Treasures of the Heart
The Barclay family holds a yard sale to tidy up their cluttered attic.
The Barclay family is sitting around the dinner table when George Barclay asks everybody how their respective days went. Mary says she attended a meeting of the Odyssey Women’s Committee, which wants to raise money for a new orphanage. Jimmy went shoe shopping, or browsing. He’s thinking of buying a pair of $125 Jordo's tennis shoes, to the dismay of his mom and dad. George and Mary are stunned and encourage Jimmy to be content with his current shoes (an economical pair of "Save-Mart Super Fliers") and forgo spending his money on something so unnecessary. Donna then tells the family about the interesting discussion she had in civics class. The topic was priorities, with a question posed: if your house was on fire and you knew the family was safe, what would you rescue if you could take only one thing before the house burned down? George responds that he'd like to save a box of books from his childhood that's stored in their attic. As George and Mary excuse themselves to go upstairs and begin cleaning the attic and searching for the books, Donna asks Jimmy what they're going to do about their father's obsession about those books. Jimmy is confused, and Donna drops the subject.
The next day, Jimmy meets Lawrence at Whit's End and learns that Lawrence has managed to buy himself a pair of Jordo's with his allowance money, only having managed to secure parental consent by asking for permission while they were watching TV. Jimmy relays his parents' decision to Whit, conceding the wisdom of their reasoning but admitting that he still wants those shoes anyway.
At home later that day, Jimmy confronts his parents about the Jordo's and manages to gain their reluctant consent after reminding them of the budget they imposed on the kids four years earlier. As George grouses, Mary commends Jimmy's lawyer-like arguing.
As she and George continue cleaning out the attic, Mary discovers a trunk of old clothing from her and George's high school days — including a vintage leather jacket George loved and saved weeks to buy when he was Jimmy's age. George suddenly finds some empathy for his son's desire for the shoes and goes downstairs to give the jacket to Jimmy, expressing his understanding even though he still has issues with the shoes' cost.
While handing out posters for their attic sale to Whit at Whit's End the next day, Jimmy and Donna are surprised to learn from Lawrence how popular George's old jacket has become among the kids in town. As they walk out of the shop, Donna then reveals to Jimmy the reason for her concern about George's box of books: George will never find them because Jimmy destroyed them! Donna explains that she didn't want to say anything to George because he was so excited, and hopes that he will eventually give up on them. Realizing how determined their father now is to find the books, however, they decide to wait until "the right moment" to tell him (i.e., after Donna has moved away to college).
Meanwhile, George and Mary uncover something in the floorboards while play-fighting over what to throw away: a page from one of George's books!
The family meets later to discuss their upcoming attic sale, and George admits a change of heart: if their house truly were burning down, the family's safety is all that would matter to him. However, he does ask for an explanation about why a page from his old Lone Ranger book has been written all over in crayon. Donna then relays the story of how Jimmy, as a toddler, made his way up to the attic while being watched by Donna and colored all over George's old books before Donna could find and stop him. Donna hid the books under her bed for a few weeks and then drafted Jimmy's help in smuggling them out to Mr. Humphrey's trash bins. Only when the topic came up the previous day did Donna even remember the books at all.
The attic sale the next day is a rousing success, with even Whit finding a few items to buy. George asks Jimmy to lay the jacket onto the racks to be sold, to which Jimmy vehemently objects. George insists that Jimmy buy the jacket for the sake of the orphanage... at a price of $125. Jimmy reluctantly agrees. "SOLD — to the young man in the Save-Mart Super Fliers!"
- Should Jimmy have been allowed to buy the shoes with his own money?
- Why or why not?
- Why did Donna think George would be mad about what happened to his books?
- How would you answer the question Donna’s civics teacher asked?
Heard in episode
|Donna Barclay||Azure Janosky|
|George Barclay||Chuck Bolte|
|Jimmy Barclay||David Griffin|
|John Whittaker||Hal Smith|
|Lawrence Hodges||Gabriel Encarnacion|
|Mary Barclay||Carol Bilger|
Mentioned in episode
|Melvin (Lightning) Livingston||Jimmy Barclay|
|Maureen Hodges||Lawrence Hodges|
|Lieutenant Joe Hodges||Lawrence Hodges|
- This episode has a very brief (and maybe vague) reference to #63: “A Good and Faithful Servant”.
- This episode has some similarities to a newer episode called #657: “Clutter”.
- The fad of "Jordo's tennis shoes" was probably based (and aimed at in this episode) on another fad happening at the time this episode aired: Air Jordan tennis shoes.
- George mentions the following books as being in his collection: Arabian Nights, Peter Pan, one of the Lone Ranger books, and the Biggles series.
George Barclay: Wait a minute, Mary, what are you doing with that whiffle ball set?
Mary Barclay: I’m putting it in the “to sell” stack.
George Barclay: You can’t do that; I want to keep it.
Mary Barclay: George, it’s a plastic ball and bat — that look like they’ve been through a meat grinder.
George Barclay: Well, they were chewed up by Sparky. I loved that dog; they’re the only reminder I have of him.
Donna Barclay: All right, we’ll both tell him.
Jimmy Barclay: Ok. When?
Donna Barclay: At the right moment!
Jimmy Barclay: “At the right moment”? When’s that?
Donna Barclay: A month after I move away to college!