Episode 22 - The Hiding Place

(3 March 1977)
Writer: John McGreevey.
Director: Walter Alzmann.
Music: Alexander Courage.


"Although the years of my boyhood and youth on Waltons Mountain were a time of uncertainty and desperation for millions, somehow in our home we were sustained by a sense of being safe and secure. And then, a visitor came into our world, and though she tried to close the door against the storm that was sweeping across Europe, the force of it was felt even on Waltons Mountain".


The family has been invited to a reception at the home of the Baldwin sisters in honor of their cousin Hilary Baldwin von Clinst who has arrived from Europe. At the party, Ike, Corabeth, Curt, Mary Ellen, the Waltons, and other members of the community listen to Jason play songs on the piano. After Jason’s entertainment, questions are directed toward Hilary pertaining to her country of residence, Germany. With Hitler’s rise to power, John-Boy expects serious answers to his questions. Hilary provides only humorous answers that do not satisfy John-Boy’s curiosity about Hitler. She admits she makes it a practice not to talk about politics during social events. After the discussion, Hilary requests Jason play Schubert’s Serenade. During the performance, John-Boy notices that Hilary is staring intently off into space.


After the party, John-Boy tells the family that he believes Hilary knows more than what she is telling. Grandpa adds that he believes she is a troubled lady because of what he saw in her eyes. Jason then stuns Olivia when he announces his intentions to join the Virginia National Guard. He down-plays his involvement to console his mother by saying it is only drilling every Thursday night at the Rockfish Armory. Olivia is firmly against any involvement with the military but Ben and John-Boy defend their brother’s decision. John mentions the honorary position that the military man in Virginia has maintained over the years. Later the Walton men listen to FDR on the radio talk about the world conflict. Olivia finally concedes she cannot stop Jason from joining the Guard but tells Jason not to expect her blessings.


Jim Bob has purchased a Rolls-Royce horn for his old car. The horn cost eight dollars from Sikes Junk Yard that he bought ‘on-time’. A few days later Jim Bob is unable to pay for the horn so is walking towards Sikes Junk Yard in order to return it. As he blows the horn, he finds a crowd following behind him. When he arrives, the crowd ends up buying twelve dollars of stuff. Jim Bob agrees to walk around Rockfish carrying a billboard advertising the junkyard and blowing his horn. Sikes will give him ten percent credit on anything sold as a result of his advertising until the horn is paid.


John-Boy desperately wants an interview with Hilary but she declines his request. John-Boy decides to switch tactics when he makes a telephone call at Ike’s store in order to investigate the von Clinst name. While at the store Corabeth announces she has persuaded Hilary to speak at the Women’s Club on ‘My Years in Germany’. At the meeting, Jason plays the piano, again to the delight of Hilary. But John-Boy is bored and disappointed to hear Hilary speak only about Octoberfest, beer drinking, and the music of Schubert and Beethoven. He asks her that the charming picture she portrays of Germany does not seem to have changed with the rise of power of Adolph Hitler and his Nazi regime. Hilary responds that she does not feel qualified to answer such questions. Afterwards at the reception John-Boy asks her more pointed questions about such things as: ‘Was Mendelssohn’s music banned because he is a Jew?’ and ‘Why have so many major newspapers have been forced to close?’. Hilary leaves the room visibly upset after John-Boy’s interrogation. Everyone is upset with John-Boy because he has ruined the festivities. The next morning John-Boy promises Olivia that he will apologize to the Baldwins and Hilary and invite them to dinner. Hilary accepts his apology as long as Jason will again play the piano.


When Jason learns he is expected to play the piano at the dinner on Thursday night he admits he will be unable to attend because that is his first night of drilling for the Guard. She states that is a poor excuse because Hilary expressly asked for him to play. Jason compromises by saying he will play before dinner and then excuses himself so he can leave for the National Guard activities.


John-Boy finds that Hilary’s husband was a liberal publisher and is now in the diplomatic services but only in a minor post in Vienna. He also finds the couple have a son. When the guests arrive at the Walton’s home Jason is playing the piano in his uniform. When Hilary sees his outfit she faints. Curt says she is in shock and is unsure whether she will come out of the coma. As the family waits for news, they listen to Edward R. Murrow on the radio reporting from Vienna that tensions are high as the Austrian Chancellor is nearly assassinated by Nazis.


John-Boy and Curt think that Hilary may respond to Jason’s piano playing. At the Baldwin’s house, Jason plays the piano while everyone hopes for the best. Hilary does respond and admits for the first time she was running away from the war after her son was killed. While in the Youth Movement the group was told to destroy the business of three Jews. Her son would not help so the other members beat him to death. Hilary grieved and ran away from the pain for three months. She now explains she cannot hide anymore and is grateful to everyone, especially John-Boy. She states, “There are no hiding places, no forgetting.”


"Hilary did return to Europe, letters were exchanged and then Vienna fell. Our letters came back stamped - 'Address unknown'. Hilary, her husband, and the others who stood against the Nazis couldn't stem the tide. Other Americans did go to Europe, to Africa, to Asia, and found the same courage that carried Hilary Baldwin von Kleist out of the sanctuary of Waltons Mountain and back into the heart of battle".


Jason: Daddy?
John: What is it Jason?
Jason: I guess you remember just about everything that happened to you in the war. I suppose some of the things you don't want to remember.
John: That's right!
Jason: There were good things?
John: Oh sure, good and bad.
Jason: What would you say was the best thing happened to you?
John: Coming home!
Jason: Goodnight Daddy!
John: Goodnight Son.



Hillary Baldwin von Clinst, who speaks five languages (Italian, English, German, French, and one that is not mentioned) is from the Baltimore (Maryland) branch of the Baldwins.

Her husband’s name is Earnst; her son’s name was Peter (and was of similar age as Jason).


Also appearing:

Ike Godsey (Joe Conley); Corabeth Godsey (Ronnie Claire Edwards); Miss Mamie Baldwin (Helen Kleeb); Miss Emily Baldwin (Mary Jackson); Curtis Willard (Tom Bower); Hilary Baldwin von Clinst (Jean Marsh); Newscaster (Joe Cala); Voices of FDR and Edward R. Murrow (Walker Edmonston)