Mary Ellen (the “Medicine Woman” of Waltons Mountain) notices that Sweet Billy isn’t looking well lately. When he collapses, she brings him to Charlottesville Hospital, where he dies. Feeling powerless to have helped him because she is not a doctor, she enrolls in a premed program at Boatwright College, only to be told no females will be allowed. The dean of admissions changes his tune when she returns with a more rehearsed entreaty, and now she’s on her way.
On the war front: John Boy celebrates Jason’s birthday with goodies from home: a gingerbread cake and the Baldwins’ recipe, mailed with the help of an Erin-smitten transport clerk. Another cute subplot involves Corabeth baking a cake for a young solder by mailed request from the soldier’s mother.
Mary Ellen, proto-feminist that she is, presages the single-working mother with her unpopular decision to pursuse higher education while raising her infant son. By now, this was fast becoming a reality in the nascent workforce climate of the early 80’s. Conservative John not too happy, but he’ll just wait and see!
Interesting score here – more flute flourishes, fewer strings.