Welcome back friends. In this episode, J.J. finds a patron who gives him supplies for his paintings. However, he turns out to be an old nemesis of James’s, who forbids J.J. to have anything to do with him. This leads to an argument which results in J.J. moving out.
J.J. was sleeping on the couch and Florida woke him up. He dreamt that he was painting a nude Black Miss America and the winner was Jackie “Moms” Mabley ( a former vaudevillian). She then berated J.J. for wiping his paint brushes with her dish towels. She then stated the previous night she almost made turpentine soup for dinner. Thelma came out and complained that J.J. left a tube of paint in the bathroom and Thelma almost mistook it for shampoo. J.J. joked if she were shorter she’d be the first black leprechaun. she then snapped back if he used it he’d be the Jolly black Giant. HO HO HO! Florida asked J.J. why his paint was in the bathroom he said he never knew where the inspiration would hit him, some people read in there so he painted. James woke up and Florida asked him to talk to J.J.. James talked very casually to him as a joke. Florida then stated that J.J. was getting new art supplies despite a lack of money. Florida and James questioned if J.J. was “finding” things. He then announced that he found himself a patron to sponsor his art. Michael then came in embittered because he was protesting more black policemen in the projects. then a group of black policemen came and broke it up.
James noticed a painting J.J. made of a pool player and praised him for it. J.J. then said the Florida asked him why he couldn’t paint stuff like trees, mountains or green meadows. J.J. responded that he would paint those if they ever brought them around the neighborhood. She then asked him to paint something pleasant or gay, he claimed the pool player was Sweet Willie Coontz. James questioned who the sponsor was and he said he was a boutique owner who paid him $10 for his art. He then dropped the name as Leroy Jackson, an old acquaintance of James with whom he would go into business with 20 years earlier . James gave him $250 to help open their own gas station but Jackson blew it on a horse who lost. James still held a grudge against him and when Jackson came to the house to collect more of J.J.’s paintings. James refused to let him apologize and threw him out of the house and forbidded J.J. to continue letting him sponsor him. James and J.J. got into a big fight and J.J. decided to leave and move into the room over Jackson’s boutique. James warned him if he did then he shouldn’t bother to come back. Florida reminded James that when J.J. was born he said he was going places. although she never imagined it would be a storage room over a boutique.
Michael had a difficult time without J.J. sleeping on the couch with him and kicking him. Florida stated that she couldn’t sleep very well either with J.J. gone. Michael stated that he heard them arguing the whole night before. She corrected him by saying they just had a discussion. Michael then stated it was a very loud discussion. James woke up and still refused to forgive Jackson. Florida tried asking the Lord to make him more reasonable. James said for her not to pray for him without his permission. Florida warned him not to speak that way about the Lord then he said they were friends a swell. He looks up at ceiling and shouted ‘we’re running buddies, ain’t we Lord?”. Florida warned him not to speak with such blasphemy and the Lord would punish him. He took his watch off and gave the Lord 10 seconds. While counting down on the watch it suddenly stopped after 5 seconds. Michael set the table and said it was tough to set it for four instead of five. Thelma woke up and claimed it was no fun without J.J. , especially when he wasn’t pounding the bathroom door while she was in it. Michael said the blessing and asked the Lord to say hello to J.J. Florida started to leave, claiming she was on her way to church. James said he wasn’t working that morning and offered to come with her, she said the sermon was about the “Prodigal Son”.
Meanwhile, at Mr. Jackson’s boutique, J.J. is having an equally hard time painting without the sounds of the family around. In fact, the only thing he painted was a sign that said “please disturb”. Even Mr. Jackson’s offer to turn on the radio didn’t help. J.J. then reverted to pretending to have another fight with Thelma. Florida came in at this time to visit him and was pleased that he missed them just as much as they missed him. James followed her down there and continued his argument with Mr. Jackson. He warned J.J. that once a thief, always a thief. Florida responded with once a stubborn ox, always a stubborn ox. Finally, Mr. Jackson got his chance to apologize. Florida convinced James to accept the apology and he forgave Mr. Jackson. He also allowed him to continue sponsoring J.J. and invited J.J. to come back home, giving him the best of both worlds. J.J. went to pack but first called Thelma to get her to lock herself in the bathroom so he can pound on the door and say get out of there so she could reply with ‘no, hold it until you bust!’, so he’d know he was home.
In the tag, J.J. came home with a new set of clothes, using the money he earned after Jackson sold his paintings. When James asked him what that was, he answered’ as an artist he needed to keep up the image’.
Originally aired March 22, 1974
Written by Larry Siegel
Directed by Herbert Kenwith
Guest Star Edmund Cambridge
Willona does not appear in this episode
A better plot than the previous episode, “Michael Gets Suspended”. The family realized that in spite of all of the J.J./Thelma hassles and J.J.’s paintings causing a mess, the family still loved him to pieces and missed him greatly when he was gone. James shouldn’t let his personal feelings towards Leroy Jackson to interfere with J.J.’s talent and chances for success, especially over something that happened 20 years prior, before J.J. was even born.