Episode 9 - The Beau

(23 November 1978)
Writers: D.C.Fontana and Richard Fontana.
Director: Gwen Arner.
Music: Alexander Courage.

 

"It is always a special moment when you find something you thought you had lost. But my grandmother had mixed feelings when she rediscovered a childhood friend she hadn't seen for almost fifty years".

 

John arrives home with the mail and hands Grandma an especially interesting letter postmarked from Richmond. In the letter Marcus Dane, a rejected suitor, writes his condolences about the passing of Zeb. Grandma decides not to respond to her friend whom she has not seen for years.

 

While filling the car at Ikeís gasoline pump, Corabeth informs Ben and Jim Bob that there is a three-dollar limit because of reduced gas deliveries. The boys realize that gasoline rationing will soon arrive. Jim Bobís ingenuity finds him asking Yancy to turn his moonshine still into a scientific research project. Jim Bob explains that to possess an unlimited source of fuel, he wants to use the still to produce alcohol to power automobiles.

 

Marcus Dane unexpectedly calls on Easter. He presents her with a rose plant from his garden called a Blue Girl explaining it Ďcaptures a bit of the skyí. Marcus tells Easter that J.D. Pickett hired him as an engineering consultant to find ways to improve the plantís efficiency. He relates to Easter how he lost his wife two years ago. When Easter has trouble speaking, Marcus understands her frustration, telling her that he, too, had a severe stroke five years ago. Grandma invites him to stay for supper where afterwards they reminiscent over old pictures in her scrapbook. Marcus tells the family how mischievous Easter was when a schoolgirl, especially the time she took the clapper out of the teacherís bell.

 

The first batch of alcohol is tested at only one-hundred-proof. Jim Bob informs Yancy that the still requires further improvements in order to achieve a higher concentration.

 

Elizabeth and Jason find Corabeth modeling new hats she has purchased. They pick up a letter for Mary Ellen from Curt in Honolulu, two bills, and a letter from Marcus Dane. While Grandma plays with Chirpie, Jason plays the piano, and Ben and Jim Bob arm-wrestle, Elizabeth answers the telephone. Erin announces to John and Olivia that Marcus Dane has asked Grandma out on a date, and she has accepted.

 

Olivia visits Corabeth to buy a new hat for Grandmaís date. But on the night of the event, Grandma has second thoughts. Olivia convinces Grandma that she has the right to go out and gives her the new hat for courage. John and Marcus feebly make small talk while waiting for Grandma. When she enters Marcus presents her with a corsage. As the couple leaves John wonders if he came courting while Olivia assumes that to be his purpose. Marcus takes Easter to dinner, a movie staring Gary Cooper, and for a soda at the Kandy Kitchen. At the soda shop they unexpectedly bump into Jim Bob and Tania Bowman who are also on a date. Grandma is shocked to hear Marcus call himself Ďher beauí when making introductions.

 

Jim Bob and Yancyís second attempt finds the batch to be one-hundred-ninety-proof alcohol, just right for automobile fuel. After successfully running his own car, Jim Bob fills up Johnís car with the new concoction. Yancy comments that itís Ďbetter to have drunk cars, than drunk driversí. But John wonders what the government will think about building a still even if it is for making fuel. He suggests talking with Sheriff Bridges. Later, Jim Bob receive a letter from the U.S. Treasury Departmentís Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco stating that, according to their experts, it is impossible to run machinery on alcohol. Jim Bob reasons that it is not illegal, therefore, to make something that does not exist.

 

At supper, the family discusses Grandmaís relationship with Marcus. Elizabeth does not like her grandmother going out on dates. Later, when Marcus arrives he confronts Elizabeth knowing she has shown dislike for him. Elizabeth blurts out, ĎNobody could take the place of my Grandpa!í Marcus responds by saying he would never think of that because nobody could ever out-talk, out-work, or out-dance Zeb. Elizabeth warms up to Grandmaís boyfriend.

 

Marcus gives Easter a present of a little egg keepsake and invites her to Richmond for the weekend in order to meet his friends. He assures her that his housekeeper will make sure everything is proper. In the morning Marcus finds out that Easter has changed her mind. She admits in a letter that her heart is on the Mountain and her love will always be with Zeb. Marcus and Easter agree to remain friends.

 

"Marcus Dain came to our home many times as the years went by. He always brought with him a warm affection for all of us, but especially for my grandmother, and they remained friends for the rest of their lives".

 

(noises from the barn)
Ben: What's the matter with Chance?
Erin: Ask Jim Bob.
Ben: What's wrong with Chance, Jim Bob?
Jim Bob: Well I staked her out on the south pasture today, right on the creek where the big oak is? Well I forgot about the alcohol still. Substream now.
Erin: She's drunk is what's wrong....
(other girl): Goodnight Chance!
(Chance moos....).

 

Notes:

Marcus Dane grew up near Grandma, living on the next farm down the road in Buckingham County. He went to college where he earned his engineering degree. His deceased wifeís name is Gloria.

Olivia tells John that she had a boyfriend in the third grade by the name of Douglas Pineberg.

Grandma has kept a dance card from the Buckingham High School dated June 1918. With her dance card completely filled, she has reserved the last dance for Zebulon. Grandma has also kept John Boyís baby booties and a curl from Johnís hair when he was a baby.

While Jim Bob and Yancy tend to the still, Jason sings a song with the following lyrics:

 

Iíve been a moonshiner for twenty long years,

Iíve spent all my money on whiskey and beer.

Way back in some holler Iíve put up my still,

And Iíll make you one gallon for a two-dollar bill.

 

Iíll build you some taverns, weíll drink with our friends.

No ladies to follow, to see what Iíve spent.

God bless those fair ladies, I wish they were mine.

Their breath smells as sweet as the dew on the vine.

 

Iíll eat when Iím hungry, I drink when Iím dry.

If moonshine donít kill me, Iíll live Ďtil I die.

God bless those moonshiners, I wish they were mine.

Their breath smells as sweet as the good olí moonshine.

 

Also appearing:

Corabeth Godsey (Ronnie Claire Edwards); Marcus Dane (Arthur Space); Yancy Tucker (Robert Donner; Tanya Bowman (Lisa Lindgren).