"Days of Christmas Past: 1966"
Head Writer: William J.

Episodes # 281-284: A Few Snippets of Christmas
Air Dates: December 14-December 19, 1966


Tom and Alice discuss Christmas presents. Alice tells him she wants to be surprised. He teases her about negligees and she says she doesn’t need that. Then he asks if she’s going to asks what he wants for Christmas. She tells him his gift is already bought, wrapped and ready to go. They talk about getting a tree tonight because Julie won't be there to celebrate with them. He asks about Julie’s plan on staying in Paris. Alice says that she thinks she’ll stay longer. Tom then breaks the news about Bill planning on leaving for Baltimore for his residency with John Hopkins.


Alice: Before we do anything else-Christmas cookies.

Marie: I was beginning to wonder if you’d forgotten.

Alice: No. It wouldn’t be Christmas without them. At least to me it wouldn’t.

Marie: It wouldn’t to any one of us, Mom. For as long as I can remember, you’d get out the cookie cutters and we’d make gingerbread men, little Christmas trees and stars and snowmen. And all the kids from the neighborhood would be over. And we’d still have enough to last us halfway through January.

Alice: (beat) Such wonderful memories.

Alice mentions to Marie that Julie and Addie are going to be in Europe for Christmas. (Jason47 Note: The Horton house phone number is mentioned: 366-8120).


Marie is wrapping Christmas presents. She tells Julie about them moving up the Christmas tree trimming for her because she’s going to miss Christmas in Salem. They talk about traditions being important:

Marie: Mom and her Christmas cookies. Dad—picking out the tree each year, the family trimming it. A fire in the fireplace during the holidays. Everyone gathering around Christmas Eve for Christmas carols. Then midnight services. Eggnog when we get home. Ice skating on the creek Christmas afternoon.

Macdonald Carey...Frances Reid...Marie Cheatham...John Clarke.....Edward Mallory.....Susan Flannery.....Charla Doherty.....Wesley Addy
Tom Horton.......Alice Horton......Marie Merritt......Mickey Horton.......Bill Horton.........Laura Spencer.......Julie Olson........Dr. Eric Cooper

Episode # 285: The Horton Ornaments Make Their Debut!

Air Date: Tuesday, December 20, 1966


(Int. Horton Living Room. Early evening. This is the night the Horton family will put up their Christmas tree. Open with Tom, Mickey and Marie in the room. Nearby are boxes with lights, ornaments, tinsel—no new boxes except possibly replacement lights. The ornaments are varied, each steeped in tradition. Mickey is holding the tree somewhere at the middle—and make it a big tree, please. Tom, on his hands and knees, has inched his way through the long needled branches and is trying to get the base of the tree secure into the stand. Marie is back a few steps, ready with a discerning eye, to tell all assembled when the tree is straight and upright. Inevitably, Tom is having much difficulty. They are all realistically involved in the problem—They do not play the scene broadly. Open with pictures.)

Dad, why don’t you let me do that?

Tom: Someday, Mickey—and this is a promise—I’m going to invent a Christmas (struggling with tree stand) whereby with a simple adjustment or two—the tree will stand upright.

Mickey: Why don’t I hop in the car and pick up a new stand if this one is giving you trouble?

Tom: For your information, we have an attic filled with Christmas tree stands, old and new alike, none of which work.

Mickey: Sounds like it's time you cleaned your attic.

Marie: Mickey, why don’t I hold the tree and you get down there and help Dad.

Mickey: What you’re saying, Sis, is that you’re not sure whether Dad has the Christmas tree, or the Christmas tree has Dad.

Tom: Somehow I don’t find that very funny.

Mickey: (beat as Mickey tries to look through the branches at his Dad) Marie—(Mickey motions his sister over. As Marie approaches, Tom says:)

Tom: Wait! I think I’ve got it.

Mickey: Whoops. Stay right where you are, Sis.

Tom: All right, Mickey, let go and we’ll see what happens.

(Mickey lets go and the tree stands firm. Firm and slightly crooked.)

Mickey: Very good.

Marie:  No. A little bit crooked.

Tom: Which way?

Marie: It’s leaning toward the right.

Tom: Your right or mine?

Marie: Mine. Your left. (Tom maneuvers it somewhat) There, Dad. Hold it—that’s--. No, you went a little too far.

Tom: (Makes an adjustment.) How’s that?

Marie: Looks fine to me. What do you think Mickey?

Mickey: You know, of course, Dad, that the trunk has a little curve to it.

Tom: But does it look straight?

Mickey: Hmm, I suppose as straight as any tree with a curved trunk can look.

Marie: Don’t pay any attention to him, Dad. It’s fine.

(Tom now crawls out from between the branches, stands up, looks it over.)

Tom: I don’t know about the two of you, but I think it’s a very pretty tree.

Mickey: One of the nicest.

Marie: It’s beautiful.

Tom: (looking at it critically) As for that curve in the trunk—

Mickey: It’s not as noticeable as all that.

Tom: When the lights are on, ornaments, tinsel, you won’t even see it. Well, let’s say the rest of us won’t see it. But you being you, Mickey, probably will.

(Bring Alice and Julie into the room, each carrying very carefully a strand of lights.)

Alice: These two strands are fine. Tom, where do you want them?

Tom: Over there on the couch for now. Well, Mrs. Horton, how do you like it?

Alice: (Beat) Oh Tom, it’s lovely. (beat)  But—it does look a trifle crooked.

Tom: It doesn’t to me.

Alice: Look from over here (And she is serious)

Tom: (he goes over, looks) No. Looks fine.

Mickey: Mom, maybe it’s just that your eyeballs are crooked.

Alice: (Gives Mickey a look, then back to the tree) What do you think, Julie?

Julie: Looks straight to me, Grandma.

Marie: (Who is now standing by her mother)  No, I see what Mom means. Mickey, don’t touch the tree—but move the stand clockwise—just a little.

Tom: Think you can manage it, son?

Mickey: I’ll do my best, Dad.

(Marie, Alice, and Julie watch critically from their vantage point. After Mickey moves it a quarter turn, both Alice and Marie say simultaneously:)

Marie and Alice: Stop right there, Mickey.

