Episode 22 - The Medal

(28 February 1980)
Writer: Rod Peterson.
Director: Walter Alzman.
Music: Alexander Courage.


"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".


Three sailors walk off the bus outside Ike's store while talking about a paratrooper sitting inside. When the man steps off the bus, the sailors call him derogatory names, do not allow him to pass, and then grab him. He defends himself, dropping one of them to the ground. Smitty, one of the sailors, clutches his arm at the impact. Afterwards, Sgt. Edward A. Ramirez asks Mary Ellen where the Willard house is located, unaware of her identity. She offers to drive him, and on the way reveals her name. He admits Major Willard saved his life during that day at Pearl Harbor. After meeting the family, Eddie presents Mary Ellen the case containing the medal that Curt was awarded (the Silver Star) while John reads the letter from President Roosevelt.


Corabeth looks over a book at a Charlottesville bookstore when a uniformed man introduces himself as Roger Westerby, a schoolmate at Doe Hill. Roger admits being shy in school, unable to admit his true feelings for her. His family later moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Currently stationed nearby, Roger asks Corabeth to dinner, wishing to read her poetry. Corabeth says she is attending a meeting of the State Retailers Association and must return to Jefferson County, unable to accept his invitation.


While Eddie plays with John Curtis while Mary Ellen looking on, Sheriff Bridges drives up to the house. Ep asks Ramirez about the fight because he has been accused of breaking a sailor's arm. Mary Ellen tells Ep that it was self-defense. Ep asks Eddie to remain in the area until the case is settled. Eddie accepts Mary Ellen's invitation to stay at the house, however tells her that "Mexicans and the law don't mix too well". The next day, Mary Ellen and Eddie ride on horseback as she tends to her Mountain patients. While resting, Mary Ellen begins to tease Eddie, getting him to fight. He accidentally hits her, apparently knocking her unconscious. But it is only a stunt by Mary Ellen. As he holds the uninjured Mary Ellen, they kiss.


Ike leaves for the back of the store as Roger enters to visit with Corabeth. With help from members of the Retailers Association, he found where she lives. He suggests a picnic but Corabeth admits she is married to Mr. Godsey. Roger admits he is also married, only suggesting a harmless rendezvous. Later, Corabeth does meet Roger, reading to him from a book of poetry. Roger then recites a poem to Corabeth and, upon its completion, kisses her. Corabeth abruptly leaves after seeing two people cross the bridge on horseback.


The Sheriff telephones Eddie, wanting him and Mary Ellen at his office for statements. Eddie leaves without Mary Ellen, not wanting to involve her. After the sailors provide their stories, Eddie makes his statement, 'One of them grabbed me. I defended myself.' Ep worries about its briefness, but Eddie remarks, 'That's what happened. There's nothing more to say.' Just then Mary Ellen arrives to provide her statement.


Roger telephones Corabeth asking her to join him at a quaint tearoom. He admits that he loves her, but Corabeth refuses to see him. Later, Roger arrives at the store asking Ike for five gallons of gasoline. Now alone, Roger hands Corabeth a letter romantically asking to meet him tomorrow at the Winslow Hotel.


Cindy, Erin, Elizabeth, and Mary Ellen are preparing supper when a car drives up. Thinking it is Eddie; Mary Ellen rushes to the front door. However, the three sailors confront her, telling her to stay out of their argument with Ramirez. The other women join Mary Ellen as a defense against the angry men. The next day, Ep tells the family about Eddie's war experiences and being decorated with the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, and the Bronze Star. When Eddie arrives, Ep tells him that because of his military record and Mary Ellen's statement, he is free to go. Jason then invites him and the others to the Dew Drop Inn.


At the hotel, Corabeth meets Roger. He has arranged a private dinner in his room. Corabeth hesitates to be alone with him. Roger responds that he wants to live for every moment. Corabeth states that Ike is kind and loving in his own way. Roger states, 'It is now or never.' Corabeth stares, unsure about what to do.


Eddie tells Mary Ellen that he likes her but admits he is a professional killer. Mary Ellen tells him she has not seen a killer, only a kind friend to the children and the family. She also admits he has made her feel once again like a woman. Mary Ellen suggests counting to ten before doing anything rash. He counts to ten, giving her a kiss after each number.


Corabeth returns home early, telling Ike that Aunt Minerva was not feeling well. Corabeth admits she thought about him the entire night, telling Ike she loves him. Ike tells his wife he loves her, too, and presents her with a gift, a record of Carmen. Corabeth changes into something more comfortable while Ike throws away the letter he found, from Roger.


At the Dew Drop, the sailors again confront Eddie. Mary Ellen tells him to count to ten as the insults continue. At the count of ten, Eddie spins around, telling the men that they do not need to fight each other; they already have a common enemy to fight against, a fight to preserve freedom of religion and race. The sailors back off, with Smitty and Eddie shaking hands. Eddie and Mary Ellen leave for a walk outside.


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


Note: This episode ends at the store -
Corabeth: Goodnight Mr Godsey.
Ike: Goodnight Corabeth.



The Bus Driver (William Phipps) also appears as John Martin Renshaw, a storekeeper in Rockfish and one of John's high school schoolmates (season four, episode four and season six, episode thirteen).

Roger Westerby's wife is named Betty.

Eddie lives in Los Angeles, California along with many brothers and sisters.

Corabeth has an aunt by the name of Aunt Minerva.


Also appearing:

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