Episode 3 - The Triumph

18 December 1980)
Writer: Robert Pirosh.
Director: Philip Leacock.
Music: Alexander Courage


"In 1945 on Waltons Mountain with the coming of summer, buds became leaves and wildflowers painted the hills and fields as no human artist could. It was as if nature was defying the war that consumed the world. On the home front there were shortages, rationing and a deepening war-weariness that only victory could ease. But the greatest problem of all for my family was coping with the anxiety about those of us who were in the service. One brother was stationed nearby, and three were overseas, one of whom, my brother Jason, was fighting on the frontlines somewhere in Germany".


Jason leads his unit on the front line in Germany. They locate a woodcutter’s house that upon investigation is occupied only by a goat. On Walton’s Mountain, John attempts to fix the motor on Ike’s refrigerator without any replacement parts. Ike feels sorry about John having four sons in the service. John finally fixes the refrigerator. Elizabeth enters to say a rumor is circulating that Germany may soon surrender. Back at the war, Jason milks the goat while Willis, an inexperienced replacement, walks hesitantly into the group.


Miss Mamie and Miss Emily visit Ike’s store in order to shop for a party they are planning for local soldiers. Without sufficient rationing coupons, and under the watchful eye of a stranger, Ike allows the sisters to pay off the coupons next month. However, the stranger turns out to be Mr. Parsons, an OPA (Office of Price Administration) investigator. Parsons issues Ike a summons to appear before the OPA after repeatedly violating the law.


Jason hands Willis a cup of goat’s milk, knowing that Willis is scared after hearing an airplane overhead. Jason learns that one day Willis was crossing a field with ten other soldiers. All of a sudden an airplane flew over, firing on the men. He was the only man that survived. He spent four months in a mental hospital, admitting he is still scared.


Mary Ellen studies while Erin complains about getting a long run in her last pair of stockings. Elizabeth listens to Rose tell the others she isn’t sure how her devil’s food cake will turn out without sugar. Cindy reads out loud her letter from Ben, omitting the personal parts. Ben describes a beautiful tropical island, but, in reality, the location is rainy, as he and Norman play cards.


At the Jefferson County Ration Board, Ike explains why he allowed articles to be sold without the proper amount of coupons. The Baldwin sisters talk on the behalf of Ike, but it is questionable whether their words are helpful. Corabeth tries to clarify their explanation. The board rules to suggest prosecution to the OPA headquarters at Washington D.C.


Jason finds cans but is unable to read the German words. Knowing how to speak and read German, Willis informs him the cans contain carrots, peas, and mixed vegetables.


John invites Ike and Corabeth to supper of wild turkey. Ike complains of their harsh dealings with the government. Elizabeth thinks the family should quit complaining about everything. After supper, Ike and Corabeth return to the store to find they have been robbed of money, coffee, sugar, and other rationed goods. Corabeth breaks down, saying she cannot stand it anymore after reaching her breaking point. Ike tries to comfort his sobbing wife.


Jim Bob asks for a ride home from a man driving a team of mules pulling a load of hay. He says the road doesn’t go to Walton’s Mountain, in fact doesn’t go anywhere. But, the farmer says to climb up and he’ll drive him to the Charlottesville turnoff. Jim Bob is impatient to arrive home when the farmer stops at the side of the road for the night.


Jason and Willis have difficulty sleeping on a night before a major confrontation. Jason admits he is homesick and scared, saying even hard-nosed Lusco is scared. The next morning the squad cautiously enters the German town. It looks deserted when they meet up with B Company. Jason recognizes Jackson when soon afterwards a call comes in that the war is over. As the men celebrate, Jason sees a German soldier in a window of a church tower. Jason doesn’t believe they now have a license to kill, so decides they must take him prisoner.


Jim Bob finally reaches home and is warmly greeted. He tells them that the Germans have surrendered. Norman also tells the good news to Ben, but quickly learns their war with the Japanese is still close at hand. Willis yells to the German that the war is over but the soldier believes he is lying to him. Hoping to convince the German soldier, Jason and Willis risk their lives by running inside the church. Willis finally is able to convince the soldier that the war is really over. They speak to each other saying, ‘Peace’.


Ike and Corabeth are back in business after John informs the community to bring their business to the store. That night VE-Day is celebrated at the house with extra jars of the Recipe. While the family sings victory songs around the piano, Elizabeth enters, obviously upset. She tells everyone that she hates war, doesn’t know the reason for the war, and wants her brothers to come home.


"Eisenhower had called the invasion of Europe the Great Crusade. He reminded us back in June 1944 that the eyes of the world were upon us, that the hopes and prayers of people everywhere marched with us. Now, the Great Crusade was over and while we rejoiced there was the knowledge that the war in Japan was still to be won".


Elizabeth: Mary Ellen? How do you spell victorious?
Mary Ellen: Elizabeth you ought to be asleep.
Elizabeth: I will be, soon. I'm writing a letter to Ben.
Mary Ellen: Tell him John Curtis is learning how to count. Tell him I ran into an old girl-friend of his today.
John: Tell him all that in the morning! Goodnight Elizabeth!
Elizabeth: Goodnight Daddy. (pause) I still don't know how to spell victorious.....



Sgt. Jason Walton leads the Second Squad, composed of Lusco, Slate, and newcomer Willis.

The farmer is driving two mules, Samson and Delilah.

Information about the OPA appears at: http://www.bartleby.com/65/of/OfficePr.html.


Also appearing:

Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards), Cindy Walton (Leslie Winston), Rose Burton (Peggy Rea), Miss Mamie and Miss Emily Baldwin (Helen Kleeb and Mary Jackson), Willis (Mark McClure), Lusco (Dana Gladstone), The Lieutenant (Hank Stohl), Jenkins (James Nolan), Slate (Ken Wright), The Farmer (Davis Roberts), Parsons  (Eldon Quick), German Sniper (Brian Utman), Norman (Jordon Suffin), Jackson (Jack McCulloch).