Episode 22 - Grandma Comes Home

(30 March 1978)

Writers: Rod Peterson and Claire Whitaker.

Director: Ralph Senensky.

Music: Alexander Courage.



Special Guest Star: Ellen Corby


"Tonight we proudly welcome home Miss Ellen Corby as Grandma Walton".


"A house alone has little meaning, it's the people that live there who bring it to life and give it character. All during my grandmother's absence our house and everyone in it seemed to long for her return. Grandpa never stopped hoping that she would come home, and finally there came a day when his prayers were to be answered".


Grandpa is too excited to eat breakfast as he prepares to bring Easter home from the hospital. Mary Ellen explains that Grandma still cannot speak after her stroke. After Zeb leaves, the family prepares the house for Grandma's return. At the store, Ike fills Jason's grocery list while Corabeth and the Baldwin sisters listen to Jason explain Grandma's speech problems. Miss Emily states that their Papa suffered a stroke, too.


Back home John and Ben ready Grandma's rocking chair and reminisce how she rocked each baby in the old rocker. Suddenly, Jason hears the truck's horn blaring off in the distance. He yells out to everybody,'Grandma is coming home'. Everyone kisses and hugs her, glad that Grandma is finally home. At the supper table, Grandpa says a prayer rejoicing at the reunion with his wife. Grandpa cuts Easter's meat when she is unable to use the knife. And when she is unable to talk, Zeb answers questions directed toward her. Elizabeth's friend Clarence joins the family for dessert of chocolate pie after bringing a pig named Jay-Bez for her 4-H project. John joins his mother on the porch, reminiscing about growing up with his brother Ben. John says, 'There is nothing to be afraid of in silence. Just being near each other is what really counts.'


Grandpa readies their bed while Grandma brings her diary to the bed. When Zeb mentions that Zuleika Dunbar brought him a carrot cake while she was in the hospital, Easter does not become angry. Zeb wonders what is wrong. The Walton family gather at church services where Rev. Buchanan announce the return of Easter who helped build the church and is a pillar to her family and the community.


On Monday morning, Elizabeth is searching for Jay-Bez when Clarence returns the pig who has wondered back to his home. He asks Elizabeth to walk with him to school, but she says she is not ready. Olivia confronts Elizabeth about her white lie. She says the kids at school make fun of him because he is overweight. Olivia makes her catch up to him explaining he is her friend who has helped with her 4-H project. Erin and Mary Ellen perform the chores, not allowing Grandma to help. Later Miss Emily and Miss Mamie bring over a decanter of the Recipe that Easter willingly gives to her husband. Zeb cannot understand her actions. The sisters bring Easter up-to-date on the goings-on with the Ladies Aid Society.


John and Zeb prepare to deliver a lumber order and drop off Olivia for some shopping. Zeb, however, will not allow Easter to join Olivia feeling it is too strenuous for her. Olivia admits to John and Zeb that she thinks Grandma is being pampered too much. Zeb places responsibility on taking care of Grandma with the children. Mary Ellen brings John Curtis out to Grandma on the porch so he can have his bottle. She leaves to take down the laundry from the clothesline. Ben hands John Curtis to Grandma while he goes off to fix the wheel on the carriage. Ben brings the baby carriage to Mary Ellen saying something is wrong with John Curtis. But Ben has placed Jay-Bez into the carriage unknown to Mary Ellen. She blows up at Ben.


Later, Grandma tries to answer the telephone with Erin on the other end. With mumbles coming from the phone, Erin thinks something is wrong. She calls Sheriff Bridges, asking him to find her parents. Later, Jim Bob takes Grandma on a ride in the car he just got running. In the meantime, Ben and Elizabeth run after Jay-Bez. When John, Olivia, and Grandpa return after getting Erin's message, they cannot find Grandma. Soon Jim Bob drives up with Grandma and Elizabeth and Ben walk up with Ben covered with mud. John balls out the children for not properly taking care of Grandma. Easter unsuccessfully tries to explain that she is fine and enjoyed her ride in Jim Bob's car.


Elizabeth and Clarence meet at the bridge so he can return Jay-Bez. Clarence admits he thinks she is beautiful but that he is just the 'fat kid' at school. Elizabeth tells him that 'it is what is inside that counts' and that he 'has a thin soul'. They agree to work together at Clarence's since the pig will not stay at the Walton's.


Olivia asks Grandma to help snap green beans. Grandma is anxious to help. Easter tries to explain how she feels but Olivia cannot understand her. Finally, Olivia hears, 'Need me?' and asks Easter, 'You don't think anybody needs you?' When Olivia says that the family does need her, they break down in tears. That night while Grandma sleeps Grandpa reads her diary, desperately trying to find what is wrong. In the morning, John and Olivia find him in the kitchen still reading the diary. Grandpa finds that Easter has promised God that if he allows her to come home she will not be 'sharp-tongued'. Grandma overhears what Zeb says but is not angry. Grandpa says that before her stroke she would have walloped him. As Grandma leaves for the porch, Olivia explains that they all have been treating her like an invalid and that as people grow older they desire to feel needed.


Grandpa follows Easter to the porch to say that he also made a promise that he would let her sit in the sun and not lift a finger, if God would let her come home. But Zeb tells Easter that he is going to break that promise when he says, 'Old woman, if you want any breakfast you better start sweeping this porch and earn your keep. And that's the way it's going to be from now on out!' Grandma grabs the broom and hits Grandpa. Zeb yells, 'Whoopee! You've come home, Easter, You've come home!' Grandma slowly responds, 'You old fool.' Nothing could have sounded sweeter to Grandpa than those words.


"My grandmother had finally come home, and once again she became her old self, giving us the benefit of her wisdom and love. That old house will always live in my memory, espceially when it comes time to say 'Goodnight'".


Jim Bob: This little piggy went to market.
Erin: Goodnight Jim Bob.
Jason and Ben: And this little piggy stayed at home!
Elizabeth: Goodnight Jason, goodnight Ben.
Mary Ellen and Erin This little piggy had roast beef.
Elizabeth: 'Night Erin, 'night Mary Ellen.
Grandpa: And this little piggy went wee wee wee all the way home to Clarences'.
Elizabeth: Goodnight Grandpa:.
Olivia: Goodnight Grandma.
John: Goodnight Ma.
Grandma (slowly): Goodnight, everyone.



Clarence gives Elizabeth the pig Jay-Bez for her 4-H project.


Also appearing:

Ike and Corabeth Godsey (Joe Conley and Ronnie Claire Edwards), Miss Emily and Miss Mamie Baldwin (Mary Jackson and Helen Kleeb), Clarence (Kenny Marquis), Rev. Hank Buchanan (Peter Fox).