HOME, SWEET HOME
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Theme: The joy of reunion; the importance of home.
Episode Number: 364
Writer: Phil Lollar
Scripture: Psalm 84:3
Album: # 28: Welcome Home
Last Air Date: 09/01/2004
Original Air Date: 11/2/96
Connie is excited, Whit is finally coming home! She and the rest of the town have planned a huge homecoming bash for him. Jack urges her to go meet Whit at the airport, but Jack has decided to stay behind. Connie rushes out excitedly, and Jack says quietly, “Good-bye, Connie. It’s been nice knowing you.”
Meanwhile, the plane carrying Whit, Jason, and Eugene touches down in Odyssey. They are all glad to be home and looking forward to rest and relaxation, peace and quiet. But as soon as Whit steps into the terminal, he is met with cheers and applause! Bernard and several others have gathered to welcome Whit home. Whit is grateful, but really doesn’t want this kind of celebration. Bernard tells him to relax and enjoy it, then starts to make a speech.
Before he can, though, he is interrupted by Bart Rathbone, who provided the decorations, the balloons for the event, and a loudspeaker, which announced the delay of the flight. Then Harlow Doyle also interrupts. He lets it slip that there is a special motorcade waiting to take Whit to city hall. There, Mayor Tom Riley and the whole town are waiting with a big celebration for Whit! Before Whit can protest, they whisk him away, leaving Eugene and Jason behind with the bags. Jason collects his and Whit’s, but Eugene’s are on the delayed flight.
Jason leaves, and Connie runs up, late as usual. She’s just missed Whit. Connie offers to drop Eugene off at the college on her way downtown. They leave.
Meanwhile, Whit arrives to an incredible celebration. Tom greets him warmly. He gives Whit the key to the city and proclaims the following day “John Avery Whittaker Day!” Then Bart Rathbone and the Electric Palace provide a fireworks spectacle, only, something goes wrong, and all of the explosives go off at the same time. Everything gets chaotic, and Whit, Tom, and Bernard leave for a celebration at Whit’s End.
Of course, Connie arrives just as the fireworks burn themselves out. She can’t believe she’s missed Whit again, but when she tries to take off for Whit’s End, she blows out a tire and has no spare! She desperately hitches a ride on the back of Harlow Doyle’s moped. But his police scanner picks up a crime in progress. Instead of going to Whit’s End, they take off for the crime scene. Connie hops off the moped and runs to Whit’s End. There, she discovers that Whit was so tired, Tom took him home! She races there, but Tom tells her that Whit has already gone to bed. Connie can see him in the morning. This is the final straw. Connie breaks down crying. Tom starts to take her home, when she hears a familiar voice behind her. She turns . . . and there stands Whit. She rushes into his arms, and they embrace warmly. Whit is finally home.
“To get the sound of Connie’s tires squealing, I went into the Focus parking lot, set up a microphone on a boom, and spun out in my new van. Unfortunately, a police officer saw me and pulled me over. But after he found out what I was doing, both of us had a good laugh, and I saved myself from a ticket.” Mark Drury, Production Engineer