Ep.15 - Spring Fever

  Original Airdate: January 12, 1978
Writers: Rod Peterson and Claire Whitaker
Director: Richard Chaffee


  Ben and Jim-Bob let jealousy and Spring Fever get the best of them when they swap each other's date. Miss Mamie becomes distraught when she believes that her dying rose bush is a sign of her own demise.


  "It was spring on Walton's Mountain, and after the confinement of a long winter life burst forth with such energy that every creature seemed charged with it, including the two young stallions in our house, Ben and Jim Bob."


Written by Janet Lange

Spring cleaning at the Walton house begins with Jim-Bob and Ben taking the rug outside to beat the out the dust. They argue and talk about a date Ben went on the night before. Ben storms off and Grandpa and Elizabeth comment about how the boys are usually really friendly. According to Grandpa, “the spring of the year” makes the boys restless and butt heads like goats while girls sit around being moody.

Jason plays the piano as Mary Ellen, Ben and Erin try to get all the furniture covered in the living room for painting. Jason is glad he is working in the garden and Erin is glad her business school is not off for a break. Erin questions Ben about the date with Ruby who Ben calls “Little Miss Iceberg”. Erin thinks Ruby is too good for Ben because of the way he is acting.

In the garden Grandpa, Jason and Daddy realize Miss Emily is driving the car alone. She, of course, crashes the car. She tells Grandpa that she is worried about Mamie and Grandpa goes with her to see what is going on.

Mamie is worried about roses that their papa planted and called his “Mamie Rose”. She thinks the rose bush and a dream she had are a sign that she is dying. Mamie thinks her time has come and wants to make sure Emily and all of her affairs are taken care of. She does not think she will see another Spring.

Erin and Ruby talk about Ben and the date. She feels Ben is pushing her too much, too fast. Erin suggests that she date other boys to make Ben jealous. Ruby is new in town and doesn't know many people.

The kids are in the kitchen getting lunch together. The boys snap at each other. Mama goes outside to eat with Daddy and Mary Ellen goes upstairs to eat with John Curtis.

Outside Mama and Daddy enjoy a quiet lunch and talk about the way the boys are acting.

Grandpa goes back to the Baldwin’s to help them get rid of the thrips on the rose bush. Mamie is still determined that she is dying. When she realizes that the grandfather clock has stopped working and sees it as an omen. She goes upstairs alone. Emily is worried about Mamie. Their papa was 93 when he died. Grandpa looks into fixing their clock while Emily gets lost in her thoughts.

Grandpa walks up to the store where Jason is pumping gas. They talk about what’s going on with Miss Mamie and wish they could figure out something to help her.

The Girls work on sewing curtains. Jim-Bob has to finish painting but Ben is done. Patsy come by with a picnic for Jim-Bob that he forgot about so Ben goes on the picnic with Patsy. Jim-Bob accidentally starts painting the window while he stares out watching Ben and Patsy together.

Grandpa, the girls and Jim-Bob are in the kitchen. Jim-Bob is distracted by the fact that Ben is not back yet from his picnic with Patsy and storms off from the game he is playing with Elizabeth when the girls start teasing him. Grandpa and the girls talk about the Baldwin’s. Erin suggests having the Baldwin’s come on a picnic with the family that weekend when they celebrate the end of Spring cleaning.

Grandpa goes out to the porch to ask John and Olivia if it would be okay to invite the Baldwin’s. Grandpa goes back inside as Ben comes up. He really enjoyed the picnic and talking to Pasty. Jim-Bob says he is going to ask Ruby for a date. Ben brushes it aside and Jim_Bob announces that he is going for a walk. Mama tells Daddy that he needs to talk to the boys but Daddy thinks the boys just need to cool off.

Grandpa is again at the Baldwin’s fixing the clock and tells the Baldwin’s about the picnic on Saturday and tries to talk them in to joining the family.

Mary Ellen brings more blankets downstairs and talks to Ben about Spring cleaning and how she wished that she was doing her own Spring cleaning with Curt. Jim-Bob comes in and starts to brag that Ruby has agreed to go on a date with him.

Grandpa checks on the rose bush at the Baldwin’s. He knows its dying and that Miss Mamie is giving up. She wants him to be the executor of her estate. He tells Miss Emily that he has some more ideas to help Miss Mamie.

