Ep.24 - The Venture

  Original Airdate: March 6, 1975
Writer: Joseph Bonaduce
Director: Ralph Waite


  "Late in 1935 there came a time of excitement and anticipation on Waltons Mountain. Big things we felt were about to happen. Like the rest of the country, we were inching out of the worst of the depression, and on a single day three of us attempted to take giant steps. I was applying for my first job on a newspaper, my father was attempting to expand his milling operation, and Jason was only a hair's breadth away from winning a scholarship at the Klineberg Conservatory of Music. We were all convinced that in the months ahead we would see the return of prosperity, and happier days."



The family is quite concerned about all the new changes affecting the family. John is is building the new mill and hoping to secure a large lumber contract, Jason is hoping to win a scholarship into the Kleinburg Conservatory and John-Boy is applying for a part-time job at a newspaper.


Grandpa comes down with the flu and is of no help to finish building the new mill. John speaks to Walt at Catlett Construction about winning the lumber supply contract for his large 5 bungalow development. Walt is concerned about his ability to deliver but John has bought all of Woody Tawkins equipment from his widow for his new mill. Walt is planning on ordering from Cal Smith in Charlottesville who is already up and running and can deliver the contract. John stands his ground to win the contract. Jason, John-Boy and John return home with the good news that they were all successful in meeting their goals.

John pushes himself to finish the mill before the expected rains come. He owes $500 for the equipment he has bought and it drives him to work all night in the rain to meet his obligations. Olivia finds him passed out on the ground in the middle of the night and pouring rain. John is taken to the hospital where he recoups from pneumonia in a oxygen tent.

The family tries to find a way to fix the burden they are under. Olivia tries to get a job but discovers that she doesn't have any qualifications to work in an office. John finally wakes up in the hospital and gives his worried wife a wink of encouragement. He decides that the new equipment should be sold to pay back the loan. The family disagrees and rise to the emergency and set their lives aside to finish the mill but John-Boy pushes the family too hard. Jason figures that he can tour full-time with Bobby Bigelow to help the family but it means canceling his scholarship and plans for studying music. John-Boy tells Jason that his time for school is now but he intends to quit school himself and turn his new part time job at the paper to full-time where he will be paid $13.50 a week plus gas.. He breaks the news to his father in the hospital. John becomes enraged with the news. Ike overhears the argument when he arrives to visit John. Ike organizes some men in the community to help finish the mill for the family. Upon hearing this news John leaves the hospital a day early to celebrate. Unfortunately the large contract is awarded to the other lumber yard. John-Boy returns to school and with the new mill complete the family can now look forward to winning larger lumber contracts.


  "The Depression wasn't over by a long sight and prosperity wasn't anywhere near around the corner, but we had taken a giant step forward as a family."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:


Additional Cast:


Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), M. Emmet Walsh (David Fletcher), John Carter (Walt Callett), Rance Howard (Dr. McIvors), Claudia Bryan (Nurse Howard), Craig Hundley (Joseph), Herbert Anderson (Mr. Bennett), James Gammon (Zack Roswell), Celia Bonaduce (Barbara Marshall), Jerry Crews (Music Judge)

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