Ep.6 - The Journal



  Olivia and John seek information about John-Boy who is missing in action. Jeffrey is concerned about Reckless the family dog's health.


  "There is something in a mountain which gives strength and stability to those who know it well. Its timeless slopes make troubles seem smaller. We were to draw on that strength many times during the anxious years of World War Two, but those years brought troubles of a kind we had never known before. The pain of separation from loved ones whe were sent overseas, and who might have become casualties or prisoners of war. The agony of waiting."



Olivia can’t sleep. She is worried for John-Boy who is missing in action. John tries to comfort her and suggests that they go into Richmond in the morning to visit the Red Cross for hopes of word about John-Boy.

John and Olivia visit with Mrs. Denman at the Red Cross in Richmond. She does her best to reassure the Walton’s that they will do their best to search for John-Boy’s whereabouts.

John and Olivia arrive home late. Rose tells them that they got an important call from Washington about John-Boy. It turns out that the call is from Paul Henshaw that want to publish a manuscript that John-Boy wrote about his war experience called “G.I. Journal”. He asks if they will sign the release to publish the book. Olivia becomes incensed. She won’t sign anything on John-Boy’s behave and will wait until he comes back home and can do it for himself.

The publisher stops in to Ike’s store for some of the delicious pickles he read about in John-Boy’s first book, “Walton’s Mountain”. He tells the Godsey’s that he is with the company that published John-Boy’s first book and was talking to his parents about trying to publish his second book. Ike tries to talk the man into using a photo of him and John-Boy when he was 12 for the cover of the book. Corabeth then begins to recite some of her poetry in the hopes that maybe he would publish it. The publisher is perturbed and makes he excuses to leave.

John and Olivia sit by a pond with a small waterfall and they discuss their feelings about John-Boy.

John and Olivia call the Red Cross but there is still no word on their son. Olivia becomes upset at all the well wishing she hears from people who can’t help. She blows up at John. She doesn’t realize that he is hurting just as much as her until he becomes upset as well. They both embrace realizing that they are on each others side. John says they will regularly visit the Red Cross until they get word.

Mr. Henshaw stops back in on the Waltons to apologize for the way he came across on his previous visit. John and Olivia feel that they can now sign the publishing rights on their son’s behalf. The publisher however begins to tell them that he plans to promote the book as being written by a soldier who is missing in action. He is interested in getting Life or Look Magazine to do a pictorial expose on the Walton family and their sacrifice for the war effort. They feel that is sounds like tasteless exploitation and renege on their decision to sign.

The Red Cross has news for them. John-Boy had returned to London from Sicily and then went as an observer on a bombing mission. The plane was shot down over occupied Belgium. They don’t know if the plane crashed or made a forced landing.

They return home and tell the family the news. Jason gives his Daddy the package from the post office. It is from the publisher. It is John-Boy’s original hand written manuscript. His typewriter was destroyed in Tunisia. Olivia tries to read from it but breaks down, John finishes for her. John-Boy’s words describe the experience of bombing crews who have gone on dozens of mission without rest who fear that they may not return. We see images of that experience from the war as if through John-Boy’s eyes. When they finish reading they understand the importance of publishing John-Boy's book.

Secondary Story:


Elizabeth is knitting a sweater for her classmate Albert who is going overseas. Serena and Jeffrey ask Jim-Bob to look at Reckless the family dog who is lying sick in the barn.

Jeffrey arrives at Ike’s store to look for a do toy to cheer up Reckless. Ike gives him a deal and he runs off to bring the new toy to Reckless. Corabeth takes exception with Ike’s generosity. She pontificates how much better Aimee could progress if he set a better example. Ben and Elizabeth arrive for supplies. Ike yells to Aimee that Elizabeth has arrived which once again sets off Corabeth. Elizabeth is looking for more wool for the sweater she is knitting. Ike asks Ben privately if he thinks he has been a father to Aimee. Ben thinks that Ike is being foolish.

Ben brings Reckless back from the vet who says that it is time for Reckless to be put down. Mary Ellen and Ben go to break the news to Jeffrey. He doesn’t take the news well.

Ben goes to talk with Jeffrey and check in on Reckless. Jeffrey is upset that Ben lied to him about his knowledge of Reckless’ well being.

Jeffrey gets up early with plans to take Reckless to the old cave until she is better. On the way Reckless sees a rabbit and chases it into the woods. Jeffrey returns home after looking for her. Mary Ellen and Ben go with him to look for her. They find her in a ravine after she had already passed away. Jeffrey has never had a dog before and it is tough for him to deal with. Ben is finally able to comfort Jeffrey by letting him know that she died happy chasing a rabbit and that that was the way she wanted to go.


  "The book was published and brought comfort to many who wanted an honest report on their loved ones overseas - and those were the people for whom "G.I. Journal" was written."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • After 8 seasons Reckless the dog appears in her last epsiode.
  • Ike sells his pickles for “Nickel a Pickle”
  • Diana Douglas will also appear two more times in season 8 as Mrs. Denman

Additional Cast:



Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth), Leslie Winston (Cindy), Peggy Rea (Rose Burton), Keith Mitchell (Jeffrey), Martha Nix (Serena), Rachel Longaker (Aimee Godsey), Michael and Marshall Reed (John Curtis), Richard Venture (Paul Henshaw), Diana Douglas (Mrs. Denman), Lillah McCarthy (Miss Fisk)

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