Episode 10 - The Carousel

(12 February 1981)
Writer: Robert Pirosh.
Director: Herbert Hirschman.
(no music credit)


"When we were growing up we always knew we would be safe and warm and dry, here where we were raised by loving parents and grandparents. We knew who we were and where we came from. So it was hard to believe that someone close to us could suddenly discover that her past was obscure and shrouded in mystery".


Rose, Cindy, and Elizabeth dry clothes in the kitchen during a rainstorm. Cindy nervously waits for her father to arrive for a visit. The telephone finally rings with Cindy thinking it is her father, but Ben learns from the state police that her father was killed in an automobile accident.


While in Washington, D.C. for the funeral Cindy observes a woman who looks familiar and is reminded of music at a carousel.


Elizabeth and Drew announce that his grandmother is sick and his parents have left for Richmond to take care of her. Rose insists that he stay at the house, after they point out his inability to stay alone -- hoping he would be invited to stay.


Back home Ben and Cindy search through her father’s effects when Cindy finds an adoption decree. Cindy is shocked to learn she was adopted.


Elizabeth and Drew meet in the hallway with their pajamas on, hoping to snack on a piece of chocolate cake, but are more interested in kissing. Erin interrupts their encounter, turning them back to their respective rooms. Later in the night, Cindy has a dream where she is in a park riding on a carousel, when suddenly all the people disappear. She wakes up wondering why her father didn’t tell her about being adopted. Later, while looking at her daughter, Cindy tells the family she doesn’t understand how her mother could ever give her up to a stranger. She decides to find her biological parents.


At the law office of Blaine and Nichols in Washington, D.C., Ben and Cindy learn that Mr. Nichols will not help, saying court records are not available and that his partner Mr. Blaine, who handled the case, has since died. He does provide them with the name of Dr. Frederick Grover, the doctor who delivered her, and who is now retired in Alexandria, Virginia. At the doctor’s office, Cindy finds that the doctor can’t remember the details of her birth. While Cindy talks with Dr. Grover, Ben slips the 1925 records underneath his jacket. Outside, Ben and Cindy find that Mrs. Arthur T. Foley and Mrs. Derrick Shepard both delivered baby girls on April 26, 1925. They locate Mrs. Foley but are disappointed to find that her daughter ran away with a sailor at the age of seventeen. Ben and Cindy return home after being unable to locate Mrs. Foley’s name in the library.


Elizabeth and Drew swing on the front porch but are interrupted again, this time from Rose who needs firewood to prepare supper. Later, Elizabeth and Drew argue about never having time alone together since he moved in with the family. Elizabeth states she doesn’t need another brother, but does need a boyfriend. Later, Elizabeth and Drew decide to help each other since she is having trouble with algebra and he with English. But before they can start Jason asks Drew for help moving furniture at the Dew Drop Inn.


After another dream, Cindy is able to see the face of the woman named ‘Bernadine’ who would play with her at the park. It is the same woman she saw at the funeral. Cindy feels it is her mother. After unsuccessfully finding any telephone record of her from all the major cities along the east coast, Rose suggests she place a classified newspaper advertisement, such as “Cindy Brunson looking for her mother.”


Corabeth advises Cindy not to look for her real mother.  Cindy disagrees with her and Rose tries to disarm the discussion. After Rose and Cindy leave, Ike suggests to Corabeth that her suggestions aren’t always welcomed. Corabeth promises never to meddle in other’s problems. But, when a letter arrives for Cindy, Corabeth runs it over to the house, thinking it is in response to her inquiry. Cindy and Ben drive to Washington D.C., after learning the address of the person who may be her mother. When Cindy knocks on the door, she finds that the woman is indeed her mother, but who is nervous about talking with her at the house. They meet later at the park, where she tells Cindy that she and Cindy’s father had planned on getting married, but she became pregnant and he died before the ceremony. Her mother does not feel they should maintain contact, since her husband does not know about her past.


Drew is churning butter when he finds that Elizabeth has a date with Steve Prince. He confesses to Elizabeth that he has been trying to please everyone but her. Elizabeth and Drew walk down the road, leaving Steve to finish the butter churning.


Cindy and Ben observe a car approach the house. Cindy’s mother has reconsidered her decision after finding her husband was the one who sent her the letter. She asks Cindy if she could learn to be her mother. Cindy and Bernadine hug, and then Cindy introduces her mother to her granddaughter and her son-in-law.


"Cindy's longing to find out all she could about her past was finally fulfilled, and a loving, lasting relationship with her mother was just beginning".


Elizabeth: Erin? What do you do when you can't get to sleep?
Erin: I stay awake.
Elizabeth: No I'm serious. What do you do, count sheep?
Erin: No, that doesn't work for me.
Elizabeth: Me either.
Erin: Imagine that you're floating on a cloud, you're all alone, you're drifting, drifting..
Elizabeth: - and drifting, drifting. There's a full moon, but I'm not alone.
Erin: Pleasant dreams Elizabeth.
Elizabeth: Goodnight Erin.



Cindy Ann Brunson’s adopted parents were Florence A. Brunson and Henry R. Brunson. Her biological mother is Bernadine, while her father’s name is Derrick Shepard. He died seven months before she was born. She was born on April 26, 1925.

Drew is an only child.


Also appearing:

Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards), Rose Burton (Peggy Rea), John Curtis (Michael Reed), Virginia (Clare and Elizabeth Schoene), Bernadine (Penelope Windust), Drew Cutler (Tony Becker), Steve Prince (Philip Linton), Mrs. Foley (Anita Dangler), Dr. Frederick Grover (Bill Erwin), Mr. Nichols (Edward Bell).