herself that her job has been taken away.

Zelda talks with Mrs. Brimmer. Zeb stops by to talk with Zelda and persuade her to come to an agreement with Esther. Just at that moment Esther walks by and sees them sitting on the porch. She continues on her way. Zelda smells a rat and stands her ground. She feels it’s time for Esther to retire as organist. Zeb chases her down just outside of Ike’s store but she doesn’t want to listen to his story. Inside, Esther smells burning hair and finds Olivia in Corabeth’s new beauty parlor getting a perm in a wild hair perming contraption. Esther says that it smells terrible. She then heads to the church where she attempts to concede her stand concerning her job as the organist. She gets heated up again and threatens to change churches and become a Methodist.

Corabeth takes the rollers out of Olivia’s hair and begins to wash the permanent chemicals out. Olivia is beside herself with the change. She scurries back home and locks herself in the bedroom. John goes upstairs to find out what is wrong and when he sees her hair he expresses his anger that this was the one thing he didn’t want her to change about herself. She knows that she has done wrong but can’t stand the ridicule. Even Reckless the dog doesn’t like her new look.

The family prepares for church but Esther has no intentions of going. After the family leaves John says that he’ll appreciate having some company around the house and offers Esther a part of the paper top read. She want no part of it. He then uses some reverse psychology to change he mind and swallow her pride.

Olivia makes her way to Verdie Grant’s house where she hopes she’ll find the secret to straightening hair but Verdie says that her family never learned to do that. Instead she shows Olivia how to wrap her hair in an attractive turban.

Esther arrives at church just as the congregation begins to sing a hymn. Much to Esther’s satisfaction Zelda makes a mess of notes at the end of the song. After the service the Reverend asks Esther to prepare the hymns for the next service.

Olivia walks past Flossie Brimmer’s boarding house. Flossie waves for Olivia to join her on the porch. She is somewhat intoxicated and says that it is for the pain she feels with her raised arches.They talk for a bit but John pulls up in his truck with a suitcase packed and a plan to take Olivia to a hotel for the night. She agrees whole-heartedly and they quickly drive off for quality alone time together.


  "And for a time after that, peace reigned in our valley. No-one again challenged Grandma's right to play the church organ. My mother? Well, this was surely not her last rebellion, but most certainly, it was her last 'permanent wave'."

Additional Cast:



Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), John Ritter (Reverend Fordwick), Audrey Christie (Zelda Maynard), Lynn Hamilton (Verdie Foster), Tom Bower (Curtis Willard), Nora Marlowe (Mrs. Brimmer)

Music from this episode:

Zelda Maynard plays the church organ for Rev. Fordwich
Theme music during the church picnic
Grandma discovers that Olivia is getting her hair permed by Corabeth
Zeb asks to talk with Zelda about sharing the organist position at the church
Esther decides to swallow her pride and attend the church service with Zelda playing the organ
Zelda plays the "In the Sweet By & By" on the organ for the church congregation
Olivia still feels sorry for herself as she walks past Mrs. Brimmer's Boarding House
John takes Olivia to a hotel for the night


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