Episode 23 - The Go-Getter

(10 March 1977)
Writers: Andy White and Paul West.
Director: Lawrence Dobkin.
Music: Alexander Courage.


"In the spring of 1938 I began to feel the burden of publishing The Blue Ridge Chronicle and finishing my novel. It would be the newspaper which would create a crisis affecting the entire family".


John-Boy is ill-tempered as he remains under constant pressure from publishing The Blue Ridge Chronicle and writing the final chapter of his first novel. The family is not helping as they loudly push Jim Bob’s car, Ike drives off on his noisy motorcycle, and Chance bellows out several ‘moos’ in response to all the commotion. While Ben visits the Jarvis Used Car Lot, he suggests to the owner, Mr. Jarvis, that he try a radical new advertising campaign in order to sell more cars. Mr. Jarvis finally agrees with Ben and says he is a natural salesman. Darlene, Mr. Jarvis’ daughter, is impressed with Ben’s get-up-and-go attitude. She drives Ben home in one of her Daddy’s cars; and as they say ‘good-bye’ she gives Ben a kiss.


Sarah Griffith is back on Waltons Mountain specifically to see Ep Bridges whom she loves. She tells Olivia her marital intentions much to the delight of Olivia who wants her friend married and permanently on the Mountain.


At dinner, John-Boy is still tense from his many deadlines. He skips dessert and tells Ben to join him for more work on the newspaper. Ben would rather borrow John-Boy’s car so he can visit Darlene, but reluctantly follows his big brother. As John-Boy works frantically on the newspaper, Ben makes a paperweight with Darlene’s name on it. Accidently he drops it into the printing press and almost breaks the machine. John-Boy becomes irate at Ben for not doing his job. Ben storms out telling his boss he does not need the job because Mr. Jarvis will hire him. The next day, Ben does get hired as an used car salesman. Ben’s first customer is Arnie Shimerdy whom he slick-talks into buying a run-down truck. That night, he boasts to the family of his eight dollar commission. John asks Ben if he told the buyer all the things wrong with the truck, knowing it was previously owned by Mort Sellers. Ben says the customer never asked but states the truck was well worth the selling price. No one believes him.


Olivia tells John that Sarah and her are going shopping tomorrow in Rockfish. John grins while saying that Charlottesville has better stores; knowing they are going to Rockfish for one reason, and it is not to shop. The next day the pair park in front of the office after noticing Ep is sitting outside. Ep invites Sarah in for coffee while Olivia walks to Barton’s Dry Goods Store. After learning from Olivia that nothing happened while Sarah was with Ep, John explains that Ep does not make fast moves in anything he does.


Mrs. Brimmer arrives at Ike’s store complaining about her aching feet. Mary Ellen suggests she buy a car and Ike adds that she should buy one from Ben who is working at Jarvis’. Later at the car lot, Ben shows Mrs. Brimmer the car that Preacher Parker from Scottsville had previously owned. Mr. Jarvis knows they can sell that car anytime so convinces Ben to sell her the more difficult to sell Studebaker sedan by adding a five dollar bonus when it is sold. With another twelve dollars in commissions and a five dollar bonus Mr. Jarvis tells Ben he is the best salesman he has ever employed. With Ben’s ego boosted from the compliment, Ben informs Jim Bob that the car he is fixing up will never be anything but a piece of junk. Jim Bob does not like the comment and calls his brother a “Big Shot” behind his back.


Olivia visits Sarah at Mrs. Brimmer’s boarding house to invite Sarah for dinner, along with Ep. While visiting, Mrs. Brimmer says her new car stopped running a day after she bought it. Sarah thinks she should return it for repairs. Later, John and Olivia have a quiet dinner with Ep and Sarah. Ep then takes them to the movie ‘Naughty Marietta’ featuring Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. Unfortunately Ep has Sarah sit next to Olivia while he sits next to John. Then Ep drops off Sarah before he drops off Olivia and John. Olivia is upset because the two barely spoke to each other the entire night. However, Ep returns to see Sarah. The next morning Olivia and Mrs. Brimmer find out that Sarah is leaving for Richmond. But, they soon are informed she will return to Waltons Mountain; after the honeymoon.


Jim Bob tells Ben that Mrs. Brimmer paid one hundred twenty five dollars for a car that will not run because of a broken timing chain. Ben denies knowing anything about it when he sold her the car. After having guilty feelings about the car, Ben confesses to John-Boy that he spent most of the money from his  job on Darlene. John-Boy suggests he try to fix the car himself and, if necessary, ask Jim Bob to help him. Ben admits Jim Bob is mad at him. With Old Blue pulling Mrs. Brimmer’s car, Ben brings the car to the house to fix it. Ben does his best but has little luck fixing it. He wakes up in the middle of the night and hears someone working on the car. At the same time, John-Boy is still struggling with the last chapter of his book. He is frustrated with not knowing how to properly end his novel. John-Boy takes a break and walks outside. He sees Ben and Jim Bob working on the car together. John Boy feels rejuvenated after seeing his two brothers mend their differences. He returns to his typewriter confident he can now write the last chapter to his first novel.


"They are grown now, those boys, men set apart by time and distance. But the patterns that were set in those early years still remain. During the years that followed, my brothers and my sisters came to each other's aid often in time of trouble, and they still do".


Elizabeth: Mama, are you awake?
Olivia: Yes, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth: Why do ladies put candles on the table when they invite men for supper?
Olivia: Because candlelight makes ladies look prettier.
Elizabeth: Oh why is that?
Jim Bob: 'Cos candles don't put out much light and you can't see too much.
Elizabeth: Isn't that kind of sneaky?
Olivia: Goodnight Elizabeth.



Eggs at Ike’s store have gone up in price to thirty cents per dozen.

A small boy named Fester appears in this episode with Ep Bridges tying his shoes strings. The young actor’s name is Jeff Cotler, Kami Cotler’s brother.


Also appearing:

Sarah Griffith (Lynn Carlin); Mr. Jarvis (Lew Brown); Darlene Jarvis (Melody Thomas); Ep Bridges (John Crawford); Mrs. Brimmer (Nora Marlowe); Fester (Jeff Cotler); The Usher (Brian Malone); Arnie Shimerdy (Don Keefer); Ike Godsey (Joe Conley).