(He does.)

Alice: That’s fine, dear.

Mickey: Well, Dad, would you like to either agree or disagree with the ladies while I wait down here?

Tom: If it’s fine with the ladies, I’m not about to disagree. 

(Mickey comes out from under the tree as Alice goes to several more boxes of lights. Marie moves toward her mother as Tom looks at the tree.)

Mickey: Now that we have that little matter settled, what’s next on the agenda?

Alice: There’re more lights to be tested.

Marie: Julie, why don’t you, Mickey, and I finish them up?

Julie: Let’s do it in the kitchen. There’s more room.

(Amidst a few ad lib lines, Marie, Julie, and Mickey pick up lights, spare bulbs and next to kitchen. Alice looks toward her husband who, in a rather serious moment, is looking at his watch. A beat—she knows why he’s looking and immediately reflects his mood.)

Alice: What time is it?

Tom: After seven. A few minutes after.

Alice: Could something come up at the hospital?

Tom: Bill was off duty at six. There’re people on call to handle emergencies.

Alice: (beat) Tom, we’re going to wait. Ever since the children were old enough to help, decorating the tree has been something we’ve done together, as a family. It’s been a—tradition.

Tom: I’m—well aware of that.

Alice: Addie’s in Europe, she can’t be here. But Bill’s in Salem.

Tom: For now. Until the second of January. Alice, I can’t for the life of me understand that boy. Boy? A young man, a doctor—who could have every opportunity here—but he’s turned his back, he doesn’t want any part of me. It’s just possible that’s why Bill isn’t here tonight.

Alice: We’re going to wait, Tom.

Tom: (Beat) But not for long.

(Int. Coffee Shop at University Hospital. Small portion of coffee shop. Bill, who is in street clothes, is in deep and serious thought. An untouched cup of coffee sits before him. Establish. Then bring Laura into picture, also with coffee.)

Laura tells Bill she thought he left a while ago. Bill asks her if she’s on call and she nods. She asks why he is there at the coffee shop. He tells her he’s making the most important decision of his life.


(Take up immediately)

Bill asks if she can join him. Laura tells him she didn’t know if he wanted company. She sits and he stares into space, Bill breaks the silence to ask her a question. He asks her if her mind has ever been confused as to what to do in life. She tells him once when she had to decide whether to marry or go to medical school. She tells him about Doug, one of the most eligible bachelors in Chicago (according to the papers.) He was polite, wealthy, came from a good family. She thinks she loved him. Bill questions her about loving this man. She tells him that Doug wanted a wife not a doctor. That was the time her mind was “tied in knots” as Bill put it. She couldn’t decide to give up her career to be a wife. Bill asks her if she would have married him if he left her keep her career. She thinks she probably would have married him if that was the case. Then she tells Bill not too long after their relationship, Doug was married, to a stay at home wife and three kids. They then talk about the commitment both made as doctors to use their talents as best that can to serve the community. Bill tells her that he was so sure that he was going into internal medicine. Laura tells her that he knows why he’s torn. She’s seen him in the operating room. She remembers the day when he was assisting Dr. Cooper and he was right there, when Cooper asked for help. It was like second nature to him tying off veins that suddenly bled. Bill tells her that was the day that put the doubt in his mind about internal medicine, yet it also was the day he accepted the offer at John Hopkins and embark on an internal medicine residency. Now, he’s really not interested in that field. He asks for her advice. Bill is stuck and thinking he can't ask Hopkins to switch him to a surgical residency. Laura agrees saying it too late and he committed to internal medicine. He tells her that he just received the contracts for his residency. He doesn’t know what to do. Laura asks if he’s talked to his father. He hasn’t but he has a 7:30 appointment with Dr. Cooper to discuss his decision. He said it all started with a comment Cooper made to him about being a good surgeon. Laura tells him that all surgical residency openings have been filled at University. He just hopes that Cooper can give him some advice.


(Int. Horton Living Room. Marie alone by the tree, opening a box containing a dozen ornaments. She carefully removes one, looks at it. Bring Mickey into the room. He looks at her, and at the ornament.)

What’s the saying, Sis? They don’t make’em like that no more.

Marie: I wonder how long it took Grandma Horton to make them.

Mickey: A good long time, I’m sure. She finished them—just a matter of months before she died.

Marie: So—precious, every one of them.

Mickey:  Yes, that they are. I can remember the day she brought them over. You were still in pig tails. She said she wanted something of herself to be with us in years to come. Christmas was always her favorite time of the year. (beat) Someday those ornaments will be handed down to us.

Marie: (Beat) I don’t want that day to ever come, Mickey.

Mickey:  Nor do I.

Marie: I can’t imagine a Christmas without—Dad—or Mom.

Mickey: Hey now, enough of that.

Marie: I’m sorry. And yet—I do think of it from time to time.

Mickey: I suppose we all do—from time to time.

Marie: Too often, we take things for granted. They’re here and we just think they’ll be here forever.

Mickey: So what’s the answer? Except to make each day as full and as rich as possible, for them, for us.

Marie: (She nods, a beat) I wish that somehow we could impress that on Bill.

Mickey: Either it’s a part of him, Marie, or it isn’t.

Marie: Is Bill so different then the rest of us?

Mickey: He might have that impression—but fundamentally I don’t think he is. Our brother has his problems, as you and I have ours.

Marie: As simple as that?

Mickey: No. Maybe not.

Marie: I wonder if he knows how much he’s hurt Dad by his attitude.

Mickey: He’s not all that insensitive. He’d have to know.

Marie: Then why would he do it, Mickey?

Mickey: Sis, I can only assume that somewhere along the way—he’s been hurt, too. By Dad. Not that there’s any justification for his attitude. And yet—he must think so.

Marie: Mom said both she and Dad have thought over and over again what it could be. They don’t know. I just can’t believe, Dad being Dad, that he ever could have done anything, said anything—that would justify Bill’s attitude.

Mickey: Whatever happened, Marie, I’m convinced it was a long time ago.

