Ep.19 - The Lumberjack

  Original Airdate: April 21, 1981
Writer: Carol Zeitz
Director: Harvey S. Laidman


  Erin meets a handsome lumberjack. Ike goes searching for Uranium he hopes of striking it rich.


  "As the memories of war began to fade, our lives took on the more natural rhythms of daily life. Spring came to the mountain and the dogwood and the redbud blossomed beneath the evergreen pines. Erin's heart had been sorely tried by the war and for a long time she carried a secret wound. When love did come to claim Erin again she welcomed it with her usual spirit. It was the rest of the family that was left breathless."



Paul “Matthews” tries to sell warped lumber to Ben at a higher price than he is willing to pay. Ben doesn’t appreciate being told how to run his business by either the new guy in town with his goons or John-Boy who is helping Ben in the Mill.

Erin arrives at the Godsey store for supplies and Corabeth vents about men and honesty issues to her. She asks how she is doing and Erin re0plies that she might as well enter a convent for all the romantic prospects out there. She then says that she is willing to settle for the first man that walks through the door but as she walks out the two goons walk in and she regrets her words until Paul Matthews bumps into her and accidentally knocks her groceries to the floor. The goons ask for an introduction to “the pretty little lady”. Paul introduces Erin to the Hurley brothers, Tom and Joe. He is looking for some expensive pipe tobacco that Ike will have to bring in specially from Charlottesville. Corabeth recognizes his name as the gentleman who bought the old Larson Estate and is in the lumber business. After the men leave Erin asks Ike for the name of the tobacco Paul is looking for. When she gets home she tells her sisters that she has just met the man of her dreams.

A few days later Erin goes for a horse ride to bring Paul his fancy tobacco. She practises her conversation starters on the way. When she gets there she is surprised to learn that Paul has learned a fair bit about the 4th and single Walton child. They get to know a bit about each other over some coffee.

Erin and Paul stop on their trek around the mountain at the hot springs. She mentions that she should have warn a hat to prevent freckles but Paul is more interested in kissing her.

The Walton men tend to domestic duties in the kitchen. They know that Erin has invited her date over for dinner after church. Ben answers the door with an apron on. Paul is standing there with flowers for Erin. At dinner Paul discusses his reasoning for higher lumber prices with Ben. Paul has aspirations of selling better quality product and putting the big operations out of business. The family except for Ben agree that their Daddy and Grandpa would have paid a premium for wood that was also conservatory resourced.

Paul and Erin swing on the porch after dinner. It has been 6 days since they first “bumped” in to each other at Godsey’s. Ben arrives home late and gives Paul a contract for lumber at the price and terms he is looking for. Ben has had a change of heart after realizing he doesn’t have to accept the poor quality of wood he was buying up to that point. Paul is excited by the news and is so glad to have Erin as his lucky charm. He leaves to prepare for an early morning. She goes inside where John-Boy asks if she knows much about his family. He is concerned for her. The next day John-Boy drives out to Paul’s property and confronts him about an article he found in an old copy of Star and Stripes, the paper he wrote for during the war. Paul is upset that John-Boy has learned about his past and John-Boy tells him to level with Erin before he has to get involved. Paul later meets with Erin to inform her that he has fallen in love but needs her to meet his father first and learn more about his family. Erin tells Mary Ellen that she worries she may end up an old maid just like Miss Emily Baldwin after her experience with Ashley Longworth Jr., who came in and out of her life just as quickly.

Erin drives Paul to his father’s estate on the Northridge property. She learns that he is from the Northridge lumber empire. When they meet his father she learns why Paul has kept his distance and identity hidden from the world. His father is ruthless and demeaning. He kept his son from fighting in the war and forced him to go to Yale instead of pursuing his own path. The two men begin to argue and Mr. Northridge insults Erin’s family business. Erin becomes inflamed and calls Paul’s father a domineering, insensitive, pompous man and that his son is not too far behind his Father. She believes that Paul was only interested in her to win his lumber contract with Ben so that he could wave it in spite to his Father’s face. She storms off leaving Paul behind with his Father.

Paul and his Father arrive at the Walton home via chauffeured limousine. They apologize to Erin and thank her for forcing them to take a hard look at themselves. From the moment she told Mr Northridge that he talked too loud and too much. That is exactly what his wife would tell him and she was the only one that could put him in his place. Erin has won a spot in his heart and he tells his son that he better not let Erin get away. Paul asks for another chance and Erin is all too happy to embrace him once again.

Secondary Story:


Ike excitedly unpacks a crate but then hides it when Corabeth comes over to inform him of a new house that will be on the market. She sees his new contraption and queries him about it. He calls it an investment that he spent $50 on. It is a Geiger counter for finding Uranium which has become a popular new activity.

Ike prepares for his adventure to find Uranium with Jim-Bob. He is frustrated that Corabeth has taken no notice of him but she knows that no Uranium will be found south of the Arctic Circle and that all he will find is bears, mosquitoes and get hopelessly lost.

Ike and Jim-Bob search the woods for Uranium but all they end up finding is a watch that contains a radium dial. Later they find some earth that has triggered the Geiger Counter and they bag it up for testing believing that they will become rich. When Ike gets back home Corabeth still has little time for Ike’s exploits but when she hears that his soil might be radioactive she plays along with his escapade. They take the soil to Mr. Franklin, a government official for testing. He is visibly frustrated with every Tom, Dick and harry that wants to make millions on finding Uranium ever since those magazines started publishing stories on how to strike it rich. Corabeth learns that Ike actually spent $200 for his detector.

Mr.Franklin excitedly arrives at Ike’s store and want to see the area where he found the radiated soil. Jim-bob and Ike take Mr. Franklin and Corabeth to the spot north of Rockfish but discover that the ground contains buried Radium waste from a local watch making company. The government official is pleased that he now has enough evidence to shut the company down.

Corabeth is pleased to inform the Walton family that Ike and Jim-Bob have been thanked in the newspaper for their efforts and that the Governor will personally thank them as well.


  "Romance for Erin always seemed to take her along a rocky road, but the rough beginning with Paul Northridge hopefully indicated a smooth ending. Only time would tell if their relationship would endure."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • Morgan Stevens previously appeared as "Sam" in "The Waiting" (s8-ep9)
  • Richard Eastham previously play Judge Thomas Parrish in "The Warrior" (s6-ep4).
    He also appeared as Dr. Howell in 6 epiosdes of Falcon Crest, Earl Hamner's following TV series.

Additional Cast:



Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Robert Wightman (John-Boy), Leslie Winston (Cindy), Morgan Stevens (Paul Matthews Northridge), Richard Eastham (Mr. Wesley Northridge), Lew Horn (Mr. Franklin), Vivian Brown (Roxie), Chuck Lindsley (Joe Hurley), Robert Dryer (Tom Hurley)

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