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    Original Airdate: November 22, 1982
Writer:Kathleen Hite
Director:Harry Harris



Main Cast: Ralph Waite (John); Jon Walmsley (Jason); Judy Norton Taylor (Mary Ellen); Mary Beth McDonough (Erin); Eric Scott (Ben); David Harper (Jim Bob); Kami Cotler (Elizabeth)

Special Guest Star: Ellen Corby (Grandma)

Co-Starring: Leslie Winston (Cindy), Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin), Helen Kleeb (Mamie Baldwin)

Guest Starring: Bettye Ackerman (Belle Becker), Robert Donner (Yancy Tucker), Richard Gilliland (Jonesy), Morgan Stevens (Paul Mathews Northridge), Melinda Naud (Jane Schuyler), DeAnna Robbins (Aimee Godsey), Daniel Currie (Peterson), Royce D. Applegate (Sweeney)

Featuring: David Friedman (John Curtis), Angel Rhodes (Virginia), Jerry Hoffman (Van Cramer)


"In those days before Thanksgiving 1947, it seemed unlikely that we would sit down together as a family for the traditional dinner. The years of growing up were passing, and we were caught in the tides of our individual lives, separated by much more than miles."


Thanksgiving is approaching and Elizabeth wonders how she can get all the family together in harmony despite assorted problems. John-Boy is in New York suffering from writer's block. At the garage, Jim-Bob is penniless after buying a load of spare parts which turn out to be duds. And Erin and Paul are suffering from marital problems.


  "There is in the wonder of childhood the magic of believing, the all-entrusting sensitive mind that reaches out to be touched. Our Grandfather's long presence on this mountain made him live on in the lives of the family who cherished him, somehow even unto a great-grandson he never knew. Blessings need not always be understood, only deeply felt. That Thanksgiving Day in 1947 became a day of release and discovery. I'd come home again, and home was still there."

Show Notes:

  • Yancy Tucker's barbershop business isn't doing very well since he cut off Casper Farley's earlobe.
  • Aimee is attending Boatwright College (really Boatwright University), and she lives in a woman's dormitory.

Opening Credits

  These credits take a bit of a departure from the main series style. An animated logo turns into a TV tube shape where we see sepia toned images of the cast. The music is decidely different. It features a trumpet riff with heavy strings provided the couter melody. This style would remain for the first 3 specials from 1982. Time: 1 minute 3 seconds  

Promotional Stills


John and The Walton Girls



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