The Empty Nest
Miss Mamie and Miss Emily have a young cousin staying with them, Mary Francis Conover. She and Jim Bob Walton meet when a kite he is flying becomes tangled up in a tree. Mary Francis climbs the tree to get the kite down, while Jim Bob is trying to find it by following the string. He comes across both the kite and Mary Francis stuck near the top of the tree. Jim Bob is in love. The two of them have a wonderful time together, but there is something that Mary Francis is not telling him.
Corabeth is appalled at finding that Jim Bob and Mary Francis are dating, because she has discovered that Mary Francis is not one of their kind. What she means is that she is Catholic. She is also preparing to become a nun and is here on Waltons Mountain to really think about and confirm her decision. Obviously her friendship with Jim Bob, and his devotedness, is making her question whether it is really the decision that she wants to make. Two nuns from her school arrive at the Baldwin home to talk to Mary Francis about her thoughts. Mary Francis realises how Jim Bob feels and Sister Scholastica encourages her to talk of her decision with him. Although he is broken hearted, Jim Bob does realise that her calling to be a nun is similar to his own longing to be a pilot and he accepts her decision.
In the meantime Ben comes across a man by the name of Beau Pauley, and likes him, so he offers him a job at the mill. He seems to work well and is always singing, but he is also a man who likes his secret nips of alcohol. Ben finds that he has to sack him, however, after the two arrive home late one night from the Dew Drop Inn and Beau trashes the mill trying to find more alcohol.
- Joe Conley as Ike Godsey
- Ronnie Claire Edwards as Corabeth Walton Godsey
- Helen Kleeb as Miss Mamie Baldwin
- Mary Jackson as Miss Emily Baldwin
- There are some very funny scenes in this episode. One is where Corabeth feels she must warn Olivia that Jim Bob is going out with that Catholic girl, and Olivia replies that Corabeth might try praying for tolerance. Naturally Corabeth is appalled. The other is where the Baldwin sisters are entertaining one of the nuns. One calls the other "Sister" then, when the nun looks up, she realises her mistake and becomes quite flustered as she tries to explain that the two women do call each other "Sister" all the time, but they are not nuns, nor Catholic, but are in fact, sisters!