S3 E12 The Mural

Welcome back friends and fans to another review of GT. This episode is entitled “The Mural”. J.J. is hired to paint a mural at the local bank, just as Thelma is offered a college scholarship. Hope you enjoy the review.

Willona was telling Florida how educational her job at the boutique was. She stated she didn’t like to gossip but stated that a neighbor bought a size 7 when she hadn’t worn a size 7 since she was 7. She then said her husband called, claiming he was going to a lodge meeting the previous night. Florida asked James if he knew the guy, he said he saw him at the lodge meeting the night before. J.J. and Michael came home and J.J. asked what did they see in his hands and Florida answered nothing. He sold one of his paintings for $5. Thelma came in with the exciting news that she won an alumni scholarship to the University of Chicago. However, she needed $200 for books and other expenses. Florida announced that James had a college fund for Thelma’s college expenses in which he put 50 cents a week away for it. James then conceded that he had to dip in for Florida’s gallbladder surgery and for J.J.’s dental bill, as well as other expenses.

A frustrated James seethed about how if it’s not one thing, it’s another. Florida then assured him that where there’s a will. there’s a way. James fumed that will hasn’t been around and he can’t see any way. When a knock came to the door. J.J. said that may be will now.  Their visitor was a gentleman named Mr. Hewitt from Hewitt Trust And Savings Bank. He commissioned J.J. to paint a new mural for the bank, after spotting the portrait that J.J. sold. He offered J.J. $250 for the mural but J.J., at first, tried to negotiate for more, but James stopped him in time to accept. Of course, J.J. used the money for Thelma’s college expenses. As Thelma and the family were thanking J.J. for the offer, James went to pray and asked God about how something didn’t seem right with him and wanted to know what. Of course, it was because J.J. came through instead of him and his pride was hurt.

That evening, J.J. was too excited to sleep and started imagining even better things coming his way. Meanwhile, James had a nightmare about walking through a field and falling in a stream. He broke his leg and a bunch of alligators were about to feast on his body. Then J.J. reached down and saved him, just as the alligators were sharpening their teeth for their Sunday meal. J.J. tipped his hat and said to them “sorry you have to miss your Sunday delight because Dad was saved by Kid Dyn-O-Mite”. Florida reminded him that he dreamt that because J.J. was able to help Thelma and not him. Then he said to Florida that while they were up, she should make him a sandwich, for he was down in that hole a long time. lol.

While at the bank, Mr. Hewitt announced J.J. to present his painting for the mural. After he named everyone responsible for his talent, his mom and dad, Thelma, Michael and Willona. J.J. and Mr. Hewitt presented his portrait of a pool hall. A furious Mr. Hewitt refused to pay for the painting because it represented a bar rather than a bank. James approached and him and angrily demanded he pay for the portrait, for he and everyone else liked it and Mr. Hewitt told him to paint whatever he wanted with no restrictions. J.J. told James how proud he was because he didn’t have the guts to make things right when they were wrong like James did. James smiled and looked up and said ‘you hear that, he’s proud of me”. (Of course he was, James was one great father)

Original airdate December 2, 1975

Written by Thad Mumford, Dick Bensfield and Perry Grant

Directed by Herbert Kenwith

Guest star James A. Wheaton (2nd appearance)

A good episode that reflects on J.J. budding talent as an artist. It also demonstrated the old-fashioned thinking of James, that he believed only the family patriarch should be the sole provider. It was also good to see that James believed in the Lord as much as Florida, for he wasn’t a praying man.  I also get the feeling that Mr. Hewitt would decide at the last minute he didn’t like the painting and would refuse to pay, no matter what J.J. painted.




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