Marie: (beat) You know, of course, that Bill’s going to be leaving here the second of January—for Baltimore.

Mickey: Yes, I know.

Marie: If he stayed here at University Hospital, he’d have to work under dad. From what Mom said, they feel that’s the reason Bill decided on John Hopkins.

Mickey: Marie, in all fairness to our kid brother, there could have been other considerations. Professional, I mean.

Marie: Do you believe that?

Mickey: I do think we have to allow for the possibility.

Marie: (Beat) As for the rest of us, we couldn’t have a more wonderful brother. Mom, a more devoted son.

Mickey: So what’s the answer?

Marie: I don’t know.

Mickey: (Beat as Mickey looks at his watch) I wonder what’s keeping him.

Marie: What time is it?

Mickey: Going on seven-thirty. Mom doesn’t want to start without him.

Marie: Of course she doesn’t. This has always been a—family project. And now with Addie in Europe—

Mickey: Sis, you don’t think, that Bill—just wouldn’t come?

Marie: No, Mickey. I’m sure he’ll be here.

Mickey: Where could he be?

(Telephone rings)

Marie: I’ll get it, Dad.

(Marie gets the phone. Early in conversation bring Alice and Tom into the room. Bill is calling from house phone outside Cooper’s office.)

Marie: Hello?

Bill: Marie, I’m sorry about not being there. Frankly, I had a lot on my mind and forgot about the tree until this minute.

Marie: Where are you?

Bill: At the hospital.

Marie: Will you be here?

Bill: I know I’m late already. But do you think you can hold things up—let’s say for another forty-five minutes or an hour? I would like to be there.

Marie: Of course we’ll wait, Bill.

Bill: I’m really sorry about this, Marie. Will you explain to Mom, sort of smooth things over for me?

Marie: All right, Bill. And we’ll look for you within the hour…Goodbye.

(During Marie’s final two speeches, with her in the foreground, be sure we see Tom and Alice react with warm smiles—Tom’s however, with a shade of reserve. Stay with Bill as he hangs up…(hospital corridor)…we see a very intense young man. Hold on him, then, hear footsteps approach from down the corridor. Bill looks toward the approaching footsteps, then bring Cooper into picture)

Dr. Cooper asks Bill if he wanted to see him. He answers that he very much wants to talk to him.


(Int. Cooper's Office. Take up immediately from inside the office. Cooper goes to his desk, immediately begins reviewing several reports and memoranda and continues to during the early part of the scene. He doesn’t look at Bill until indicated.)

Dr. Cooper asks Bill to get to the point of this meeting because he has another lecture in thirty minutes and has to have time to prepare. Bill starts telling him about his residency at Hopkins. He tells him that he hasn’t signed the contract yet. Cooper is confused about the information and asks if he’s suppose to congratulate him. Bill tells him that he’s changed his mind and he wants to go into surgery. Cooper asks him how long ago he accepted this residency. Bill tells him a few days ago. Then Cooper mocks him by asking him when he’ll change his mind to Pediatrics, maybe the week after Gynecology? Bill tells him he won’t change his mind—he wants to be a surgeon. Cooper brings up his compliment that he gave Bill the other day. Did his compliment have anything to do with Bill’s new change of heart? Bill tells him that the compliment made his feelings come out to the surface. He calls it a realization. Cooper is really questioning him on semantics, but Bill insists that he’s definite on being a surgeon. Cooper gives him some facts—would he be here talking to him if he hadn’t passed on that compliment the other day? Bill tells him that he can’t be sure. Cooper is telling him that he’s putting one thing he mentioned in passing and turning his back on one of the finest hospitals in the country. Bill’s temper rises up and he tells him that damnit, he’s sure that he wants to be a surgeon and comments on how Cooper has been not paying attention to him and looking through papers. Cooper finally looks up at him as Bill is telling him that he doesn’t know how he’s going to do it, but he will become a surgeon and came to him for some advice. Bill tells him he shouldn’t have come to see him. Cooper tells him if he walks out of the office, he better not step into the surgical floor tomorrow. That stops Bill and then Cooper asks him what makes him sure he has what it takes to become a surgeon? Bill replays Cooper’s own words to him about not many interns having promise for surgery, except for him. Cooper says promise is not reality and that it doesn’t show capability. Bill tells him that he will be a great surgeon if not only to come back to him and make him eat the words he’s saying right now. Cooper tells him that he doesn’t know of the pressure of being a surgeon- split-second decisions, life and death, responsibility, loneliness that makes you scream. Then he asks Bill if that’s what he really wants? He answers, yes. Cooper tells him he’ll see what he can do. Bill looks at him and asks what he means. He tells him that he’ll call the Chief at Hopkins, who’s a personal friend, and try to get him out of his residency. Then he’ll see if they can add another surgical residency here. But he warns him, the day he sees him as weak, is the day he’s no longer in the program. He understands and Cooper tells him he needs to organize his lecture. 

(As Cooper digs in, doesn’t even look up as Bill leaves, take Bill at the door, one final look at Cooper, a look of hero worship here…fade out)

David McLean...Ron Husmann
Craig Merritt...Tony Merritt

Episode # 286
Air Date: Wednesday, December 21, 1966
Script Writer: John M. Young


(Same night as preceding script. Int. Craig’s office, Hillcroft. Tony alone, putting ornaments, tinsel, etc., on a small table-size Christmas tree, now on the desk. He’s singing happily, more or less to himself, the carol “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Establish. He sings a verse or so. Then bring Craig to the doorway. Not in his uniform. He looks at Tony. Then)

Craig asks Tony about the tree. Tony tells him it's to get him in the Christmas spirit. He's noticed that he hasn’t been himself. Tony is sorry that they can’t spend Christmas together this year because Craig will be flying. Tony tells Craig he knows that he volunteered to be on call during Christmas. Craig tells him that some of the guys have kids, small ones. Tony tells Craig he understands and gives him the tree. He then tells him that he wishes he could put the tree in a house or apartment since he hasn’t bothered to look for a place to live. Craig tells him about the meeting he just had with the head of the airlines. He tells him that the airline is expanding to cargo and he’s signed up for it. He will be taking cargo to the Far East for the year. That's why he hasn’t bothered to look for a place to live. He’s trying to sell this opportunity as an adventure and for double the pay. Craig tells Tony that he leaves on December 31. Tony can't believe how fast this adventure is starting. Craig convinces Tony to take him out to dinner to celebrate.

