Ben and Jim-Bob get on each other's nerves. They end up dating each other's girlfriends. Meanwhile, Mamie Baldwin sees a rose bush dying and thinks it means she will die. Grandpa finds a way to help her feel young again.



(created by) (as Earl Hamner), | 1 more credit »

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Episode credited cast:
Mary Ellen Walton (as Judy Norton-Taylor)
Erin Walton (as Mary Elizabeth McDonough)
The Narrator (voice) (as Earl Hamner)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Debbie Gunn ...
Mary Jackson ...
Marshall Reed ...
Michael Reed ...

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Ben and Jim-Bob get on each other's nerves. They end up dating each other's girlfriends. Meanwhile, Mamie Baldwin sees a rose bush dying and thinks it means she will die. Grandpa finds a way to help her feel young again.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family | Romance




Release Date:

12 January 1978 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Narrator: [narration as John 'John Boy' Walton, Jr. reading from his journal] It was spring on Waltons Mountain, and after the confinement of a long winter life burst forth with such energy that every creature seemed charged with it, including the two young stallions in our house, Ben and Jim Bob.
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References Naughty Marietta (1935) See more »


By the Light of the Silvery Moon
Music by Gus Edwards
Lyrics by Edward Madden
Performed by Jon Walmsley and cast
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User Reviews

Much better than expected
26 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When I recorded it on UP this morning and saw it at lunchtime. I had read the plot description about Ben and Jim Bob dating each others' girls and about Miss Emily Baldwin feeling that this would be her last spring. I thought, "This might be one to skip," but I watched it anyhow.

Surprisingly good. It had all the elements the other good episodes had, only without there being any real danger to anyone's health or anyone losing their property or being arrested.

The drama dealt with Ben substituting for Jim Bob on a date with Patsy when he had finished his painting work for the day on the living room, while Jim Bob had a couple of hours left, having forgotten his date.

So Jim Bob decides to ask Ben's girl, Ruby for a date. She agreed and for most of the episode the boys were bickering while dating girls more the age of their brothers.

Miss Emily had seen signs such as a dying plant and their big grandfather clock stopping, plus other things to make her think "her time" was near. Grandpa was featured here, agreeing to be her executor and doing things to get her to see that there's no point sitting around waiting for your time, even if it is near.

The key scene came when Grandpa came up with an ingenious idea for the big family picnic, that included the Baldwins. At this picnic, Ben and Jim Bob wound up ending their feud.(Guess that isn't really a spoiler, but I'll leave out details of how they did it.) I thought Ralph Waite really shined here as he told Olivia that Ben and Jim Bob would work out their problems, just like he had with his brother when they were teenagers, and in his other scenes. I have long thought him to have been the BEST actor in the series.

I particularly liked two amusing scenes--one at the family supper table, and one in the garden when John started a little dance on his own, then got spotted by Olivia. She asked, "When are you going to take me strutting?" Instead of feeling embarrassed, he smiled and called out, "Anytime," and sort of danced over toward her.

It was this sort of scene that to me typifies what made this such an enjoyable series. The characters were realistic, including doing some silly things, just like everyone I know in real life--most especially me.

One could come up with a list of all the "KEY" episodes, where big things happened to the family--marriages, moving away, new jobs, death, graduations, etc. I'm sure for most people, the overall best episodes are selected from this group of shows.

On the list of episodes that never headed toward anything of that nature, nobody with a big disease, dying, etc., this might be one of the very best.

One last note: I've been watching most of Season 6, the first year after John Boy left for New York. The series did go down in the final years, but this season was still a very strong group of shows. I would probably say, overall, 90% as good as previous years.

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