Ep.22 - The Medal

  Original Airdate: February 28, 1980
Writer: Rod Peterson
Director: Walter Alzman


  Mary Ellen meets Sargeant Eddie Ramirez, a decorated soldier who awards her with Curt's Silver Star. They both learn life lessons from their encounter. Corabeth is tempted by an affair.


  "They came from the mountains, from the plains, the East coast and the West. During World War Two America was a nation on the move. People from all walks of life and different sections of the country were coming together, learning about each other's customs, exchanging ideas, and sometimes falling in love."



The bus pulls up to Ike’s store and George the bus driver announce to the passengers that there will be a little bit of a wait while he adjusts the carburetor. Mary Ellen approaches him and asks if he has the medicine she has been waiting for. He says it’s behind his sit but as she heads for the door 3 sailors get off bad-mouthing a soldier seated in the back who happens to be of Hispanic descent. Mary Ellen meets the man eye to eye as she tries to board the bus. After she grabs the package she sees the 3 hanging up on the soldier calling him names. When the ring leader puts his hands on him he drops the man to the ground and then approaches Mary Ellen and asks if she knows where the Williard house is. She offers to drive him there. In the truck she introduces herself as Mary Ellen Williard. He is surprised and states that she is why he has come. He says that he was at Pearl Harbour during the attack. He says that Major Williard save his life that day.

Sergeant Edward A. Ramirez joins her family for lunch at the Walton table. John says that he has really been around. The young soldiers replies that happens when you are airbourne. As John gets up to leave the table the Sergeant stands up and asks if John will read his letter. He says that Curt has been awarded a Silver Star for gallantry in Action and President Roosevelt asked him to deliver it to Curt’s family. John reads the letter from the President while Mary Ellen opens the case containing the silver metal.

Mary Ellen sits outside on the lawn with John Curtis and Eddie. Sheriff Bridges arrives to tell the Sergeant that Smitty is filing charges against him for breaking his arm. Mary Ellen says that she saw it and says it was self defence. The Sheriff asks Eddie to stay until the hearing. The Sergeant becomes highly agitated and after the Sheriff leaves he tells Mary Ellen that she shouldn’t get involved because Mexicans and the law don’t mix very well.

Later the two ride horseback to deliver prescriptions to people living in the hills. She asks where he learned to ride and he says he used to exercise the horses at the racetrack.

Mary Ellen and Eddie have lunch by an old log. She taunts him to a play fight and he believes he accidentally knocked her to the ground. She laughs as she comes to. She is now in his arms and he states that he would never truly harm her. They kiss.

Eddie bottle feeds Virginia in the kitchen for Cindy. The Sheriff calls for Eddie on the phone. He wants him to come down to his office.

At the Sheriff’s office the men give their statements. Sheriff Bridges is surprised that Eddie didn’t bring Mary Ellen to give her witness statement but Eddie doesn’t want her involved. When is comes time for Eddie to give his side he is short on words. The Sheriff is concerned that it doesn’t look well for him when the statements by Smitty and his friends contradict his and are much more elaborate. Mary Ellen arrives and gives her statement to the Sheriff but not before the other men have very bigoted things to say about Eddie.

Back at home Eddie thanks Mary Ellen for what she said but doesn’t think that people will like that she helped him. She says that she doesn’t really care what others think. He knew that from the moment he first met her. He says he knew how she looked straight at him when they first met. She says they don’t have many of men like him around Walton’s Mountain. He asks if she means “Mexicans” and she replies “Paratroopers”. Jim-Bob honks his horn outside and Eddie says that he promised to help Jim-Bob deliver a load of lumber.

A car pulls up at the Walton’s and Mary Ellen expects that it is Jim-Bob and Eddie but it is Smith, his father and 2 friends. They make a series of threats but her other sisters come out armed with pans and rolling pins to deter the men from becoming violent. They leave.

The family sits in the living room while Eddie sings a Spanish love song to Mary Ellen.

Ep Bridges arrives at the Waltons while they are having breakfast. He says that because of his outstanding record having already received the Silver Star and Purple Heart plus Mary Ellen’s testimony he is free to go.

Eddie doesn’t like who he has become or how the army has changed him into a killer. He worries that he might bring harm to Mary Ellen. She asks if she has any say in the matter. She says that he has been kind to the children and that her family likes him and that he has made her feel safe and protected. She has seen his dark side which scares her a bit but it also makes her feel like a woman which she hasn’t felt for a long time. He says he busts hopes he can control his temper. She says counting to 10 before he acts will help. He agrees and counts to 10 in Spanish and kisses her after each number.

