(Ep 35 - "The Powers That Be")

chain (The Arnold's are standing side-by-side on the porch, looking toward the street.)
In every American family there exists a chain of command.
(Close shot of Kevin.)
From the pawn...through the established ranks, to the lord and master of all things great and small.
(The camera pans across to Jack. He looks worried.)
But one week out of the year, a force would blow into town that even my father could not control.
To the left...left...
(Albert is trying to back into the driveway. He is singing happily to himself.)
Grampa Arnold.
Why don't you give him a hand, Jack?
He knows what he's doing.
(Albert pulls forward, almost hitting a passing car.)
My fault entirely! Sorry!
Within minutes of grampa's arrival, my father would find some household chore to keep him busy untll Gramps pulled out again. Not that I understood exactly why...
(Albert backs into the Arnold mailbox.)
Well, I better get started on the gutters.
(Albert gets out, smiles and gestures.)
Hey! I made it! Hah-hah-hah.
(Cut to the kitchen. Albert is playfully shaking Kevin's hand.)
Ow, ow, oh...Stop it - you're hurting my hand! Ohh!
To me, Gramps was a funny old guy who pulled silver-dollars out of my ears.
bandana What have you been doing - lifting weights or something?
(Karen is looking at a scarf Albert gave her.)
Grampa, this is really beautiful!
Oh, well I'm glad you like it. That belonged to your grandmother. I didn't know if you kids still wore these things or not.
(Karen ties it around her leg.)
No, it's perfect!
milk Albert? Would you like something to drink with your lunch?
No, no - nothing for me. But how about a big glass of milk for my boy, here? (Albert & Nar): We gotta keep those bones nice and strong.
Like I said - a real cornball.
Oh...Wayne. (Blows whistle.) Remember this?
Oh, sure you do...used to play with it all the time, when we were in that old house. You'd take it out into the yard, and you'd say "fly away birdies, I'm comin' to get ya..." (Blows whistle.)
Wayne...thank Grampa for the gift!
Oh, yeah, thanks, I'm gonna go test it right now.
Maybe he was a little out of touch with our generation.
Come on - drink up, drink up, drink up!
But there was something about Gramps that made me feel like I was five years old again.
Say, I just remembered...I got you a present too. I think I left it in the car.
lovehim (Cut to the car. Kevin sees a puppy on the back seat.)
I can't believe it.
You like him?
I love him!
whynot Well, the last time I was here, that's all you could talk about, so I figured - why not?
"Why not" - two glorious words that separate the men from the boys - the doers from the sayers.
(Jack approaches.)
We're not keeping that dog.
The fathers from the grandfathers.
keephim Good afternoon, John. Nice to see you again.
Oh, come on, Dad. Please, please, please let me keep him?
Too much to handle...
I can handle it. I know I can handle it...
The boy's thirteen years old, John.
I know how old he is. And I know what having a dog in the house means.
So did I. It meant stick-throwing...face-licking...romping...
That too.
A dog chews things. A dog needs to be walked. And I'm not the one that's gonna be the one walkin' him at six in the morning!
I promise, you'll never have to walk him...
Give the boy a chance, John. A boy needs a dog. Besides I can't take him back for a week.
(Albert looks at Kevin.)
Maybe by then your old man will have changed his mind, huh?
And there ya had it. Cornball or not, Gramps was a kindred spirit, a giver of gifts - a prince.

(Arnold front yard. Jack and Albert are fixing the window screens. Kevin and Buster are playing in the distance.)
You gotta go easy on these frames.
Dad, the frame's made of maple. One pop isn't gonna crack the frame.
Of course when it came to the study of heredity, I was getting a crash course at home.
Patience, son. Patience.
And in the midst of it all, something terrible was beginning to happen. I was falling in love.
Dad, I've been putting these windows in for twenty years.I know what I'm doing.
Sit...sit...sit. Good boy. Hey Dad, Dad! Come here - look!
What do you want?!
Dad, look!
(Buster has gotten into the flower bed.)
Kevin? Will you put the damn dog back on the leash?!
OK, OK...
Not bad for an old man, hah?
(Albert pokes Jack in the stomach and smiles. Jack frowns. Cut to the living room. "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" is on TV.)
-Rowan: Well, I guess you're looking forward to a...good season.
-Martin: You bet your sweet bippy I am.
"Bippy"? What is that - "bippy"?
That night, I was noticing a connection. Everytime Gramps opened his mouth, my father would glare a little harder at the puppy.
