Episode 3 - The Moonshiner

12 October 1978)
Writer: Jeb Rosebrook.
Director: Lawrence Dobkin.
Music: Alexander Courage.


"I well remember my grandfather speaking of the two ideals he felt so much a part of the human spirit. They were, he said, love and loyalty. During that Autumn of 1941 his ideals were to be well tested by those people fate and a changing times would return to Waltons Mountain. It was a time when our brother Jason most keenly felt the loss of our grandfather".


At the courthouse, Jason listens to the case of ‘Boone Walton versus the People of the United States of America’. The judge has found Boone guilty of selling bootleg whiskey when Jason speaks on behalf of the convict. Jason tells the judge that Boone’s life in the mountains is the only one he has known. When the government took it away he was unable to adapt to a new life. Jason is prepared to pay the fine and place him in his custody. In response Boone’s sentence is suspended and he is fined one hundred dollars. Jason takes him home, promising him work at the new co-op headed by John. On the way home, Boone sees a billboard stating ‘The Home of Progress – Jefferson County’ and wonders whose progress it is for.


At the residence of the Baldwin sisters, chaos is rampant as Miss Mamie and Miss Emily search for something misplaced. Ike who brings their groceries interrupts them. They tell him that a tragedy has befallen them but cannot tell him or anybody about it. At the Godsey’s store, Corabeth sees Daisy Garner with a young girl stop her car in front of the gas pumps. She wonders why John-Boy and her never married.


Boone joins the men at the mill doing contract work for the U.S. government, the same government that forced him off his land. Inside the house, Mary Ellen defends Boone while Olivia and Grandpa take the opposite side. The women are in a fit after talking about Boone when Elizabeth sees Daisy and Melissa Garner walking up to the house. Daisy is returning the engagement ring John-Boy gave her after their correspondence declined since he moved to London. She is moving to New York City after her mother recently passed away. Daisy asks for Olivia’s forgiveness but Olivia says it is not for her to forgive. Although she resents Daisy for not being truthful to John-Boy she invites them to stay the night. Over dessert on picnic tables Boone talks about his days of moonshining. The children have little interest in his tales but Daisy says she likes his stories. Boone returns the compliment saying she must be a fine dancer. Later in the shed, Jason sneaks Boone a jug that Grandpa had hid for special people, saying it was a gift from friends. Boone says he would like to meet Zeb’s friends that made the Recipe.


Boone talks with Easter, saying that one bad thing about living a long time is seeing many friends and family die. He craves to see Zeb again, a man who unlike him had the gift of words. Boone’s words make Grandma smile. But the next day, Boone is missing. Jason finds him building a still on Waltons Mountain, jeopardizing the family with his illegal activity. Boone rationalizes that he is constructing the still so he can pass his knowledge to the younger Waltons. Jason convinces him instead to go rabbit hunting. While tracking Boone relates the story as to why he sings a particular song. Fifty-three years ago Boone fell in love and married Rose Jameson. They settled in Blue Rock Hollow where their son was born the next year. Sadly, Boone relates how a flood in the spring of 1888 ‘took my home, took my son, took my Rose’.


After convincing Daisy to stay on the Mountain, Mary Ellen settles her and Melissa into her empty house. They talk about the war and their wait for John-Boy and Curt to come home. At Ike’s store, Elizabeth tells Corabeth that Melissa is Daisy’s little girl. When Corabeth asks about her husband, Elizabeth says she has never been married. Corabeth insists that Aimee is not to associate with a ‘love child’ so that her daughter is not subjected to ’the tawdry side of life’.


Jason and Boone visit the Baldwin sisters but find them distraught after losing the recipe to the Recipe. Boone comes to their rescue by restoring the proper mix of ingredients. Miss Mamie and Miss Emily reward him with more of the Recipe. After supper the family wonders where Jason and Boone have gone. When Elizabeth asks her mother what is a ‘love child’, the family rallies around Daisy. Then the two men return home drunk and loudly singing. John tells Boone he does not appreciate him getting his son drunk. The next day Jason finds Boone ready to shotgun the billboard that announces new prosperity. Unable to convince him otherwise, Boone blasts the billboard and walks away. Jason whispers, ‘I trusted you’.


Olivia and Daisy walk into the Godsey’s store to convince Corabeth it is unfair to shut out Melissa for a terrible mistake her mother made. Olivia reminds Corabeth that when she and Ike adopted Aimee it did not matter to them what was included in her past. Corabeth reconsiders her feelings and welcomes Daisy and Melissa into the community.


As Jason prepares to leave for the Dew Drop Inn and John and Daisy sit on the front porch, Boone walks up to give Jason the hundred dollars he owes. Boone asks for his freedom and a twenty-four hour head start so he can lose himself in the Blue Ridge where no one will be able to find him. Jason agrees. Daisy kisses Boone on the cheek telling him he is a ‘very special man’. Removing his hat in respect Boone tells Daisy, ‘If you are ever in the mountains and come on the wild rose, pick it for me.’


"The Law never did catch Boone, from time to time he would slip back to visit us. He was always loved and respected as the last Walton who's ways were swiftly vanishing and who's secrets were revealed only to Jason. Boone Walton was killed by a truck while crossing the highway one dark night. He was 87 years old, and was carrying 2 gallons of moonshine".


Jason (singing): While sailing on the ocean, while sailing on the deep, I'll think of handsome Moses, just as I go to sleep.
John: Goodnight Jason.
Jason: Goodnight Daddy.



Boone Walton is first introduced in The Conflict (season three, episode one).

Boone Walton’s trial is held at the Jefferson County Municipal Courthouse.

The license plates on Jason’s car are 577-265 Virginia (1941).

Boone Walton married Rose Jameson at the church in Albemarle.

Boone and Rose Walton’s son was named Henry Jameson Walton.

Boone sold his shotgun at a pawnshop to pay back Jason the money he owes.


Also appearing:

Ike Godsey (Joe Conley); Corabeth Godsey (Ronnie Claire Edwards); Aimee Godsey (Rachel Longaker); Miss Mamie Baldwin (Helen Kleeb); Miss Emily Baldwin (Mary Jackson); Boone Walton (Morgan Woodward); The Judge (Ford Rainey); Daisy Garner (Deirdre Lenihan); Melissa Garner (Brandi Tucker)