Ep.9 - The Battle of Drucilla's Pond

  Original Airdate: November 17, 1977
Writers: Rod Peterson & Claire Whitaker
Director: Philip Leacock



Drucilla's pond is used as a military base for training exercises. Aimee and Elizabeth do a tap danc routine. Olivia enters her paintings into an art show. Chance the cow gives birth to Dynamite.

Intro scene:

  Elizabeth walks by Drucilla’s pond. She is told by an officer that she needs to clear the area that no civilians are allowed and then Ike drives up on his motorcycle and says the bridge has been blown up and the boarding house has been hit and that she needs to get home.


  "While the war in Europe continued to spread, a deceptive calm lay over Walton's Mountain. In this 'quiet before the storm' our mother turned to painting, losing herself in it as if somehow she could preserve those tranquil days for ever."


Written by Janet Lange

Olivia paints by the pond. Grandpa comes up to do some fishing and they talk about the peacefulness. A sudden blast is heard and grandpa tells a shocked Olivia that the army are doing maneuvers in the Federal Reserve.

As Erin and Mary Ellen walk to the store some soldiers whistle and try to get their attention. They go into the store to buy things for the baby. Ike tells them that he is in charge of civilians’ relations. Cora Beth gives the girls fabric for Amy and Elizabeth dance costumes that they are going to perform for the art show. As the sisters leave more soldiers try to get their attention but they realize its Curt and his driver Private Lance who tries to converse with Erin but she is stand-offish.

Olivia sews the girl’s dance costumes at the kitchen table and talks to John about her hopes to buy a new sewing machine if she wins the prize at the art show. Grandpa comes in singing “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” and reveals he told the army that they could camp and do maneuvers by Drucilla’s pond with the hopes that Curt could come home to Mary Ellen for dinner once in a while. Elizabeth comes in dancing with her tap shoes and Grandpa joins her for a short dance.

That evening Olivia walks out to the barn to check with John and see about Chance the cow that is with calf.

The boys are still eating at the table and talking about the army. Mary Ellen snaps at Jim Bob for talking instead of eating and then at Elizabeth who is tap shoeing all over the house and then she tells the boys they can do KP, she is upset because Curt was suppose to come home for dinner.

Up in the baby’s room Mary Ellen kisses John-Curtis and then looks out the window longing for Curt. She goes off for a walk after asking Erin to keep an ear out for John Curtis. As she is walking, a solider stops her for trespassing onto the military camp.

The next morning John and Olivia talk in the kitchen. Olivia admires the view out the kitchen window and John is still concerned about Chance the cow. Mary Ellen and Curt come down stairs. He “snuck in” to spend the night with her. Mary Ellen says that she got arrested but Curt was allowed to walk her home. John and Olivia talk about how they felt when John’s unit was getting shipped overseas. An explosion in the distance knocks Jason’s picture off the wall and Olivia cuts her finger on the broken glass.

At Ike’s store, Velma talks about making a cake for the soldiers and Grandpa is happy to hear they are along the James river today so he can go fishing on the pond. They talk about the mock disaster that is going to happen on Saturday. Ike is signing up volunteers to play as injured people.

Private Lance is stranded on the side of the road. Jason and Erin give him a ride to the house to get some gas. Erin is extremely quiet and once they get out of the car Jason explains how they lost G.W. Haines in a training accident. Lance takes a walk and stumbles on Olivia who is out painting behind the barn. He is from West Virginia and wants to protect it.

Jason comes in the house looking for Erin, he goes upstairs to make sure she’s okay and talk about GW and Private Lance and how he just wants to be a friend.

Corabeth is giving Aimee and Elizabeth a dance lesson when Ike and the boys come in trying to set up for the mock disaster.

Grandpa and Jason walk towards the pond and see dead fish floating on the water from a grenade that had to be detonated in the pond. Jason said that “nobody got hurt” and grandpa devastated that the fish have been killed says “nobody got hurt huh?”

Daddy and Jim Bob try to load the pictures for the art show but Olivia wants to keep some that she doesn’t feel are as good.. He tells them to send them all that just like her children you have to let them go at some point. They hear the military exercises not too far away and talk about the “mock drill” and grandpa says he is not going to participate. He has lost his taste for the maneuvers after what happened at the pond.

Olivia and John hang her paintings at the art show and John helps Maude hang her paintings too.

Olivia and John drive past the mock drill and see the “injured” lying outside of Ike’s store. Olivia is upset that they call it war games when it looks so real. It makes her nervous thinking about the approaching war. With the fact that they have sons she wishes they only had daughters.

Jim-Bob and daddy talk about the barn animals which are all acting up because of the noise from the military exercises.

Grandpa and John talk in the senior’s bedroom about the noise and war, how its getting closer and how it felt when John was in the last war. Grandpa wonders “how many generations it will take for us to settle our differences without killing each other and crippling our land?”

At the art show Elizabeth and Aimee perform their dance, Maude wins the prize money Olivia was hoping to win. The family talk about the training exercises and then go to see the paintings. Elizabeth revels that Olivia’s painting are all gone and the presenter says that a distinguished collector bought all of Olivia’s paintings but would not say who it was.

The Army sets up to blow a road block, Grandpa goes to check on Chance, Momma and Daddy get ready for the day as the “explosion” goes off causing Chance to give birth to her baby which the family names Dynamite.

Mamma shows off her new sewing machine that she has bought from the money from the sale of her paintings. Mary Ellen asks to borrow a silk scarf and mamma goes up to the attic to get it for her. While looking for the scarf she discovers her paintings! She is livid because she things John has secretly bought them. Grandpa walks in as John and Olivia are talking about how she felt she didn’t earn the money from the show. Curt comes in saying Paris has fallen and that his outfit is done their exercises and pulling out immediately. He goes upstairs to say goodbye to their baby. Lance and Erin talk on the porch and agree to write each other as friends. Mary Ellen and Curt say goodbye. Mama comes out on the porch to be with Mary Ellen as Curt leaves but Mary Ellen goes back upset into the house. Grandpa comes out and reveals he is the one who bought her paintings. Grandpa tells her that he bought the paintings to leave a legacy for the grandchildren and that since he bought them, the legacy comes from both of Olivia and him.


  "No one of us on Waltons Mountain could possibly foresee that the world was about to go up in flames. Mama's paintings became a lasting link to what was, a reminder that through changes and turmoil, some things do endure."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • Private William Lance's nickname is 'Billy'. Lance is from a small 'hill-country' town in West Virginia.
  • The Rockfish Press has printed an article about the painting contest.
  • Alice Hirson, who appears as Jane Stevens (the hostess for the exhibition) in this episode, also appeared as the same character (the owner of the Rockfish Business School) in the episode "The Career Girl" (s5/ep17).
  • KP refers to the military term 'kitchen patrol'.

Additional Cast:



Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth Godsey), Michael Sullivan (Private Lance), Alice Hirson (Jane Stephens), Rachel Longaker (Aimee Godsey), Tom Bower (Curtis Willard), Jeff Reese (Sentry), Joseph Cala (Sergeant), Kevin Scott Allen (Soldier) Merie Earle (Maude Gormley), Dorothy Shay (Thelma)

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