Ep.6 - The Volunteer

  Original Airdate: October 27, 1977
Writer: Kathleen Hite
Director: Philip Leacock


  G.W. proposes to Erin but joins the army when she doesn't accept. Rover the peacock is in need of a mate. Maude Gormley sells her paintings in Ike's store.


  "In 1939, when the threat of war hung over our country, it seemed to me that our lives altered much in the same way that winds moved down Walton's Mountain, changing sharply sometimes, but more often gentling us so gradually that it took a length of time to show the change had come about at all."


Written by Janet Lange

Elizabeth helps Jim Bob to install an antennae for his short wave radio on the roof of the barn. Grandpa tells the kids how Rover the peacock is acting fussy because he needs a peahen a lady friend.

G.W. arrives at the Walton’s house and is confronted by the agitated peacock. He lets Elizabeth play in his car while he goes in to help Olivia with the robe she is making for Jason.

As G.W. and Erin try to leave so she won’t be late for work Grandpa tries to stop them. He’s looking for G.W’s help at the smokehouse. Erin comments how G.W. “might as well be a member of the family”.

Jason and Ben are in the print shop. They are going to take the press apart and clean it.G.W. and Erin arrive back home and Ben immediately asks for G.W.’s help with the press. Erin again remarks she doesn’t know why G.W. puts up with her family .. and he response that he does know why.

After dinner John invites G.W. to listen to the radio with the family. Grandpa points out how cozy it is and Elizabeth notices that everyone has someone except Jim Bob…she is sitting by grandpa, mama and daddy are there and Erin and G.W. .. by the look on Erin’s face she is not comfortable with that and gets up to go outside. G.W. follows saying goodnight and thanks them for dinner.

Erin walks G.W. to the car. He wants to go for a ride but Erin is just content to stay there, he proposes to Erin by saying “you don’t want to get married or anything”… Erin is shocked and cant believe it but doesn’t say yes G.W. leaves upset and Erin stands there smelling the honey suckle she picked.

John and Olivia talk in bed about how G.W. is hanging around a lot lately. Olivia says he’s in love with Erin and that Erin inherited him from Mary Ellen…. Olivia’s Daddy used to call John “that wild one” and she would never tame him… John feels that maybe he is over the hill but Olivia finds a way to show him that he isn’t. They hear Erin return home and are able to retire for the night.

At 2:30 am, Daddy comes down to the kitchen to find Erin sitting there crying and confused. She tells him what G.W. said and that she doesn’t understand her feelings. She is afraid that she lost him as a friend.

The next moring Erin waits patiently on the porch for G.W. to drive her to school. Her mama is not sure if he will show after the previous night but sure enough he turns up, right on time.

Grandpa and Daddy fuss over the smoke house that grandpa accidentally set on fire. Grandpa walks off all riled up and mama and daddy talk about how G.W. came and they kiss.

While G.W. drives Erin, he tells her that he has joined the army and she will need to find another ride to school and work

Mary Ellen and Grandpa work on the garden at her house and talk about the coming baby. Abel Bingley, the ice man, gives Erin a ride to Mary Ellen’s. Erin shares that G.W. joined the army. The girls agree that G.W. is nice but not someone you would not want to marry, but the look on Erin’s face seems to question if that’s true….

Erin and Elizabeth are in their room. Elizabeth wants to know how Erin is feeling and thinks that she is bearing up bravely…. Jason comes in and comments that G.W. helped mama with the robe… and offers Erin a ride to school. She is upset about all the reminders of G.W. and finally admits that she really does like and miss G.W..

Erin sits in thw tree house and re-reads a letter from G.W. Olivia waters the garden and she talks to John about missing G.W. since he was always around the family. Meanwhile, Jim-Bob works on his car and Rover comes flying out of the barn. Maude had walked over and wanted to get Rover to spread his feathers so she could paint him.

Erin writes a letter to G.W. and argues with her daddy about using his desk. G.W. knocks on the door, Olivia and John go upstairs to give them space…. Elizabeth realizes G.W. is there and tells the boys, they all go down to talk to G.W. including grandpa, so the only people upstairs are mama and daddy.

