Episode 20 - The Traveling Man
(14 February 1980)
Writer: Kathleen Hite.
Director: Herbert Hirschman.
Music: Alexander Courage.
"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".
Jeffrey's dog, Nick, is tearing up clothes, forcing Jim Bob
to tell Jeffrey that the dog needs to be trained. And after breakfast, Cindy
sees Ben off to the bus station while
Jeffrey questions Rose about the crown she just placed on her head. She reminds him of her dancing days as Queen of the Blue Moon Ballroom. He then mentions that he may have to use a rolled-up newspaper to punish Nick. Rose shows Jeffrey her collection of postcards that Mr. Perkins sent over the years. Jim Bob asks his father if it would be okay to rent a room from Mrs. Healy. John reminds Jim Bob that a few years ago he was the 'little guy' in that bedroom. Jim Bob isn't allowed to move out.
That evening, Rose and Stanley talk while dancing. He asks
Rose if she has 'really' thought about him over the years. Mr. Perkins admits
he has thought of her often and fondly. When they return to their table, Mr.
Perkins admits he was passed over (for a younger man) for his dream territory.
But after seeing her and her family, he is thinking of settling down. When the
band begins to play their favorite song, he asks to marry her. Rose is stunned
and just stares at him. As they walk up the steps, Rose admits she never
expected the question and must ask Serena and Jeffrey before giving an answer.
Jim Bob decides to fix the hayloft into his bedroom. Also,
Mr. Perkins is looking over a prospective house when Ike wheels up on his
motorcycle. Ike isn't sure Mr. Perkins is serious about settling down but tells
him the house can be bought for back taxes. Ike then remembers a letter that
has been mailed to
Rose explains to Serena and Jeffrey what it will mean to have Mr. Perkins part of their family. The children only want their Nana to be happy. Rose decides to tell the rest of the family her decision at supper.
Jim Bob has finished his new bedroom when Mr. Perkins
arrives to ask him if he bought the correct yarn for Rose to mend his sweater.
When Jim Bob invites him to look over his new living space they discuss the
differences of living with many people and living by oneself. Mr. Perkins
describes the many places he has traveled. At supper, John says the prayer,
including Mr. Perkins as their new friend. The family learns that
Rose and John look at new curtains that Rose bought for the
new house when Corabeth knocks on the door. Corabeth informs Rose of their
large selection of curtains at the store. When Rose says she has already bought
curtains, Corabeth mentions the letter that Mr. Perkins received for his dream
territory, thinking it would be a lonely life of moving from one dreary place
to another. Rose did not know about the wondrous opportunity that was offered
him. At the new house, Rose and Stanley comment on the need for a new roof,
paint, and 'a lot of little things'. Rose brings up
"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".
Jeffrey: Jim Bob?
Jim Bob: Go to sleep, Jeffrey.
Jeffrey: How come you're back sleeping in my room?
Jim Bob: 'Cos someone stole my ladder.
Jeffrey: Now who would do a rotten thing like that......
Jim Bob: Goodnight Jeffrey.
This is the first appearance of William Schallert in his reoccurring role as Stanley Perkins.
Serena is enrolled in the ninth grade.
Jim Bob is seventeen years old.
Mrs. Healy has two sons: the elder Billy, who has entered into the army, and Jake.
Ernie Bender previously owned the house that Mr. Perkins is considering to buy. It is for sale by Rockfish Realty.
Mr. Perkins is staying at Zuleika's boarding house.
Rose used to be
the Queen of the Blue Moon Ballroom in
Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire
Edwards), Cindy Walton (Leslie Winston), Rose