Memories of Jerry

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#352: “Memories of Jerry”
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Psalm 73:23-26
23Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.24You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.25Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.26My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

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Current user rating: 95/100 (48 votes)

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Memories of Jerry
“Memories of Jerry” is episode #352 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Phil Lollar, and originally aired on April 27, 1996.

Summary

An old postcard triggers Jason Whittaker's memories about the last weekend he spent with his older brother, Jerry.

Plot

Connie is looking for a book in Whit's office one afternoon. Suddenly, the bookshelf slides open, and Jason steps out of the hidden computer room behind it. Connie screams, as they both are startled to see each other, and Connie accidentally knocks several books off the shelf. As they replace the fallen books, Jason comes across a novel called The Terminus Factor. He thinks it odd that his dad kept such a book, Whit always said he hated it.

Jason flips through the paperback. An old postcard addressed to Jason falls out of it! It’s from his older brother, Jerry, who sent it from Vietnam. This is the first time Jason has seen the card. He reads it, and it brings back a flood of memories for him, which he relays to Connie via flashback...

Jerry is an instantly likable guy and wonderful big brother. He helps Jason with his high-jump performance, then the two of them go to the university to get a soda. There, they run into Leonard (Plato) Plateman, an old family friend who's now a hard-core hippie. Plato confronts Jerry about his volunteering to go to Vietnam and tries to talk him out of it, but Jerry says there is nothing to discuss. Plato leaves to attend an anti-war rally, and Jerry and Jason go to the ROTC building to drop off some papers. But when they exit, they see that the rally has turned into a riot. Jerry and Jason escape unharmed, but Jason is bothered by the rioters and by the fact that Jerry is going to ‘Nam in general.

Jerry comforts him, and the two of them go up to the Whittaker family cabin on Lake Michigan for a long weekend. They have a great time. On the night before they’re supposed to come back, Plato shows up at the door! He’s received his draft notice, and he’s decided to run away to Canada. Jerry and Plato argue over the morality of Plato’s decision, but Plato has made up his mind. He’s leaving, and he wants Jerry to go with him.

That night, Jason awakens from a fitful sleep to hear Jerry praying and wrestling with his convictions. The next morning as Jerry sees Plato off across the lake, Jason runs up and begs Jerry to go with him. Jason doesn’t care if it’s wrong, he just wants Jerry to stay alive! Jerry calms and comforts Jason. Jerry tells his brother that he wouldn’t really be living if he were to betray his commitments to his country, his family, and to God. He must honor those commitments, all the way to the end, just like Jesus did. Jason isn’t convinced and starts crying. Jerry again comforts him, telling him there is no need to fear, God is with him.

Discussion Questions

  1. Plato said that he was going to go “change the world.” What did he mean?
  2. Why didn’t Plato want to go to Vietnam?
    • Why did Jerry feel he had to go to Vietnam?
      • Why didn’t Jason want Jerry to fight in the war?
        • Between the three of them, who was right? Explain your answer.
  3. Is it wrong to fight in a war?
    • Why or why not?

Cast

Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Coach Blanski David Lipson
Connie Kendall Katie Leigh
Jason Whittaker Townsend Coleman
Jason Whittaker (young) T.J. Lowther
Jerry Whittaker Wendell Burton
Leonard (Plato) Plateman Randy Crenshaw

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
John Whittaker Jason Whittaker
Jenny Whittaker Jason Whittaker

Notes

NOTE TO PARENTS: Like #28: “The Price of Freedom”, this episode deals with the Vietnam War, some opinions surrounding it, and a man who dies in the war. This episode also includes a violent peace protest, Jerry Whittaker's final decision to join the Army, and Plato's running to Canada to avoid the draft. Parents may want to be with their kids for this episode to explain their beliefs regarding the war, and to talk about the issues brought up.

Trivia
Allusions
  • In this episode's first scene with Connie looking through the bookcase, she is looking for Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis.
  • During this episode Plato and Jerry quote the 1965 song "What the World Needs Now Is Love," with Jason interjecting "I know that song" after Plato quotes the famous lyrics "what the world needs now is love-sweet love" and Jerry responds with "Yeah, that's all there's just too little of."
Goofs
  • When young Jason and Jerry are talking about the cabin on Lake Michigan, Jason asks Jerry if they can go across the lake into Canada. Later, Plato actually goes across the lake into Canada. However, Lake Michigan doesn't border Canada.
    • This storyline could be plausible by merely substituting any of the other Great Lakes for Lake Michigan.
      • It's also possible that Plato started his journey in Lake Michigan, crossed over into Lake Huron, and then entered Canada by way of Ontario. Lakes Michigan and Huron are connected by a thin channel of water near Cheboygan, MI.

Quotes

Jason Whittaker: Well, when I got into Jr. High, I wanted to follow Jerry's footsteps. You know, be a big track star. But while he broke school records, all I managed to break was the high jump bar.

Young Jerry: On your mark, get set, stop!
Young Jason: Huh?
Young Jerry: Just kidding. I meant GO!

Young Jason: That's Plato? What happened to him?
Young Jerry: Well he sorta turned into a flower child since you last saw him. Long hair and beads. That's the latest rage.
Young Jason: Yeah? On what planet?

Jerry Whittaker: There's no need to fear, really. God is with me.

Jason Whittaker: Never forget, Plato was wrong. I won't forget, Jerry. I won't forget.

Connie Kendall: JASON!!
Jason Whittaker: CONNIE??
Jason and Connie: You scared me!! I scared you; you scared me!!
Jason Whittaker: Are you alright?