Teleplay: William Parker.
Story: Michael Learned.
Director: Gwen Arner.
Music: Alexander Courage.
"In early 1942, with the advent of a war, the world was taking on a different character, seemingly becoming a stranger to itself. At the same time our family was to witness similar changes in the personalities of some of those we were close to on Waltons Mountain".
Erin is looking for a pencil to help the Baldwin sisters write more of their memoirs. John suggests she help with his memoirs of ‘Wild John Walton’. Elizabeth is feeling the pains of growing up. While shaving her legs Jim Bob enters the bathroom to say that, 'Chris Mosely gets whistles from the boys about her figure'.
Miss Mamie and Miss Emily discuss how much of their autobiography should be devoted to Ashley Longworth. While Erin walks to the Baldwins she is splashed with mud from a passing car. A tall, handsome military man apologizes, saying he did not see her. Erin discovers that he is driving to the Baldwins. Upon offering her a ride he introduces himself as Ashley Longworth. Erin stares after hearing the name. When Erin introduces Ashley to the sisters, Miss Mamie is stunned, saying to him that 'you're the image of your father’. Miss Emily faints at the sight of her Ashley Longworth, believing him to be her long-lost suitor. Upon being revived Miss Mamie comforts her sister while Erin pours Ashley a cup of the Recipe. Miss Mamie attempts to tell Miss Emily that this Ashley is her Ashley’s son, but she will not listen. Ashley and Erin talk with a strong undercurrent of romantic thoughts running between them.
Elizabeth goes to Corabeth for advice on whether or not she needs to wear a brassiere. Corabeth is shocked at the question, sidestepping an answer. Later John is upset when only Erin and Elizabeth are able to sit down for dinner on time. While Erin announces that Ashley Longworth, Jr. is visiting the Baldwin sisters Jason and Ben rush to the table followed by Mary Ellen and Jim Bob. John announces that to keep the family together he will become the ‘chief cook and bottle washer’ and cook them a Sunday turkey dinner with all the fixings. While Erin and Mary Ellen dress for church they decide to invite the Baldwin sisters and Ashley for dinner. Miss Emily prepares for church by wearing her hair and choosing a dress appropriate to the times when her dear Ashley came to call.
The family is surprised to discover that John is a good cook. John admits there is nothing to cooking, he just does not want to do it everyday. Ashley and Erin volunteer to wash the dishes in order to be alone. They both admit interest with the other. Ashley asks to see her tomorrow night before he leaves.
Elizabeth is troubled with how she looks; sometimes wanting to be a woman, sometimes a little girl. John compares her feelings to a butterfly struggling to escape its cocoon. John says she has the 'in-betweens'.
Ashley drives through the countryside, taking a shortcut recommended by Miss Emily. Ashley attempts to tell Miss Emily sometime important, but she continues to believe he is her true love. Trying to turn around, the car becomes stuck in a mud hole. Ashley searches for help. Erin waits for him to arrive, crying herself to sleep when he does not appear. John calls Olivia to tell her about his concerns with their daughters, even though he will visit her tomorrow. Olivia reassures John that she will take care of Elizabeth's problem.
In the morning, John is off to see his wife. While Erin and Mary Ellen eat breakfast Ashley enters to explain why he missed their date. Erin refuses to listen until Mary Ellen says, 'Quit being stupid!' They take a walk while Ashley explains the problems that forced him away from her. When Miss Mamie tells her sister that Ashley has already left the house, she is sure he has gone to their special place, the tree where he hid her ring. Arriving at their secret place, Miss Emily observes Erin and Ashley kissing. She runs away shocked at what she saw. Ashley explains to Miss Mamie what happened. She tells him to leave.
John returns with a present of a camisole for Elizabeth from her mother. Erin explains to Miss Emily that her kiss with Ashley was just like when she kissed Ashley's father many years ago under the same tree. She tells Miss Emily that Ashley has a gift for her. When Miss Emily confronts Ashley she knows that his father is dead. She admits he has been with her all these years. Ashley says that his father married late in life but told him of his first love, Miss Emily. Ashley presents her with a letter that his father wrote to her before he died. Erin and Miss Mamie are relieved to know she has returned to the present. Ashley kisses Miss Emily on her cheek and leaves with Erin. Miss Emily remains with her memories saying, 'Life does flow merrily on, does it not?' Miss Mamie responds, 'I think that is what it is suppose to.' While Miss Mamie pours some of the Recipe, Miss Emily privately reads her treasured letter from her only love, Ashley.
"In the days to come, Miss Emily and Miss Mamie looked forward eagerly to Ashley's letters and occasional visits. The final words from his father to Miss Emily were never included in the Baldwin's memoirs but were locked forever in Miss Emily's heart".
Are you writing another letter to Ashley Longworth, Erin?
Erin: What if I am Elizabeth? He writes very nice letters to me!
Elizabeth: I think I kinda like the sound of it.
Erin: Of what?
Elizabeth: What your name might be - 'Erin Longworth Junior'!
Erin: Goodnight, Elizabeth....
Elizabeth: Goodnight, 'Junior'!.....
Aimee is attending Miss Holcomb’s Finishing School. She will return home this summer.
Ashley Longworth, Jr. is a lieutenant JG in the United States Navy, stationed aboard the USS Montclair. The ship is dry-docked at Norfolk for overhaul and repair.
Ashley Longworth, Sr. was in the diplomatic corps, being stationed in such places as Berlin, Geneva, Tokyo, and Lucerne.
Miss Emily had a nineteen-inch waist while being courted by Ashley Longworth, Sr.
A camisole is a woman's sleeveless undergarment.
Jonathan Frakes reprises his role as Ashley Longworth, Jr. in The Lost Sheep (season eight, episode seven).
Ike Godsey (Joe Conley); Corabeth Godsey (Ronnie Claire Edwards); Miss Emily Baldwin (Mary Jackson); Miss Mamie Baldwin (Helen Kleeb); Ashley Longworth, Jr. (Jonathan Frakes).