Episode 23 - The Valediction
(13 March 1980)
Writer: Claire Whittaker.
Director: Harry Harris.
Music: Alexander Courage.
"Sometimes it seemed as if we'd always been at
war, the quiet of our lives on
family gathers for breakfast to find Jim Bob wearing a coat and tie, but still
in blue jeans. The school seniors are being photographed for graduation. Jim
Bob is not excited about his graduation, because many are away. Jeffrey is in
suspense, wondering who his fifth substitute teacher will be. At the same time,
Corabeth prepares for her first day as the new substitute teacher. Corabeth is
tired of being the 'Cash-n-Carry Queen of a Country Store’, hoping her new job
will lead to further teaching assignments after finishing classes at
John is surprised to see John-Boy unexpectedly walk up behind him in the mill. He is home for a ten-day furlough, after asking as be reassigned to overseas duty. John thinks he has already sacrificed much to the war effort, but finally understands his son's need for further military duty.
At school, Jeffrey is punished for throwing spitballs. While Jim Bob cleans out his desk Jeffrey overhears Corabeth tell Jim Bob that either Rollin Piper or he will be valedictorian, dependent on next week's science exam. Jim Bob says he doesn't want the honor because of being a poor speaker.
family gathers in the living room to discuss Serena's upcoming doll wedding,
while Erin writes to Ashley,
Bob runs after
and Mary Ellen arrive late after staying at work to hear more war news. Rose
family eats breakfast, assuming that
Pickett’s, John-Boy and Erin eat lunch together. Erin tells her big brother
that she will devote her life to her career, going to
At school, Corabeth announces that two students, Roland Piper and Marvella Sue Littleton, scored above ninety-five percent, and one student scored one hundred percent. She asks James Robert Walton to stand. With tomorrow as the last day of class, Corabeth announces her plans for the ceremony. Jim Bob interrupts, saying he isn't going to recite her speech, but rather will write his own speech and announces that if the whole class works together they can organize a good ceremony.
leaves for a short trip, saying he will bring back a surprise for Jim Bob's
graduation. Jeffrey is glad school is out, looking forward to the long summer
Corabeth is concerned when she calls about the disappearance of Jim Bob and the other seniors. As she talks with Rose, Jim Bob is dropped off at the house. As he dresses for his special day, Rose gives him the present. Jim Bob says he will never forget her or this day. Meanwhile, Corabeth is stressed with the upcoming ceremony and the lack of gratitude received from the students. Just then Roland Piper appears, much to the chagrin of Corabeth. But Roland blurts out that she was the best substitute teacher they had and presents her with a corsage. Jason plays the piano as the seniors walk down the aisle to the outdoor stage. As Corabeth opens the ceremony, John drives up with Grandma. Corabeth pauses for a moment then resumes announcing the Walton's Mountain Class of 1944 valedictorian James Robert Walton. Jim Bob states that five years ago they might have gone to collage or started careers. But with the war, he informs the audience that today the boys all enlisted in the army, with the girls going along for moral support.
next morning the boys are ready to go off to war. John-Boy drives up with Jim
Bob's car newly painted yellow as a gift to
"My brothers and I knew as we walked away that
morning that things would never again be the same. The war would teach us how
John: Isn't anybody going to say Goodnight?
Jeffrey: Jim Bob can't hear you.
John: Goodnight everyone.
Ben is stationed
John-Boy has returned to the Army.
Corabeth's mother ran a boarding house and taught piano lessons.
Rose is assumed to be a Democratic after commenting that if Jim Bob should run for President, he should do so only as a Democrat.
Ike's present to Jim Bob is a card and two one-dollar bills.
Three boys (Rollin Piper is one of them) and two girls (Marvella Sue Littleton and Marte Post) graduate high school along with Jim Bob.
Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards), Cindy Walton (Leslie Winston), John Curtis (Michael and Marshall Reed), Rose Burton (Peggy Rea), Serena Burton (Martha Nix), Jeffrey Burton (Keith Mitchell), John-Boy Walton (Robert Wightman), Drew Cutler (Tony Becker), Roland Piper (Gary Imhoff), Senior Boy Number One (Eric Stoltz), Senior Girl Number One-Marvella Sue Littleton (Susan McClung), Senior Boy Number Two (Richard Lasting), Senior Girl Number Two (Marte Post)