That's what people laugh at these days - "bippy"?
Well, it's not funny, like - "hah-hah" funny - it's like **** funny.
You want to see funny, you ought to watch some "Honeymooner's" reruns.
But wait a minute. What was this?
Oh...! That's Jack's favorite show.
Hmm? Really?
One of the best.
You ever see the one...where Norton and Ralph bought the hotel?
This was great! By some fantastic coincidence, Gramps had stumbled onto the one thing that made my father really come alive.
Or the one where Ralph forgets Alice's birthday?
I love that one!
Yeah, I saw that one.
Heh-heh. Little did Gramps know that Dad's Ralph Kramden impersonation was legendary. Around our house, anyway.
Do your "Ralph Kramden".
Yeah, come on, Dad.
I didn't know you did Ralph Kramden imitations, John.
Neither did I.
Oh, just one - please.
tothemoon Yeah, let's see it.
"One of these days, Alice...one of these days - Bang!-Zoom! - to the moon".
Honey...you can do it a little better than that...
Well, to do it right, you a little more elbow-room.
laugh OK, so much for the warm-up - time for Dad to let out all the stops. The patented "Ed Norton double-take".
"Do it! Will you already?!"
(All but Albert laugh.)
And just when it seemed like the sun was never gonna shine again, the clouds began to break.
That's Gleason? (Frowns.) That doesn't sound like Gleason.
And then the rains came.
(Buster pees on Jack's shoe.)
Oh, I'll get the paper towels, honey.


(Front yard, after school.)
Working pretty hard are ya?
I guess so.
It's not easy raising a puppy. Toughest job there is.
He's learning, though.
Tell ya what, nice hard-working man like you - how about I take you down for a nice big banana split from the ice cream store?
Where ya going?
I'm going to take the boy for some ice cream - come along if you like.
Kevin, did you walk your dog?
I was gonna walk him when I get back.
You're gonna walk him now.
But Dad...
Cut the boy some slack, John. It can wait twenty minutes.
No, Dad, it can't wait twenty minutes. If the dog has gotta go, he isn't gonna wait twenty minutes. You like to wait twenty minutes?
Not for my ice cream.
I guess I better walk the dog, Gramps.
Suit yourself. Seems a shame though - can't even take my grandson for a little treat.
(Kevin walks toward the house.)
Kev. Kev, wait up! Look, I know it seems I'm being a little tough on ya...
Tough? Well, no more than say...Ghengis Khan.
Believe me there's a reason.
OK, I was willing to listen to reason.
It's just...well...
(Albert drives over the lamp-post.)
Dammit, Dad!
Why do you put this thing so close to the driveway? (Frowns.)
Why don't you stay on the damn driveway? (Frowns.)
What?! (Frowns.)
What were you going to say?
Never mind, you wouldn't understand. It's about fathers and sons. (Frowns.)
(Jack walks away.)
Oh. (Frowns.)

(Cut to dinner. There is un uneasy silence as Wayne taps mash potatoes onto his plate.)
So how is everything?
Delicious, Norma - couldn't be better.
Yeah, couldn't be better. "Fathers and sons" - "I wouldn't understand?" What had Dad meant by that?
(Albert tastes his mashed potatoes.)
Now what's wrong?
(Albert looks at Norma.)
Did you, uh, did you put pepper in these spuds?
Oh, Albert! I'm so sorry - I forgot.
Forgot what?
Gas - pepper gives me gas.
(Wayne laughs, Kevin smacks him.)
Oh, maybe you'd like some corn instead?
Oh, I think not. Corn sticks in my teeth.
(Jack is starting to squirm in his chair.)
Well I'm going shopping tomorrow - maybe I can pick you up some things.
Don't you be foolish, Norma. You buy everything the same way you always do.
Sure...spend another day cooking a meal he won't eat.
Grampa, why don't you try some biscuits - they should be easy to digest.
He can't eat biscuits. Right, Dad?
I can't...
Tell 'em why not.
The starch.
Too much starch, Norma.
Um, Mom, I've got a...date. (Karen exits.)
Yeah, me too. (Exits.)
She spent a lot of time cooking this meal. The least you could do -
John! Pepper gives me gas, alright? The potatoes have pepper in 'em.
Forget the damn potatoes.
(Kevin frowns and sighs.)
What I'm talking about is a little respect here.
Can I say something please?
Kevin! Just stay out of this.
It's OK, Mom.
