Ep.20 - The Traveling Man

  Original Airdate: September 21, 1972
Writer: Kathleen Hite
Director: Herbert Hirschman


  A former dance partner of Rose's arrives on Walton's Mountain to whish her off her feet again. Jeffrey new dog Nick is eating his way through Jim-Bob's clothes causing him to move out to the hayloft.


  "There were times when the war seemed further away and life on the mountain went about its ordinary business. My father often said that he didn't have to sail the seven seas, or swim the Hellespore, or soar with the eagles if he wanted high adventure. All he had to do was wake up in the morning and his family or his friends or a total stranger would ride up the road and hand it to him."



Nick, Jeffrey’s new dog has taken a fondness to chewing Jim-Bob’s clothes. While James Robert is getting dressed he finds his short has a large hole in the arm and Nick jumps on his bed and grabs a sweater of Jim-Bob’s. They play a game of tug of war and when Nick the dog breaks away Jim-Bob slips and falls on the dog’s chewing ball. Downstairs the family wonders what the noise is and Jim-Bob comes down and lectures Jeffrey on the need to train his dog. Ben says goodbye to Cindy and is headed back to his base.

Ike and Corabeth are doing inventory. A distinguished older gentleman comes in and introduces himself as Stanley Perkins. He correctly identifies the manufacturer of Ike’s bow tie and Corabeth’s dress. He apologizes stating that he has sold many different products throughout his career. Corabeth is impressed with his distinguished manners.

Elizabeth comes out to the mill to inform Jim-Bob that his lunch is ready. He reveals that he needs space away from Jeffrey and his dog. He is thinking of moving out.

Rose takes Jim-Bob’s sweater down to Godsey’s and asks Corabeth if she has any wool to match. Mr. Godsey comes down with some supplies and hiding behind a container of brooms is Stanley Perkins waiting to surprise Rose. They quickly embrace and dance around the door as he hums “Blue Moon”.

Back at the house they catch up over a cup of tea. The children come home from school and Serena recognizes the new car out front as belonging to her Anna’s beau Mr. Perkins. Jeffrey is not amused and doesn’t want to go inside to meet him. Rose comes out and orders him in the house. He picks up Nick and when Mr. Perkins is introduced Nick barks at him. As a traveling salesman Stanley is familiar with unfriendly dogs. John and the rest of the family comes home and Rose introduces them to Stanley. Cindy comes downstairs with John Curtis and Virginia and when the family learns that she is cutting her first tooth the volume dramatically increases and Stanley is embarrassed when he asks Rose to he dancing the following night at the tops of his lungs. She is thrilled to say yes and as he leaves for the boarding house he remembers everyone’s name as he says goodbye.

Rose tried on the crown she was awarded as Queen of the ball that she won with Stanley Perkins back in the day. She then looks at the postcards she received from Stanley from his travels across America. Jeffrey is impressed until he learns they are from Stanley and then abruptly leaves with Nick.

Jim-Bob shows up late for work at his Daddy’s mill. He tells him that he plans to rent a room with a friend. John says that he understands but until he goes off and joins the Air Corps he demands that his son lives under his roof.

Rose and Stanley enjoy their dance and dinner. Stanley wonders if Rose ever thought of him beyond the postcards she received. He tells her that he envy’s her life with the children and the Walton family. The band plays his request for “Blue Moon” and he uses the moment to propose to Rose. She is startled. When they return to her place she says that she never expected that he would ask such a question. He feels that he ruined their evening. She’s says that he can answer for himself but she needs to talk to her grandchildren. The train is heard in the distance. Rose says that it is crossing the trestle into Rockfish.

Jim-Bob comes up with the idea to renovate the hayloft into a room. His Daddy gives him permission but expects him to do it on his own time.

Stanley discovers a small dilapidated house for sale and looks around. Ike pulls up on his motorcycle. Stanley inquiries about the house and Ike figures he can buy it from the bank for the back taxes. Ike gives him a letter that arrived. Stanley has been offered the finest sales territory in the country out west.

Rose tells her grandchildren and wants them to agree to Mr. Perkins proposal equally. She’s not willing to move forward without their consent.

Stanley shows up with the matching wool for Jim-Bob’s sweater and finds him moving in to the hayloft. Stanley claims the rope ladder to the loft to check out the space. He tells Jim-Bob about the things he’s seen in his travels. Jim-Bob can’t imagine all that traveling on his own. Stanley says it’s fine till nightfall when you have to face another empty hotel room.

At dinner Stanley compliments the dinner Rose spent all day preparing. She down plays the effort. She learns that Stanley has been looking to buy a house in the area and asks if there is room for all of them. John wonders what she means and she informs the family that Stanley proposed to her and that Serena, Jeffrey and her accept. The family jumps up to congratulate them.

After dinner Jason plays Blue moon while the two lovebirds dance. Jeffrey drags Jim-Bob outside to see the doghouse he built for Nick and asks Jim-Bob if he will move back into the bedroom. They go back inside and Jim-Avon asks Rose if Jeffrey can stay in the loft with him for the night. She agrees and the rest of the family retires to give Rose and Stanley some space.

Stanley tried to tell Rose about the job offer but she is distracted and runs to show him the table cloth her mother made for her which she has never used. When she inquires about what he had to say he pretends to have forgotten.

The next day Rose tries to measure new material she has bought to make curtains for the house Stanley intends to buy. John gives her a hand and then they discuss her feelings about the marriage. Corabeth arrives with samples of material for Rose’s curtains. Arose tells her that she already bought material elsewhere. Corabeth is disappointed that she didn’t buy it from her and then she let’s the cat out of the bag about Stanley job offer out west. Rose is bothered by the news.

She and Stanley go to see the house he intends to buy. It needs a lot of work including a roof. Rose tells him she knows about the offer. He says that it would be nice to stand by the Grand Canyon and see the Pacific Ocean but it’s a younger man’s game. She sees the look of wanderlust on his face. She saw it in her previously husband’s face after he retired from the railroad and heard a train whistle blow. With tears in her eyes she tells him that he must go and follow his calling. He asks her to join him but she says that she must stay with the children. He heeds her words and leaves her alone behind at the house.


  "Rose continued to present her very best side to the world, warm laughing, loving. If her heart was broken it never showed in public. After a time, the picture postcards began to arrive and we all wondered if the traveling man would ever travel this way again."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • Rose's love interest Stanley Perkins makes his first appearance. He returns in "The Gold Watch" (s9-ep12)
  • Rose was previously married to Bert before he passed away.
  • Jim-Bob is 17

Additional Cast:



Guest Stars: William Schallert (Stanley Perkins) with: Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth), Leslie Winston (Cindy), Peggy Rea (Rose Burton), Keith Mitchell (Jeffrey), Martha Nix (Serena), Michael and Marshall Redd (John Curtis)

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