(1 December 1977)
Writers: Carole Raschella and Michael Raschella.
Director: Ralph Waite.
Music: Alexander Courage.
"With each passing year on Waltons Mountain our growth was sparked by learning and change. In fitting together the pieces of our developing personalities there came a time when my youngest brother Jim Bob had to make a decision which was to affect the rest of his life".
Elizabeth brings goldenrod to Grandpa who is missing Grandma still in the hospital. Elizabeth confides in her grandfather saying she especially misses Grandma during this time of the day because it was ‘our time’ together. The two walk to the barn in order to check Myrtle who is about to give birth. On the way, Jim Bob proudly shows them his new eagle hood ornament. But Elizabeth does not understand why Jim Bob and her don’t do things together any more. Grandpa explains a little about growing up.
In Rockfish, Sheriff Bridges talks with Harrison Bixby who is looking for a boy with the name of Joe Douglas. Down the street, Jim Bob finds Joe admiring his hood ornament. When the boy sees Bixby he quickly wants to leave. They drive out-of-town eating strawberry donuts. While waiting for the motor to cool down after it overheats, the pair imagine themselves driving motorcycles through hoops of fire as they travel across the country as ‘Wild Man Walton’ and ‘Daredevil Douglas’.
Mary Ellen bathes John Curtis while Olivia and Sarah Bridges drink tea at the supper table. Sarah wonders if it would be too late for her to have a family. Later, Joe joins the family for supper where he tells John he is from Falls Church. He adds his father works for the government as an accountant and he is on his way to Hampton to join the Army Air Corp. While horsing around in the yard John questions Joe about his plans. He decides to let Joe stay a few more days but doesn’t quite believe his story. The boys talk about parachute jumping at fairs but when Jim Bob races to find his kite Joe runs off to Mrs. Sweeney’s foster home. He tells his sister Claire to pack her suitcase and be ready to leave for Florida when he returns.
Elizabeth is alarmed to find Myrtle missing. She locates the pregnant goat at Maude’s who decides the mother-to-be should stay in her barn. While building their kite, Joe and Jim Bob decide they want to see the movie ‘Test Pilot’ with Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy. Both boys are broke but Sarah comes to the rescue and provides them money to see the movie. While at the movie, Olivia helps Sarah make curtains for her home. The boys are enjoying the airplane fights when Bixby sits behind them. They suddenly run out of the theater. The boys escape from the man but Joe finally has to admit he isn’t really joining the Army Air Corp. His parents died last year and since then he has lived in an orphanage while his sister was placed in Mrs. Sweeney’s foster home with the hope she would be adopted by a good family. Joe tries to convince Jim Bob to go with them to Florida when they run away. Jim Bob is unsure if that is a good idea.
Maude and Elizabeth drink milk and eat gingerbread while Maude relates some of her wild tales when she was a young girl. Myrtle gives birth but Maude still wants the pair to remain with her. Elizabeth doesn’t understand but Maude says she has her reasons. Elizabeth names the baby ‘Gingerbread’.
While Ep looks over the curtains Sarah made for their house, she asks Ep if they could start a family. Ep thinks he is too old to have another family but tells his wife he will think about it. The telephone rings with Mrs. Sweeney telling the Sheriff that Claire Douglas is missing. Ep remembers that Bixby was looking for a boy with the same last name. He tells this to Sarah who says the boy is staying at the Waltons. When Joe sees the Sheriff’s car approach the house Jim Bob hides his friend in the hayloft. Jim Bob decides to join Joe in his trip to Florida. When John enters the bedroom he sees his son’s knapsack and demands to know where he can find Joe. Ep returns Joe to the orphanage, now mad at Jim Bob for telling on him.
Sarah and Ep talk about the orphans over breakfast. Sarah wants to take in the seven-year old girl and sixteen-year-old boy. But Ep resists knowing the change that would take place in their lives. Ep visits Joe in order to talk over his dilemma with his wife. He wishes Sarah had told him her desire to have children before they were married. He loves her but does not know if he wants more children.
Elizabeth finds Maude has brought the goats to their place after finding it is too difficult to handle them. Maude admits she kept the goats because she wanted Elizabeth to visit her. Elizabeth promises to visit and says she can be her second grandma. Sarah and Ep make arrangements to have Claire and Joe visit them on the weekends; with the possibility of later adopting them. They bring the children over to the Waltons so Joe and Jim Bob can patch up their dispute. The boys are brought together with coaxing from Ep and John.
"The union was soon made permanent when Ep and Sarah adopted both children, and the space which Joe had filled for Jim Bob became a close and loyal friendship".
Jason: Go to sleep Jim Bob.
Jim Bob: It wasn't me!
Elizabeth: Gingerbread, hush!
Olivia: Elizabeth what's goin' on in there?
Elizabeth: It's kinda cold in the barn. I made a bed and cloths for the baby goat.
Erin: Elizabeth get that animal out of here.
Jason: Close the door Ben before it comes in and poops all over the floor.
Erin: Elizabeth: I will not sleep in the same room with a goat.
Elizabeth: Well, go sleep in the barn!
Olivia: Elizabeth I think you'd better take the goat to the barn.
Elizabeth: I'm scared of the dark...
Olivia: Erin go with her.
(everybody): Goodnight, Gingerbread!
Jim Bob’s car has a Model ‘A’ chassis and a Rolls Royce horn.
Jim Bob’s car license plates are 59-6082 Virginia.
Sarah Bridges’ car license plates are 60-7293 Virginia.
The episode occurs during the fall because Grandpa and Ben are hoeing corn stalks.
Ep has two grown up sons from his first marriage.
Sarah went to see Dr. Jackson in order to check her condition for childbirth.
Ike Godsey (Joe Conley); Sarah Bridges (Lynn Carlin); Ep Bridges (John Crawford); Joe Douglas (Peter Miner); Claire Douglas (Michelle Stacy); Maude Gormley (Merie Earle); Harrison Bixby (Dan Priest); Ed Larkin (Jerry Crews); Curt Willard (Tom Bower).