Ep.10 - The Carousel

  Original Airdate: February 12, 1981
Writer: Robert Pirosh
Director: Herbert Hirschman


  Cindy learns that she was adopted after she loses her father in an auto accident. Drew stays with the Walton's while his parents are away helping his sick Grandmother which puts a strain on his relationship with Elizabeth.


  "When we were growing up we always knew we would be safe and warm and dry, here where we were raised by loving parents and grandparents. We knew who we were and where we came from. So it was hard to believe that someone close to us could suddenly discover that her past was obscure and shrouded in mystery."



Cindy is upset because the rain is preventing the laundry from drying. She is expecting a visit from her Dad and wants everything to be perfect. The rain makes for a hazardous driving conditions and Cindy’s Dad is killed in an auto accident on his way to the Mountain. Ben receives the call from the State police and breaks the news to Cindy.

After the funeral in Washington D.C. Cindy sees a woman she believes that she recognizes watching from a distance.

Cindy goes through her Father’s belongings with Ben and finds papers that reveal that Cindy was adopted.

Cindy has a nightmare that night involving a carousel and she was left all alone. Ben wakes her up to comfort her. She is upset that her Father never told her that she was adopted.

Cindy and Ben visit her Father’s lawyer in Washington and learn the name of the Doctor who would have gave birth to her and arranged the adoption. They visit his home but his memory isn’t what it once was and he is unwilling to share his confidential medical records. Ben however sees his medical reports on a shelf and sneaks her birth year report into in jacket. Once they return to the car they find the names of two women that gave birth on that day. They find the address of one woman but learn that she raised her daughter to the age of 17 before she ran away with a sailor and hasn’t been heard from since. They then pursue the other name they have but draw up blank. Cindy says that she has memories of the carnival music that continues to haunt her.

Ben lets Cindy sleep in after a restless night. Her haunting dream returns of riding a horse on a carousel as a little girl. She sees a woman with her and when she awakes she remembers the name Bernadene. She races in the main house to tell Ben. She remembers that when she was four, her nurse used to take her to a park near her house and there was a pretty lady that would take her for rides on the carousel. She believes that it is the same woman she saw at her Father’s funeral.

She calls the operator in various towns to look for a Bernadene Sheppard but finds no results. Rose suggests that she put an ad in the paper for help.

She drops off letters at Ike’s to be mailed to various newspaper personal columns. Corabeth injects her disapproving opinion stating how much love her and Ike have for their adopted child Amy. She feels that Cindy should leave well enough alone. Rose tries to distract Corabeth from the conversation by requesting some canned peaches for their grocery order. A few days later Ike receives a letter for Cindy from someone in Washington. Corabeth who has now taken a stance on gossip feigns disinterest as he speculates what it could mean but the moment he turns his back Corabeth snatches the letter and races it over to the Waltons house. Cindy opens the letter and discovers an address for the woman she is looking for. As she prepares to make the journey back to Washington D.C. Corabeth apologizes for her previous views on adoption and wishes her the best for a successful reunion.

Ben drives Cindy back to the city. When she knocks on the door of the home she believes to be her mother the woman she saw at her Father’s funeral comes out. The woman is nervous and tries to send Cindy away. Cindy reminds her of her memories of being on the carousel with her. The woman agrees to meet her there at 4pm to discuss the matter further away from her home.\

The woman reluctantly arrives to talk to Cindy at the carousel. She tells her that although she wanted to keep her the man she loved died before Cindy was born and before they could get married. She wanted Cindy to have all the advantages a child should have and her doctor knew of a couple that was looking to adopt whom she liked but the arrangement was that she was never to see her daughter again. It was by accident that she saw Cindy’s adoptive Father dropping her off with her nurse at the park. She said thos afternoons to secretly spend time with her while she played to be the happiest of her life. When she met a new man that wanted to marry her she knew she could never tell him about Cindy. She chooses to not develop a relationship with Cindy. Cindy says that she answered all her questions but as a mother now herself she could never turn her back on her child if she is needed.

Bernadene, Cindy’s birth mother, arrives by car on the mountain. She tells Cindy that she had told her husband about Cindy and her grand-daughter. He has already guessed years before and was the one who anonymously wrote the letter to Cindy revealing her birth mother’s address. Bernadene asks Cindy if she can learn to be her mother.

Secondary Story:


Drew’s Grandmother is sick and his parent’s have gone to Richmond for a week to be with her leaving him home alone. When Elizabeth tells Rose she insists that he stay with them so she can feed him right. Elizabeth and Drew had already plotted to get Rose’s approval for Drew to move in as he already had brought his packed suitcase.

Drew and Elizabeth meet in the upstairs hallway in their pyjamas before going to bed. They decide to go downstairs to get a piece of chocolate cake but just as Drew grabs Elizabeth and gives her a kiss Erin comes up the stairs separates them and sends them to bed.

Drew gets a call from his Parents and learns that his Grandmother will be okay. He is glad because he has an on-going game of checkers they are playing with there moves sent through the mail.

Drew and Elizabeth have trouble finding enough alone time together. Jason asks for Drew’s help moving furniture and the Dew Drop Inn and then Rose needs more firewood to cook dinner.

Jim-Bob comes home late, on-leave from the base and when he discovers Drew in his bed he chooses to sleep in Ben’s old bed for the night.

Elizabeth makes a date with Drew’s friend Steve to go to a dance since she is not getting enough attention from him as he has continued to please her family instead of paying attention to her. Drew apologizes and convinces Steve to take over turning the butter for Rose so that he can spend time with Elizabeth.


  "Cindy's longing to find out all she could about her past was finally fulfilled, and a loving, lasting relationship with her mother was just beginning."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  - When Drew turns out the light to the boy’s bedroom. We see the light go off in John-Boy’s room from the outside.

Additional Cast:



Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth), Leslie Winston (Cindy), Peggy Rea (Rose), Penelope Windust (Bernadene), Tony Becker (Drew), Anita Dangler (Mrs. Foley), Bill Erwin (Dr. Grover), Edward Bell (Mr. Nichols)

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