Ep.1 - The Outrage

  Original Airdate: November 20, 1980 - 2 hour episode
Writer: John McGreevey
Director: Vincent Sherman


  Harley runs into trouble with the law and John defends his name. Elizabeth spends a lot of time with her new horse. John-Boy, Jason and Ben are overseas. Ike and Corabeth discover the purpose of their roles.


  "By the Spring of 1945 there were no young men left on Walton's Mountain, though with the Allied forces close to victory in Europe, hope grew that soon they'd be returning home. The cost of defending our freedoms ran high, and in our patriotic fervor we sometimes failed to realise that those freedoms were too often not evenly distributed."



Harley Foster is helping John in the mill since the boys left for the war. They load an order of lumber on the truck. Verdie brings Harley his lunch which he forgot at home and Rose brings John a thermos of coffee for the trip. Jeffrey and Serena are now living with their Father who has recently remarried.

Drew arrives looking for Elizabeth who forgot that they planned to meet at the bridge before going to school. She is grooming new horses that John received from a customer who couldn’t pay his bill. Their names are Molly and Pepper. She says her Daddy is going to sell Pepper the foul when she old enough but Elizabeth can keep the mare. Drew tells her to grab her books and hurry up but she tells him to go on ahead without her.

John pulls the truck over when the rad begins to overheat. He asks Harley to get some more coffee at the cafe they stop beside. Inside the cook won’t serve him and even the local police officer reveals his hatred and racist attitude calling Harley a “boy”. The officer is over seeing a group of POW workers who are eating their lunch before heading back to a work camp. John comes in and quickly questions the behavior of the two men. When he sees that he can’t reason with them he says to Harley that they need to leave that “cesspool”. The officer remembers where he saw Harley before and he writes down John’s license plate number as they leave.

Mary Ellen and Erin arrive home from work and here Chance mooing in the barn. They find Cindy trying to figure out how to milk her because Easy Jackson have left on vacation and won’t be doing his chores. Erin steps in to milk chance and Mary Ellen gets her feed ready. Cindy complains that they have real jobs to do and that she should learn to do the chores but they say she has enough to do with her baby.

Ben is stationed overseas and listens to an address by President Roosevelt followed by the song “I’ll Be Seeing You” which is his and Cindy’s song. The commander comes out of his tent and says that they will be heading out to a combat zone in the next few days and that they need to be in their helmets and with their firearms from that point on. Ben cracks a joke but the officer is a no-nonsense man. While the song continues to play Cindy listens half way around the world in her bed while reading a book.

Elizabeth, Erin and Mary Ellen writes letters to Ben, Jim-Bob, Jason and John-Boy. They think that Cindy is still upset because they wont let her do any chores. They promised Ben to watch over her and they don’t believe he would let he slop pigs or milk cows.

Corabeth believes that when the men return home from the war that there will be a boon to real estate and business. She wants to become a real estate agent but Ike believes that it will fail just like her beauty parlor, dance school, tea room and hat store which were all disasters. Ike is upset that he has holes in his socks, buttons missing on his shirt and eats soup from a can for supper. He believes women has lost their place. Corabeth says she is not interested in being a slave to her husband. Ike then describes how his mother was and how they didn’t have much but she made a home full of love, cookies, milk & fresh baked bread.

Sheriff Bridges stops by John’s mill and asks about the trouble he and Harley experienced the day before. The officer they ran into believes that Harley’s real name is ‘Leroy Harley’ and he was on a chain-gang and escaped about 8 years prior and was never caught. The man in question was serving time for murder. John asks Ep if he believes that could be Harley and the Sheriff replies no. He says he will look into it without upsetting Harley.

Rose finds Cindy hoeing weeds in the garden she shoos her away and takes over. When Elizabeth returns from a horse ride Mary Ellen says that Drew is on the phone for her but she has no time for him.

Corabeth places a note on Ike’s pillow before bed. He is confused and she encourages him to read her note where she resigns her position at the store and informs him that she will now work as his devoted wife taking care of his every whim.

John-Boy is stationed in Paris at the ‘Stars and Stripes’ office. He is looking to locate Jason who is serving in France as well.

The Sheriff stops by John’s and says that no one heard of Harley in his supposed hometown in Florida. They go over to the Foster’s house together and the Sheriff questions Harley. It is obvious that Harley recognizes the name of the man they are looking for. The Sheriff tells him to stay close to home as he looks in to it further.

The Walton family talk about there concerns about Harley and examples of racism they have heard about.

Verdie gets ready to leave for her bible meeting and Josh is dragging his feet. Harley decides not to go and Verdie is concerned for him. He says that things are okay and he gets Josh to speed along after giving him a pep talk. After they leave Harley takes out a writing pad and begins to write a letter.

John-Boy hears a women playing a tune on the piano in the common room and knows that Jason wrote it. They quickly discover that she is the girl Jason likes, Antoinette. They sit together and get to know each other better. They make a bet who will make contact with Jason first.

