Ep.5 - The Starlet

  Original Airdate: October 18, 1979
Writers: D.C. & Richard Fontana
Director: Philip Leacock



A war effort documentary is being filmed at the Pickett Defence Plant and Erin gets swept up in dreams of Hollywood.

The Baldwins want to help with the war efforst as well and plan to entertain the soldiers stationed at Camp Rockfish.


  "As World War Two ranged aound the globe, the peace and quiet surrounding Walton's Mountain seemed even more precious. Throughout the nation Americans worked together to maintain freedom and a way of life that had made our country great. Holding down an important job in a defense plant was my sister Erin's contribution and she highly resented anything that interfered with it."



Erin arrives home late for dinner and tells the family that J.D. Pickett has allowed a fHollywood crew to come film a documentary at the Defense Plant about women working for the war effort.

At the plant the film crew tries to capture a scene of a female worker loading a heavy box onto the back of a truck. J.D. steps in to the shot at the last moment and ruins the take. The director becomes frustrated and does his best to distract J.D. from attempting to be in every shot. They try to do another take but then Erin arrives to inform J.D. that the General Wilson is on the phone wondering why his order is late. J.D. runs to take the call and Erin orders all the workers back to work. The Director tries to engage Erin by complimenting her beauty and saying that she should be in the film. She has no time for hime and gets back to work. The Director's assistant thinks he is using her to his end and doesn't like his tactics but they must continue with their work.

Barry Stone, the director of the film stops by Erin’s office and invites her out for dinner. He wants to convince her of the importance of the film he is making. At dinner he flatters her for her skill and knowledge of helping to run the plant and then he admires her beauty and asks if she will be in the film. When Erin arrives home she is giddy with delight as she tells he parents and Mary Ellen about her opportunity. She runs upstairs to wash her hair in preparation for the next day. Her father isn’t thrilled at all and is vary of the intentions of the men from Hollywood.

The next day the crew films a scene with Erin in her office. J.D. arrives looking all dashing with a sport jacket, hat, sunglasses and TOUPE! He is upset to learn that the crew isn’t going to film in his office.

That evening Mary Ellen, Elizabeth and Cindy help Erin to get ready for the next day. They discuss the events and her possible plans to go out to Hollywood to make it big.

The next day Erin films a numbers of scenes with the crew. The Director plays a gag on her when she brings a case of soda to the women workers on their lunch break. One of the bottles has been purposely shook so that the soda sprays out when she opens it. The Director hopes to get a big reaction but the bottle sprays all over the camera lens and ruins the surprise take. J.D. finally gets his moment to be on camera but the Director calls “CUT!” just as J.D. gets started. The crew packs up their gear after the Director calls for a wrap to the production. He has no intention of using extra scenes he has filmed to appease the “trouble-making” personalities like Erin and J.D. at the plant. Unbeknownst to them hat footage will end up on the cutting room floor. Barry says goodbye to Erin and gives her a kiss. She asks him if she has a shot in Hollywood. He becomes evasive and his assistant tries to warn her of what Hollywood is truly like and how lucky she is to live in Virginia.

Erin arrives home still with stars in her eyes. She informs her parents that she plans to find work in Hollywood at a defense plant out their and look for work at the studios and get an agent as well. Her father forbids her but Erin is determined and says she has enough money saved up and he can’t stop her. She runs upstairs and her father tries to stop her but Olivia calms John down by saying how difficult it must be for their children to try and make their way and start their lives.

That night Olivia wakes up and finds Erin in the attic looking at her old movie magazines. They discuss their old dreams. Olivia dreamed of becoming an artist in Paris but her dreams changed when she met Erin’s father. Mama tells her daughter that know one can take her dreams away from her but she is too young to be going 3000 miles across the country to pursue them.

Mary Ellen stops by Erin’s office to go out for lunch. Erin shows her a bunch of letters from defense plants on the west coast that have incredible offers. When J.D. catches wind of Erin’s plans to move out west he offers her a 30% raise to stay but Erin isn’t interested. That night when they arrive back home they announce that they are both going to go out west. Mary Ellen says that she will earn twice the pay and they have childcare for John Curtis. Erin will work in the Personal Department for 3 times the pay. Her parents are at a loss for words.

The next day John makes repairs to the chicken coop. He reflects on his feelings about Mary Ellen and Erin leaving. He goes upstairs to talk to his girls. He says that he usually spends time with John Curtis on Sunday mornings and he will miss that time when they leave.

Mary Ellen comes back from a trip to Rockfish and finds Sweet Billy waiting for her on the porch. He has come for some medical supplies and reads from a list that wrote out himself. Mary Ellen is surprised to discover how well he is doing with his reading and writing. He also tells her how much the people up on the mountain have warmed up to her including his sister.

Erin delivers some papers to J.D. at the plant. He feels that she is making a big mistake. He offers her the raise again and tells her that the business wouldn’t be the same without her. He knows that she is the one that really runs things around there. He even tells her that he had plans to make her a partner someday with plans to expand the plant. She is surprised but not convinced to change her mind. Mary Ellen arrives and tells her about her visit with Sweet Billy. She is bothered to have not said goodbye to any of her patients. Erin calls Holly wood to inform Barry Stone that she will arrive a few days later than expected. The assistant director Baker answers the phone in the editing room and informs Erin that Barry is away for the next few months working on a new documentary. He also tells her that she won’t have as many scenes after the film is cut so she shouldn’t expect it to land her any work in Hollywood.

The family prepares a going away dinner to surprise the girls but the sisters arrive home with news that they won’t be going out to Hollywood which is cause for even a larger celebration.

Secondary Story:


Jason is invited to the Baldwins for supper. The ladies want to be involved in the war effort. They think they could spot airplanes but he tells them that those jobs are required along the coast and the large cities. He says that what they could do was to continue doing what they are already doing. There are plenty of soldiers who are hundreds of miles from home and would really enjoy to have Sunday dinner at their lovely home. The sisters are thrilled and start to discuss their plans.

The Baldwin sisters enjoy a tea at the Godsey’s store. They leave an advertisement with Ike to invite soldiers to their home for Sunday dinner.

The Baldwin ladies stop by the store for supplies for their Sunday dinner.

The Baldwin sisters are disappointed that no soldiers have arrived for their dinner. When Jason learns of this he rounds up 4 soldiers sitting outside of the canteen and threatens extra KP duty if they don’t join him for Sunday dinner at the Baldwins. They begrudgingly agree which raises the spirits of the ladies who are thrilled to entertain them.


  "Erin and Mary Ellen returned to their important work in our community. It was years later when my sister finally did come to Hollywood. She visited me and my family and we spoke fondly of the one film in which she starred."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:


Additional Cast:



Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth), Leslie Winston (Cindy), Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), Mary Jackson (Miss Emily), Michael and Marshall Reed (John Curtis), Lewis Arquette (J.D. Pickett), Henry Darrow (Barry Stone), Les Lannom (Sweet Billy), Charles Hallahan (Phil Baker), David Cramer (G.I. Joe), Jerry Gatlin (Camera Operator)

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