(Tony goes out singing the song again. Take Craig, alone, drained of all bravado. Take him and the tree in closeup.)

(DISSOLVE TO: Int. Horton Living Room. Marie alone. The boxes of ornaments, etc. as they were when we last saw them in ACT III of the preceding script. She hears Craig’s words.)

CRAIG (recorded):
Won’t be long, will it, darling, before there’s another Christmas. Our first together, Marie. Just a few more months. Let’s see, we’ll put our tree over there, we’ll have a fire in the fireplace, plenty of egg nog—a Christmas neither of us will ever forget.

Marie touches her ring finger and talks to herself saying that she’ll never understand why Craig asked for a divorce. 


(A moment or two later. Marie standing where she was, looking at the tree. Bring Tom into picture behind her.)

Tom tells Marie that he’s sure the tree is straight as an arrow. At least that’s what he thinking when he sees her staring at it. Then he tries to get her attention, but she’s lost in thought. He asks her what’s she’s thinking about and she tells him of Christmas. He asks past or present. She tells him future. Now the topic changes to Marie’s romantic entanglements. Tom notices that the times that she’s been out with Tony, she hasn’t come to “present” him to her mother or him. He tells her that he’s welcome here at the house. She thanks him and tells him that she wasn’t sure he was welcomed. She says she’ll wait a bit before bringing him around. She wants to know how Tom feels about Tony. He tells her he hasn’t formed an opinion. He says he trusts her judgment. Marie goes on to say that she knows that Mickey likes Tony but Bill has made it clear that he doesn’t. Tom tells her that his point is that it's her feelings that count most of all. She tells him that she feels strange. That last year, she would have given anything to marry Tony but now, she feels that has changed. She questions whether she’s changed so much in a year that she doesn’t want to marry him. Marie tells Tom that when Tony talks about marriage, she pulls away. Tom wonders if she’s afraid of what might happen. She shifts the conversation to Bill. She tells him that she was talking to Mickey about Bill. They have noticed his negative attutude towards him. Tom tells her that their disagreements are nothing serious. Marie brings up the fact that Bill’s decided to do his residency in Baltimore and all the decisions leading up to it. Tom tells her that he’s never met a son and/or intern who doesn’t want to upstage the “old man.” Marie says there’s more to it then professional rivalry and Tom may agree there’s more to it but tells her it is what it is. Alice walks in. Tom asks Alice if everything is ready for the tree trimming. She says that they’ll start when Bill gets home. Mickey is helping Julie with her luggage. Bill has just come in and greets everyone. He apologizes that they had to wait for him to start. Bill goes to his mother and kisses her and asks for forgiveness. She says there’s nothing to forgive. Bill welcomes Julie to her first tree trimming evening with the Hortons.

Bill:  Hi Julie. Welcome to your first tree trimming evening with the Hortons.

Julie: Thanks, Uncle Bill.

Mickey:  Evening, Doctor.

Bill:  Mr. Attorney.

Mickey:  And now, Mom, since everyone’s present and accounted for, what do you say we trim that tree?

Alice: (hands him the star) All right—you start this year, Mickey.

Mickey:  I start—

Bill:  (As Mickey puts the star up. The others get ornaments, etc., and move in to trim.) The tradition is, Julie, you hang them where you think they should go—and up to a point, you’re on your own.

Julie:  How do you mean, up to a point?

Bill: You’ll find out. (He starts singing a gay carol, such as “Deck the Halls”…stops..then) And sing while you work, Julie. (Julie joins in…all join in as they start trimming. Take Tom looking at Bill. A half smile, but underneath a little hurt. Then Tom joins the song, moves in to trim.)


(A short time later. All hands busy. Alice, the mother, has definite ideas as to what should go where, so she more or less masterminds the operation, as tactfully as possible. Mickey is fixing the lights. Marie hanging striped candy canes. The others put ornaments, etc., on. A little humming, happy snatches of songs as they trim.)

Alice:  Julie—I think—that might go—a—

Julie:  It balances out with the other side, Grandma.

Bill: Remember—up to a point, Julie! (Laughs)

Alice:  Let’s try  it on the lower branch.

Julie: Here?

Alice: Well—yes, that’s fine for now.

Bill:  You nibbling at those candy canes again this year, Marie?

Marie: I’m saving them for later.

Julie: Aunt Marie wouldn’t eat the canes!

Bill: It’s a family joke, Julie—one Christmas when Marie was in rompers, she bit off the bottom half of every candy cane on the tree.

Marie:  And Mom made me eat every bite of dinner afterwards.

(Alice is changing an ornament here and there)

Tom: Come on now Alice—that looked fine.

Alice:  Darling—we have to make room for the others.

Mickey: Bill, shove that plug in the socket, will you?

Bill: Okay. (Bill plugs the cord in. The lights go on.)

Mickey: Well look at that, they all lit up.

Tom: For the moment, anyway.

Julie: This is a wonderful tradition, Aunt Marie.

Marie: The family never misses a year.

Julie: I cant begin to tell you how glad I am to be a part of it, all you’re doing for me.

Marie: You’re doing a lot for us, just being here.

Julie: I can never really thank you—putting up your tree early, a big Christmas dinner tomorrow night because I’m leaving for Paris.

Tom: Well, Julie, you can tell our oldest daughter something from all of us—

Julie: What, Grandpa?

Tom:  (gets ornament from his mother’s dozen) Tell her we’re hanging the ornament that was always her favorite, in its usual place. (Hangs it on front of tree)

Julie: It’s beautiful!

Tom: And, I think your mother will be glad to know, that despite the many changes in this world or ours, things are going along here pretty much the same.

(The lights go out)

Mickey: Correction, Julie. Make that exactly the same.

(Light laughter at this. Mickey will fix the lights, replace a bulb or whatever)

Julie: How long do you leave the tree up, Grandma?

