Welcome back fans and friends. It’s time for another review of GT. This time, Willona meets a man who she thinks may be Mr. Right. Only problem is he’s deaf. Hope you enjoy the review.
The family was down to eating vegetables for dinner and James was wondering why there were so many left over. Michael suggested it was because J.J. hasn’t been home for dinner in a few nights. Florida was getting worried that J.J. was working all day then coming home, changing and going off to art school at night. She didn’t think it was healthy for him to skip meals. James stated he was doing fine. J.J. was working hard and studying his art and transforming into a man. J.J. came home in his delivery uniform and gave his sales pitch. Thelma said she just saw a chicken sitting on a turkey. J.J. answered in all the chicken deliveries he made in three weeks, nothing he delivered was ugly as her. When Florida asked him why he was home late, he said he had a small accident with a cab and saw 56 orders of fried chicken flying around. when Florida asked him if he’d stay for dinner, he said he nibbled on fried chicken all day.
Willona came in wearing a sexy dress she planned to wear for a date that evening. James excused himself from their girl talk to catch a John Wayne movie on television. Florida asked him how he knew there was one, he answered in a John Wayne impression ‘There’s always a John Wayne movie on kid’. J.J. came out and complimented her dress by saying ‘ you look so fine you must have all the dudes standing in line’. He left for art school and asked if he can bring his friend Walter home to check some of his paintings. James was fixing the sink and asked Michael to hand him a monkey wrench but Michael suggested pliers were better, After James angrily demanded the monkey wrench, he made a mistake on the sink and then asked Michael for the pliers (parents should listen to their kids after all). J.J. came home with Walter, an older man. Willona came home from her date which turned out to be disastrous. After introducing him to the family and Willona, she and Walter immediately hit it off. While J.J. was showing Walter his paintings, he and Willona were too smitten with each other to pay attention. James started accusing Florida of thinking of marriage between the two, but she claimed the thought never entered her mind. Walter asked Willona to go out to dinner with him, she accepted but claimed she couldn’t eat seafood. He stated since they were being honest, he let her and the family in on a small secret, that was he was deaf and couldn’t hear a single sound.
The family was surprised to hear that about Walter. He only became deaf a year earlier and knew how to read lips. When he stated he wasn’t sensitive about it, Michael asked him how he woke up in the morning, for he couldn’t hear an alarm clock. Walter said a light was plugged in his alarm clock and it went off in his face, waking him up. He also stated he owned a machine shop and most of his employees were deaf, many people with hearing can’t stand the sounds of machines. The next night, Florida and James were getting ready to go out with Willona and Walter but James couldn’t find his tie, watch or handkerchief. Florida said she gave J.J. his tie for work and Michael needed the watch to be home at 10 p.m. and Thelma was going to a sad movie and needed the hankerchief. Willona came in and asked why he was only half-dressed, James stated Florida made his closet into a salvation army. Willona confided into Florida that as much as she liked Walter, she wasn’t ready to marry him. She was afraid to tell him because he would misinterpret the reason was that he was deaf. J.J. came in with a message to Willona from Walter. (Walter couldn’t use a phone) When James heard J.J. outside, he made him give back his tie. He warned that he took it off himself, he wouldn’t untie it. Walter finally arrived and said he needed to speak to Willona alone. He told her that he wasn’t for marrying her either, he was used to his single life and wanted to keep his freedom. He liked spending time with her but didn’t want to be tied down. He also realized she didn’t want to hurt him. He said although deafness is a handicap, an even bigger handicap is people treating deaf people like they’re different.
Original airdate November 11, 1975
Written by Roger Shulman and John Baskin
Directed by Herbert Kenwith
Guest Star J.A. Preston
Another good episode that deals with a serious theme: deafness, and the attitudes of people towards those who are deaf. Willona found herself in a difficult situation when she didn’t want to marry Walter because she didn’t think he was the right man to settle down with. She didn’t want Walter to jump to the conclusion that it was because of his deafness. It was very decent that she was sensitive to his feelings and didn’t want him to be hurt. Walter, however, proved that he was just like anybody else.