about John and Olivia from The Waltons show.
Olivia is the loving but dominate, red-headed, wise wife of John Walton.
When it comes to raising their children, she is usually the worrisome, strict,
direct parent while John is usually the more lenient one. But that doesn't
mean he neglects his duty or never guides his children! Yes, he's had his
share of being 'the bad guy' in their eyes too. Olivia listens to her children
about their goals, dreams, hopes, and many, many, many problems they
encounter as they grow up. She is always ready to give advice or at least
some comforting train of thought-unless they've done
something they shouldn't!-. John also listens to his children, most of the
time. In the above picture from The Honeymoon episode, John and
Olivia have gone alone out of town to celebrate the honeymoon
they were unable to have when they first got married. Yet, Olivia keeps
worrying about the children back home and John keeps trying to get
her to act like a newlywed.
John and Olivia live for each other's happiness to the fullest, but they have
their share of arguments and stubbornness. One time, I can't remember
which episode, while working in the mill shop, John and Grandpa
got into a heated disagreement. John was ranting on Grandpa who
walked out and Olivia heard it all. Though she was angry with her husband
for what he said, she knew he had a deadline to meet and walked in
telling him, "Show me what to do." She was going to help him with
the wood work.
John, frustrated, angry, and a bit prideful, flatly stated, "This isn't woman's
Olivia's eyes widened and flared. "Show me!!" She demanded. He stared at her
for a moment and then gave her instructions.
The above picture is from a scene in The Anniversary episode, one of my favorites.
As their silver anniversary approaches, Olivia surprises her husband with a
telephone that she'd been saving up for. John is grateful for the gift, but the
rest of the family are really excited about it. It bugs me at the dinner table
when the phone rings and John rants about how it won't run their family, and
threatens to take it out. What gets me is that when Olivia answers it, it turns out
to be John-Boy on the other line, and the whole family, including John,
are ecstatic to talk to him. If John had obeyed his impatient impulse, look
at what he would've missed out on! In the mean time, John is spending a lot
of time up on the mountain with wood and gallons of white paint. He refuses to
let Grandpa help him with whatever he's working on. On the day of
their anniversary, John takes Olivia up there and surprises her with a beautiful
white gazebo that he made himself! I thought that was a neat, precious gift.
As the time ticks by, the two lovebirds can't seem to drag themselves away
from it, and stay long into the night dancing. Grandpa and the children surprise
them with a party, then leave them alone all night. I really like the ending lines:
"Goodnight, Liv," John says lowly as they continue to waltz.
"Goodnight nothing." Olivia smiles. "I'm gonna dance 'til the sun comes up."
The World War II episodes portray the strength but also wear and tear on
their relationship as the Waltons like many others around the globe
struggle with the hearing or wars and rumors of wars. John-Boy has been
listed as missing in action while he was a reporter in Europe for Stars
and Stripes, and the whole Walton family struggle every day with feelings
of hope, dread, and anxiety wondering what has become of him.
John tries to comfort Olivia and she keeps on the Red Cross to spare no effort
at trying to trace their oldest son. But being in the dark about the facts raises
the worry level and soon it takes its toll on them. Yet, they still see it through
together, no matter how much they fight because the tense feelings, or the
constant worry they both silently share.
One of the saddest episodes to me is The Parting. Takes place during Season 7,
John and Olivia have both been driving themselves to a frazzle trying to
meet deadlines with the mill, running the household, and other issues. They
are both worn out, and decide to take a vacation at Virginia Beach. Olivia
thinks he should see a doctor, but he insists he just needs a break. She, on
the other hand, is appearing exhausted and weak. After being examined
by a doctor, the Waltons receive the sad news that Olivia has been
diagnosed with tuberculosis. They're told it's been caught early, but she
still must live in a different climate if she's to get better. 'Mama' must
leave her family and not be around her children for who knows how long
so she'll get well! To their advantage, none of the children are under 12
anymore, but it's still so painful. The ending scene where Olivia is hugging
and kissing them all good-bye is so sad! I'm starting to tear up writing this!
Just look at her face as she is driven away, even though she's not sure when she'll
be back! I have to wipe my eyes. I'm not kidding!
Eventually, Olivia does get better and returns home, then reenters her job at the
Red Cross. But she gets sick again and has to go into convalescence for even
longer. This scene is from Mother's Day on Walton's Mountain. Her oldest
daughter, Mary Ellen has just remarried, and after a car accident has learned that
she is now barren. Remembering Olivia's miscarriage plus when she learned
the same news, Mary Ellen travels alone to Arizona to visit Olivia. The
picture above is on Mother's Day and all the grown children are gathered
around the phone on Walton's Mountain shouting, "Happy Mother's Day,
John and Olivia Walton are a strong, stubborn, loving, proud couple
and have certainly endured through sickness and health, richer or poorer,
and better or worse!