John takes a job away from home to make more money. At the job, everyone in the office fears the manager who makes life miserable for all. John leaves because it is no way to live or work. Elizabeth is a tomboy.
The Waltons find out Sheriff Ep is a decorated war hero and John-Boy wants to write about it. Ep wants to keep it quiet. Also, an old friend of Ep's comes to visit. Jim-Boy likes to talk to her about cars and war.
Grandma is in the hospital and Grandpa wants to bring her home. He is forbidden to visit in the hospital because she needs her rest. (Ellen Corby in real life had a stroke and was not able to perform.)
Mary Ellen gives birth to the Waltons' first grandchild, John Curtis Willard. However, Cassie, a lonely and superstitious teenage neighbor whose premature baby girl was stillborn, believes John Curtis was sent to replace her own baby and she kidnaps him. It is up to Olivia to gently explain to Cassie that someday Cassie will have another baby, but that John Curtis is really Mary Ellen's.
Jim-Bob meets a boy who is on his way to join the Air Corps, but the boy never actually leaves. Turns out he is a runaway. Meanwhile, Elizabeth misses Grandma, and thus builds a grandmotherly relationship with Maude Gormley.
The Waltons have one remaining payment on their mortgage. John and the family rush to complete one big lumber job to pay it off. As they celebrate, Ike Godsey faces financial trouble. The Waltons help Ike.