Episode 18 - The Attack

(15 February 1979)
Writer: E.F.Wallengren.
Director: Harry Harris.
Music: Alexander Courage.


"For as long as we could remember, Ike Godsey's general merchandise store had been the social center of our community. Friendships were forged over loaves of bread, the place was a clearing-house for news, rumor and often as not, gossip. Adventure in those days was having a nickel to spend and time to gaze into the candy counter for as long as we liked before making a selection. Little did we know then, how much that store and its occupants meant to us until one terrifying day in 1942".


Ike has suffered a severe heart attack. He is under the care of Dr. David Spencer who tells Ike that he should fully recover with the proper amount of rest. However, Corabeth is still very worried because doctors also told her father he would recover from his heart attack, but died a month later. While Ike remains at the Rockfish Hospital Elizabeth works at the store. When Erin finds that twelve dozen loaves of bread have arrived she checks Ike’s usual amount. Jim Bob has misread Ike’s instructions of twelve loaves.


John visits Ike at the hospital with a present from the Baldwin sisters. Both thirsty men think it is a jar of the Recipe, but the gift turns out to be a pair of binoculars. Miss Emily and Miss Mamie believe Ike will appreciate its use in order to watch birds from his window. Ike questions John about his store, worried whether enough food is arriving due to food rationing, especially of sugar. Ike is calmed to hear that the store is being properly cleaned and run by Elizabeth and the other Waltons. Ike admits to John that he wants to quickly return to the store but Corabeth insists he take it easy. While convalescing Ike has drawn his will that he now asks John to hold. Ike has made John his executor leaving everything to Corabeth except his fishing poles and guns that he has left to Jim Bob and Ben. Ike tells John that he loves him and that he has been the best friend he has ever had.


Corabeth wheels Ike outside the hospital for the first time since his illness. She admits being lost without him, which makes Ike feel it was worth having the heart attack just to hear her say those words. Corabeth suggests they move to a small cottage on the beach so she can care for him. She passionately asks Ike to sell the store and leave the Mountain so what happened to her Daddy will not happen to him. Ike is stunned, unable to say anything.


Ben and Jim Bob rig up a contraption to make molasses from wild sorghum, a substitute for sugar. They are forced to turn the mechanism themselves after earlier selling Old Blue to Clarence for fifteen dollars. When Clarence rides up on the mule, they ask to buy him back. Clarence says Old Blue is the best mule in the county and he could not possibly part with him for less than eighteen dollars. Ben finally agrees to the price. Later, Ben tells his father he should do less strenuous work because he could have a heart attack like Ike. John tells his son what Grandpa told him that he would rather work than do nothing.


Two businessmen look over Ike’s store while Elizabeth watches on. When Erin walks in during her lunch break at the Pickett plant, she thinks they want to buy the store. Elizabeth does not believe Ike would ever sell his store. That night Jim Bob and Ben pour eight gallons of molasses into jars after boiling down eighty gallons of sorghum. With the price of molasses at about thirty cents a gallon they do not think it was worth their efforts. Erin answers the telephone to find that Ike returns home tomorrow.


Ike, Corabeth, and Mary Ellen drive up to the store. Ike gazes upon the sign ‘General Merchandise – Ike Godsey, Prop.’ not believing he would ever see it again. The Walton’s children greet Ike inside. He learns that Erin has improved his paperwork according to her business books, Jim Bob and Ben have produced molasses to sell, and Elizabeth has performed most of the work at the store. But Ike and Corabeth sadly tell the group they plan to sell the store and move to Virginia Beach. Bill Snyder soon arrives to tell Ike he will buy the business and replace the wood porch and flooring with cement and linoleum, level the second floor for more space, remove the pool table, and other assorted moderizations. At the news that the store will never be the same, Ike refuses to sell stating he would rather die a storekeeper than live in a rocking chair. Corabeth does not understand when Ike says he cannot wash his whole life down the drain. Ike adds that he would rather work and live with dignity on Walton’s Mountain than wait to die at Virginia Beach. Realizing Ike’s world revolves around his store, Corabeth places his work apron around her husband.


"Because Elizabeth had proved herself so capable during Ike's absence she was hired to work in the store while Ike continued to recuperate under Corabeth's watchful eye. Ike Godsey lived for many years after his heart attack and his deep commitment to his store became an example to all of us of courage and devotion, of victory of the human spirit. Ike's gone now, but the store is still there, it's become a landmark. How Ike would have loved that! Goodnight Mr Godsey!"


Jim Bob: Daddy?
John: Yes Jim Bob?
Jim Bob: It's hard for me to breathe.
John: Does your chest hurt?
Jim Bob: Sort of. I think I'm having a heart attack.
Jason: I think he's having a sorgum attack. He ate 5 pieces of corn bread covered with syrup....
John: Is that right, Son?
Jim Bob: No Sir, I had eight pieces.
John: Goodnight, Jim Bob....
Jim Bob: Goodnight everybody!



Ike has owned his store for over thirty years.


Also appearing:

Ike Godsey (Joe Conley); Corabeth Godsey (Ronnie Claire Edwards); David Spencer (Christopher Woods); Maude Gormley (Merie Earle); Ed Whipple (Lew Brown); Bill Snyder (Stanley Grover); Clarence (Kenny Marquis).