Ep.21 - The Torch

  Original Airdate: March 8, 1979
Writer: Rod Peterson
Director: David Wheeler


  A high school sweetheart of John's buys the Dew Drop Inn. The Walton kids open a Canteen in Godsey Hall for the Camp Rockfish soldiers.

Intro scene:


John and his son Jason step outside of the Dew Drop Inn. Jason’s Daddy says that he just saw a ghost.


  "The absence of a loved one can make the days seem endless and the nights all the darker, especially in spring when the weather is gentle and moonlight stirs the heartstrings. During my mother's illness our family sorely missed her presence and without her my father was a lonely vulnerable man."



Mary Ellen arrives home late from work and enters her Daddy bedroom where his has stayed up. He says that he can’t sleep until they all arrive home safely.

Jason comes home as well and says that Thelma has sold the Dew Drop Inn and moved to Florida. He is not sure what it will mean to him. Mary Ellen and his dad offer to help him financially but he says that he would like to finish paying for his last two weeks of college studies on his own.

The next day Jason stop by the tavern. The new owner Mrs. Jordan says that the piano bar is about the only thing as the bar she won’t change. She wonders is he is worth the money that Thelma has been paying him. He sits down at the piano and plays a bit for her. She says that she will keep him on too. She then asks if he thinks the locals will mind if she remodels a bit. She want to extend the bar and make room for more tables. He says that the bar is occupied these days mostly from workers from the defense plant and that his father could help her with wood supplies. She says that she would like it if “John” stopped by to discuss the plans. Jason asks if he had mentioned his father’s name to her and she replies that he hadn’t. Jason walks away confused.

Elizabeth and Cindy arrive at the Godsey’s mercantile. Elizabeth notices a soldier standing near Corabeth’s new fountain with nothing to do. Elizabeth thinks they should start a Canteen for the troops at Camp Rockfish. They ask Ike and Corabeth if they can use Godsey Hall.

At home during dinner the kids discuss the plans for the canteen. John goes over to the Dew Drop Inn to meet the owner. When Mrs. Jordan sees him step up to the bar she asks Jason to play his favorite song, “Oh You Beautiful Doll”. She calls out to him, he is confused at first but then recognizes her as a high school sweetheart, Callie Mae. They catch up some. It seems that John began seeing Callie Mae when Olivia’s father forbid him from seeing his daughter. While he and Callie Mae had some fun they mostly fought and John eventually started up with Olivia again. John agrees to come back in the morning to work up a quote.

The next day they discuss the plans and have a disagreement on which wall should be taken out for the expansion. She want to take out a load bearing wall and he wants to go in a different direction that won’t cost as much. They then fight over the issues surrounding the time when they dated in high school. She is jealous of Olivia. He says that she can get her building plan from someone else and he will just supply the lumber. She throws her glass at him as he goes out the door which breaks against the wall. He laughs and says that she always had terrible aim.

Callie Mae arrives at Ike’s store and gives Ike a hug which makes Corabeth jealous. Ike doesn’t recognize her at first but is excited when he realizes that she was an old friend from school. Callie Mae asks if he can give her preferred restaurant rates and says that if the price is right when he delivers her order that he will have a regular customer. She compliments Elizabeth’s looks s she leaves.

The kids go out to decorate the Canteen while Daddy stays home to watch John Curtis. Mary Ellen says that she can come back early if he wants to go out, implying that he may go see Callie Mae. John has just gotten off the hone with Olivia and has no designs on seeing Callie Mae.

At Godsey Hall the kids discuss Callie Mae’s arrival and what it means for their Daddy. Cindy seems quite upset by it and leaves the room. Ben says that Cindy’s parents broke up when she was 13 and she is quite upset.