(Kevin gets up and walks off.)
What do you want me to say, son?
What do you want me to say? You waltz in here, you pick at my wife's food - you run over my lamp-post. And you bring a dog!
The dog was a gift, John. What do you want from me?
(Kevin is with Buster in the basement.)
They just kept on arguing. They didn't even notice I'd gone.
You didn't even bother to ask my permission!
Oh! Now I gotta ask your permission to give my grandson a dog?!
(Kevin approaches the kitchen with Buster.)
Yeah, Dad. My permission! Is that too much to ask when you're in my house?! It don't tell you when to come and go.
You want me to go - I'll go!
That's up to you!
I'd go tonight - except I didn't bring my other glasses.
You're driving around without your driving-glasses...
How can you forget your damn driving-glasses?!
I forgot 'em - it's as simple as that!
dontwant Listen to me!
I wanted them to tell me why they were fighting. Why they kept hurting each other like this. Why the two men who meant the whole world to me, had to act like - children. But most of all, I just wanted them to stop.
(Kevin gives the dog to Albert.)
I don't want the dog. (Exits.)
(Cut to Kevin's bedroom.)
That night a thought about the gifts Gramps had brought me. How giving gifts used to be so simple. And life was a never-ending bounty of riches...I thought would never end.
(Albert opens Kevin's door. Kevin shuts his eyes.)
You awake?
(Albert pauses, then exits. Fade to morning. Kevin stirs awake. It is silent. He sees Buster is not in the basement, then steps outside. Jack is dressed for work, and has Buster on a leash.)
I guess I should have been happy. But I wasn't.
(Kevin approaches Jack on the sidewalk.)
He's not a bad little pup. He's got spirit.
Dad, why did Gramps leave? You didn't send him home, did you?
No one ever sent your grandfather home before he was ready.

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(Ep 59 - "Who's Aunt Rose?")

(Albert is showing photographs to Kevin and Wayne in their bedroom.)
Look at that. You know where that was taken?
No...why don't you tell us Grandpa.
That was up at the lake house.
Nice bathing suit.
Yeah, well...that's what they looked like in those days, Wayne. You know, she was...eighty-two years old when she died. Can you boys even imagine that?
Course, when you're fourteen, eighty-two isn't much different from forty-two, or even a hundred-and-two. Still, if Gramps needed a friendly ear...
(Jack knocks on the door.)
He could always count on us.
Come on, Dad. The boys should get some sleep.
Yeah. You're right, John. I guess I've been bending you boys' ear too much, eh? (Smiles.)
Nah...it was fun, Grandpa. (Smiles.)
It was a lie - but a good lie. After all, the guy was goin' to a funeral. The least we could do was give him a pleasant send-off.
Oh! And set your alarm-clocks! We gotta leave by eight o'clock!
(Albert walks down the hall, as Jack looks at the boys.)
Hold on, here. Did he say...?
Did he say "we"?
(Cut to the kitchen. Albert is opeinig his pills and looking for a drinking glass as everyone gathers near the doorway.)
It was obvious somebody had to clear this up. We chose the big guy.
Uh, Dad - about those alarm-clocks...
I meant to tell ya - I've forgotten mine. (Gestures.) You'll have to get us up. And we can go in my car.
Uh, well...you know, Dad...we weren't really planning on going to the funeral.
Not goin'? Of course we're goin'.
I-I have to fly to Seattle Thursday morning, and...
The funeral's tomorrow, John...you got plenty of time. Norma, where are the glasses?
Oh, here. (Smiles.) Let me...
Now of course what was needed here was simple clearing of the air. A collective statement of intention.
This just isn't a good time for me, Dad.
Funerals...are never a good time, John. Besides...I think the boys should go.
Great. Now he was draggin' us into this.
Uh, well...the boys have school...
Then write a note. (Frowns.) I think "death in the family" is an acceptable excuse. (Nods.)
Dad, it -
What is the matter with you, son?! Rose was family. (Nods.) Our family. Doesn't it mean anything to you?
But the thing is...it really didn't. Not to me, anyway.
I'll bet that...Kevin, there...would like to pay his last respects to one of our own. Wouldn't you, son?
Suddenly...I was all that was standing between us, and Aunt Rose.
(Jack looks at Kevin and sighs. Wayne frowns at him.)
S-sure, Grandpa. I guess so.

(Riding to the funeral service.)
But while Gramps and Dad chewed the fat in the front seat...where I sat...I had problems of my own.