Alice: We usually take it down on New Year’s Day. This year we may leave it up a couple days longer.

Julie: Why?

Alice: For your uncle Bill, until after he leaves for Baltimore.

(The lights go on)

Mickey:  How’s that, Mrs. Horton?

Alice:  Just keep them burning bright, Mickey.

Bill:  You know, Mom, you may not need to leave it up in my honor.

Alice: It was just a thought, dear.

Bill: I mean—it’s possible I won’t be going to Johns Hopkins after all.

(From here on, the trimming should not divert us in any way from the internal dynamics of the scene. It should probably stop entirely. Right now, with this from Bill, everything does stop.)

Tom:  (slight pause) What do you mean, Bill?

Bill: I may be taking my residency here at University Hospital, Dad.

Tom:  (just a wisp of a smile) Son, I’m not sure I understand.

Bill:  It’s the reason I was late getting home. Y’see, I’ve had this in mind, so I asked Dr. Cooper about it. He thinks it might work—that he might get me a surgical residency here.

Alice: Surgical? You’d stay in Salem?

Bill: That’s right, Mom—

Marie: I hadn’t heard of that.

Bill: No one in the family has until now, Sis. And it isn’t definite, nothing’s settled.

Tom: But you want this, son.

Bill: Yes, I do.

Tom: You’ve seen Cooper, gone that far.

Bill: Yes.

Tom:  I wonder if I should have seen this coming. I’ve been aware of the interest you showed in surgery lately. But I didn’t realize you’d given it any serious thought.

Bill:  I know what I’m doing, Dad.

Tom: I wish you well, son.

Bill: (pleased) You realize of course there are a couple of pretty formidable roadblocks before it can happen.

Tom: How formidable?

Bill: Well, I’ve already made a commitment to Hopkins. Theyre not going to like my pulling out.

Tom: No, I’m sure they won’t. Yet we both know they shouldn’t have any trouble filling the post. What else, Bill?

(Take Alice, pleased with what she’s seeing. Father and son are close to touching)

Bill: Dad—there’s the problem of a place being made for me here.

Tom: What did Dr. Cooper say?

Bill: He seemed optimistic. That’s as far as he could go.

Tom: Bill—if Eric Cooper runs into any trouble—well, just know that if I can help in any way—

Bill: Thanks, Dad. I appreciate that. (beat) I mean it.

(Father and son have, for this moment, almost touched. And for the first time Tom shows his gladness. This is not an all out enthusiasm and thoughts are going through his mind, thoughts he’ll express to Alice later on. All have seen their closer rapport)

Mickey: Look, Doctors Horton, are we going to finish this tree or aren’t we?

Bill: Sure, let’s get at it. 

(Bill and Tom exchange glances. The others see it.)


(Same night, much later. Except for the tree lights and a fire in the fireplace, the room is dark. Tom and Alice are seen only by the dancing light from the fire. Take Tom alone, on the couch, looking at the tree, deep in thought, smoking his pipe. Take this picture, it should be a beautiful one. Then bring Alice in, in her robe. She stops, looks at the picture, comes and sits beside her husband. For a long moment, there’s no need for words.)

Alice:  It’s the most beautiful tree we’ve ever had, Tom.

Tom: You say that every year. Each one is the most beautiful of all.

Alice: It’s true—and oh Tom, the children never outgrow the feeling of being a family. Darling, this is the nicest evening ever in so long.

Tom: I’m sure part of it is Bill, his announcement he might not be going to Baltimore.

Alice: Of course I’m happy about that. I’m a mother.

Tom: I know, darling.

Alice: (beat) Tom—

Tom: Mmm?

Alice: What do you think of Bill going into surgery?

Tom: If this is what he wants, by all means it’s the course he should follow, though I won’t deny I was more than a little surprised.

Alice: I could see that you were.

Tom: As far as I remember, Bill’s talked internal medicine. But these things happen. Suddenly, you change—you see what you want—and there’s no more important decision for a doctor.

Alice: He seems hopeful that Dr. Cooper will be able to get him out of his commitment with Hopkins.

Tom: Yes, Bill seems to think he can. I think he will, of course it would have been simpler, earlier. No matter now. (beat) I just didn’t sense this was in the wind.

Alice: Well, if you had known, dear, you’d have said the decision was up to him.

Tom: It was Bill’s decision of course. Still—I might have advised him if he’d come to me. Helped my son, in some way.

Alice: (senses Tom’s disappointment) Tom—I felt tonight that you and Bill were closer then you’re been in years.

Tom: I guess it did look that way, Alice.

Alice: It was that way.

Tom: I wonder. If I were to be realistic, I could say that Bill is a somewhat desperate young man—

Alice: Desperate? You can be that realistic?

Tom: To put it another way, he desperately wants something very much—he’ll take support, assurance from any quarter.

Alice: I don’t believe that.

Tom: Then what do you believe?

Alice: I want to believe that tonight is the start of a real relationship between the two of you.

Tom: (smile) Darling, if that’s what you want to believe, then by all means, you believe it.

Alice: Don’t you?

Tom: I think we’ve talked enough about our children for one evening.

Alice: We’ve really only talked about Bill.

Tom: There’s not too much to say about Mickey, he’s his usual gregarious self. As for Marie, I think she’s coming along better than we might have hoped. And as for their mother---you know, Mrs. Horton, I’m very fond of you… (kisses her) fact is, I’m in love with you.

Alice: I love you, Dr. Horton. Fact is, I loved you long before you got your M.D. (beat) Remember the first year we had a Christmas tree of our own?

Tom: A tiny thing—

Alice: Dreamed of a home of our own—then Addie and Tommy were born—

Tom: Then Mickey—Bill—Marie—and family evenings like the one we’ve just had.

Alice: With something to remember about each and every year. (Beat, then soberly) I wonder how many more Christmases we’ll have, Tom.

Tom: What kind of talk is that?

Alice: Honest talk, realistic.

Tom: You know, Mrs. Horton, one of these days I’m going  to get you to the office for a thorough going over, and get these ideas out of your head.