Ike stacks cans of corn in the store after supper and Corabeth comes out looking for him. He thanks her for sewing the missing button on his shirt and tells her how much he appreciates all that she has done for him lately. She says that she is enjoying the change of pace.

Harley stops by the mill to talk to John who is up late working on the paperwork. Harley admits that he is the man that they are looking for. John asks him to explain his situation. Harley says that his family worked as share croppers down south but when his son Jody came along he moved into town and worked as a mechanic. One night the richest man in town came in drunk with his brother to pick up his car that Harley repaired. He refused to pay the bill saying it was too high and then proceeded to swing a wrench at Harley. The man slipped on some oil and hit his head on a tire rim when Harley tried to protect himself. Harley was charged with murder and sent to work on a chain gang. He then painted a picture of what it was like to work on the chain gang. Then he learned that he wife Lily was dead and that his son Jody was now alone. He had figured a way to escape and get to his son. They lived on the rode until he met Verdie and knew it was time to stop. Harley asks John to give him 24 hours before reporting him to the authorities. He says that he will change his name and head up north and then send for Verdie when it’s safe. John pleads for Harley to stay and fight for his innocence.

Ben gets in trouble from his CO when he fails to wear his helmet and keep his gun by his side while building a structure for the army.

John tries to locate the lawyer that represented Harley who has retired in Richmond.

Drew arrives at the Walton’s on his bike. He has been working at a soda shop and trying to save for a car. He finds Cindy at the barn who is busy trying to repair the lock on the door so that Chance can get free. He offers to help but she snaps back that she doesn’t need any help but then apologizes and explains that no one around there is letting her do anything but change diapers and curl her hair. Drew finds Elizabeth tending to her horses and asks if they are still going steady. They talk out their differences and then make a date to have a picnic.

Sheriff Bridges arrives at the Foster looking for Harley and searches the house. When he leaves Verdie send Josh to take the short cut through the woods to the Walton’s and warn his Dad that the Sheriff is coming for him. By the time the Sheriff arrives Harley is no where in sight. John is in the old mill working on the saw blade. Ep shows John the warrant for Harley’s arrest that includes an identifying photo. John begs the Sheriff to give him a couple of days to prove Harley’s innocence. Ep agrees to turn his head for 24 hours. As the Sheriff leaves we see Josh and Harley hiding in the treehouse.

Part 2

John runs Harley up to an abandoned cabin in the mountains to hide out while he tries to deal with the situation. John arrives home and learns from Rose that Harley's lawyer now lives in Petersburg. He tells Rose to watch over Josh who will be coming to the Walton’s place after school and then goes upstairs to put on his suit.

Elizabeth and Drew are fishing at the pond. He gets one on his hook and then uses the opportunity to sneak a kiss with Elizabeth. Her horse Molly begins to act up and Elizabeth runs to settle her down. Drew expresses his feelings that Elizabeth cares more for her horse than him. She gets on Molly and rides off leaving him to feed their picnic to the fish.

Ben and Norman “borrow” a jeep from the motor pool with plans to go see a new movie at the Navy Depot but their CO discovers their plans before they can leave and orders them to return and wash the jeep.

John and Verdie visit the Harley’s former lawyer who called the case a miscarriage of justice if ever he saw. He says that the man who died came from a very powerful family. Everyone in town either worked for them, owed them money or was married to one of them. Everyone knew the man who dies was a mean drunk but they were still upset that Harley didn’t get the death penalty. The lawyer started getting threats by phone and mail. When word got out that he was putting together an appeal they tried running his wife off the road so he packed up and left town. They look through his records for anything that will help Harley’s case. There is a commendation Harley received from WWI for saying to men when their ship was sunk by a torpedo. He says that they need a good lawyer but he himself can’t after having retired due to a heart attack but says he will go to Richmond in the morning and see what he can do.

John and Verdie arrive back home and Rose goes upstairs to fetch Josh who is fast asleep. Sheriff Bridges arrives with the deputy who began Harley’s troubles and they demand that John hand him over. John refuses and the Sheriff has no choice but to arrest John.

The next day Mary Ellen brings her Daddy some fresh baked cinnamon rolls who is held at the jail in the Sheriff’s office. Mary Ellen visits with her Daddy who is embarrassed that his kids have to see him disobey authority but he knows it’s for a higher cause. Ep says John has more visitors. Verdie has arrived with Harley who says he has Jogsh to think about now and he can’t let him see his Daddy let another man take his place in jail. He says that he is willing to serve out the remainder of his time in prison.

Erin comes in to see Cindy who challenges her to earn a job around the farm. Erin says that her family grew up doing the chores. Cindy realizes that she can’t win. She becomes mad and throws Erin out of her house.

Antoinette finds Jason’s troop and she only has a few minutes before she has to return her colonel’s car. He says that the army lost his records which is why they couldn’t find his location. He says that he will get some time to come to Paris in the near future.

