Ep.21 - The Furlough

  Original Airdate: February 21, 1980
Writer: Juliet Packer
Director: Harry Harris


  John-Boy returns home for the first time since entering the war and having his plane shot down over Belgium. Ike gets a draft notice from the army.


  "There were many homecomings in my life but the one I remember best followed a long spell in the hospital during World War Two. A visit home would be the final step in my recovery, and I looked forward to the comfort of those familiar surroundings. I never dreamed that I would bring the war with me, and that it would haunt me, even on Walton's Mountain."



As John-Boy rides the bus back to Walton’s Mountain he has a troubled nap where he calls out the name “Katy Anne”. A fellow soldier awakens him but when he is asked about the girl John-Boy states that he doesn’t know a Katie Anne.

Mary Ellen and Cindy bring a crib down from the upstairs. Mary Ellen is moving into the shed with Cindy and giving John-Boy his old room back. Erin finds his old typewriter in the attic and the kids get into a pillow fight on John-Boy’s bed.

The Baldwin Sister’s learn of John-Boy’s return from the Godsey’s when they stop by the store. The sister’s want to plan an event and Corabeth suggests a book signing of his book “G.I. Journal”. The ladies had planned to mail a package of “the recipe” to President Roosevelt but Ike says that would be against the law so they then decide to deliver it in person. It seems that they have been reaching out to all the world leaders as they are expecting a reply from Winston Churchill “don’t you know”. Corabeth doesn’t find a letter for the Baldwin’s but find an official looking one for Ike. He opens it and learns that he has been called up into action and has to report for a medical exam.

The family waits for the bus to arrive with John-Boy in Rockfish. They are all excited and nervous to see him again. He meets Cindy for the first time and when they get back to the house he meets Serena and Jeffrey as well. He is surprised to see that his old room is the same. He begins looking through his yearbook and asks his sisters if they remember a girl by the name of Katy Anne. They can’t think of anyone. He is surprised to her Elizabeth is more interested in boys now then her old “Jessica Girl Spy Novels”.

Later downstairs John-Boy becomes acquainted with his niece Virginia and nephew John-Curtis. The Godsey’s arrive to say hello and remind John-Boy about the Autograph party with the Baldwin’s. Ike gives John-Boy a letter addressed to him as they leave. It is from Stewart Bennett’s sister. She wants to come visit. Stewart has been marked as “Missing in Action” since their plane was shot down over Belgium. As John-Boy recalls his memory he hears the sound of a buoy. He describes how they were being shot with anti-aircraft fire and the bullets were ripping through the plane like it was paper. He got to the cabin but the pilot was slumped over and Stewart the Co-Pilot was manning the controls. The plane began to fall but John-Boy can remember anymore.

Ben arrives home to surprise Cindy and see John-Boy. With his arrival Mary Ellen has to move into the girls room. They make a deal with Serena to sleep with Rose to make more room.

John stops by Ike’s and learns that he has been drafted. Ike thinks I’d would be nice to serve and just take orders with no responsibilities but John knows he wouldn’t last 15 minutes.

That evening John-Boy writes in his journal at his desk in his room. His Daddy comes in and they talk about his memory loss and about what it was like to come back from the war. Daddy tells him that maybe he will just have to accept not knowing what happened when the plane crashed.

John-Boy heard Jim-Bob banging on some metal in the barn which reminds him of the sound of the buoy he heard after the crash. He is starting to remember details.

Ike visits the local Draft Board and while the man in charge agrees that Ike is no longer a suitable candidate and “over the hill” from a military aspect. He suggests that Ike fill out a series of forms and deliver them before his medical exam.

Nan Bennett arrives and talks to John-Boy looking for answers. He tries to relive the memory. She pushes him but he is drawing a blank. They walk outside for a bit as she prepares to leave. She gives him a photo that Stewart sent her of Stewart and John-Boy and then runs off to her car.

Later Jeffrey finds John-Boy on the porch writing in his journal. He asks whether there are and Funnies in “Stars and Stripes” the Army newspaper he writes for.

