Ep.21 - The Long Night

  Original Airdate: February 24, 1977
Teleplay: Rod Peterson & Claire Whitaker
Story: Rod Peterson, Claire Whitaker, Katharyn Michaelian Power
Director: Harry Harris


  Grandpa does his best to bring Grandma home from the Hospital. Aimee asks Zeb to be her adopted Grandpa and wins some freedom from the strict regiment of Corabeth's mothering skills.


  "It has always seemed to me that 1938 was the springtime of my life. I was engrossed in completing my novel and as the words poured out I felt as if the whole world was unfolding. It was a time of rising hope, not only for me, but for my grandfather."



Grandpa is expecting Esther’s return from the hospital. He cleans the stained glass window he installed for her in their bedroom. Elizabeth and Erin help him tidy as well. Elizabeth says that she will pick Grandma’s favorite flowers.

Amy stops by while Elizabeth is cleaning the chicken coop. She is afraid to help her for fear of getting her dress dirty. Her mother, Corabeth only lets her do domestic duties. The other children continue to clean up around the property.

As they head off to the hospital to pickup Grandma John worries that the truck might not make it. Jim-Bob believes that the valves might need to be replaced. Later that evening Grandpa returns without Grandpa. The doctors were not ready to release her and Zeb causes a fuss and is forcibly removed from the hospital and warned to not return.

The next day he is up early dipping fence posts into tar. John warns him that he needs to get proper rest if he is going to work as hard as he does.

Mary Ellen finds Grandpa transplanting Azalias which just happen to be Grandma’s favorite flower. . She explains why Esther isn’t ready to come home yet. He comforts her that he has no hard feelings towards his grand daughter and is pleased that a Walton is so close to watch over and tend to Esther’s care.

Elizabeth and her Mama stop in at Godsey’s Mercantile to buy new overalls. Corabeth invites Elizabeth to join Amy during her music appreciation hour. Elizabeth becomes bored with the classical music that Amy’s mother has bought for her. She asks if she has any Benny Goodman but Corabeth has only bought her cultured music. Elizabeth leaves Amy to her music and needlepoint stitching. Corabeth preaches the virtues of the book she is following to raise Amy with. Olivia warns Corabeth that she should do the raising and not the book.

Later Grandpa heads into Charlottesville with Ben to deliver the order of fence posts. He leaves Ben to unload the truck while he heads to the hospital to visit Grandpa and deliver a large potted plant. He tries to sneak past the nurses station by hiding behind the flowers but the nurse stops him and asks him to leave the plant to be delivered by staff. He argues his way into waiting for the second floor nurse to arrive. Mary Ellen comes off the elevator and Grandpa tries to convince her to allow him up to the room. Curt catches them and pleads with Zeb that he needs to let go of Esther long enough to let him and the hospital to do their job to make Esther well again. He concedes but warns them that better to a first class job.

Mama hears footsteps downstairs. She doesn’t recognize them at first but figures it’s Grandpa. John wonders if it is Erin returning from the telephone office but Olivia knows that her footsteps are lighter. Grandpa makes himself a bed on the couch just as Jason arrives home from the Dew Drop Inn. Grandpa asks him to sing Lorena. Jason pulls out his guitar and sings Grandpa to sleep.

Corabeth teaches Aimee ballet in the rental hall space. Elizabeth was hoping to go pick wild flowers and press them in a book with Aimee. Corabeth says that she is too busy but Aimee asks for permission in French to go after her studies. Corabeth gives her blessing and invites Elizabeth to join them for the rest of ballet class.

John-Boy brings the girls home to go flower picking and finds Grandpa listening to the radio in the living room. He voices his concern for his grandfather stating that the family looks up to him as the patriarch and that he needs to stay strong for the family.

The girls have picked a handful of flowers. Aimee admits that she is having more fun than French and ballet classes. Elizabeth asks why she is doing that and Aimee believes that Corabeth want her to become refined. Elizabeth thinks that that is okay for Corabeth because she is old but Aimee is still a girl and needs to behave like one. The girls bring their flowers to show Grandpa. He looks at them and names each of them.

That evening as Ike and Corabeth prepare for bed Ike suggest that maybe she is raising Aimee to be too hoity-toity for Walton’s Mountain. Corabeth gets her feathers ruffled and makes her way to sleep on the sofa in the parlor. On her way she discovers that Aimee is no longer in her room. She has run away to the Walton’s house. Grandpa answers the door and listens to her concerns. She is upset that no one wants to play with her anymore except Elizabeth and now her mother had forbid her from seeing her too. Aimee wishes that she had a grandpa like Zeb. He figures that maybe he could adopt her just like her parents. He brings Aimee back to her parents and as her honorary Grandpa he figures he now has the right to speak his mind to Corabeth. He enlightens Corabeth that while all the training she has put Aimee through from her 30 year old book is fine to show her how to be an adult she has forgotten one thing and that is how to let Aimee still be a child. Aimee says that she would like to wear overalls like everyone else and sometimes it would be nice to just do nothing at all. Corabeth is taken aback but concedes offering that maybe they could go on a picnic and do some bird watching.

As the Walton’s say their goodnights Grandpa has a moment of enlightenment and sneaks out of the house and heads to Charlottesville in John’s truck. John-Boy and his Daddy try to catch him and they find Grandpa sitting quietly on a bench outside the front of the Hospital. He tells them that he has discovered the reason why he has had trouble sleeping lately. He hasn’t said goodnight to Esther in a long time. At that moment the blinds to Esther’s 2nd floor room are raised and Mary Ellen waves from the window. She has agreed to let Grandpa have this private moment with his wife.


  "Grandpa's quiet vigil so moved the hospital staff that he was eventually allowed to sit with her again in her room. But until that time, he came every evening to the bench where he could see her lighted window."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • John-Boy only appears briefly in this episode.

Additional Cast:



Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Rachel Longaker (Aimee Godsey), Lynn Wood (Receptionist), Tom Bower (Curtis Willard), Art Gilmore (Announcer)


Music from this episode:

Jason sings "Lorena" to Grandpa


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