Ep.15 - The Idol

  Original Airdate: January 10, 1980
Writer: Juliet Packer
Director: Gwen Arner


  A new teacher arrives that Elizabeth takes a shine to. Ben and Cindy's prepare for the arrival of their baby.


  "In each of our lives, if we're lucky, we encounter a few extraordinary people who forever alter our perceptions and color our thoughts. They become the touchstones of our lives. In the Spring of 1944 my sister Elizabeth came to know one of these special people."



Hazel Lamphere, the new school teacher is dropped off at Ike’s store and gets splashed with mud by the bus as it leaves. Elizabeth walks up and greets her. She is surprised be3cause she Hazel doesn’t look like the typical teachers she is used too.

Rose helps Jeffrey with his spelling in the kitchen. Cindy, who is very much pregnant, walks in and says that she has a craving for pistachio nuts and pigs feet and is off to Ike’s and asks Rose if she wants anything. She wants more lemons to make lemonade for the baby shower. Jeffrey wonders if the shower means that people will get wet he then asks Rose how the baby will arrive. She tries to distract him but he says that he is very interested to learn.

Elizabeth takes Hazel to the school teacher’s home. When she walks in she likes everything except for the painting on the wall that Elizabeth states is from the refined private collection of Corabeth Godsey. Hazel take it down but is physically overwhelmed when she bends over. She makes an excuse to Elizabeth that she is tired from the walk but takes a pill from her purse to ease her discomfort. Corabeth arrives to greet the new teacher. She was involved in her selection. She notices that Hazel has removed her paining and learns that Hazel prefers modern abstract works.

Elizabeth arrive home late for dinner and excitedly tells her family about her new teacher.

The next day at school Ms. Lamphere quickly gains control of the students who run wild in advance of the new teacher. Later at the school teacher’s house Elizabeth helps Hazel to decide on where to hang her abstract art. She talks about going to the museums in New York and tells Elizabeth that she needs to put that on her to-do list like riding a camel. Elizabeth asks if Hazel will take her to visit the museums in New York during summer vacation. Hazel is not willing to commit saying that it is too far off to be committing to such plans. Elizabeth’s father arrives sat the door looking for her as it is after 6pm. She has lost track of time again. After they leave Hazel turns on the radio and begins to dance to the music. She is suddenly struck by a pain in her head that causes her to lose balance and control.

Cindy opens gifts at her baby shower. Hazel arrives with a rum cake which doesn’t earn Corabeth’s approval. Mary Ellen helps her to cut and serve it to the ladies. Hazel has a dizzy spell which Mary Ellen notices and asks if she has been to see a doctor.

At Ike’s store the men have gathered to celebrate the coming baby with Ben. They drink the Baldwin sister’s recipe. Daddy gives Ben a Savings account to help save for dental bills and the baby’s college fund.

At school Jeffrey talks to some school girls and they debate where babies come from. They have heard all different stories like the doctor’s black bag, a stork, the cabbage patch and even the mother’s stomach which is why they are so fat. Ms. Lamphere comes out and suggests that they have a class on where babies come from.

Jeffrey arrives at the store and informs her nana that babies don’t come from the doctor’s black bag. Corabeth becomes disturbed when she learns that Ms. Lamphere will teach a class on baby births. She feels that she is as qualified as anyone to teach the students if they decide to replace the teacher.

At home Cindy eats pickles, pig’s feet and donuts.

Elizabeth finds Hazel setting up a bird feeder to attract yellow finches. She warns her teacher that Corabeth is on the war path to replace her. Hazel however is ready to take on Corabeth.

Ben talks to his father about his concerns in being a father. Daddy says that it is certainly easier with 25 years experience under his belt but that he knows he son will be fine.

Hazel arrives outside the Godsey store and invites the Baldwin ladies and Corabeth to her class on Monday to witness her class about child birth.

Mary Ellen brings some medical books for Hazel to read and finds her house empty with the door open. She discovers Hazel on the floor behind the couch. Mary Ellen helps her come to and learns that Hazel has already been to see many doctors and that she has a brain tumor and only has 3 to 4 months left to live. She has kept is a secret because she doesn’t want to see the pity in people’s eyes.

Ben tries to drink his worries away at the Dew Drop Inn and isn’t home when Cindy wakes John needing a ride to the hospital to deliver her baby. Ben arrives the next morning having slept in the truck after drinking too much. He apologizes to Cindy and they both make a pledge to be there for each other. Mary Ellen bring in Ben’s new little girl and Cindy suggests the name of Virginia after the most beautiful place she knows.

Elizabeth arrives at her teacher’s house and asks if she hopes to have a baby one day. Hazel knows that it is time to finally confess her secret to Elizabeth who doesn’t take it well and feels lied to. She runs off.

Mary Ellen and Daddy arrive home to inform the rest of the family about Virginia’s birth. Later that evening Jason talks to Elizabeth on the porch. He shows her the flute that his friend Seth had made for him before passing away prematurely. He tells her that it’s the memories she has of her teacher that will live on even after Ms. Lamphere has passed away.

The school room is full of parents, members of the community and students. Ms. Lamphere faces the dragon’s including Corabeth and teaches her class. She compares a mother’s womb to the size and shape of a pear.

Daddy finds Elizabeth in her room. He says that she chose to be Hazel’s friend and that she needs to be her friend in good times and bad and that she shouldn’t mourn her when she hasn’t passed on yet. Elizabeth’s spirits pick up and she arrives at the school to catch the last part of Ms. Lamphere’s class.


  "From that day onward, Hazel's teaching was never again questioned. Elizabeth and Hazel's friendship grew stronger, and even though Hazel died a few months later, her zest for life lived on in my sister."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • Elizabeth discovers that she wants to become a school teacher. In real life actress Kami Cotler became a teacher and made a career in education as well.

Additional Cast:



Guest Star: Susan Krebs (Hazel Lamphere) with: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth), Leslie Winston (Cindy), Peggy Rea (Rose Burton), Keith Mitchell (Jeffrey), Martha Nix (Serena), Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Michael and Marshall Reed (John Curtis), Pat Corley (Bartender), Kimberly Woodward (Lauren)


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