At the Dew Drop Inn the older family members enjoy as Jason and Eddie play music together. Smitty and he friends come in and begin to cause trouble calling the Waltons “a bunch of spic-lovers”. They keep taunting Eddie and the other Walton men. Mary Ellen tells Eddie to count to 10. When he reaches to 10 he spins around and gives them a speech that embarrasses them for chooses the wrong battle to fight. Eddie apologizes for Smitty’s arm but says he would rather fight beside them against their common enemy. Smitty accepts his apology and they move on to the bar. Eddie asks Mary Ellen to join him outside for a walk and as they leave 2 military police enter. A close call. He tells Mary Ellen that he’s glad she taught him to count to 10.

Secondary Story:


Corabeth is in a bookstore in Charlottesville reading a book from the poetry section she notices that a man in uniform is eyeing her. She turns away to avoid his gaze but he approaches her. He is Roger Westerby and says they went to school together in Doe Hill and he admired her from afar back then. She remembers that he had glasses back then. He says that she was the star of the drama department, won the declination contest and was a dancer and was and still is beautiful. She says that maybe he still needs glasses. He invites her to dinner and asks if maybe she will read some of that poetry to him. He says that he loved the sound of her voice. She says that she can’t. That she is there for a meeting and then must return home. At first she is humble and then she boasts that she is part of the Godsey Supermarket chain. He says all the things she had ever hoped to hear from a man and says that she wishes he had said something about his affection back then. She makes her excuses and leaves.

Roger finds Corabeth at her store. He knows now that she is married but he is too. He asks if she will join him down by the pond and read poetry but she feels that she mustn’t. He says he loves his wife but misses certain intellectual aspects. Of course Corabeth feels the same way but knows that the temptation is too strong. He asks if she would even consider it for an old friend who is going overseas in a few days. As Ike comes out Corabeth begs Roger to leave. Roger and Ike meet but Roger covers for Corabeth and makes his way out of the store.

Corabeth chooses to meet Roger at Drucilla’s Pond. She reads from Tennyson and becomes embarrassed by how romantic the words are and stops. He finishes the poem by memory “it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all”. He recites another poem to her that he once wanted to recite to her back in Doe Hill. Corabeth is beside herself. He is everything she has ever desired. He reaches in and kisses her. She hears Mary Ellen and Eddie approaching on horse back. He asks to see her one more time at the book store in Charlottesville. She refuses and flees.

At the store Corabeth is lost in thought. She asks Ike if he missed her while she was gone that afternoon. He believed that she was at a Red Cross meeting. He says that she is too busy and needs to slow down.

Corabeth chooses to not go to Charlottesville so Roger calls her from the bookstore and begs her to come see him before he goes. He says he loves her and always has.

At the store Corabeth tries on some hats and asks Ike if he would be interested in listening to music that evening or reading poetry. He says that he’d be okay with listening to the Guy Lombardo record again. Corabeth is not impressed with his less than cultured taste. The Major walks in and Ike greets him asking if he is lost again. He says that he can’t get enough of the beautiful scenery and asks Ike for $5 of gas so that he can talk to Corabeth alone. He gives her a letter and begs her to join him one last time. He has his orders to be shipped off and invites her to join him for dinner at the Winslow hotel.

Corabeth reads Roger’s letter one more time and then crumples it up and tosses it in the waste basket when Ike returns. She makes an excuse about her Aunt Minerva and says that she invited her for dinner in Charlottesville and asks if it would be okay to go. Ike says he doesn’t mind as long as he doesn’t have to go.

When Corabeth arrives at the hotel she is worried someone she knows will see them. Roger says that he has already arranged for a special supper in his room with caviar and champagne. She says that she can’t do that. She can’t betray her husband and he says he can’t stop thinking about his wife Betty either. He says that the time has come to choose.

Ike waits for Corabeth’s return. She comes in and he pretends to be still doing paperwork. He says that he missed her so much that he bought her a new album. She expects that it is more Guy Lombardo but he says no, that it is her favorite opera “Carmen”. She exclaims “Olay, Mr. Godsey, OLAY!” And swoons into his arms for a passionate kiss. She says that she will go up to the bedroom and change into something more ... comfortable. As she leaves though Ike pulls out the letter from Roger that she through away in the trash and reads the words again.


  "Meeting Eddie Ramirez made Mary Ellen realize that she could still be swept away by romantic feelings and the Sargeant discovered that he could still have human being and not just a fighting machine. He returned to his airbourne division in time to take part in the first wave of the Allied Forces attack on D-Day."

Episode Notes & Interesting Facts:

  • This episode ends with the Godsey's saying goodnight to each other.


Additional Cast:



Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Ronnie Claire Edwards (Corabeth), Leslie Winston (Cindy), Michael and Marshall Reed (John Curtis), Enrique Castillo (Eddie Ramirez), John Crawford (Ep Bridges), Jordan Chainey (Captain Roger Westerby), James Crittenden (Smitty), Corbin Bernsen (Casey), Peter Stader (Bilge), Bill Morey (Mr. Smith), William Phipps (Bus Driver)

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