Alice: Oh, I feel fine, Tom.

Tom: Then enough of that kind of talk. All right?

Alice: All right, darling.

Tom: (Puts his arm around her, looks at her, take a beat) Thank you, Alice.

Alice: For what?

Tom: For all the years, a family, a home, and your love. Thank you, darling—and –Merry Christmas—1966.

Alice: Thank you, Tom—and—Merry Christmas—1966.

(They embrace)

Denise Alexander...Clive Clerk...Coleen Gray...Terry O'Sullivan
Susan Martin...David Martin...Diane Hunter...Richard Hunter

Episode # 287
Air Date: Thursday, December 22, 1966
Script Writer: John M. Young

Int. Horton Living Room (Late afternoon. Mickey alone at the tree, trying to locate a bulb that burned out and cut off one string of lights. Bring Tom in. He watches his son. Smiles warmly.)
Mickey and Tom are talking about the lights always going out. Mickey tells him that there’s new lights where you can tell which bulb goes out and just replace that one bulb. Tom says you know those lights have been with the family since lights were invented. Mickey says he’ll give 2 cents for new lights. Tom jokes about having change for a nickel and then he tells him that next year, he’ll buy the new lights. Mickey fixes the lights and tells them to behave for Julie. After mentioning Julie, he asks Mickey if he wouldn’t mind taking Julie to the airport if he has to go to the hospital. Mickey says he will.
Mickey asks Tom about how long Julie will stay in Europe. Tom gets the impression that she’ll stay with Addie and Ben for a long time. Mickey was thinking that she would have been back after the holidays, but Tom thinks otherwise. He thinks Julie is going to like Europe and want to stay there. He doesn’t blame her for staying there and asks about where she is now. Tom tells him that she’s doing some last minute shopping. Mickey worries that shopping might just distract her from missing her own party. Tom tells him not to worry, she’ll be home soon. All he needs to worry about is the lights.
DISSOLVE TO: Int. David’s Parked Car in Isolated Area (Julie and David in his car, David is strong-tender in this scene. Now he watches Julie, tenderly, lovingly. She’s opening his gift—exquisitely wrapped in a small jewelry box, with tissue and cotton inside. She takes out a simple but beautiful gold locket-pin in the shape of a heart, perhaps studded with diamonds. Her reaction is mature, with a deep awareness of its significance.)
Julie tells David it’s a beautiful locket. He had it engraved with “Darling—with all my love, forever. David.” Julie says nothing in the world could mean as much to her. David thinks that maybe she should cover up the engraving for right now. She wants to wear it and tells him that she’ll wear it forever. She gives him his present.
(He opens, takes out an expensive, handsome gold wrist watch, with a gold mesh or filigree band. He’ll put the watch he’s wearing in his pocket, put this one on. His expression shows it has deep meaning.)
David thinks the watch is beautiful. Julie tells him she wanted to engrave it but maybe she’ll wait until they’re married. He tells her it's an expensive watch and asks where she got the money to buy it. She says that she went to many stores to find the right one and she had money saved. He can't thank her enough. Julie tells him that she’ll miss him. David asks how long she is going to stay in Europe. She says she’s going to stay until Susan has the baby and possibly after they get a divorce. She says it's best for everyone. She thinks it's going to be hard on him. David tells her that they can't write to each other or communicate because he doesn’t want her to dwell on anything. Julie says she can't promise that she won't think of him. He tells her to think of their future. Julie talks about being a good wife to him, having children, how she wants that very much. He tells her this is the last time they’ll see each other until he’s divorced. Julie says it'll be just a couple of months and during that time, she’ll think of the time when they stand up and proclaim their love at their wedding. They kiss.

Int. Susan & David’s Apartment (Same time. Richard has just arrived. Susan is taking his coat, hangs it up. Richard is in the process of thawing out)
Richard talks about how cold it is outside. Susan offers to prepare coffee and he thanks her. He notices the tree and thinks it’s a good sign. Susan tells him not to get his hopes up. They only put the tree up because David's parents were coming over with a tree of their own. David and Susan lied telling them they already had one. David's parents then told them they would come over because they wanted to see it, so they had to go out and buy a tree. Richard thinks it's weird just to come and see a tree and Susan agrees. They came anyway and Mrs. Martin told Susan she wanted her help picking out some fabric for her draperies.
Richard then thanks Susan for the Christmas card she and David sent him. He talks about really playing the part of a loving couple. Susan tells him it's almost over. She tells him that David wanted to send the cards to keep up appearances with his family as well as everyone else. Susan then tells Richard she has to go to another party. This one is at David’s office. She asks if she can excuse herself from the party and have dinner with him instead. Richard tells her he can’t because he’ll be stopping by her mother's if the weather’s not bad. Susan offers him another cup of coffee, but he declines. Richard says he knows he can't stop thinking about this whole situation- the loveless marriage, apartment, everything.
Richard brings up the adoption and the pending divorce. He wants to know if there’s anything he can say or do to change her mind. Susan tells him the decision is final. She tells him that she wants no part of David’s child or his life. He tells her that she can't walk out of her child’s life. Susan makes it clear that the only reason they got married was to give this baby a name. She has no feelings towards the baby and wants the baby with parents that can love it.

Int. Hunter Den (Later. Richard is here this evening with the intention of asking Diane to marry him. It is vital that he underplay and understate throughout, with sensitivity. He and Diane have just finished dinner by candlelight, the scene is in progress)
Richard thanks Diane for a wonderful dinner. She offers dessert: cherry pie, but he wants to wait until later. She then offers coffee and he declines. He lights a cigarette and is lost in thought. He starts reminiscing about one Christmas Eve, when their son, Dickie was born. They talk about that being the happiest time of their lives, then it being taken away 4 years later when Dickie died. Diane remembers that they had Susan by then. Richard reminds her that he just wanted one child, but she wanted a second one. She tells him that by the time Susan was going to be born, she could sense that he wanted that child. He tells her the years apart, she raising Susan by herself, were meaningless and wasted. Diane tells him that was in the past and now Susan is happy with David and a new baby is coming soon.
Richard tell Diane that the greatest mistak he made was walking out on her and Susan ten years ago. She tells him that she wasn’t a good wife because she was obsessed that nothing happen to Susan. She was afraid of losing her just like she lost Dickie. They both agree that distance and time make a situation seem different. He thinks he should have tackled the problem instead of running away. He says it's taken him ten years to realize the errors of his ways. She says they were both wrong. He says what about now…maybe we can fix the past, Deena (his pet name for her.) Diane reacts to the nickname and tells him she almost forgot that he called her that before they were married. Richard tells her he knows that he’s the one that wanted the divorce, but he realizes that he wants a second chance with her. He asks her to marry him. He asks if it's too late? She tells him, no, it's not too late!
(He looks at her, she at him. He slowly moves toward her, takes her in his ams…they kiss.)

