Ep.14 - The Pearls

  Original Airdate: March 12, 1981
Writer: Mary Worrell
Director: James Sheldon


  Corabeth rushes to Doe Hill to the bedside of her ailing Aunt and is unaware that her sister Orma lee has decended in Walton's Mountain. Elizabeth finds it hard to adjust to not having her parents at home.


  "Like most adages it is tried and true that fate makes our relatives, choice makes our friends, and it calls to mind a time when a relative of Corabeth Godsey swept through Walton's Mountain like an autumn hurricane leaving both destruction and alike in her wake. All of this took place during a difficult period for Elizabeth who was entering womanhood but was feeling at times like a lost and lonesome child."



Elizabeth arrives at Ike’s store to keep watch while he drives Corabeth to the train station to be beside her ailing Aunt Cordelia’s bed in Doe Hill. She is concerned that her younger sister Orma Lee will descend on their Aunt first and steal away he Aunt’s strand of matched pearls. Corabeth wants to prevent Orma Lee from harassing her Papa’s only sister. As the Godsey’s leave Ike tells Elizabeth that Jim Bob will keep watch over the gas pumps. Across the way Jim Bob is working on a tire in his mechanic shop. A fancy car pulls up with Oklahoma plates and two characters get out. The man, Vern Billy, confirms that they have arrived at the great Ike Godsey Department Store and tips Jim-Bob to NOT TOUCH his car. The doled up woman is non other than Orma Lee, Corabeth’s sister. She looks over the operation and states that Corabeth could always make a birdcage sound like a two-story house. Orma Lee states that as a Walton she is excited to stay in a place named after her family. Billy is not excited about her plans and wishes she would come with him to Richmond to sell some Studebakers at twice the price he could get in Tulsa. Orma lee feels compelled to honor her Aunt’s request to come to her death bed as she is the only relative to not treat her like trash. Orma Lee goes inside the store leaving Jim Bob to scratch his at her appearance from across the way. Elizabeth is stunned too at the woman’s uncanny resemblance to Corabeth. The young Walton informs her that Corabeth is away and offers her the spare room to rest in the back. Ike finally arrives back at the store after waiting for the delayed train and learns that Corabeth’s sister is resting in his spare room.

At the Walton dinner table the kids are not sure if the mountain is ready for 2 Corabeth’s.

The Baldwin sisters surprise Ike with some recipe and a 5 course dinner delivered on a silver platter to hold him over while Corabeth is away. Orma Lee comes out from her slumber and meets the sisters. She gets changed back into something “less comfortable”. She joins Ike for some of the recipe, the Baldwin’s dinner and a game of pool. The next morning Ike is suffering with a hangover but Orma Lee is chipper as ever and looking for the next party. Elizabeth gives her a ride to the Baldwin’s to return their silverware. On the way Orma Lee tells Elizabeth about how she lost her first love and husband at the age of 16 to a widow making tornado.

Later that night Orma Lee and Ike get dolled up for a gathering at the Dew Drop Inn. The adult Walton kids join them get to know more about their cousin. Orma Lee claims to be clairvoyant and gifted in the various dark arts. One by one she reads each of the Waltons and they are surprised that she knows so much about them until they deduce that Elizabeth has fed her with all of their details.

Vern Billy arrives back at Ike’s store looking for his wife Orma Lee but gets into a tussle with Ike in a fit of jealousy. Jim-Bob drives Orma Lee back to the store where see discovers the men passed out on the floor. When they all come to, she introduces her 4th husband or maybe her 5th as she has lost track to Ike and Jim-Bob.

Corabeth returns home and finds Orma Lee alone at the store. They come to an understanding and acceptance of each other. Orma lee gives her one of the strands of pearls and Corabeth shares have of their aunt’s fine china with her sister.

Secondary Story:


Elizabeth is missing her parents in Arizona and brings down a box of photos from the attic. She hopes that her siblings will help her pick out some favorites to send to their parents but they are all too busy with their various errands to help out.

Later that night Rose informs them at home that Elizabeth is having a hard time adjusting to life without her parents around while all her older siblings have become busy with their own lives.

Rose has made a special turkey dinner for Elizabeth and the family. They realize though that she has gone missing and Jason figures that she has gone to catch a bus to Arizona to see her parents. Jason finds her at the Roanoke bus station. She says that she left a note on Erin’s bed they didn’t see it before they began to worry. She tells her brother that they all got to have their Parents and even Grandparents growing up but it is different for her. Jason promises to drive her to Arizona himeself once their mama is well enough.


  "It was a time of discovery for both families, that it is possible to choose relatives as friends. Corabeth and Orma Lee, and Elizabeth and her brothers and sisters found out that the family fabric gave from time to time, but the mending always made it stronger."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • Ronnie Claire Edwards played both roles of Corabeth Godsey and her sister Orma Lee.
  • Orma Lee is Corabeth's youngest sibling. She also has a brother named Frank.
  • Elizabeth will soon be turning 16.

Additional Cast:



Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (as Corabeth and Orma Lee), Peggy Rea (Rose), Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Taylor Lacher (Vern Billy Stalcup), Candace Coster (Double for Ronnie Claire Edwards), Rand Hopkins (Taxi Driver), Llynn Storer (Bus Station Announcer)

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