Erin and G.W. go on a picnic and talk about the army and missing each other. G.W. asks her to come down to visit him at Fort Lee near Virginia Beach

Erin and Mary Ellen go for a walk to exercise and talk about going to visit G.W. in Virginia Beach.

Jason feeds the pigs then talks to his Daddy while he makes repairs to the smoke house…he reveals that he dropped Erin off at Mary Ellen’s just after Daddy took his Mama there… Jason works on getting his Daddy to say yes about Erin going down to see G.W. and his Daddy is flat out, dead set against it saying “NO” several times.

Mary Ellen and Erin try to convince Olivia and she agrees to talk with their Daddy about it.

John and Olivia disagree about the plan in their bedroom. John is upset because he knows “what kind of girls” hang out at the army post…. Olivia pushes and saying G.W. is like family …. John is not sure what to say to that… he lays awake for a long time thinking. Once he calms down he admits that G.W. is like family and that its hard to trust two young people down at Virginia Beach but agrees to let Erin go.

Mama and Daddy take Erin to the bus station to visit G.W.!

Daddy, Mama, Ben, Jim-Bob, Elizabeth and Grandpa are the only ones at the dinner table so Olivia has Grandpa and Elizabeth move to the other side of the table so everyone can sit closer together. Grandpa prays for the meal.

Down in Virginia Beach Erin has oysters for the first time with G.W. and his friends Ernie and Judy at a fancy restaurant. Ernie and Judy leave the dinner and dance early which leaves Erin and G.W. all alone. Erin becomes nervous. being left alone with G.W. He reveals that the other couple plan to get married and want to be "alone". G.W. wants to take Erin to her room but Erin is skeptical about his intentions and if that’s okay… She agrees but then she realizes that G.W. wants to stay and that Judy won’t be coming in for the night.

Daddy and Mama worry about whats going on in Virginia beach.

Erin stands her ground and tells G.W. to leave making him wishes that she was not such a “nice girl”.

Back at the Army barracks…. G.W. gets upset and punches another recruit for making cracks about his “big night” with the country girl.

Jim-Bob wonders where his car is but Elizabeth assures him that no one would steal it! Daddy says grandpa has it. Grandpa comes back with Rover and Ruby, a peahen to be a “mate” for Rover. He pretends to “marry” them.

Erin returns on the bus and is so excited to be home. She is thrilled that G.W. is still her best friend!

Secondary Story:


Maude Gormley is painting a portrait of Erin along the river. Erin is worried about being late for work and stands up to leave but Ms. Gormley wont let her see the picture until she “adds her little touches”.

Jim-Bob and Ms. Gormley arrive at Ike’s store. She is interested in hiring Jay Wellington Penrose, a New York Art Agent who wants to display and sell Maude’s art work. Ike tries to talk Maude in to letting him take over the display and sale. Maude refuses at first but then realizes that she forgot to send the letter to Mr. Penrose and so agrees to let Ike display and sell her art.

Ike and Maude disagree how to display and sell her art…. A woman comes in the store looking for Rockfish and buys a picture for $3 dollars. Maude said she made the sale not Ike but she would still give him the commission even if he didn’t earn it.

Maude and Jim-Bob are again up at Ike’s store. Maude goes inside while Jim-Bob looks for Rover who has gone missing. Maude decides to have the Penrose man sell her pictures because “her pictures don’t like sitting around pickles and cheese”. She demands the stamp back that Ike had steamed off her envelope and then asks for glue to reuse the stamp!



The peahen which Grandpa brought home as a companion to Rover did ease Rover's loneliness, and he became a much better tempered bird, but as a pair they remained, like Erin and G.W. Haines, just friends."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • Ike says that Rockfish is 6 miles down the road and you turn right at the grain elevator.

Additional Cast:



Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), David Doremus (G.W. Haines), Merie Earle (Maude Gormley), David Clarke (Abel Bingley), Nadya Turney (Lady Customer), Channing Clarkson (Ernie), Wendy Rastatter (Judy), Kevin Scott Allen (Soldier), Hank Stohl (Radio announcer)


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