(Wayne hits Kevin on the shoulder.)
Hey! Cut it out! (Frowns.)
Oh, sure - after I hit you once...(gestures)...for every dollar you lost.
Hey, I didn't lose it!
(Wayne starts hitting Kevin again, then pauses and smiles.)
Ooh - lost count. I better start over again. (Smiles.)
Wayne! Kevin! Stop it!
Alright - I told you boys!
(They settle down.)
Now, let's just-just all try to put a good face on this. Alright?
But the fact is, I didn't feel like putting on a face.
John...there's somethin' I've been meaning to talk to you about.
I was a fourteen-year-old kid with a sore shoulder...down ten bucks...on my way in a cramped car...to bury somebody who had absolutely nothing to do with me.
Have you, uh...have you thought any more about buyin' that plot next to your mother and me?
And then, suddenly...Aunt Rose's funeral hit home.
Dad, you we have to talk about this?
Something you should be thinkin' about.
You don't want these boys makin' the decisions...Do ya? They'll have enough to think about when the time comes.
(Wayne starts to elbow Kevin.)
Dad, I've taken care of it, OK?
It was the first I'd heard that my dad had a little patch of earth with his name on it. And of course, there was only one thing to do about it.
(Kevin starts hitting Wayne.)
Boys! You just stop it!
(Albert frowns and pulls over to the side of the road.)
Alright. Alright! Get out. The both of ya!
What?! (Frowns.)
If you can't go to a funeral...(gestures)...and be respectful...(gestures)...then don't go! (Frowns.)
Grampa -
If you change your mind...the cemetery is two miles down the road! (Frowns.)
(Jack looks off.)
Hmmm. No help there.
(Norma is looking at Jack.)
Or there. So, I just had to hope Gramps was bluffing.
I'm serious about this, dammit! Now get out!
But, I -

(Kevin and Wayne arrive at the funeral service as the pastor is beginning.)
We ask that You comfort them in their loss...as you receive Rose in Your kingdom. Amen.
(All): Amen.
Some journeys take longer than others. By the time we got to the cemetery that afternoon...I knew I'd travelled more than just two miles. Something was happening in my life. Something so big...I couldn't take it all in.
And though we feel poorer for her passing, we should seek comfort in the knowledge that we are, in fact, so much richer. Richer for having known her. For having been touched by her kindness. Would...anyone like to say a few words about Rose McKenzie?
I, uh...I believe I would.
(The pastor steps back and Albert walks toward the end of the casket. He takes off his hat. He pauses, clears his throat, and looks toward the casket.)
I guess, uh...
(Albert looks up and gestures, then looks down again.)
I guess my cousin, Rose...liked family gatherings more than anyone I've ever known. Even after she had...trouble gettin' around, she always loved to have a chance to see...the folks.
(Albert looks around the group.)
As she liked to call us. Course, lately...(gestures)...it seems like the only time we get together is, uh...when there's a wedding, or...(gestures)...or when somebody leaves us.
As I stood there, listening to Grandpa's words, a lot of things began to become real for me. Aunt Rose. The loss Gramps was feeling. And why coming here was so important. For all of us.
But, I can tell you one thing. Rose...is not gone from us. She never will be. She will always...be a part of us...as long as we remain a family. Part of...the folks. Part of who we are.
(Albert looks at Kevin.)
Even for those who...really didn't know her very well.
I guess that's when I understood...what my grandfather had been trying to explain to me. That my life was bigger than the little neighborhood I lived in. And that these strangers who surrounded me...
end (Albert un-pins the white carnation from his lapel.)
Weren't just relatives...they were my family. And the death of one...affected each of us in some way.
(Albert looks down, holding the white carnation.)
We'll be seein' ya, Rose.
(Albert taps the carnation slightly in his hand, nods slightly, then shakes his head as he leans forward and sets the carnation on top of the other flowers on the casket.)

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(Ep 81 - "Grandpa's Car")

(At the police station. Albert and Jack walk hurriedly through a hallway, followed by Kevin.)
OK, let's get out of here!
Dad! What happened?
Absolutely nothing, John - now let's go find my car! (Gestures.)
One thing was clear, anyway. Gramps's accident had been something less than fatal.
(They exit throught the front door.)
What, ya hit somebody?
It was nothin' like that. (Gestures.) It was a little fender-bender...couldn't be avoided!
Wait a minute - wait a minute! Let me get this straight.
