Episode 8 - The Whirlwind

(22 January 1981)
Writer: Claire Whittaker.
Director: Nell Cox.
(no music credit)


"As World War Two was gradually consigned to the pages of history life on Waltons Mountain began returning to normal. Store shelves bulged with food and other goods that had been scarce during the fighting. And families were reunited as the young men headed home. But peace didn't necessarily mean an end to turbulence, life would always somehow manage to keep us off balance".


Jim Bob hitchhikes home when Arlington Wescott Jones III picks him up. Jonesy tells Jim Bob that he is traveling across the U.S.A. making up lost-time from the war. Suddenly, the brakes go out, forcing them to speed down the winding hill. As Mary Ellen and Jason travel toward them, Jason tells his sister that he just bought the Dew Drop Inn. They are almost run off the road as Jason sees Jim Bob inside the car. They turn around, catching up with them as the car lies upside down, unable to maneuver through a curve. Jim Bob is uninjured but Jonesy is hurt, passing out with Mary Ellen looking over him.


At the house, Mary Ellen tends to his wounds while Ben and Jim Bob check out his damaged car. He learns that Mary Ellen is a nurse studying to become a doctor. Jonesy decides to help Ben in the mill in exchange for room and board, hoping to better get to know Mary Ellen. As Mary Ellen helps him to the sofa, Jonesy asks her if she believes in love at first sight. She ignores the question when he impulsively kisses her. She pulls back, finding John Curtis looking at them. Jonesy apologizes to her, thinking she is married.


Corabeth shows Jason the condition of the Dew Drop Inn, thinking that he will use it as a concert hall. But Jason tells her he only wants to play his tunes in the roadhouse.


Cindy and Elizabeth set up a cot for Jonesy in the mill office. He tells them he has met everybody except Mary Ellen’s husband. Cindy says she has been widowed for four years. When Cindy mentions that it’s too bad she has not met anybody, Jonesy responds, “We’ll see about that!”


In the morning, Jonesy arrives late to breakfast causing Mary Ellen to state that meals are served on time. Just then, Jason arrives with a sign announcing that he is reopening the Dew Drop Inn. The family is not supportive with his decision, and he regrets telling them. Later, Jason asks Corabeth permission to publicize the Dew Drop Inn’s reopening at the store. But Corabeth refusing, saying the ‘common highway hangout’ is not a proper advertisement at the family store.


Jim Bob has worked on Jonesy’s car for a week without getting it fixed. Jonesy has decided to take Johnnie on a picnic, and asks Mary Ellen to go along. He gives Mary Ellen a soapstone rock that he found by the river, saying he feels something special. Mary Ellen leaves, uneasy about how she feels toward him.


Jason talks with Ike about the condition of the Dew Drop, not sure if he will be ready to open on time. That night, Mary Ellen walks to the mill. She tells Jonesy that she had a wonderful day. Jonesy asks Mary Ellen if it would be okay to kiss her goodnight. Mary Ellen says, “What do you think I’m doing here?”


Jonesy makes breakfast telling everyone he was known as ‘Worldwind Jones’, the chef of the Surf Side Café. Jason wakes up exhausted after working most of the night. Mary Ellen walks in after sleeping late. Jonesy reminds her that meals are served on time. They then kiss, as Erin and Elizabeth exchange glances. Jim Bob announces to Jonesy that his car is running, where-upon he runs outside, excited to be again able to travel. Mary Ellen hears his words and rushes to her room. Knowing she is upset Jonesy climbs a ladder to her window. He finally is able to explain that he wants her and Johnnie to join him. Mary Ellen says no, but after a few passionate kisses, says yes. They open the door to announce that they are getting married.


At Ike’s, a woman departs the bus, enters the store, and asks Corabeth where she can find Mary Ellen Willard. At the same time, Mary Ellen packs as Erin wonders if their parents would approve postponing her medical plans. Rose prepares a toast of ‘apple juice and ginger ale’ after which the family enters the Dew Drop to include Jason in the festivities. But Jason is drunk, finally realizing he won’t be able to open on time. Ben decides to coordinate a work detail so he can open tomorrow.


Rose, Mary Ellen, and Cindy open the door to find Betty Howell, who asks Mary Ellen if she recognizes a picture of a man she knows as Curtis Packer. Mary Ellen recognizes the man as her husband. Betty informs her that she took the picture a month ago. Mary Ellen refuses to believe the man is her husband, knowing that Curt would never stay away from her and his son.


The next morning, Mary Ellen stares at Curt’s medal when Jonesy enters her room. She suggests they postpone the wedding but Jonesy says he can’t wait.


Ike prepares to attend the grand opening of the Dew Drop Inn when Corabeth makes him feel guilty for going to the roadhouse. Ike suggests she go with him to keep him out of trouble. Elizabeth baby-sits John-Curtis, while Jonesy and Mary Ellen prepare to attend the festivities. When Mary Ellen drops the picture of Curt, John-Curtis says, “Daddy. It’s my Daddy!” The family has a great time at the Dew Drop Inn, as do Ike, Corabeth and the rest of the customers. But as the crowd thins Mary Ellen tells Jonesy that she must travel to Florida to find out if this man is her husband. The next morning, Jonesy says goodbye to the family then walks Mary Ellen to his car as he prepares to resume his trip. They kiss and he drives off.


"Mary Ellen thought that saying goodbye to Jonesy was the hardest thing she had ever done. But what lay ahead of her was to be even more difficult. The war was officially over but she had a private battle still to face".


Jim Bob: Jason?
Jason: Sorry, Jim Bob. I tripped over the waste basket.
Jim Bob: You just getting home?
Jason: It was hard closing up. Corabeth didn't want me to leave, she kept asking me to play her favorite piano roll.
Jim Bob: Yeh, so?
Jason: Moohlight Sonata.
Jim Bob: Goodnight Jason.
Jason: Goodnight Jim Bob.



Arlington Wescott Jones III (Jonesy) first appears in this episode. He is an only child, and has a college undergraduate degree in geology.

Jonesy bought his car in San Francisco, California.

Jonesy worked as a chef at the Surf Side Café on Pacific Beach (during college).

Jonesy tells Mary Ellen that Uncle Wiggly is his favorite story.

Jason is reopening the Dew Drop Inn on October 6.

Curtis Willard is living in Lockeburg, Florida, under the name Curt Packer, where he works as a hunting and fishing guide.

Betty Howell works part-time at a general store in Lockeburg, Florida.

Corabeth’s favorite piano roll is Moonlight Sonata. Information about the song appears at: http://www.8notes.com/scores/1754.asp.


Also appearing:

Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards), Cindy Walton (Leslie Winston), Rose Burton (Peggy Rea), John Curtis (Michael and Marshall Reed), Jonesy (Richard Gilliland), Betty Howell (Pamela McMyler), The Waitress (Debbie Richmond).