The Dust Bowl Cousins
John Boy Walton meets A.J. Covington, when his truck breaks down and A.J. stops to help him fix it. He tells John Boy that he is a writer, and John Boy is so fascinated by meeting his first writer that he takes him home to meet his family. When he says that he has done a little saw milling work, he suggests that John might keep him on to help fill an order of timber, and pay him in room and board. During the time that he is with the Walton family, he keeps John Boy entertained by telling him stories of adventures he has had, and writers that he has known. Unfortunately though, on their trip to the mountain to get more logs for the timber contract they are working on, John Boy and A.J. get a bit too involved with editing John Boy's work that they forget to cut enough wood for the rest of the men at home to cut into timber.
Grandma appears to think that A.J. is just telling John Boy stories to make himself appear better in John Boy's eyes, so when he suggests that he look at Jim Bob's severe stomach ache, she is quite skeptical. He suggests though that Jim Bob has appendicitis, and realises that Jim Bob needs to go urgently to the hospital to have his appendix removed. Before he leaves the Walton home, he gives the following advice to John Boy: write about what he knows…his life, his family, his friends.
- David Huddleston as A.J. Covington
- This episode won for Gene Fowler Jnr., Marjorie Fowler & Anthony Wollmer an Emmy for Cinematography for a Single Episode of a Drama Series.
- NOTE 2: The character of A.J. Covington once more in an episode during season 4, called The Abdication.
Esther 'Grandma' Walton: If I had a son his age who was out at all hours like John-Boy is of recent, he'd have his bottom well scorched!
Zeb 'Grandpa' Walton: Your son sitting over there was an awful lot worse than John-Boy, and I don't recall his bottom getting scorched too much by you!
Esther 'Grandma' Walton: (scowls)
John Walton: (grins)
John 'John-Boy' Walton: We were thinking too much about adjectives and not enough about choppin'.