Ep.3 - The Recluse

  Original Airdate: September 29, 1977
Writer: Seth Freeman
Director: Walter Alzmann


  Jason meets a recluse and helps her embrace the world again. Ben finds work in Norfolk just as John wins a large contract that is to big to complete on his own.


  "As the news of war in Europe grew increasingly grim, we could feel a tension here at home, a charge of electricity in the air as we looked at the outside world with new interest and concern. It was a time when my brother Ben was reaching out for new horizons, and for my family, the long Depression years were coming to an end."



Ike asks Jason if he will drop off a parcel to Fern Lockwood, a reclusive shut-in that no one has seen for years. When Jason drops off the package at her front door he hears her voice ask if he wood split the log behind the house. He obliges and she watches from her window as he leaves.

Jason returns that night to Fern’s house to retrieve the coat he left at her place. She calls out to him and tells how she used to listen as he and the other children would pass her house on their way home from school.

While out for a night drive Jason hears Fern singing. He knocks on her door. She invites him in to listen to a new music box that she has received. Jason admires her piano and begins to play Chopin after she tells him that the only time the piano was played was by a person who liked Chopin. As she sits to listen she has an anxiety attack which quickly passes when she takes a pill. While the music box plays it's tune she tells Jason the story of why “the spinster Lockwood has retreated from the world". She was raised by her father and for her 21st birthday her father took her to Richmond to attend a concert where she met a man named Kyle. They had a short engagement and were set to be married in the Walton Mountain Baptist Church but he died in an accident on his way to the service. Jason asks if she has grieved long enough. She believes that her life stands as a monument to the love she once shared with her fiancĂ©.

Jason stops by Fern’s and learns that her canary Gabriel had escaped his cage and died trying to fly through the window outside. He insists that he take her to Charlottesville to the pet store to buy a new canary. On the way he stops by Ike’s to get some gas. Fern can’t handle the staring eyes of Corabeth and another local who are curious as to what she looks like. She implores for Jason to take her back home.

Fern thanks Jason for her new Canary who she has named Jason. She gives him a piano shaped music box. He insists on taking her to church the following Sunday which she believes she is not capable of.

When Jason arrives to pick Fern up for church she is dressed but to afraid to leave the comfort of her home. She drops her pills on the ground and he insists that she doesn't need them. Jason tells how he lost a friend 3 years ago but he didn’t allow that to stop him from living his life. She accepts his invitation to go to church with him. When they arrive she notices the differences since she last attended the church. On the front step she tells him of the last time she stood their waiting for Kyle to arrive and how she learned of his death. They go inside and Jason leaves Fern in the pew beside his mother and then takes his spot at the organ in time for the first hymn.

Secondary Story:


Ben is surprised to learn that Mr. Jarvis is closing his used car lot and taking a high paying job in Norfolk to build equipment for the war effort. Ben was hoping to get a full-time job at his lot now that he has graduated from high school. Mr. Jarvis offers to write him a letter of recommendation instead.

At dinner Ben announces that he is going to move to Norfolk for work. At first his parents are against the idea that John will need him in the mill if it gets busy. Ben says that there is work to do in Norfolk now. At the bus station his Mama tells him that she packed some soap and writing paper for him and tells him to find a church and go every Sunday so that he meets the right people.

Ben meets Anson Adams on the bus who is going to Norfolk for work as well. When they arrive Ben wanders the city getting to know it’s layout and finds a room for rent.

John arrives home with news of a local sub-contractor looking for a company to do construction work. Ben makes his way to a factory and lands a job paying time and one half working a bandsaw on the graveyard shift. Later Ben runs in to Anson and offers to split the cost of his room and food while he still looks for a job.

Ben makes excellent headway at the job he gets a raise and promotion to wood shaper and also lands a date with one of the women working in the plant.

John comes home with Grandpa upset that he doesn’t agree that they can handle the contract making desks which is will pay enough to keep them fed for a year.

Ben and Anson bring a couple of dates to a Hawaiian restaurant. They are impressed by the various sights they have never experienced before.

Easy Jackson stops by and asks John for a job. The last time Easy helped at the mill he bent the saw blade and didn’t always work. John reluctantly accepts as they desperately need the help. Easy only lasts one day before he takes his pay to the bar. Grandpa gets upset at the pay they are going and quits when John keeps pushing to keep up with the work. Olivia asks how she can help. Initially he says that it’s not women’s work but when she insists he shows her how to sand the edges of the drawers.

Grandpa has made his way to Norfolk to visit Ben. They have drinks at the Hawaiian restaurant. Grandpa tells Ben how his Daddy won a large contract but doesn’t have enough help to complete the order. When Ben asks why his Daddy didn’t call Grandpa reminds him of how proud he is to ask.

At home John is busy in the workshop. Ben arrives back from Norfolk to help with the contract.


  "Ben remained at home and for a while the family was intact. But each day brought the war closer and closer to the mountain and with it the knowledge that each of the boys would be called to serve our country, which in time we did."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:


Additional Cast:



Guest Star: Linda Marsh (Fern Lockwood) with: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Joseph A. Butcher (Anson Adams), Lew Brown (Mr. Jarvis), Robin Pohle (Anson's girlfriend), Carol Ann Williams (Ben's Girlfriend), Britt Leach (Easy Jackson), Tom Bower (Curtis Willard)

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