Episode 9 - The Great Motorcycle Race

(18 November 1976)
Writer: John Joseph.
Director: Richard Thomas.
Music: Alexander Courage.


"With each passing year of the 1930s we reached out for the hope that times were getting better, and that the Depression which had marked our lives was fading. But in hard truth, things remained much the same. There were changes though in our family. We didn't seem much different to each other until something would happen that made us look and see that time was surely changing us".


Ike Godsey pushes his motorcycle toward the Walton’s house hoping to borrow some tools to fix his bike. Jim Bob locates the problem (the ignition wire is off ) and Ike gratefully offers Jim Bob a spin on the motorcycle. After seeing how natural Jim Bob rides, Ike says he can borrow it anytime. Jason comments to Ben that when it comes to Jim Bob, “anything with an engine and wheels on it, is duck soup for him”. While at the house Ike announces that he and Corabeth want to adopt a baby.


While Jim Bob is riding Ike’s motorcycle with Patsy Brimmer in the sidecar, the other Waltons are preparing to eat supper in the front yard. Olivia becomes upset when she learns Ike has allowed Jim Bob to ride his motorcycle. John-Boy tries to calm Olivia by saying there is no way Jim Bob can get hurt because there is a sidecar on the bike. Jim Bob is soon seen by the family contradicting John-Boy’s statement by riding the motorcycle like an acrobat with the sidecar tipped up in the air.


While delivering the latest edition of the Blue Ridge Chronicle, Ben and John-Boy learn that Eddie Stoker is sponsoring a motorcycle race in Rockfish next Saturday. They strike a deal with Stoker to place an ad in the newspaper and tie it to posters that they will place around the county.


At Ike’s store, Jason buys corn starch, bluing, and a package of washing powder for Olivia; John-Boy puts up a poster announcing the “Overland Motorcycle Race”; Jim Bob notices the motorcycle race is being held; and Corabeth receives a call that their baby has arrived. Ike hurriedly asks Jim Bob to lock up the store while he and Corabeth rush off to pick up the baby. Before leaving, Jim Bob asks Ike if he can borrow the bike. Ike says he can do anything he wants with the bike. Taking him literally, Jim Bob removes the sidecar and drives Patsy over to Mr. Stoker’s place to sign up for the race.


Ike and Corabeth stop by the Walton’s house with their new ten-year-old daughter, Aimee Louise. They explain to Grandpa and Grandma that the mother of the baby changed her mind. Although crushed by the news, they observe Aimee and fall in love with her.


Jim Bob tells Olivia he has entered the race. She is upset with Jim Bob for doing this while John is away working at the Cramer place. Jim Bob tells her that he is “different from Ben, Jason, and John-Boy and is going to drive motorcycles and, someday, airplanes, too”. He adds, “You gotta understand, I’m growing up!” In the end, she agrees to let Jim Bob enter the race but reminds her youngest son “you just keep your eyes on the road”.


Corabeth tells Grandma she is nearly at her wits-end trying to please Aimee. At the same time, Aimee is telling Elizabeth that the Godsey’s don’t like her and her room looks like it’s for a baby. Elizabeth says the room was for a baby but something happened and Ike and Corabeth adopted her instead. Aimee feels like she is not wanted and decides to leave. Corabeth confronts her new daughter by saying, “we did want a baby - we yearned and prayed for one - but when we saw you it didn’t matter you weren’t a baby. You were what we wanted and you were what we choose.  After telling Corabeth she has been “putting on airs” Corabeth admits she has difficulties expressing all the love she feels for Aimee. When Aimee tells her not to cry and whispers “Mama” for the first time, everything between them is fine.


It’s race day and with family and friends looking on Jim Bob begins his first motorcycle race. After completion of the first lap, Jim Bob rounds a curve but spills his bike to the shock of the Waltons. He picks himself up and returns to the race. Later, several riders crash but Jim Bob maneuvers around them to find himself in fourth place. With only seconds to spare, Jim Bob overtakes the rider in front of him to win third place. Jim Bob receives a kiss from Patsy, admiration from Mr. Stoker, and congratulations from Olivia. Officially, Jim Bob receives a box of candy from the soda fountain at Rockfish.


"Jim Bob won a box of candy from the soda shop in Rockfish, and for the rest of us it was an unforgettable memory, the day our youngest brother took his giant step into the world".


Elizabeth: Jim Bob?
Jim Bob: Yeah?
Elizabeth: What happened to that box of candy?
Jim Bob: I gave it away.
Elizabeth: Who'd you give it to?
Jim Bob: Patsy Brimmer.
Elizabeth: You stinker!
Jim Bob: Well one day you'll grow up and meet some good-looking guy. He'll fall in love with you and -
Ben: Jim Bob go to sleep!
Jim Bob: - and he'll give you a 10 pound box of candy, and he'll look at you all gooey-eyed -
Ben: Jim Bob, quiet!
Jim Bob: - the box of candy to you and you'll marry him and go off to live in South America -
Jason: One more word Jim Bob and you're going to get it...
Jim Bob: um, goodnight.
Grandma: Good Lord!


Also appearing:

Aimee Louise Godsey (Rachel Longaker - first appearance); Curtis Willard (Tom Bower); Eddie Stoker (Lewis Charles); Patsy Brimmer (Eileen McDonough); Ike and Corabeth Walton Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards).



Ike Godsey’s automobile’s license plate number is 39-4857 (Virginia).

Ike Godsey’s motorcycle’s license plate number is 4893 (Virginia).

Before becoming an orphan, Aimee Louise lived in Hampton Roads with her parents. Her father was a fisherman.

Jim Bob is number 8 in the motorcycle race.

Jason bought the corn starch, bluing, and package of washing powder for twenty-four cents.

Jim Bob receives a “ten pound” box of candy for winning third place in the race.