Just a minute. (Gestures.) The car was parked on the side of the road...(gestures)...I just nicked it as I went by. (Gestures.) That's all.
You hit a parked car?! (Frowns.)
John - don't start with me on this!
Dad, you -
John, the important thing is...(gestures)...nobody got hurt! Isn't that right, Kevin?!
(Albert pats Kevin's shoulder and points.)
Now let's go find my car!
(Albert approaches Norma and a policeman talking near Albert's car.)
police Oh, Albert! Are you alright?
Yes, I am, Norma.
(Albert looks at Jack, then back to Norma.)
And thank you...
(Albert looks at Jack, then back to Norma.)
Very much...for asking. Now, if we could all stop standing around, gawking...we might go home and have some dinner!
(Albert approaches his car door. The policeman taps Albert on the back.)
Just a minute, Mr. Arnold.
(Albert turns around.)
(The cop takes the keys from Albert.)
What do you think you're doin'?
(The policeman gestures toward Jack.)
This your designated driver?
What?! (Frowns.)
The man's had three accidents in six months.
Hmmm. Seems there were one or two things Gramps had failed to mention to us.
Now listen, sonny...(nods)...don't you have somethin' better to do than goin' around...(gestures)...harassing tax-payers?
You were driving on probation, sir. Probationary accidents result in the immediate suspension of driving privileges. I believe you were informed of that.
Well...(points)....just let me inform you of something. I have an Oldsmobile to drive here!
I'll drive, Gramps! (Smiles.)
After all...no sense letting a golden opportunity go to waste, here.
No you won't...(sighs)...I'll drive.
You most certainly will not! (Frowns.)
(Kevin turns to Jack.)
Well, fine...I'll drive your car, then.
You ride with your mother - we've had enough accidents for one day.
But, Dad! (Frowns.) I -
Folks...don't forget to buckle up.
And there it was.
(The policeman puts the keys in Jack's hand, then walks toward the building.)
The final word.
You can't do this, ya know!
(Cut to Arnold dining table. Albert frowns at Jack.)
He can't do this, ya know.
Hell hath no fury like a grandfather scorned.
Dad? He can do it...He did it...It's done.
Come on, Albert. I made your lambchops just the way you like 'em. (Smiles.)
That cop wouldn't know a good driver if he got run over by one.
(Wayne looks at Albert.)
Honest, Gramps, I mean...did ya have the peddle to the metal? (Gestures.) Were you gunnin' it? (Gestures.)
What are ya talkin' about? Twenty-five miles an hour.
Twenty-five miles an hour, and you-you still hit the guy? (Frowns.)
(Wayne laughs and turns back to his food.)
You had to admit - it didn't really make sense.
Because he wasn't wearing his glasses. Am I right, Dad? You weren't wearing your driving glasses, were you?
They don't fit right, is the thing.
(Albert frowns and points at his ear.)
There's this cockamamy earpiece that don't work right. Besides, my eyes are just fine! (Frowns.)
Dad...earpiece or not...you're stuck. You don't have a license...(gestures)...so you can't drive a car...and that is that! (Gestures.) Do we understand each other?
dinner It was a bitter pill. But there was nothing more Gramps could say.
(Albert holds up a lambchop and looks at it.)
Except, of course...
(Albert looks toward Norma.)
Aren't lambchops supposed to be juicy?! (Frowns.)
(Norma looks at Albert, then hesitates and frowns. Jack leans back and hooks an arm over his chair. Cut to Kevin's bedroom. Kevin is on his bed looking at a magazine.)
Still, ya had to hand it to the guy - he had spunk. He had nerve. He had the bunk next to mine.
Know when I learned to drive a car, Kevin?
When, Gramps?
Nineteen-twenty-one. The man that sold it to me taught me how to drive. And I...drove it off the lot. That was my license - know-how.
(Albert gets into bed, looking at Kevin, and frowning.)
No State...
(Albert looks forward as he settles in.)
No son, to tell me what to do. Ya know what I mean?
(Sighs) Look, Gramps...
It seemed pretty clear we were gonna be up all night unless somebody put out this fire.
The law's the law. So, just...promise you won't drive. OK? you'll make Dad happy...you'll make Mom happy. It'll make me happy. So, what do you say?
And where all the king's horses and all the king's men had failed before...
(Albert turns toward Kevin and smiles.)
(Albert turns off the lamp.)
Let's just get some shut-eye.
(Kevin smiles and settles into bed.)
