Ep.4 - The Runaway


Original Airdate: October 3, 1974
Story: Larry Bischof
Writers: Larry Bischof & Carol Evan McKeand
Director: Harry Harris


  "In today's troubled world it isn't unusual to hear that a member of a family has packed up and left, gone off on his own, feeling rejected and misunderstood. When I was growing up on Walton's Mountain it never occurred to us that such a thing could happen in our family, and yet, it did."



Jim-Bob brings Porthos the guinea pig home from school.  John-Boy gets a ticket to hear a Bennett Holmby lecture. Amy Partridge, a girl who is in line in front of him is not allowed to purchase a ticket and asks John-Boy if he can get an extra ticket for her.  He agrees and then gives her a ride home.  Jason and Ben continue to make fun of Jim-Bob and Porthos.  Jim-Bob makes a bed for him in his aviator cap.  Porthos gets out in the middle of the night to explore and by morning Jim-Bob finds him dead.  No one in the family has the time or care to listen to Jim-Bob's problem so he runs away from home.  He gets a ride from Elwood Dobbs to Westham.

  When John stops by the store Ike thinks that maybe Elwood Dobbs may have picked him up down the road.  John makes a call to John-Boy at the college to see if he can help locate him.  John-Boy misses the lecture and his date with Amy.  Meanwhile Jim-Bob tries to buy a train ticket to Japan.  He then tries to join the Air Corps but John-Boy catches him and takes him to a hotel to wait until their parents arrive to pick up Jim-Bob.  While John-Boy discusses the reasons that caused Jim-Bob to runaway a man at the next table overhears them and offers some advice and compliments for what he detects to be a warm and loving family.  The man turns out to be Bennett Holmby, the world traveller and writer that John-Boy had intended to hear speak at the lecture.  John-Boy is thrilled, feeling that he got much more out their few minutes of conversation than he would have got from the whole lecture.  When they meet their family at the college Jim-Bob is more than ready to return home. John-Boy sees Amy leaving the campus and he excuses himself from dinner with the family to make up for missing their date.


  "I often remember Jim Bob saying to my father - "It's OK, next time I'll make you listen". I wish that it were in the power of all children to say that to their parents, and to know that indeed they would be heard, as we were in those wonderful days on Waltons Mountain."

Additional Cast:


Guest Stars: Ann Noland (Amy Partridge), Herb Nelson (Bennett Holmby) with: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Geoffrey Lewis (Elwood Dobbs), Gary Vinson (Sgt. Stong), Jimmy Weldon (Railroad Clerk), Elizabeth Kerr (Miss Tibbs), Chris Beaumont (Greg Walker), Brad Wilkin (Boy #1), Michael Le Clair (Boy #2), Ben Wilson (college student), Kathi Sawyer (Waitress)

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