The Train Trip
Original Air date: April 9, 1958
Director: Norman Tokar
Guest Actors: Madge Kennedy (Aunt Martha), Joseph Crehan (Train Conductor) Karl Swenson (George Haskell), Eddie Marr (Ticket Salesman), Mary Foran (Lady in Train Station), Ricky Allen (Boy in Train Station), Alan Reynolds (Man in Train Station) and Bess Flowers (Lady in Train Station Waiting Room – uncredited)
A thirteen year old boy and eight year old boy, Wally and Beaver respectively, should not be allowed to buy their train tickets back home from Aunt Martha’s all by themselves. Aunt Martha should’ve known better. Were you given this much responsibility as a child? However, the longer I ponder this, the more I think the boys should be responsible enough to pull this task off without a hitch. Should Aunt Martha have known better, after all, as Ward stresses many times during the first season of Leave it to Beaver, “Aunt Martha has no kids of her own.” I guess that’s her excuse for her not knowing that kids their age are not always the most responsible of people.
Wally and Beaver’s train trip back home was 45 minutes late leaving the station and what are two boys going to do in a train station to bide their time? First, they’re going to buy comic books or detective magazines and then they’ll buy candy. Finally, they’ll buy their train tickets and they then won’t have enough money to buy tickets all the way back to Mayfield. That’s trouble, especially when Beaver says he’s scared and doesn’t know what they will do when the conductor comes to check their tickets. Wally assures him that, “They only do that in the movies.” When the conductor begins walking down their aisle calling out, “Tickets. Tickets. Get your tickets ready,” that’s when the boys slink in their seats hoping to be bypassed by the conductor.
The boys show the conductor their tickets, but those tickets were for the previous town. They make up a wild story about their dad falling out of an airplane and other misadventures and that’s why they couldn’t afford tickets to Mayfield. Unknown to the boys, Ward’s friend George Haskell (Eddie’s dad) is sitting two rows back. He relates the entire happening to Ward the next day. Up in their room that night, Ward reassures Wally and Beaver that he’ll be just fine after that terrible fall from the airplane. He also wants to make sure they take care of the situation with the conductor and pay him back for his covering their fare. In return, they assure their dad they will.
The boys are utterly amazed at how their father knew about what they had done. Wally surmises, “Sometimes your dad knows things you know there’s no way he could ever know.” Father’s do seem a bit all knowing sometimes, especially when we do something bad. Isn’t that true?
Feel good memories in this episode
Memories of riding a bus to my grandma’s flooded back to me while watching The Train Trip episode. Years later, taking the train by myself from Texas to Illinois was a highlight for me. But when I was very young like Beaver or older like Wally, I never was left in the bus or train station by myself.
Buying comic books for a trip. I remember distinctly having a bunch of comic books, Looney Tunes comics, for a trip in an ancient Oldsmobile station wagon with my bratty step-brother and step-sister from Illinois to Tulsa, Oklahoma. The comics made up my feel good memory, not the bratty step-brother and sister.
What are your thoughts about The Train Trip episode? Did you take train trips when you were a kid, alone, or with a parent? What did you like most about this episode of Leave it to Beaver? Please leave your comments below.
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While Leave it to Beaver used to be available on Netflix to watch in live streaming, that is no longer the case (as of this writing). The best option for LITB lovers is to buy the DVD box set and there are times you can get a good bargain on Amazon, especially used.