John returns to the lawyer’s house and learns that he was unable to accomplish anything. He tells join that he needs to find a younger lawyer who isn’t concerned about using the case to further his political position or defending a black man. He says that he ran away once himself despite being white, educated and well to do. Sometimes that is the only choice.

Elizabeth talks about her boy troubles with Rose while she cooks in the kitchen. Rose says that she was once jealous of her husbands new car. He would polish it and drive it all over the country. The fix however is that he got Rose interested in the car too and then they got to spend more time together.

Ep come to tell John that two Marshals are coming to pick up Harley in the morning and take him back to prison.

Ike and Corabeth rest in bed. He tells her about the good times they had when she worked in the shop like when she has a $0.01 sale. She gets up to brush her hair and he discovers that the book she is reading is about real estate which is disguised with a romance novel dust cover.

The next morning the Marshals wait outside while Harley has a private moment to say goodbye to Verdie. They say it’s highly unusual to wait like that but Ep says that he will be out. When Harley comes out they put him in cuffs and drive him away.

John works late into the night reviewing the court papers of Harley’s case. He notices President Roosevelt's photo on the wall and has a closer look. It is inspires him with a new idea. He drives to Verdie’s house to tell her that he is going to Georgia to see the president and will be gone for a few days. The President was Assistant Secretary of the Navy during WWI when Harley got his commendation. He feels that if anyone can or will do something for Harley is the President.

Ike tells Corabeth that despite the how much he appreciates the mending and meals that she has been doing for him he actually misses her. He says that what she needs is a challenge and what he needs is her. They embrace and she says that is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to her. He then shows her the Real Estate office he has built for her in the store. He asks if she will come back and work with him part time in the store as well.

John goes to see Commander Collins and asks for an appointment to see the President. The Commander says that with the war in Europe and the South Pacific is more important than seeking a pardon.

Elizabeth puts the rooster back in his pen and then mounts Molly for a ride the rooster spooks the horse which bolts through the fence and breaks it’s leg. No one is willing to shoot the horse except Cindy who does the job.

Later Elizabeth goes to see Cindy and asks if she can spend the night with her. They both embrace in a flood of tears. The next day Drew comes to see Elizabeth. She is unwilling to go for a walk with him. He tells her about a dog he once had who followed him everywhere and he would look for her even after she died. He says that someone is hurting worse than here. He takes her outside to see Molly’s foul. She wants nothing to do with her because she knows that her Daddy will be selling her. Drew says that he already has and he bought Pepper from her Daddy for a good price in the hopes that she would help him raise her together.

Verdie rushes over to the Walton’s with news that the president has died in Warm Springs, Georgia. Jason arrives late in Paris and shares the news with John-Boy and Antoinette. Ben hears the news over the camp speaker. The CO comes out and tells his men about the President’s visit to his base when they were in training and that he vowed to be the best CPO of the Seabees just like the President was the best Commander in Chief. They lower the flag to half mast and salute it.

John comes back from Georgia with Harley in the car. They pull up to the Foster house and Verdie and Josh run and embrace Harley. John says that the last thing the president did was to sign his pardon.

The President’s train returned back to Washington carrying his casket for everyone to see. As it came through Charlottesville the family stood waiting beside the tracks. As the train disappeared into the night John stepped out and said “Goodnight Mr. President”.


  "The train bearing the body of Franklin Delanor Roosevelt moved slowly from Warm Springs Georgia toward the nation's capital. Wherever it went the people who loved him gathered to mark its passing, remembering the man who led a nation out of its most crippling depression and toward victory in its greatest war, planting seeds of brotherhood along the way. When it passed through Charlottesville my family was there to pay their last respects."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • John and Ep have on on-going game of cribbage.
  • The lawyer's home is the same building used for The Kleinberg Conservatory where Jason went to school.
  • John- Curtis speaks out of character at the dinner table. He says that he got a new pair of pants from “Pat”
  • Harley build a flower box for Verdie to plant geraniums in their entrance.
  • This episode is unique with multiple concurrent storylines.

    1. Harley Foster, John and Sheriff Bridges, 2. Elizabeth, Drew and her horse, 3. Cindy wanting to do chores on the farm, 4. John-Boy looking for Jason in France and meeting Antoinette 5. Jason stationed in France, 6. Ben in the Pacific. 7. Corabeth’s desire to become a Real Estate agent and Ike wanting her to be more like his mother.


Additional Cast:



Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth), Leslie Winston (Cindy), Peggy Rea (Rose), Michael and Marshall Reed (John Curtis), Claire and Elizabeth Schoene (Virginia), Robert Wightman (John-Boy), Tony Becker (Drew), Lisa Harrison (Toni), Hal Williams (Harley Foster), Lynn Hamilton (Verdie Foster), Jason Moses (Josh Foster), John Crawford (Ep Bridges), Jordan Suffow (Norman), Charles Thomas Murphy (the Deputy), Hank Brandt (the Aide), Dick Sargent (the Chief), Hank Stohl (Radio Announcer), David Clover (Patrolman)

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