Int. David & Susan’s Apartment (Later. One light on. We hear key in door. Susan opens it, enters. Followed by David who is somewhat burdened down with the gifts he’s carrying. Shower gifts)
David asks her to be more considerate and turn on the lights since he’s carrying these gifts. They both can’t believe that David’s co-workers threw them a baby shower. Susan asks him why he didn’t know about it, a holiday party that was really a baby shower. She looks at the gifts with no interest. He tells her that his co-workers know that they’ll be leaving Salem next week. Susan is still upset about the act she had to play at the baby show. He tells her to get over it, the party’s over. She wants David to get rid of the gifts and tree tomorrow. She tells him that he can drop off the baby stuff at the orphanage in the South side. David doesn’t think getting rid of the tree is a good idea. He says he’ll get rid of it Tuesday, the day they leave. He’ll get rid of everything then.
As David is stacking the presents in a pile, Susan notices David’s new watch. She asks where he got it. He tells her that his other watch didn’t keep time well and he bought this one. Susan notices it is very expensive looking. The phone rings and Susan thinks its one of his “genius” co-workers. She’s next to the phone so she answers it.
CUT TO: Int. Hunter Den (Diane and Richard. Richard on the phone. Diane’s arm is around him, his around her.)
Susan says “Hello,” and it's her dad on the other line. He asks about the office party and she says it was “unbelievable and fantastic.” He’s curious and asks her what does that mean. She tells him that she’ll tell him later. Susan asks what can she do for him. She is sure he’s not calling to talk about the party. Richard tells her she’s right and he has a reason-a very exciting one. He tells her that he wants her mother to tell her. Richard passes the phone to Diane and she asks Susan if they can postpone their trip for a few days to the end of next week. Susan’s concerned and asks why? Diane tells her that she and her father would like David and her to come to their wedding. Susan can’t believe it and asks again. Diane says that she’s getting re-married to her father. Susan breaks into shear happiness.
(Take Susan, great sobs of happiness. Overwhelmed, she forgets the phone for a moment, it dangles loosely in her hand. David looks at her, not knowing what’s going on. Take Susan, beside herself with joy.)

Robert Brubaker...K.T. Stevens
John Martin...Helen Martin

Episode # 288
Air Date: Friday, December 23, 1966
Script Writer: William J. Bell

Int. David & Susan’s Apartment (This is immediately after close of preceding script. Susan is sobbing tears of joy as we hear her conclude her conversation with her parents. David, of course, has no idea what it’s all about)
Susan is so happy she’s wiping the tears away. She tells both her parents that they have made her so happy, a great Christmas present. She tells them they will be there to celebrate. During this time, David is anxiously awaiting what news has gotten Susan so happy. He can't take the suspense any more and asks about the phone call.
Susan tells David that the most wonderful thing has happened. She tells him that they have to postpone the trip to Cleveland for a few days. David complains about having reservations for hotel and flight and meetings set up. Susan doesn’t care and tells him to cancel them. He then tries to tell her that the baby is due soon. She rebuffs him by telling him that the baby isn’t due for another 5-6 weeks. She wants him to stop arguing with her. He wants a good explanation about why they should postpone the trip. Susan finally tells him that her parents are getting re-married and they are going to the wedding. She goes on and on about her parents reuniting being something she’s always wanted. David finally relents and gets on the phone to change their plans. She tells him if they hadn’t gotten married and found out about the baby, then her father wouldn’t have come back and rekindled his marriage. David tells her at least something good came out of this marriage. She wants to celebrate with her parents. David tells her he’ll do whatever she wants, but they can't have a party for them tomorrow night. His parents are planning something special for them. She tells him it's been quite a night and looks at the Christmas tree. She thinks, finally, this tree has some meaning for her. David tells her that they should turn in since he has to get up early and get to his office.
(As Susan plugs in the tree lights from a switch near the base of the tree—so she doesn’t have to bend and can do it easily—take her looking at the tree, somewhat soberly but with great inner happiness.)
Int. Booth in Restaurant (Following day, late afternoon. Take a booth in one of the nicer restaurants of Salem. There are no other booths, extras. Shoot this one booth tight. Scene is in progess.)
Tony and Mickey are talking at a restaurant. Mickey says that he’s glad that he’s gotten to know him and asked him to lunch. He tells him it's too bad that his father couldn’t come, he’ll have to get a raincheck. Tony says it better be soon because his father is leaving the country for the Far East. Now he explains that he’s taken a one-year job as a pilot for one of his company’s subsidiaries. Mickey asks him how he feels having his father so far away. Tony tells him it's something his father really wants and he doesn’t want his feelings to interfere with Craig's wishes. Mickey says he really wants to see Craig before he goes next week. Tony suggests that after lunch, they drive out to the airport to meet him. Mickey tells him he needs to drive Julie to another airport because Tom had an emergency. He and Alice will be taking her. Tony says she’s lucky. Mickey agrees and tells him she’s happy.
CUT TO: JULIE IN PHONE LIMBO (She’s dressed for her trip and is wearing the heart that David gave her for Christmas. She’s hesitant, looks at the phone, then dials)
CUT TO: Int. Susan and David’s Apartment (Susan is in her bedroom, getting dressed. Her door is closed. David is in the living room putting on his tie.)
David answers the phone. Julie asks him if it it's ok to call him at home. She tried calling his office, but he already left for the day. He says Susan’s in the other room. She just wanted to hear his voice one last time before she gets on the flight and wants to thank him for the present. He thanks her for his present and tells her he loves her very much and will miss her. Julie tells David that she’ll see him in a month. He says then they can be married when she comes back. 
Susan comes out of her bedroom and asks who called. David tells her it was one of the guys from the office. She now wishes that they postponed this dinner with David’s parents and go out with her parents instead. David tells her that they can't and wishes she stops trying to get out of it. Susan tells him her parents are nice but can get possessive. David tells her that she won't have to put up with them much longer. They won't have to put up with her as well. Susan reminds him that his parents think she’s the best thing that happened to him. She wonders how his parents are going to take the news of the divorce. David tells her when the time comes, he’ll have his story and it will be fine. Susan jokes about telling his father that he beat her. He’ll disown him if she said something like that. David tells her that’s a funny joke and if she’s ready, they can leave. She plays around and asks him if he’s going to help her with her coat, “darling.” As he’s helping her, he tells her to lay off the terms of endearment when they’re at dinner. She tells him that they're playing a game. He says saying those things to each other doesn’t ring true. Then she brings up the beating joke again and he gives her a look and they leave.