Corabeth comes out into the store looking for Ike. He is working late filling out the forms for his recruitment. He says that if he has to go serve there are plenty of jobs he could do. He figures he could be a spy because he is so mild-mannered looking. He accuses Corabeth of giving the Baldwin’s 2 extra pounds of sugar for free which she said was for John-Boy’s party. Ike says a spy doesn’t care about the reasons why just the principal. She storms off stating that she hopes he gets drafted! He laughs it off.

Jeffrey comes in to his bedroom to talk to Jim-Bob who is carving a model plane out of wood. He is worried that he doesn’t know what to do when it is time for him to join the war. Jim-Bob says that is will be over by the time he is old enough to make a decision. But Jeffrey tells him that he is learning about the 100 Year War. Jim-Bob says that it is different now that there are machine guns and planes. He says that was don’t last as long anymore.

Jeffrey then helps Ike down at the store while everyone else is at the party for John-Boy. A man in black comes in who works for the FBI and takes Ike to the induction centre after failing to report for his medical exam. Ike gives Jeffrey the keys to lock up and to find Joy. To come rescue him.

John-Boy reads from his novel “G.I. Journal” for the crowd that has gathered for his book signing. When he is finished the crowd gets up to enjoy some refreshments. Jason is asked to play the piano for entertainment. He choose “Carry Me Back to Ole’ Virginny” it triggers John-Boy to remember when he sang the song to keep his spirits up while he was floating in the water after the crash. He drops his drink which shatters on the floor as he is lost in thought. Jeffrey storms in and tells John and Corabeth about Ike being arrested by the FBI.

John and Corabeth plead with the man in charge. The commander says that most likely a SNAFU has taken place. Corabeth asks what that means and the commander says it’s a military term and gives her an altered polite . (Situation Normal All “Fouled” Up). He calls his aid to bring Ike and his report into his office. Ike arrive naked with just a towel around his waist. The commander looks over Ike’s chart and see the error. His birthdate was entered incorrectly and the army thinks that he is 20 years old. They soon discover that The day and year of Ike’s birthdate were switched in a clerical error and that he is free to go.

Jason, Ben and Jim-Bob come in to John-Boy's room with a bag of beer. John-Boy can’t believe that he is drinking beer in the house but they say that with Mama gone things are different. Jason remembers the time when they tried rolling their own cigarettes behind the smokehouse and Grandpa caught them and made them smoke the whole bar of tobacco. They toast to peace then head down for supper. Jim-Bob brings a model he made of a bomber saying that he just has to paint the name on it which he plans to call the “Scarlett O’Hara”. John-Boy looks at it with great intensity and says no that her name is “Katy Anne”. He remembers now that Stewart kept saying to hold on to Katy Anne, that she will save them. John-Boy recalls his memory. It is dark and raining. The plane is broken in pieces and floating in the water. He and Stewart are hanging on the the opposite sides of the plane’s right wing. Stewart says that they aren’t to far from shore because they can hear the buoy in the distance. No more than 2 miles. He suggests that they sing a duet to keep their spirits up and starts singing “Carry Me Back to Ole’ Virginny”. John-Boy joins in but halfway through the song Stewart fades and lets go of the plane wing he is holding and floats away from the plane. John-Boy notices that he stopped singing and looks but can’t find him. John-Boy finally remembers Stewart's final moments and about the girl "Katy Anne" who saved his life"


  "I had come home to plant a part of my past that was missing. There was an ache in my heart for my friend Stewart, but I had finally confronted the past, and accepted its cruelty."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • Ike's full name is Isaac Aloysius Godsey.


Additional Cast:



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), Robert Wightman (John-Boy), Diane Stilwell (Nan Bennett), John Furey (Stewart Bennett), Stephen Keep (Bragdon), Michael Thoma (Mr. Truby), David Cramer (Soldier), Philip Baker Hall (Major Gordon), John Philip Dayton (Corporal)

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