Known on television as The Waltons, they're called The Spencers in the original book, which is how they're named here. The time is the Great Depression and the large Spencer family, living at the foot of a Virginia mountain, is struggling hard just to survive. With his father having to take the only available job a long way from home, Clay-Boy is stuck with unusual responsibility for his brothers and sisters. Just reaching manhood, Clay-Boy has a secret yearning that's quite extraordinary for the practical, earth-bound community in which he lives. He wants to write! Such foolishness is utterly foreign to his hardworking father, who tells him to prepare to become a responsible man—to build a home and raise a family. Clay-Boy could explode with frustration at his inability to communicate with this man that he admires most. He is also worried because his father is already long overdue in getting home. In the climax, the father makes it—just as they are in despair about him. He brings a special gift for his son, a gift that reveals unexpected understanding and the strength of a loving family. One int. set.