Int. John Martin Living Room (John Martin and Helen are dressed for the evening. But at the moment, John is alone—he’s tossing the keys to the new house up and down in his hand. He’s alive with anticipation—but keep him in character. Bring Helen to the doorway. She stops, looks at her husband, smiles. There of course should be a Christmas tree. Use the Horton’s.)

John can’t wait to give David and Susan the keys to the new house that he bought for them. Helen says he looks like the cat that ate the canary. John tells her that he’s always wanted to give them this since they found out that Susan was giving them their first grandchild. Helen asks how he’s going to tell them about the house. He says that he’ll think of something. Maybe he’ll tell them to come check out the house that belongs to a friend. He wants to handle it. Helen tells him she won’t spoil the surprise. John’s a bit sad that the draperies couldn’t be made in time, even after making Susan pick the design and having her think they were for their home. Helen tells him the temporary drapes are lovely. They hear the doorbell. Helen thinks David forgot his keys. Helen goes to let them in. They wish each other happy holidays. John tells them they already are the happiest ever.

John offers them non-alcoholic egg nog and Susan accepts. She compliments them on their Christmas tree. John tells him it's been a while since they have had a tree. Usually they go to Florida and spend the winter there. He says maybe next year, they all can go with the baby. David brings over the cups of egg nog for everyone. Susan toast to the months ahead. David tells his father that he noticed the house down the street is finished. John and Helen exchange glances as David talks about the new house down the street. John tells him it’s a coincidence that he mentioned that house because he was going to ask them if they wanted to take a tour later on. Susan has never noticed it before. John tells her one of the guys from the office is moving there. David asks who and John tells him, Phil Dickens. David thinks its odd that Phil never mentioned moving. John tells him he left him a set of keys and thought they would enjoy looking at it. David tells him another time because they can’t stay too late. John insists that it’ll only take a couple of minutes and asks Susan. Susan says it's ok.

(John smiles warmly at her, then glances to Helen as we take it out. Susan is just being accommodating. David feels it’s a waste of time.)


Int. New House Living Room (This is later. Take the living room of the lovely new home that John and Helen are about to present to Mr. and Mrs. David Martin. Pan the room slowly. It’s a charming warm, beautiful home—more contemporary than modern. It of course is furnished—and really except for substitute draperies—is ready to move into. David and John are the first to complete their tour as we see them return to the living room from another part of the house. David, or course, is preoccupied and somewhat indifferent.)

John asks his son his opinion on the house. He says it's very nice: seven rooms, wooden area. He can't believe that Dickens never brought up the fact that he bought this house. John thinks perhaps it never occurred to Phil to tell David about it. David lights a cigarette and thinks of going outside in order to not dirty the ashtrays. John tells him he shouldn’t worry about that. David now wonders what’s keeping Helen and Susan. John notices that he’s a bit nervous. He tells him that they have had to postpone the trip to Cleveland for a couple of days. John asks why and David tells him that Susan’s parents are getting married. John’s happy and guesses that her parents want them there to witness the ceremony. He doesn’t understand why that would make him nervous. David guesses it’s the whole sudden change of plans. John thinks that it's because he's becoming a father pretty soon. He agrees and sees that the women have come into the living room.

Susan is raving about the kitchen- state of the art appliances and loves the master bedroom. She also mentions the fireplace. She tells John she doesn’t think she’s seen a nicer home. John explains that there are three fireplaces in all. Helen wants them to sit and talk, but David tells her that they shouldn’t because Phil and his wife might walk in. John tells him that Phil’s visiting his folks over the holidays. Susan says the house is furnished beautifully. She thinks a lot of money was spent on them. John steps in to explain that this home is an investment. A young family needs a home where kids can play and it will last a lifetime. He thinks there's nothing more important for a family than a good home. David, a bit uneasy, thinks they should go back to John and Helen’s home for some more eggnog. Helen tells him they’ll go back in a few minutes. John then thanks Susan for bringing their family together. He knows that he’s said it numerous times, but he wants her to know that they love her very much. Helen tells her she’s loved like a daughter. Susan thanks them.

John then tells his son how proud of him he is for becoming this responsible young man with a baby on the way. All this in a few short months and they couldn’t be more proud of him. David thanks him. John then tells him that the house isn’t for Phil, but they needed a story in order for them to come over to see it. Susan is confused. John continues that he and Helen planned, built and furnished this house- FOR THEM! David and Susan look at each other-stunned. Susan doesn’t know what to say. John hands the keys over to David and tells him Merry Christmas. Helen tells Susan Merry Christmas.

(Helen embraces Susan. Take David as he accepts the keys, slowly takes a few steps and looks almost numbly at everything about him—then take John—who smiles at Helen. Helen, her arms around Susan, returns his smile. They are excited and happy—unaware of the real reason for Susan and David’s stunned reaction to their gift—take it out on John and Helen as they beam at each other.)