There. Easy. And in that spirit of peace and tranquility...
(Cut to wide shot of the house, and Albert's car at the curb. Sound of an owl.)
We all slept a little easier.
(Fade to morning. Same shot as before. Albert's car is gone. Sound of a rooster. Cut to morning in the kitchen. Wayne and Kevin are eating cereal at the table. Jack paces. Norma's at the sink.)
He's gone. Again. I haven't seen anyone so stubborn in all my life.
Now, calm down, honey.
He behaves like a teenager. Where the hell did he go?!
(Albert enters quickly from outside, carrying a brown bag.)
Morning, people!
Dad, where have you been?!
Ah, just out for a ride.
Dad - what the hell were you doing in the car?!
I was getting fresh-squeezed juice...and some eggs. I came down early this morning to make my famous waffles...and I couldn't find and egg in the house! (Smiles.)
Dammit, Dad. You weren't supposed to drive - you don't have a license, and your eye-sight's shot!
What are you talkin' about? (Gestures.) I see like an owl. Here! Lemme show ya.
(Albert hurries over to Kevin with a box.)
Hold that. Hold it right there.
(Albert hurries back across the kitchen.)
Now. "Lulla May's great buttermilk-flavor pancakes and waffle mix...since 1917." And on the bottom..."seven cent coupon...inside."
It was amazing. A virtuoso display of visual pyrotechnics.
Now read a box you haven't been buying for twenty-five years, Dad.
worried A box is a box, John.
Aw, this is ridiculous...(Frowns.)
Albert...It's just that we're worried about you.
Worried? (Frowns.) Well let me tell you something right now. You don't have to worry about me! (Nods.)
(Wayne looks down as he eats.)
Come on, Gramps - be reasonable...
You too, huh? Anybody else? (Frowns.)
I felt sorry for the guy. I wanted to say something, but...
(Kevin looks down. Albert frowns at Kevin.)
I see. (Nods.) Well, I can tell I'm on my own, here! (Nods.) Maybe I'll come back, when somebody appreciates me...and my waffles!
(Albert turns around and walks toward the living room.)
Just a minute, Dad - where are you going?
Now we all knew Gramps was bluffing.
(Cut to Kevin's bedroom.)
Problem was, he was also packing.
You're not drivin' home, Dad.
John...I am driving home.
You're not driving home!
And there it was again. The final word.
Fine. (Nods.) Let the boy drive me.
(Wayne gestures.)
Aw, Gramps, I-I don't wanna...(Frowns.)
Not you...him!
Me? (Frowns.)
He's got his license, doesn't he? That's what you need in this State to drive isn't it - a license? How about it, son? (Nods.) You want to drive your dottering old grampa home?
(Wayne looks at Kevin.)
And suddenly, I was trapped between a Gramps, and a hard place.
Sure! (Shrugs.) I guess I could.
Good. Let's get moving. Watch out...
drivecareful (Albert walks out.)
And from that point on, there was nothing left to say but...
(Jack looks at Norma and throws his hands up. Cut to the driveway.)
Drive carefully, honey.
OK, Mom. I will.
And so it began.
Go easy on the gas. (Gestures.) She's got a hell of a punch.
The great overland automobile trip to Grandfather's house of 1972. Sure - it was further than I'd ever driven...
(Fade to residential street.)
And I'd have to take the bus back, but that morning, behind the wheel, I could feel the call of adventure...excitement...the unexpected.
Pull over.
Beg your pardon?
Stop her right here.
(Kevin pulls to the curb.)
For about a block-and-a-half.
Gramps - what's goin' on?
Get out.
I'm drivin'.
But, Gramps...you know what Dad said. You -
Come on...let's go! (Smiles.) You're riding shotgun!
(Albert walks around the car.)
And that's when the true meaning of what was transpiring hit me.
Move it! (Gestures.)
(Kevin slides over.)
Suddenly, I saw clearly. I'd been duped by the master. Hoodwinked. Blind-sided.
Here we go! (Smiles.)
(The car lurches off.)
I should have know all along that my grandfather was...
Always in the driver's seat.
(Cut to country highway.)
Beautiful country, huh? (Smiles.) Beautiful stretch of highway...(Smiles.)
(Kevin looks forward blankly.)
Yep! (Smiles.) Beautiful!
It's a terrible thing when your own flesh-and-blood plays you for a sucker.
What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?
Not that I was bitter about it, or anything.
