Ep.12 - The Departure

  Original Airdate: December 5, 1974
Writer: Joanna Lee
Director: Ivan Dixon


  "By the Fall of 1934, people were beginning to hope that the worst of the Depression was over. Some jobs were opening up and there was an urgency in the country to get up and get going again. There was a restless feeling to life, we all felt it and my father was no exception. The Fall of that year brought him the first real discontent we ever knew him to have."



John is bothered by the predictability of his life.  He knows that the family will be eating corn chowder and apple fritters because that's what they always eat on Wednesday.  He feels like he has been put out to pasture or a caged squirrel running endlessly in an exercise wheel.  He feels restless. The Norfolk shipyard is paying $0.75/hour for trained millwrights. Its 90 minutes away and John feels that he has to give it a try. John gets the job and will stay at a boarding house during the week and come home on weekends. Olivia is very mad at John for making his decision without her input. Elizabeth takes it hard that her Daddy has left with his suitcase.


Lara-Sue Champion is the landlady at the boarding house. The tenants are Miss White, a school librarian and Stavros Kristopolous who is in love with Laura-Sue.  

The family has trouble adjusting to John’s absence. Olivia calls John at the boarding house. She calls from Ike’s store while he is busy closing up.  John-Boy gets a low grade in biology and his councilor recommends that he drop the class until he has a semester with a smaller workload.  John-Boy goes to Norfolk to see John and ends up getting into a bar fight after they run into Stavros who is jealous of John’s effect on Lara-Sue. John and Son escape relatively unscathed but John realizes that his place is back at home with his family. He has had enough adventure for a while.

Secondary Story:


Grandpa's tooth is bothering him. John and grandpa are either drinking whiskey or water out of mason jar. Grandpa calls his tooth problem rheumatism.  He doesn't want to eat hot food.  Grandma has made an appointment for Grandpa’s tooth to be pulled by Doc Whipple. 



  "A house is more than paint and walls, ceilings and floors. A house is a history of all those people that it sheltered, and when we move away, we leave behind us the persons we were then. The prints of our fingers on a door frame, the marks on a floor we walked, the whisper of our voices, and all those things that were done, and said."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • Ben wants to listen to the Lone Ranger on the radio.
  • Elizabeth wants to take her rabbit Cindy to school.
  • Mary-Ellen and Elizabeth are the only children who wear shoes to school.

Additional Cast:


Guest Stars: Joanna Moore (Mrs. Lara Sue Champion), Panos A. Christi (Stavros Cristopoulis) With: Anne Loos (Hester White), Jack Garner (Mr. Gary), Seamon Glass (Clerk), Kelly Gilmore (Lady #1), Colby Haines (Lady #2), Don "Red" Bealle (Bartender), Bob Braver (Sailor #1), Louis Elias (Sailor #2), Jimmy Don Moore (Donovan)


Music from this episode:

Dramatic Instrumental Theme


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