(December 23, 1976)
Writer: Kathleen Hite.
Director: Harvey S. Laidman.
Music: Alexander Courage.
"The years brought many changes to us on Waltons Mountain, but when change did not come often enough to suit my mother, it was her way to seek it. She would search for change, reach out to it, and welcome it when it came."
Olivia suddenly begins to curl her hair and complains to John about how her dresses look like flour sacks. While at the family picnic she says the fried chicken tastes terrible even though everyone else knows the chicken tastes as good as always. Later Olivia asks John why he always catches carp, perch, or catfish when he goes fishing. She wonders why, just once, it can’t be salmon. She vows to change something in her life.
When John-Boy and Ben drop off announcements for the church supper to Reverend Fordwick, they find that Zelda Maynard wants to play the organ at Sunday services. Knowing how protective Grandma is of being the organist, John-Boy reminds the Reverend about the resulting turmoil when Grandma finds out. He therefore insists John-Boy tell his Grandma that she will have to share the playing. John-Boy informs Grandpa that he will be the one to tell Grandma about the new arrangement at the Baptist Church. That night while telling her the news Grandpa tries to use 'Christian charity' as the premise to convince his wife that sharing is the Christian thing to do. With Grandma a member of the church for 50 years, she feels playing the church organ is a Walton’s tradition she could only share with Jason. Grandma does concede she will pray that night for guidance.
Mrs. Brimmer is sweeping the porch while Zelda Maynard complains about how things are not done as well without a man around the house. Zeb comes up the sidewalk hoping to talk Zelda out of playing the church organ. While sitting with her on the porch swing, Grandma walks by and assumes Grandpa likes Zelda’s playing better than her own. Grandpa chases after her but she will not listen to his explanation. When Grandma stops by Ike’s store she finds Corabeth too busy to talk with her. Grandma smells something burning and learns that Corabeth is operating a beauty parlor in the back room. All of a sudden an 'Ouch' is heard and Grandma thinks it sounds like Olivia. Curious about the goings-on, Grandma hurries to the beauty parlor to find Corabeth giving Olivia a permanent wave.
Grandma visits Reverend Fordwick to discuss organ playing at the church. Grandma tries to calmly talk about Zelda but abruptly loses control of her emotions and says, 'I will not resign my organ playing to just anyone'. With a stunned look from Reverend Fordwick, Grandma says in no uncertain terms, 'I will resign from the church ..... I will turn Methodist!' Reverend Fordwick tells John and Grandpa what just happened with Grandma. As he speaks he observes Olivia running to the house half-hidden by a tree with her hair underneath a scarf. Olivia locks the bedroom door behind her and wonders what she will do about her 'Shirley Temple' hairdo. When she reveals her new look the children laugh and John just stares at her with his mouth wide open.
On Sunday morning Olivia runs out of the house after becoming mad at John who criticizes her impetuous behavior. She visits Verdie Foster, hoping she will know how to straighten her curly hair. Verdie does not know the technique but does know how to cover her hair in a pretty way. Grandma is defiant about not attending church. After everyone leaves, John says he is glad he won’t be the only 'backslider' anymore in the family. He then convinces her that church means more to her than her pride. Grandma arrives at the church in time to hear Zelda play the organ for the first hymn. Much to the delight of Grandma, Zelda has trouble coordinating the pedals and keys at the finish of the hymn. Though she will share duties with Zelda, Grandma remarks to Grandpa, 'There is one thing I won’t share ..... YOU!'
After finding Olivia talking with an inebriated Mrs. Brimmer on her front porch, John decides his wife does need something different in her life. With a reservation at a hotel he and Olivia take a short vacation for a night away from everyday life.
"And for a time after that, peace reigned in our valley. No-one again challenged Grandma's right to play the church organ. My mother? Well, this was surely not her last rebellion, but most certainly, it was her last 'permanent wave'."
Olivia: Yes Elizabeth?
Elizabeth: John-Boy says your hair grows every single second.
Olivia: That's enough of that.
John-Boy: There are four kinds of human hair -
Olivia: John-Boy -
John-Boy: there's short and crisp, straight, lank -
Olivia: John-Boy -
John-Boy: Long and coarse, wavy and curly, and a special fourth kind of hair called 'Frizzy'.(pause) Mama?
John: Your Mama can't hear you - she's got her head under the pillow.
everyone: Goodnight Mama!
John: 'Frizzy' says, 'Goodnight'!
The organ has been part of the Baptist Church for over sixty years.
Also appearing -
Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards); Rev Fordwick (John Ritter); Zelda Maynard (Audrey Christie); Verdie Foster (Lynn Hamilton); Curtis Willard (Tom Bower); Mrs Brimmer (Nora Marlowe).