A Member of the Family, Part 1 (FP)

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#FP11: “A Member of the Family, Part 1”
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March 30, 1987 ↓
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Family Portraits
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Proverbs 3:11-12

11My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, 12because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

Exodus 20:12
12"Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

Ephesians 6:4
4Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

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A Member of the Family, Part 1

“A Member of the Family, Part 1” is episode #11 of the Family Portraits audio series. It was written by Susan McBride, and originally aired on March 30, 1987.


Whit's grandson Monty comes to visit him but starts causing problems for Whit and the rest of the town when Monty starts acting strangely, feeling his grandfather has been treating him unfairly.


This episode starts with Whit and Tom waiting at the airport for Monty Whittaker-Dowd, Whit's grandson who is visiting for the summer. But much to Whit's surprise and dismay, Monty turns out to be a rude and spoiled brat. After much conflict between the two of them, Whit applies a few house rules which he hopes will set Monty straight.

The next day, Whit takes his grandson to Whit's End to earn a bit of spending money. After Monty is told what to do, he waits for Whit to leave, and decides that he doesn't want to work for the money. Or to be there at all! Monty calls his mom and lies about how Whit is mistreating him and demands that she pick him up immediately. Jana refuses, saying she can't pick him up for another week. Angry, Monty slams the phone down and cons a Whit's End employee to open up the cash register and give him some money. Monty then leaves for the movies, very pleased with himself.

When Whit finds out, he does not spare the rod on his grandson. Afterward, Whit explains to Monty why he had to be spanked. Monty responds positively. After this, Monty finally starts having fun and even joins up with The Odyssey Coyotes, completely forgetting that he ever called his mother. Everything seems to be going well until Jana finally shows up, very upset.

Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions are not available for episodes in the Family Portraits collection. This list is from the re-airred version.

  1. Do you think Whit had a good reason to spank Monty?
    • What does the Bible say about spanking?
    • Could Whit have handled the situation in any other way?
    • Explain your answers.
  2. Why was Jana so angry with Whit?
  3. Why was Monty so rude to Whit and Tom?
  4. What mistakes did Whit make in raising Jana?
    • How could he have avoided those mistakes?
    • Corrected them?


Heard in episode

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Phil Dowd Tom Riley
Jenny Whittaker-Dowd Tom Riley
Jerry Whittaker John Whittaker
Jason Whittaker John Whittaker
Heather Bullock Tom Riley


  • This is the first two-parter in Odyssey history.
  • At the beginning of this episode, Whit says he hasn't seen his grandchildren (Monty and Jenny) in three years.
  • Jana and Monty show up for the first time in this episode. Whit's many conflicts with Jana are revealed in this episode. Jerry's death in Vietnam and Whit's son Jason are also revealed.
  • Whit gets very angry for the first time in this episode.
  • On the Family Portraits tape, these two episodes are put together uninterrupted on one side of the tape to make room for A Simple Addition (FP)
  • This episode is flashbacked in #212: “The Mortal Coil, Part 2”. This episode was re-aired as #17: “A Member of the Family, Part 1”.
  • The song that Monty turns up loud is "Another Crossroads" by Petra off the album Back to the Street. We can assume that Monty is a Christian, so he would indeed be listening to the popular bands of the day. However, living in California and the overall tone we get from the character of Monty, one would assume that he would be listening to secular music more than Christian Rock. The producers were probably looking for something hard and logically chose Petra.


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