Episode 5 - The Seashore

(20 October 1977)
Writer: W. Marion Hargrove.
Director: Lawrence Dobkin.
Music: Alexander Courage.


"In the late spring of 1940 our world on Waltons Mountain was very quiet and uneasy. For the first time ever, people stopped work in the daytime to turn on the radio. The war in Europe had seemed to be hibernating until suddenly on the 10th of May the Germans invaded Belgium and the Netherlands and Luxembourg. By the 10th of June they had enslaved all three and driven the British and French forces into the sea, and were marching into Paris. To all purposes the free world in Europe now consisted only of the British Isles. And just as suddenly, at least it seemed so here at home there were no more pacifists, no isolationists. The little ocean between us and the Nazi terror was not very wide any more. People were beginning to feel that the time had come to help whatever allies we had and to be ready when the attack turned on ourselves".


The Baldwin sisters call on the Waltons to discuss how they can contribute to the war effort. With numerous military personnel at Norfolk and their seaside cottage standing vacant, Miss Mamie and Miss Emily ask John to remodel it. John does not want to be away from the family so Olivia decides everyone will go. Elizabeth suggests that the children will perform all the housework so Olivia can have a vacation. Ben tells the family he will stay behind because someone needs to feed the livestock and keep an eye on the house. Everyone thinks Ben is acting grown-up except for Grandpa who believes he has an ulterior motive.


The Waltons arrive at the cottage excited by the sand and surf. When they approach the house they notice how well the outside looks for being vacant so long. Elizabeth watches an U.S. Coast Guard ship patrol the waters but becomes suspicious of a girl looking at the same boat with binoculars. With food in the icebox and a bed that has been slept in, the Waltons continue to be wary. Then, as Jason walks around the porch, he catches someone trying to enter the side door. The intruder tells the family her name is Lisa Cooper and she attends the College of William and Mary. She says she will leave immediately but Olivia knows she has no place to go. Olivia invites her to stay after her instincts tell her the girl is troubled by something.


The next morning, Jason tells Olivia that Lisa is studying music. When Olivia mentions the dreadful news about the war Lisa suddenly looks uneasy. Lisa mentions her father is a doctor but then very abruptly leaves. While talking with Elizabeth about how her father will have plenty of exciting nooks and crannies to visit when she returns to England, she tells Elizabeth to ‘treasure your father’. As Grandpa describes the battle of Dunkirk to the family Lisa turns away after hearing the words of Winston Churchill. Jason follows her to a café where she is playing ‘The Trout’ by Schubert on the piano. Jason listens to her say how she feels uneasy when people are too kind to her. After leaving they find Jim Bob’s rowboat that they take out for a ride. When an oar floats up on the beach, Jim Bob tells John he can’t find the pair.


Back at the house, Ben splashes after-shave on his bachelor-face preparing to go out on the town. But when he stops at Ike’s to make a call, Corabeth insists he will have dinner with them tonight. And the next day the Baldwin sisters drive to the house to ask Ben to take them to Charlottesville. Ben has Darlene over to the house so they suggest they all can go and stop for a dish of ice cream afterwards. Ben is finding it very difficult being on his own when everyone interrupts his single lifestyle. The final straw falls while Ben is entertaining Darlene. Corabeth glares at Darlene while she approaches the house and, then, Curt and Mary Ellen interrupt the couple while they sit on the couch drinking lemonade.


While searching the beach for Jason and Lisa, Chief of Police Moresdale arrives looking for the young woman. Finding her must be very important because the search, he says, if being conducted by the F.B.I. At this moment, two officers from the U.S. Coast Guard interrogate Jason and Lisa after rescuing their dingy from the ocean. Dittenberger and Flaherty suspect Lisa because of a slight German accent hidden underneath her strong English accent. The pair answers all of their questions so are released and driven to the cottage. The police chief returns and tells Lisa how worried her mother was when she disappeared from college. She tells the officer she is twenty-one years old tomorrow and is able to take care of herself.


Ben shows up at the cottage still furious about all the people stopping by to interrupt him with apparently nothing better to do. While John and Olivia enjoy themselves on the beach, Jason and Lisa return to the café. Lisa describes how Schubert would stop by a brook to watch trout swimming about; resulting in his musical composition and its title. She then describes the delightful evenings with her father and his famous musical friends playing their instruments. However, Jason realizes that one of the men has retired and now lives in California and the other was killed over two years ago in an airplane crash. Lisa breaks down and tells Jason how well she is able to ‘muddy the waters’.


Upon returning to the seaside cottage, Lisa finds a birthday party waiting for her complete with lemonade and chocolate cake and candles. She admits that she has been running away these past few weeks trying to remember past memories of her father. She recounts how they came to England from Austria so her father could practice his medicine. She proudly declares they became loyal subjects of the British Crown two years ago and how her father was at the Battle of Dunkirk in one of the tiny boats darting back and forth. As the Waltons now know her father was drown during that fight in the service of his island country. Resolving her emotions about the death of her dear father, she states she is returning to England because she will also defend her adopted country at any cost.


Lisa and Jason say their good-byes. She gives Jason a gift, to be opened after she has left, and kisses him before leaving on the bus. Jason has been given a music box filled with memories of his English friend.


"Lisa returned to her mother in England, and when the furies of war were spent she came back to America and finished her studies at William & Mary. In the letters my brother received from her in later years she spoke often of that turning point in her life, their meeting on the seashore".


Elizabeth: You know something?
Grandpa: What is it Elizabeth?
Elizabeth: I saw a sail in my hair.
Jim Bob: My car will never be the same...
Erin: Jim Bob your car never was the same...
Jim Bob: All the way to the seashore with the choke on? Ben you're never going to drive my car again.
Ben: You're breaking my heart.
Elizabeth: You bet that's what Darlene said...
Ben: You're full of salt water taffy.
John: That's enough! Goodnight everybody.



Lisa is specializing in theory and harmony for her studies at the College of William and Mary.

Lisa had stayed at the cottage two years earlier when her mother and father brought her over to the United States for college.


Also appearing:

Ike Godsey (Joe Conley); Corabeth Godsey (Ronnie Claire Edwards); Emily Baldwin (Mary Jackson); Mamie Baldwin (Helen Kleeb); Lisa Cooper (Vickery Turner); Darlene Jarvis (Melody Thomas); Police Chief Moresdale (Arthur Franz); U.S. Coast Guard Officer Dittenberger (Michael Richardson); U.S. Coast Guard Officer Flaherty (Robert Gooden); Curtis Willard (Tom Bower); The Radio Announcer (John Hiestand).