You know - I was supposed to drive! And you promised me last night that you wouldn't -
Hey! I didn't know you had so much spunk! (Smiles.)
Anyway...I appreciate your company, Kevin. (Nods.)
Maybe so. But the guy sure had a funny way of showing it.
(Albert slows up suddenly, and makes a violent U-turn across the dirt divider.)
Gramps! Whoa!
Hang on, now! Hah-hah!
What are you doing? (Frowns.)
Pit-stop. (Smiles.)
(Cut to a diner. Albert and Kevin sit at the counter as the waiter approaches. Albert hold up two fingers.)
Two pieces of cherry pie - hold the pits.
Anything else?
No. (Waves.) Pie'll be just fine. (Smiles.)
Turns out our pit-stop was about five miles off the highway.
What do you think of this place?
(Albert smiles and glances around.)
What are we doing here? (Frowns.)
You're gonna sample the best pie...
(Albert taps the table with his fist.)
You ever tasted. (Chuckles.) Margaret and I used to stop here on our way to see you guys. Before they...(gestures)...put the parkway in. (Smiles.)
(Albert glances around happily.)
The thing is, it didn't make sense. Here we were...
(The waiter brings the pie. Albert smiles and nods.)
Reliving old memories...and I didn't know why.
Millie around today?
(Albert pauses, glances at Kevin, then at the waiter, and gestures.)
She runs the place. (Frowns.)
Unh, never heard of her.
"Never heard of her"?! I just saw her! (Smiles.)
(Albert glances at Kevin, then back to the waiter.)
I was just in here! I was in here, about, uh, two years ago. You don't remember? Millie? (Frowns.)
(The waiter looks blankly at Albert, then down.)
Gramps - he's never heard of her, OK?
Well...(nods)...just, uh, say hello to her, if you see her, anyway...
Sure. Anything you say. (Smiles.)
But one thing was clear. Memory lane had changed more than a little, since Gramps last strolled down it.
You feel OK, Gramps.
Oh, yeah...fine. Why? (Frowns.)
pie (Albert starts to eat his pie. Kevin looks at his own.)
Still, since he'd asked.
You want me to drive?
Well...it's just that I figured that way maybe, uh...ya know, we could make better time. (Frowns and nods.)
(Albert nods faintly, then more dramatically.)
Are you in a hurry?
Yeah! Kinda. (Frowns.)
(Albert nods, and turns to his pie.)
Not to be rude, or anything. Still, keep in mind I had a bus to catch.
Well, OK...If you're in a hurry, we better...(shudders)...step on it!
(Albert takes a big bite and smiles as he chews.)
(He claps his hands together and points dramatically at Kevin's pie. The opening drums of "Sing, Sing, Sing" start.)
(Cut to the road. "Sing, Sing., Sing" is on the radio.)
So we stepped on it alright.
(Albert taps the steering wheel to the music on the radio, and starts whistling as the melody kicks in.)
Trouble was...it was Gramps who did all the stepping.
(The camera pans as the car drives away - at about thirty miles per hour. Fade to roadside. Music continues. They are parked at a small roadside stand, as Albert buys something.)
That afternoon...
(Albert tosses an apple to Kevin.)
We stopped at every monument and landmark...every fruit-stand and roadside museum known to mankind.
(Albert bends down and pats a dog.)
Hah-hah! Good to seeya!
(Cut to gas-station. Albert stands at the front of the car,chatting with the owner, as they drink sodas. Albert puts his arm around the man's shoulder, smiles at Kevin and points at the man.)
Not to mention a few that weren't.
(Cut to roadside. Music continues. Panoramic shot of hazy hills in the distance. Kevin sits on the hood of the car, as Albert looks out over the hills.)
The worst part was...I just couldn't figure out why Gramps was doing this at all.
(Music fades to the background.)
Amazing, isn't it?
It's OK, I guess...
All I knew was...
(Albert chuckles and shakes his head, then turns toward the view.)
The longer it took...the more impatient I got.
(Fade to residential street. Albert is he whistling.)
By four o'clock, we'd made more pit-stops than most race cars make in a lifetime.
Did I ever tell you about the time me and Nate Molnar took seven weeks to drive my old jalopy across the country.
Gramps! (Frowns.)
(Albert chuckles.)
We broke three wheels the first week! Then...then, we broke and axle in the smallest town I've ever seen. It was about 100 miles outside of, uh...(gestures)...Souix Falls.
It was crazy. The guy kept rambling on and on about every detail of his life - and I was held there - captive.
