Ep.11 - The Hot Rod

  Original Airdate: February 19, 1981
Writer: Scott Hamner
Director: Bob Sweeney


  Jim-Bob comes home from service life and gets himself into a heap of trouble. The Baldwin sisters lose their 'recipe machine' to government agents.


  "The end of World War Two brought a period of readjustment for the men who had served in the armed forces. Restless soldiers returned home to towns that looked smaller than they had remembered. And families found their sons to be different from the boys who had marched off to war. Some of them were eager to assume the responsibilities of life, while others floundered, determined to make up for the years they had lost."



Jody Foster and Jim-Bob are on the bus returning home after serving their country in the war effort. Jim-Bob asks Jody if he’d be interested in helping him soup up his car. Went the bus stops at Ike’s John-Boy is there to meet them with Jim-Bob’s car. Jim-Bob gets behind the wheel and puts the metal to the floor and almost hits Deputy Sheriff Walt Hendrix as they head down the road. The Deputy welcomes the boys home and then warns Jim-Bob to take it easy so that he doesn’t give him a ticket next time.

Jim-Bob and John-Boy get Jody back home to his little brother Josh and his Mom Verdie. Jody asks were his Daddy is and Verdie informs him that he went to Detroit for a couple of weeks as Jody’s Uncle Jessie has broken his leg and his Aunt Sarah is having a baby. She tells him that J.D. Pickett is switching from making defence equipment to farm equipment. Jody says that he want to take it easy after having travelled and seen the world. He also says that he will never amount to anything if he stays in the south. He says he has been in uniform for 4 years and every time he turned around it was “do this” and “do that”. He is tired of taking orders. He doesn’t know what he wants to do but he doesn’t want to work for J.D. Pickett.

Jim-Bob and John-Bob arrive at home. Jim-Bob is unimpressed with his welcome now that his duties with the Air Force have come to an end. The family says that they have seen him practically every weekend so it is not like them missed him. Elizabeth heads to the store to pick up some butter for dinner but learns that Jim-Bob wants his car back now that he is home for good. He announces that he plans to turn it into a hot rod.

While unpacking his clothes his brothers come in with some celebratory ‘Recipe’. Jim-Bob becomes upset when his brothers begin to question what he plans to do with his new found ‘freedom’. He storms out stating that he will do what he wants when he wants.

Rose asks Jim-Bob if he will pick up supplies for supper at Ike’s but Jim-Bob says that he is too busy. She wonders at what as he has only been working on his car for the past week with out helping out with other chores.

Jim-Bob meets up with Jody outside of Ike’s and they decide to go off to Rockfish instead of doing the errands they were sent on. On the way to town they get held up by a slow moving hay truck. He attempts to pass around him but runs Deputy Walt off the road again and this time he makes good on his promise to fine Jim-Bob with a ticket.

Jody helps Jim-Bob with his Hot Rod and after a month of work it is done with a fresh paint job and new engine parts. They take it into to town to give it a try. They stop at a pool room and the owner refuses to serve Jody because of the color of his skin. As they take off Jim-Bob accidentally backs in to the owner’s trash cans and he charges them for the damage which sends them to jail for the night. The next morning Verdie and Jason come to claim them and Walt threatens to take away Jim-Bob’s license if he continues on this path.

Jason drops Jody off at his home and Verdie demands that he start looking for a job. Jim-Bob’s family feels the same way causing Jim-Bob to storm off again.

Jim-Bob and Jody drown their sorrows late one night and decide to give the Hot Rod another spin. Jody falls off the back of the car and winds up in the hospital with a broken arm and a concussion.

Jim-Bob decides to face the news with his family and informs them that he plans to re-enlist with the Air Force. At least there he wasn’t a screw up like he has been since coming home. Elizabeth chases him outside she says that he is acting childish instead of facing his problems.

John-Boy, Mary Ellen, and Verdie bring Jody home form the hospital. They make a stop first and Jody learns that Jim-Bob has bought an old barn with his Air Force severance pay and asks Jody to go into business with him and open a garage.

Secondary Story:


Miss Emily can’t find Miss Mamie in the house and initially thinks she is playing hide and seek. She heads to Ike’s in her car but when she arrives she has forgotten how to stop the vehicle that she seldom uses. Ike’s hops on the running board and shows her where the brake pedal is as she madly spins the car in circles in front of the Mercantile. She explains her concern for Miss Mamie and Ike drives her back to her home to investigate.

They look everywhere and can’t find her. Emily wants to call the FBI. Suddenly they here knocking but it isn’t coming from the front door. They discover that Mamie is trapped behind a wall with a hidden access. She had had a fainting spell and became trapped in the secret room after she leaned against the wall and the door popped open.

After they collect themselves they venture into the secret room with candles and a oil lamp. The sister’s Papa had told them about the secret room when they were children but it had been lost for the better part of a century. When they find a 2nd recipe machine Ike states that the room should be declared a National Monument. The ladies discover their grandfather’s batch of ‘recipe’ going back to the 1890’s in mason jars. They invite Ike to celebrate with some of the vintage batch.

Sometime later a man by the name of Fred Winthrop arrives at the Baldwin sisters door and informs them that he is an agent of the Alcohol Tax Unit of the Federal Government. They naively invite him into the ‘Recipe Room’ to see their Papa’s machine and after he samples some he informs them that it is illegal and the equipment will be confiscated.

The sisters worry about what they will do once they lose their recipe machine. They can garden, bird watch, knit and quilt and sew as well as read books in their Papa’s library or even seek employment. It is too much for Emily and she breaks down crying and retreats to her room.

Miss Mamie arrives at the store for smelling salts to help with her fainting spells. She informs the Godsey’s that they have to forfeit their recipe machine to the government. Ike asks if they can use their grandfather’s machine in the secret room and offers to help them fix it up.

The government men arrive to dismantle their recipe machine. The sisters ask if they can keep a piece of it as a memento of of their father’s memory. The men agree and the sisters take the copper pipe which they use to repair their Grandfather’s machine in the secret room with Ike’s help. Once completed they have some more of their Grandpa’s recipe and they toast their Papa The Judge and their Granddaddy The Colonel.


  "Jim Bob and Jody opened their garage, their partnership provided them with the way to make the final transition back into civilian life. Both familes breathed a sigh of relief to see them settle down and become responsible young men. And Miss Emily and Miss Mamie, when asked about the loss of their Papa's recipe machine would smile and say - Don't worry, we saved enough for everybody."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • This episode was written by Earl Hamner's son, Scott.

Additional Cast:



Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth), Peggy Rea (Rose), Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Robert Wightman (John-Boy), Charles R. Penland (Jody Foster), Lynn Hamilton (Verdie Foster), Jason Moses (Josh Foster), John Carter (Deputy Walt Hendrix), Tom Williams (Mr. Winthrop), Herb Armstrong (Cafe Owner), Gordon Hodgins (Cafe Customer)


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