Grandma is turning 68 and concerned about getting old. She may have a hearing loss. Mary Ellen is attracted to a college man.



(created by) (as Earl Hamner),

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video



1 video »


Episode credited cast:
Olivia Walton (as Miss Michael Learned)
Erin Walton (as Mary Elizabeth McDonough)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
David Doremus ...


Grandma is turning 68 and concerned about getting old. She may have a hearing loss. Mary Ellen is attracted to a college man.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Family | Romance




Release Date:

3 January 1974 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The yellow rose bouquet changes from full bloom to closed buds and back again between scenes. See more »


Mary Ellen Walton: [when Olivia asks how she met Kevin Sturgess] Well, I was wading in the lake, just cooling off. I turned around and there he was. Tall and handsome. Sun makin' his hair shine. It was just like a movie!
Olivia Walton: Sounds like it.
Mary Ellen Walton: And it all happened so fast! He thinks I'm lots older than I am.
Olivia Walton: And you didn't bother to correct the impression.
Mary Ellen Walton: Oh, Mama, I just couldn't! Well, when it was happening, I wasn't 14. 14 is just a kid. Well, I don't really know how to explain it. Well, lots of times lately, I just ...
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Young Love
24 February 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

TITLE: The Awakening Original Airdate: January 3, 1974 Writer: Joanna Lee Director: Lee Philips

PROLOGUE: "Many times when I have tripped across those events in one's life called milestones, I have thought about how they so often catch us unawares. There was, for instance, that unforgettable Spring many years ago when in the same week Grandma had to face growing old, Mary Ellen had to face the feelings of a woman."

SYNOPSIS: Grandma is showing signs of poor hearing but doesn't want to admit that she is having difficulty. After dinner they listen to the President Roosevelt, give his speech on The New Deal. Grandma doesn't agree with the President's ideas calling him a crazy man. John says that she will be turning 68 in a few days and now qualifies to collect Old Age Pension" Grandma doesn't feel old on the inside but she doesn't recognize herself in the mirror anymore. Mary Ellen stops at Drucilla's Pond to cool her feet. Kevin Sturges, a med student at the University of Virginia sees her and is taken by her beauty. He asks her to drop her hair to her shoulders and they share a passionate kiss. He has come to the pond to do some fishing but he ends up catching Mary Ellen's heart instead. He is 20 and he asks if she is, 16 or 17 she says he guessed close enough. She says her house is the first one up the road on the left about a mile away. John-Boy asks his father if he can use the garden shed as an office. Mary Ellen confides with her Mama about meeting Kevin. She says it was just like a movie and asks if this what it's like to be in love. She admits that she didn't admit to being 14. When she asks about growing up Olivia tells that her that becoming a woman isn't a sentence it's a beginning of new possibilities, love, marriage, children ... if that is what she wants. After school, she plays it cool when G.W. Haines shows her some attention. She becomes frustrated by the other children in her bedroom and asks her Mama if she can move into the garden shed. John-Boy has a meltdown when he is asked to be understanding of Mary Ellen's needs. When Grandma comes to to see what the commotion is about, she faints and falls from the back porch step. Dr. Vance feels that she is having an inner ear problem and needs to go to Charlottesville to have it assessed. When Grandpa can't persuade her to go he storms off in a fit. He meets up with John-Boy and to calm down he tells him about a girl he met when he was young that people called Sissy. She was a young thing, smart as a whip and could hold her own with any man and at 18, she wanted to go to Richmond and open a dress shop. Grandpa says that he feels sorry for Sissy because her dreams never amounted to anything. When John-Boy asked what happened to her Grandpa replies that he married her.

QUESTIONS: Why did Grandma feel threatened? What was Grandma Claim to fame? What did Mary Ellen learn from her Grandma?

EPILOGUE: "Mary Ellen's new found maturity was with her one day then gone the next; in time it was to come to stay. Today she lives in Richmond, Virginia, the wife of a professor at Virginia Commonwealth University and the mother of 2 sons. We see each other when we can, and our talk is apt to return to those days during the Depression which these many years later still seem filled with wonder"

MY THOUGHTS: Everyone goes through young love and this episode was not about young love but also what happens when you start getting old. Just like Grandma I don't like to think I'm getting old either but someday it hits me hard that I'm getting old and that I will never be the same. Therefore, I give this episode 7 weasel stars.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Esther's character too nasty landrew120880
Season 8 Episode 11 - Were those in fashion in 1944??? risabush-211-434133
Filmed in California not in Virginia RhysSmith81
Even The Waltons show was not immune to Add-A-Kid Syndrome! wrialhuden
One of the WORST characters...... MagnifiqueIsMe
Favorite episode sam-b-spade
Discuss The Awakening (1974) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: