Pokenberry Falls, R.F.D., Part 1

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#340: “Pokenberry Falls, R.F.D., Part 1”
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Romans 8:28
28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Philippians 1:6
6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

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Pokenberry Falls, R.F.D., Part 1
“Pokenberry Falls, R.F.D., Part 1” is episode #340 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Paul McCusker, and originally aired on January 6, 1996.

Summary

George Barclay is given an opportunity to pastor in a small town called Pokenberry Falls, but to accept the position would mean the Barclays would have to leave Odyssey.

Plot

The Barclays are recording a story for the newest member of their family, Stewart Reed Barclay, on a cassette tape.

In their story, after George graduates from seminary, he and the family discuss his plans at their celebration dinner at Burger World. George is ready to be a pastor and already has an immediate offer to be the senior pastor at Odyssey First Church, though George isn’t sure that’s the offer he should accept. Overhearing their conversation, Ellis Birch introduces himself and explains that he has come to ask George and the Barclays to consider moving to Pokenberry Falls so George can pastor their church.

Despite pleas by Donna to stay where they are in Odyssey, the family agrees to visit the town and see where God's leading takes them. Ellis flies them there in a private plane owned by Pokenberry Falls’s leading citizen and member of the church board, Barry Lionel. Once there, they meet Ellis's wife Vivian and granddaughter Amy Birch, the latter of whom is very beautiful and causes Jimmy to "nearly trip over his tongue" during their introduction.

Ellis and Vivian proceed to show George and Mary what the town has to offer — mostly the more attractive, touristy parts of town like the golf course and hotel owned by Barry Lionel. George and Mary urge their hosts to take them through the actual town, which Ellis reluctantly does. There George and Mary are surprised to see a noticeably lower standard of living. Just as they arrive at the church, they see a police car with lights flashing parked out front. George insists they stop to see what's going on, much to the reluctance of Ellis. They learn from the police officer that a man named Owen is inside the church, vandalizing it by throwing and shattering empty glass bottles. Ellis grudgingly announces his plan to go inside and deal with him... because Owen is his brother.

Meanwhile, Amy shows Jimmy and Donna the actual "Pokenberry Falls," which turns out to be a runoff from a cement pipe. Amy explains that the town of Pokenberry Falls has "nothing there," with no true local attractions to speak of and a populace that consists of either rich people who can afford to stay at Mr. Lionel's hotel or poor people who work at his factory. She then leads Jimmy and Donna to her hideout and invites them to drink with her.

At this point George interrupts their story to change the cassette tape. To be continued...

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did George hesitate to take the pastor’s job in Odyssey?
  2. Why did something seem "strange" about Pokenberry Falls from the time the Barclays showed up?
  3. Have you ever had to move?
    • What was it like?

Cast

Role Voice Actor
Amy Birch Alicia Anderson
Mr. Clown Howard Morris
Donna Barclay Azure Janosky
Ellis Birch Howard Morris
George Barclay Chuck Bolte
Jimmy Barclay David Griffin
Mary Barclay Carol Bilger
Owen Birch Pete Reneday
Vivian Birch Joan Gerber


Notes

Trivia
  • Jimmy asks George if he told Ellis that he thought "he was funnier than Burger World's Mr. Clown". Both Ellis and Mr. Clown are played by Howard Morris.
  • Burger World is also an obvious reference to fast food giant McDonald's (and maybe to a lesser extent West Coast chain Jack in the Box), both of whom also use clown mascots (Ronald McDonald for McDonald's, Jack {clown with a ping pong ball for a head} for Jack in the Box).
  • The motel in Odyssey that Ellis stays in, the Simple 6, is probably a play of a chain of motels, Super 8, or it might have been named for the motel chain, Motel 6, or maybe a combination of the two.
  • The RFD part of the title probably stands for "Rural Free Delivery"; a reference to the show "Mayberry RFD", a short lived spin-off of the Andy Griffith Show.
  • If you listen closely just after George is announced and given his diploma at the beginning, you can hear Focus's Philip Glassborow announced also.

Quotes

George Barclay: So what denomination is First Church anyway?
Ellis Birch: Well--that kind of depends on the pastor.

Ellis Birch: Technically, I am an executive associate to the office of the president.
George Barclay: Meaning?
Ellis Birch: I'm Mr. Lionel's gopher.