While Erin gets dressed Jim-Bob barges in on her for advice. He is nervous about going out with an older girl.

Jim-Bob and Ruby play a pin-ball game. He takes her home and they talk about seeing each other again.

Jim-Bob stumbles inyo the boys room after Ben is already asleep and starts to gloat about staying out late. He keeps talking on and on until Ben finally storms out to the shed to sleep.

Daddy and Jason work in the garden when grandpa and Elizabeth arrive. They are going to go up to the Baldwin’s and have a tea party. Daddy sings an old song and mama comes out with lemonade.

Jim-Bob and Ben start talking and comparing the girls and what they know about each of them. Mary Ellen comes in and when she gets frustrated with the boys she tells them to "take a flying jump into the lake."

Erin and Ruby talk about the Ben and Jim-Bob and how things are going now that there have been a few dates.

Jason and Elizabeth join Grandpa and hold a tea party and a game of coquet at the Baldwin’s complete with fancy outfits but the fun is interrupted by a heavy rain.

Mary Ellen and Pasty talk at the store during the rain about Ben, Jim-Bob and Ruby.

The family sits at the table and start to comment on the flowers that Pasty had given Mary Ellen for the family. Pasty did not say “who” the flowers where for. They also talk about Jim-Bob dating Ruby. Finally Mama says “enough is enough.” Daddy says that the boys either need to start talking to each other or leave the table. The boys leave and grandpa shares a story about Uncle Ben and John as teenagers and how they got in a fight about a young filly. Daddy says it was a horse, not a girl!

At the movies Ben and Pasty arrive just as Jim-Bob and Ruby are going in. They don’t say a word.

At the Baldwin’s, Grandpa says that all the papers of Mamie’ Will are in order and he tells Mamie that it’’s time to embrace life and hold on to it and that the sisters need to be ready when he comes in the morning.

In the theater Ben and Pasty are a couple rows behind Jim-Bob and Ruby. The boys keep glancing at each other and putting their arms around the girls trying to make each other jealous.

Mama and daddy talk in their room about remodeling more of the house and how they are glad that they are older and past all the growing up stuff Jim-Bob and Ben are going through.

Ben and Pasty come out of the theater and Jim-Bob and Ruby come out the other door. The girls try to be pleasant and the boys snap at each other. Ben ends up pushing Jim-Bob and they walk off.

Daddy and Grandpa talk in the mudroom about the Baldwin’s and the picnic Grandpa already has a plan. When Daddy mentions fishing, Grandpa grins and its obvious that he has another idea for the picnic. Grandpa leaves the house and Daddy goes in to the living room and tells the boys that they are going on the picnic. When they both claim they have dates Daddy tells them to bring them on the picnic. Mary Ellen says she will not be going on the picnic because John Curtis has the sniffles.

Everyone is waiting on the porch for Grandpa's surprise which is a hay wagon ride to the picnic! They all get on and go get the Baldwin’s. Mamie is still reluctant to go but the family talks her in to it. They sing songs as they go to their picnic spot. Jim-Bob and Ruby take a walk and talk about how their feelings are changing now that they see Ben and Pasty together. Grandpa and Emily fish but Mamie just sits there until the pole suddenly jerks and pulls her ankle deep into the water. She catches a large fish gets all excited and starts smiling and talking more positively. Ben wants to kiss, but Pasty doesn’t. Jim-Bob and Ruby come up and the boys start fighting. Elizabeth runs to where Mama and Daddy are eating and tells them that the boys are fighting. Daddy wants to let them slug it out but Mama wants him to intervene. As they arrive Jim-Bob slugs Ben hard, knocking him down. Ruby runs to Ben and Pasty to Jim-Bob. The boys make up. The family and Baldwin’s sing as they drive the hay wagon home.


  "Spring that year saw Jim Bob come of age. There was a new maturity and purpose about him, and it was the last time that anyone ever thought of him as Ben Walton's little brother."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • Thrips are a small, often wingless insect, of the order Thysanopters that are often destructive to plants.
  • Judge Baldwin who called it his 'Mamie Rose' planted Miss Mamie's rose bush.
  • The Baldwin's father died at the age of 93 years old.
  • The malady facing elderly ladies like Miss Mamie is said by Grandpa to be called the 'Tulip Time Vapors'.

Additional Cast:



Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Heather Totten (Ruby Davis), Debbie Gunn (Patsy Brimmer)

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