Episode 16 - The Matchmakers


(9 January 1975) 63-3-16

Writer: John McGreevey.

Director: Jack Shea.

Music: Alexander Courage.


"When you're part of a family where eleven people live under one roof, you're not likely to spend much time thinking about loneliness, you're more likely to be looking for ways to have even a few minutes by yourself. But, I remember a visitor who showed us all the face of loneliness, not only her own, but that of a man close to us, a man we had, until then, taken for granted, but had never really known."


John-Boy returns home with peppermints for the children. At the table, John-Boy finds that Erin is feeling sorry for herself. A knock at the front door is heard, and John-Boy finds Ike standing on the porch with a woman. The woman recognizes the Waltons, and soon they realize its Cousin Corabeth (“Corrie”). She announces that her Momma just died last month at the age of 79. Corabeth tells everyone that she is on her way to Richmond to “look for a position”. John-Boy and Jason gather up her suitcases as she invites herself to stay. John-Boy gives up his bedroom, assuring Corabeth that it is just a guestroom and that he only stays there when they don’t have visitors.


Corabeth thanks Mr. Godsey for his kindness, and he responds by saying he is happy to help out. Grandpa snickers at their interchange. As John-Boy moves out his possessions, Corabeth asks for a cup of tea, and (maybe) a piece of bread with butter or jam. Later, as Grandma kneads bread dough, she begins to criticize Corabeth for not doing anything all morning. After retrieving some of his things, John-Boy finds that Corabeth has completely redecorated his room. She suggests that he take all of his possessions out of “her” room, and store her suitcases. John-Boy tells everybody that he thinks she plans to stay awhile.


Corabeth plays the piano while the family waits to listen to “Edgar and Charlie” on the radio. Corabeth plays To the Wild Rose, but stops so the family can turn on the radio. The next day John picks up a couple pounds of three-penny nails and wire at Ike’s store for one dollar, sixty-three cents. When Ike gives John a fancy box of chocolate, John asks him if he wants it to be a gift for Corabeth. Ike says yes, confessing he wants to know her better. John invites Ike for supper tomorrow night, and then tells Ike that he is “moonstruck”. Ike smiles a big smile.


Miss Emily and Miss Mamie walk to the house as Grandma and Olivia try to quickly straighten up the living room. The Baldwin sisters are fairly sure that Corabeth invited them for Wednesday afternoon tea, but admit they could be wrong. Grandma begins the tea while Olivia tells Corabeth about their guests. Corabeth admits forgetting to tell them of her invitation. While Olivia helps Grandma, Corabeth converses with the sisters. Afterwards, John, Olivia, Grandma, and Grandpa discuss about how to deal with Corabeth, thinking it is time for her to move on. Grandma remembers the time when Felicity Walton visited Cousin Alisa and Uncle Amos, and is still in the house years after their deaths. John suggests preparing a special supper because Ike is coming to dinner with intentions to court Corabeth. Olivia decides to make applesauce cake.


After supper, Ike and Corabeth sit on the front porch as the Walton adults sit at the table. Olivia can’t believe that Ike is interested in Corabeth. Ike and Corabeth enter the house. Ike feels it is time to leave because Corabeth has a headache. Ike thanks the family, and thanks Corabeth for the conversation. After Ike leaves, the family try to show Corabeth how much Ike is interested in her, but she is more concerned with her headache.


John-Boy drives Erin to Charlottesville to have her picture taken. Erin doesn’t know why he would waste his tutoring money, but John-Boy says she will be “pretty as a picture”. Inside the studio they find a mother and daughter waiting for the photographer. As the mother visits Harper’s Drug Store, Rebecca and Erin talk about their nervousness. At the house, Ike invites Corabeth, Olivia, and John to a fancy French restaurant in Charlottesville called the Versailles. Later, at the restaurant, they talk after eating dinner. Ike says, “The smile of a happy woman is better than ten thousand words”. John and Olivia go dancing, but Corabeth says no when Ike asks her to dance. Ike then says, “Two may talk, and one may hear. But, three may not take part in the conversation of the most sincere and searching kind.” With Corabeth ignoring him Ike mentions a quote by George Bernard Shaw: “Everything will happen to everybody if there is enough time.” Ike confesses that he’s been living alone since the age of fifteen, and has missed out a lot by being alone. Corabeth stares at John and Olivia, and wonders why some people are so lucky.


