License to Deprive

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#633: “License to Deprive”
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50: The Best Small Town
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Deuteronomy 11:17

17Then the Lord's anger will burn against you, and he will shut the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the LORD is giving you.

Philippians 4:11
11I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

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License to Deprive

“License to Deprive” is episode #633 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Marshal Younger, and originally aired on March 15, 2008.


For a historical exhibit, the Washington family must live as people on the frontier did.


Kelly wants to go on a picnic, but the rest of her foster family is too busy. Jack Allen interrupts the Washingtons to tell them that a small barn in their back yard is the oldest building in the state. It was built by Horace McAlister. He also tells them that the Odyssey Historical Society would like to turn the building into a tourist attraction. The Washingtons heartily agree.

So the work begins on restoring the barn into a typical home on the American frontier. When Jack tells them that paid actors are coming into town to play the parts of the American Settlers who lived in the cabin, the Washingtons insist that they themselves can be the reenactors. But do they know what they’ve gotten themselves into?

When a history specialist named Abraham Darrow finds the Washingtons misrepresenting life in the 1800’s, he closes their laughable display down for a three-day boot camp. Waking them up at 3 a.m. the next morning, he bestows upon them the tasks and responsibilities that any family of the 19th century would have had. And not only that but he makes them sleep on corn-husks in the restored cabin for the next three nights!

After the 3 days are over the Washington’s have learned what life was really like back then. So much that when they were given the chance to each do things by themselves and use all their modern technology again, they decided it was more fun to spend time together.

This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »

Discussion Questions

  1. Why do you think that Abraham Darrow was so concerned about History?
  2. How do you think you could learn from History?
  3. How beneficial do you think that this experience was for the Washingtons?


Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Abraham Darrow Jeff Doucette
Ed Washington Mark Christopher Lawrence
Elaine Washington J Karen Thomas
Jack Allen Alan Young
Kelly Rachel Fox
Margaret Faye Alexandra Kenworthy
Marvin Washington Kendre Berry
Mayor Faye's secretary Sarah Kallberg
Senator Hoynes Mark Oss
Tamika Washington Courtney Brown

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Horace McAlister Jack Allen
Elmer McAlister Jack Allen


Alternate Summaries
  • The Washington family tries their hand at living in Colonial times, and an instructor gives them a 6 month "training camp" - in three days.
  • The Washington family travels back in time - to their own back yard as they reenact the life of a frontier family in the 1800's.



Kelly: Picnics in the rain are fun.
Ed Washington: No...they’re not. They’re just...wet.

Abraham Darrow: Don’t you see what you're doing? You’re mocking history! And you're mocking everyone who walks through that door when you do!

Kelly: Can’t we just kill a bear, or at least go to the store for berries?

Abraham Darrow: Ed, tell me about the Black Hawk War.
Ed Washington: <stammering> It was... awful... lots of fighting.
Abraham Darrow: It hasn’t happened yet!
Ed Washington: Man!
Abraham Darrow: Keep studying.

Marvin Washington: I think I've got the scurvy!

Abraham Darrow: I think history deserves to be treated well.
Marvin Washington: What do you mean?
Abraham Darrow: This is how people lived their lives! They worked, they suffered, they made a home for themselves! They made a country for us! We’ve forgotten that. People nowadays, they — they know instant cash machines, and video games, and television, and eight-hour workdays! I respect history, and the people who made it.

Marvin Washington: [Pizza] delivery wasn’t as good as it is today. The nearest pizza place was like, two thousand miles away! They had a deal where, if you didn’t get your pizza in three days, it was free!