The next day John loads up the truck with lumber for Callie Mae. Mary Ellen and Ben come out to the mill and constantly remind him that he is a grandpa. The kids have a plan to remind him that he is married and a grandfather so that he doesn’t develop roving eyes for Callie Mae. He delievers the lumber to the Dew Drop. Callie Mae challenges him to a race to Ike’s store where she want to look at new light fixture. John isn’t interested at first but then accepts the challenge. He takes a short cut and is waiting for her in a comical pose when she pulls up. She tries to kiss him as a reward for winning but he pulls away and says that a soda will do. Corabeth witnesses the whole display and is aghast. She goes inside to witness the rest of their antics. Ike has nothing but old electric candles for sale. Callie Mae wants something more modern. They get to telling old stories and Callie Mae remembers when she and John went swimming and John swung from a rope into the pond like Tarzan but he didn’t have a loin cloth. Corabeth is again totally speechless.

John comes down for supper and notices that the children have hung a number of pictures and reminders of their Mama for their Daddy to notice. Erin even comes down in one of her Mama’s dresses. Daddy asks his girls if they are all doing this because of Callie Mae. Elizabeth admits that they don’t want him to get involved with her. He says that he doesn’t intend to get involved with Callie Mae but he does have a right to choose his friends and that is all she is. He tells his kids to let him deal with his own situations.

Business is slow at the Canteen. A soldier comes in and when he learns that there is no beer and that the hostess, Cindy is married he heads off to the Dew Drop Inn.

John gets a call from Callie Mae. She wants him to look over the plans but he is at home again watching his grandson. She comes over to his house and checks out his surroundings. Mary Ellen comes home and is a little frigid when she meets John’s former beau. Callie Mae makes her excuses and returns to her Tavern.

It is still very quiet at the Canteen. A soldier comes in but he is actually looking for a library or some books to read. Corabeth steps forward and whisks him away for some culture.

The next day John discusses the plans at the Dew Drop. He tries to set Callie Mae straight about their relationship but Jason comes in to practice a composition for school on the piano. Corabeth gives John a few books to read in attempt to keep him faithful to his wife. Ike even intervenes and tries to talk to john about staying on the "straight and narrow", John turns the line of questioning around on Ike and gives him a taste of his own medicine.

The kids take down the decoration from their failed canteen. Callie Mae comes in and suggest that maybe they need to make it more homie for the soldiers who miss home. They agree but have no more money to spend. Callie Mae offers to help and they buy some used furniture to decorate the place. The effort is a success and a number of soldiers make themselves at home. The kids learn though that Callie Mae sent them all over from the Dew Drop.

Ike stops by the Dew Drop to talk to Callie Mae. He is worried for his friend John. She says that he is settled in like a bear is for winter. She came back to Walton’s Mountain to settle down. Ike asks if the reason why her two previous marriages didn’t work out was because they didn’t measure up to John. She doesn’t appreciate her affairs being meddled with.

The next day John arrives to take Callie Mae to Richmond in her search for lighting fixtures. She is cold and indifferent. She admits that she came with no intentions or having any designs on John but that she now has feelings for him. He says that they might have had a good laugh together but that they would eventually go down different roads and they would have killed each other. He tells her that he told Olivia about Callie Mae’s return the other night and all she asked was how she was fixing her hair now. He drags Callie Mae outside saying hoe nice and innocent the tip to Richmond can be. She sees that he has brought along a few members of his family who want to get to know her. She tries to protest but he convinces her to go.


  "Callie May Jordan became a respected member of the community and a good friend to all our family, young and old."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • Callie May Jordan's maiden name is Jesse.
  • Callie has run saloons from Florida to Virginia while 'looking for the city lights'.
  • The first name of the canteen is 'The Night Club Canteen'. Its second name is 'The Home Front Canteen'.
  • Cindy's father and mother divorced when she was thirteen years old. Her mother died two years later.
  • In "The Outsider" (s7-ep20), it is stated that her mother died 'a couple of years ago'. This would make Cindy 17 years old.
  • It is mentioned that the Baldwins have an Antique Shop.

Additional Cast:



Guest Stars: Dorothy Tristan(Callie May Jordan), with: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth), Leslie Winston (Cindy), Michael and Marshall Reed (John Curtis), Christopher Carroll (Sergeant), Wyatt Knight (Soldier 1), Daniel Zippi (Soldier 2)

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