Ep.11 - The Wager

  Original Airdate: December 13, 1979
Teleplay: E.F.Wallengren
Story: Claylene Jones
Director: Gwen Arner


  Mary Ellen and Erin enter a "Run and Ride" race to prove they can be just as competitive as men. Jeffrey has a crush on a Hollywood movie actress.


  "The Second World War brought women by the millions out of their homes and into the factories, doing jobs that normally would have been reserved for men. Attitudes changed as women found themselves to be every bit as capable as the men they replaced. All of Jefferson County watched with wonder when my sisters Mary Ellen and Erin decided to venture even farther into a mans world."



Erin and Mary Ellen are in a rush to get to work on time. Mary Ellen complains that he expects her to do the duties of a full time nurse one day per week. When they get to work 2 dock worker whistle as they pass by. The sisters are turned off by their advances. Erin would fire them if they weren’t so short handed.

J.D. Pickett asks the Godsey’s to support his war bond effort. Ike suggests they hold a race whereas Corabeth wants to do something more cultural like a play by Noel Coward. J.D. prefers the race idea for the War Bond Rally. Ike suggests an idea he read about in a western magazine. J.D. gets excited aboutThe First Annual Jefferson County Ike and Corabeth Godsey Run and Ride Race”

Jeb, one of the trouble making dock workers comes into the office and complains about his back aching and needing to have his job switched to the assembly line. Mary Ellen questions about his quick recovery from the foot injury he complained about the previous week. Mary Ellen gives him the once over and says that he is perfectly fit to do his job. J.D. Pickett arrives and hears the man’s claims forcing J.D. to command Erin to find him a sit down job on the assembly line.

Erin and Mary Ellen arrive at the feed store to pick up some oats for her horse. They see a sign for the Run and Ride Race and notice that the first name on the list of entrants is Jeb and Sam, the loafers from the plant. Mary Ellen says they could easily beat them and possibly make some money as well.

At dinner Jim-Bob asks if they can borrow Mary Ellen’s horse for the race but the 2 sisters reply that they have already entered. When Erin learns that the race is a grueling 12 miles long she questions her ability but Mary Ellen says that they will begin training in the morning.

Early the next morning Mary Ellen wakes Erin who is resistant to get up at 6am. When Elizabeth complains about their noise she gets enlisted to be their trainer. She makes them run laps around the house as their first activity. Jim-Bob helps Elizabeth find the motivation to be hard on her sisters to help prepare them for the race. He finds an old stop watch and training book in the attic. She puts them to use and one of the activities is pushups. Erin complains when she is told she can’t do girl pushups and has to do the boy style. At dinner Elizabeth has ordered a special high protein meal for them that includes cottage cheese.

At work J.D. wants Erin to withdrawal from the race. He doesn’t want them embarrassing the plant. She was ready to quit but now is more determined than ever to win. They make a weeks wages bet that she won’t finish dead last.

Mary Ellen is out on her horse and Sam appears on his his. He bets their horses on which team will beat each other. Mary Ellen isn’t keen at first to accept but he eggs her into accepting his challenge.

The sister’s continue with their training and Elizabeth continues to push them. Their Daddy is concerned when he learns that they have bet wages and their horse which could have real consequences if they loose.

While the race is run relatively clean, Sam plays a dirty trick on Mary Ellen to get ahead of her horse. Team 6 wins the race and Sam crosses the finish line before Mary Ellen but Erin beats Jeb in the foot race. J.D. makes good on his promise of double wages for Erin and tells Jeb that he is back on the loading dock as of Monday since his back seemed just fine for the race. Mary Ellen pushes Sam into a water barrel for the dirty trick he played on her. Jim-Bob owes Elizabeth a book report for losing his bet. She says that the subject is on the collected works of Edgar Allen Poe. He reads a creepy passage out loud that night as they go to bed and wishes them all sweet dreams as he finishes.

Secondary Story:


Jeffrey is waiting for a response from his favorite actress Jessica Marlowe. At school he writes a new letter to the actress that Serena grabs and reads aloud to the entire class. Jeffrey storms off embarrassed.

After school Jeffrey and Serena stop at Ike’s to check the mail. Ike is excited to hand him the envelope from Hollywood. Inside is an autographed pinup photo of Jessica Marlowe. Serena spitefully claims that she didn’t really sign it, and states that she hired an assistant to sign it for her.

Jason comes home from Camp Rockfish for a visit. He will be away for a bit acting as a chauffeur driving Generals around to War Bond Rally’s. He admire’s Jeffrey’s autographed photo of Jessica Marlowe. He says that he is a fan of her as well.

Jeffrey receives a second autographed photo and inspects it in the attic for privacy. Serena finds him and learns that she was right. Jeffrey says that the handwriting isn’t the same and therefore has been done by someone else. He now considers them worthless.

At the race Jason arrives with Jessica Marlowe that he has chauffeured as the special guest for the War Bond Rally. Jeffrey is stunned and she asks if he will escort her to the podium.


  "Mary Ellen and Erin gained new respect in the community because of their remarkable showing in the Run and Ride race. No one would ever look upon them as just girls any more, especially not Sam Barker and Jeb Sanders."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:


Additional Cast:



Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth), Leslie Winston (Cindy), Peggy Rea (Rose Burton), Keith Mitchell (Jeffrey), Martha Nix (Serena), Jonathon Banks (Jeb Sanders), Mitch Carter (Sam Barker), Lewis Arquette (J.D. Pickett), Jerry Hoffman (Feed Store Clerk), Cathy Worthington (Jessica Marlowe)


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