Back home, John and Olivia tell Grandma and Grandpa about their wonderful evening, but confess that Ike and Corabeth’s evening was not so good. Just then, Corabeth runs inside crying and blurts out, “Ike asked me to marry him. And I said Yes!” In the morning, John enters Ike’s store. Ike is exuberant about getting married. He asks John to be his best man. John sits Ike down, and asks him if he is making a mistake, after being a bachelor for so long and after knowing Corabeth for so short of time. Ike says that he is tired of being alone, and being lonely. Further, Ike says that whatever happens will be better than what he has now, which is nothing. John congratulates Ike, and Ike smiles and shakes his best man’s hand.


John-Boy and Erin look her finished photographs at the studio. The photographer suggests that Erin enter the “Jefferson County Sweetheart Contest”. Soon, Mrs. Cook and Rebecca enter to view their pictures. Both girls like each other’s pictures, and both agree to enter the contest. At the same time, Ike shows Corabeth and Olivia his home, along with pictures of his Mother and Father and his chair and bed. Ike is exuberant with wanting to please Corabeth, willing to do anything to fix it to her liking. Ike even agrees to add a room, hoping Corabeth will consider it their home. Corabeth excuses herself after feeling overwhelmed with Ike’s actions.


Corabeth retrieves her suitcase, having decided to cancel the wedding, and move to Richmond. Corabeth informs the family that they will be rid of her shortly. Olivia walks to Corabeth and tries to understand her predicament. But, Corabeth tells her that she has everything she wants. She realizes Ike is a kind, good, and caring man. While taking care of her parents, she hoped for years that someone special would come into her life. But, he never did. Corabeth sees that special bond in John and Olivia, and is afraid she will never have it. Olivia tells her that people marry for different reasons: for security, companionship, love, and sometimes all three. Some people just need each other, and develop feelings over time. Corabeth says she is frightened. Olivia, says, “I suppose Ike is, too.”


In the morning, John finds Ike outside all dressed for the wedding, still eight hours away. Ike is obviously nervous and John takes him inside for coffee and reassurance. Ike is having second thoughts, saying he is unsure if he can make these changes. (Ike admits he doesn’t wear pajamas to bed.) John says that in a marriage a person gives up some things, and takes on other things. John also says that marriage is a good thing, and reminds Ike that he doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life alone. They share a cup of coffee.


Before the wedding ceremony, John calms Ike’s nerves. While in another room Miss Emily and Miss Mamie give Corabeth one of their finest lace hankies, while Olivia gives Corabeth something borrowed, Elizabeth a bunch of flowers (something new), and Grandma a garter from her wedding (something blue). As Corabeth’s maid-of-honor She asks Olivia to stay close to her. Zeb walks Corabeth down the aisle, as Jason plays The Wedding March on the church organ. Rev. Fordwick performs the ceremony.


"I couldn't say that Cousin Corabeth and Ike lived happily ever after, but it seemed they had their share of happiness along with their troubles and griefs. To my knowledge, my father never again played the role of matchmaker, though with four sons and three daughters his opportunities were endless".


Elizabeth: Mother?

Olivia: Yes, Elizabeth?

Elizabeth: I found a four-leaved clover today.

Olivia: Now you'll have good luck!

Elizabeth: I gave it to my friend Nancy.

Olivia: Uh huh?

Elizabeth: Nancy needs it more than me.

Olivia: That's very generous of you.

Elizabeth: It was easy, because I've already picked out my husband....

Olivia: Goodnight Elizabeth.

Elizabeth: Goodnight.




Corabeth (“Corrie”) Walton first appears in this episode.

Corabeth and her parents lived near the Waltons when John-Boy was just a little boy (the other children had not been born yet).

John-Boy remembers a bowl of candy next to the bed of the daddy of Corabeth (once when he was sick).

At the time of her Momma’s death (at age of 79), they lived in Doe Hill. (In reality, Doe Hill is located near the border with West Virginia, and west of Staunton, Virginia; near the intersection of Routes 220 and 250.)


Also appearing:

Ike Godsey (Joe Conley), Miss Mamie and Miss Emily Baldwin (Helen Kleeb and Mary Jackson); Corabeth Walton (Ronnie Claire Edwards); Rev Fordwick (John Ritter); Rebecca Cook (Audrey Berindey); Mrs. Cook (Lanna Saunders); Belden (Jon Locke).