Wait a minute - wait a minute. Did I say Souix Falls? No...
(Albert frowns and shakes his head slightly.)
No, no - it was Rapid City. Wait a minute - wait a minute. It wasn't Rapid City, it was a little town, about...right west of there, uh...
I just didn't care anymore. About Souix Falls...about his wandering, windbag stories.
Well, anyway, we, we, we...broke an axle there...and we thought we were gonna have to stay there...seven days!
Watch out!
(Albert looks forward, and swerves to miss a car crossing the intersection. Albert swerves back toward his lane, and another car swerves past them. Albert pulls to the curb and screeches to a stop, holding Kevin against the seat. They look at each other.)
Yowza. You alright?
I think so.
But I wasn't. I'd had it. I was fed up.
Jeez, Gramps! (Frowns.) Didn't you see where you were going?!
Well, I...(Gestures.)
You could have gotten us killed! You're lookin' out the window, tellin' stories...Not watchin' the road! (Frowns.)
(Albert frowns and looks forward, then sighs.)
That's how it happened yesterday, wasn't it. You weren't paying attention, were you, Gramps?
I was paying attention!
Then how'd you hit a parked car? (Frowns.)
It was the sun!
The sun.
(Albert looks off.)
It was real low...it was...glinting in the rear-view mirror...(gestures)...and catching a whole row of...(gestures)... hubcaps, along the side of the street.
(Albert glances at Kevin, then forward, frowning.)
You know what it's like, when you suddenly can't see anything...
(Albert glances at Kevin again, then forward, frowning.)
Because of the glints, and the...traffic.
And I guess that's when it hit me. For the first time, this man, who'd always been Hercules to me, didn't seem quite the same.
(Albert is looking forward, then sighs and shakes his head slightly.)
For the first time, my grandfather seemed...old.
Gramps - let's just go home.
We didn't talk much the rest of the way. Something had come between us. A gulf of silence. A gulf of time.
(They park, and Albert sighs.)
We sat there - A sixteen year-old who was always in a hurry...a man whose eyes had grown old before his time.
Kevin...Make me an offer.
For the car.
What are you talking about? (Frowns.)
(Albert looks forward.)
She's got a lot of miles, and...it's got a dented bumper. How's, uh...
(Albert turns slowly to Kevin.)
How's one dollar?
A dollar?
(Nods) Is it a deal? Or you want to haggle with me?
I didn't know what to say.
No! (Nods.) One dollar sounds good.
(Albert looks at Kevin, then turns forward.)
It was the hardest thing I'd ever seen Gramps do.
How are you gonna get around?
Oh, well, uh...
(Albert shrugs and gestures.)
The town's close. I got, uh, cabs...I got busses. I got feet!
(Albert looks at Kevin. He pauses, then nods slightly.)
And I got a fine grandson who'll drive me around when I come to visit.
And maybe that's when I began to understand. About a lot of things.
Well, come on - pay up!
(Albert shakes his head.)
Your credit's no good with me!
(Kevin takes out a bill. Albert takes it and smiles at Kevin, then looks at the bill.)
(He looks at Kevin and nods, then looks at the dollar. He raises his finger and looks at Kevin.)
Tell nobody what you paid. I don't want anybody to think...
(He taps his chest.)
I'm an easy mark.
(Kevin smiles and starts to open the door.)
No, no, no, no - you don't...
(Albert pauses and shrugs slightly.)
You dont have to come in.
(Albert clears his throat and nods.)
I got the guys comin' over to play poker.
(Albert smiles and nods slightly, then opens the door and gets out.)
Course, we both knew he was lying. We both knew why.
(Kevin slides over to the driver's seat.)
We both knew he was letting go of more than just a car.
(Albert holds his suitcase and coat, and approaches Kevin.)
(He leans closer and points.)
Cold mornings...pump the gas three times before you turn the key on.
Three times...
Yeah. I don't want you calling me...to ask me how to turn her over.
I promise. (Smiles.)
(Albert looks at Kevin and smiles.)
Now, get outta here. (Nods.)
(Albert reaches in and pats Kevin's cheek.)
Drive safe.
I will. (Smiles.)
(Albert waves as Kevin pulls away.)
Some gifts are simple. Some come at a price. Some you buy for a buck. And last you a lifetime. I guess everybody remembers their first car. I know I remember mine. Not because it was my first car...but because it was my grandfather's last.

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11/22/14 20:20