Ep.2 - The Odyssey

  Original Airdate: September 20, 1973
Writer: Joanne Lee
Director: Jack Shea


  "Growing up with my brothers and sisters on Waltons Mountain was a joyful experience, but not always an easy one. Privacy was hard to come by, and as a young man trying to write, it was the one thing I needed which I almost never had. I will always remember that day when I left, a young boy anxious to find some time for himself, and returned a man who had partaken of a miracle."



  John-Boy can't get any peace to write a story for a new magazine that is looking for submissions. The children are all requesting his time. He asks his parents if he can go stay overnight at the old Montgomery cabin up on the mountain to get some alone time to write. John is concerned about him going so far away on his own but he agrees when the other adults support John-Boy's idea.
  On his way he stops by Granny Ketchum's home and helps to get her Mule "Old Blue" out of her sage patch. When he arrives at the cabin a storm begins to blow and he finds his former school friend Sarah Jane Simmonds hiding in the shadows. She has run away from her legal guardians the Kaneely's who her mother had given her daughter to in hopes that they would pay for her education. Sarah says that they had worked her too hard and that she has secretly married Riley O'Conner and is now pregnant with his child. She says that he is working for a WPA project in Norfolk. John-Boy believes that Sarah needs to be back with her mother but Sarah protests that her mother won't understand. Sarah comes down with a fever and John-Boy returns to Granny Ketchum's place in hopes that she may have a remedy. Granny had lost her husband and daughter to a fever 30 years ago but she now has some tree bark that should work as a tea. She gives John-Boy her mule to use as long as he needs. John-Boy nurses Sarah and gives her the remedy. Her fever breaks but then by morning she has gone into labor and John-Boy has to deliver her baby girl. They return to his home and Sarah is reunited with her mother.

Secondary Story:

  Jim-Bob makes a tomoto preserve for the fair which wins him third prize. All the children win an award except for Jason and Ben who sulk.


  "We were early risers, and thus in my Grandfather's words "we went to bed with the chickens". All the lights in the house would go out, except for the one in my room. There, I would at last find the solitude to record in my journal the events of the day. The wind would flow gently down from the mountain, the night birds would fall still, and the rest of the family would slip quietly towards sleep."

Episode Notes and Interesting Facts:

  • This is Sissy Spacek's second appearance in the series. She previously played in "The Townie" (s1-ep23)
  • Old Blue, the mule that Granny Ketchum gives to John-Boy makes his first appearance.

Additional Cast:


Guest Stars: Sissy Spacek (Sarah Jane Simmonds), Allyn Ann McLerie (Widow Margie Simmonds), Frances E. Williams (Granny Ketchum) with: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey)


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