Coming of Age
Jimmy Barclay begins his journey of adolescence, while confronting his changing voice and his first crush.
After a three-year absence, Jimmy Barclay has returned to his journal to pen his thoughts and feelings about life. Lately, several “strange” things have been happening to him. Donna has been teasing Jimmy because he’s started shaving. He’s not getting along with his mom and dad. His body seems to be falling apart. His chest hurts, his bones ache, and his voice sounds like a cross between a frog with laryngitis and a country-western singer.
To top it all off, Jimmy’s been thinking a lot about Connie lately. He gets a funny feeling in his stomach when she’s around. Jimmy discovers what the strange feeling is while rehearsing Romeo and Juliet at the Little Theater in Whit's End. Connie is playing Juliet to Jimmy’s Romeo, and during the balcony scene, Jimmy realizes he’s in love with Connie! But while he’s trying to figure out how to tell her, he learns that Whit has cast Artie Powell in a role that Jimmy wanted to play. Jimmy confronts Whit about it, demanding to play the role. Whit refuses, so Jimmy quits the play and angrily storms out of the theater. Unfortunately, he leaves behind his journal, which reveals his feelings about Connie.
Jimmy rushes back to Whit’s End and learns that Connie has seen his journal. Jimmy apologizes to her, feeling terrible that Connie discovered his feelings for her that way. But Connie tells him that she only saw the journal, she hasn’t read it. Completely embarrassed, Jimmy retreats to the Wonderworld Treehouse. Whit joins him and talks to Jimmy about what’s been happening to him. Jimmy thinks he’s going crazy, but Whit says he’s actually on the verge of adolescence. Whit explains that growing up is inevitable, so Jimmy should try to enjoy it. And it will be much easier by if he remembers that Jesus is always with him.
- This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »
- Why did Jimmy feel he couldn’t talk to his father?
- What should he have done to overcome those feelings?
- What do you think is the best part of growing up?
- The hardest part?
- What did Whit mean when he said Jimmy was not alone?
Heard in episode
|Artie Powell||Kyle Fisk|
|Connie Kendall||Katie Leigh|
|Donna Barclay||Azure Janosky|
|George Barclay||Chuck Bolte|
|Jimmy Barclay||David Griffin|
|John Whittaker||Hal Smith|
Mentioned in episode
|Mary Barclay||Jimmy Barclay|
|Rodney Rathbone||Donna Barclay|
|Eugene Meltsner||Artie Powell|
|Grace (a)||Jimmy Barclay|
|Oscar Peterson||John Whittaker|
- VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] The first few airings of this show and the first cassette versions contained a few scenes that were eventually cut from all subsequent releases. They include a few more scenes where Jimmy is writing in his journal and one where Donna gives Jimmy some cream to have Ferguson “lick his mustache” off.
- PARENTS: This episode deals with Jimmy Barclay’s entry into adolescence and all the embarrassment, anguish, and awkwardness that go along with it. Although tastefully handled, it may be too mature for younger listeners. It also may raise questions in older listeners’ minds about the process of growing up.
- Since David Griffin's (Jimmy Barclay's) voice was changing during this period, the AIO writers decided to handle it within the context of a show.
- This episode was originally intended to take Jimmy Barclay out of AIO.
- The "comedic" version of the play in this episode was the same version done in #95: “The Very Best of Friends”.
- Jimmy refers to the events of #31: “Family Vacation, Part 1”/#32: “Family Vacation, Part 2” in this episode.
- The plot device of a character revealing his feelings for a girl after assuming she read them in his journal already would later be used for Eugene and Katrina in #267: “It Ended with a Handshake”.
- This episode marks Artie Powell's final appearance to date.
Connie Kendall: I'd play Juliet to your Romeo any day...
Jimmy Barclay: I've been kinda busy since our vacation to Florida... uh... three years ago.
Jimmy Barclay: I'm in love with Connie Kendall!!