"Days of Christmas Past: 1967"
Head Writer: William J.
Bell


   
Frances Reid (Alice)....Regina Gleason (Kitty)...Astrid Warner (Sandy)...Charles MacCauley (Eliot)


Episode # 530: A Precursor to Christmas...Sandy Horton's Debut, Part 1
Airdate: Tuesday, December 12, 1967

Kitty and Alice are looking through the mail and all the Christmas cards they’re getting. Alice tells her that there’s a letter from Sandy. She’s surprised and concerned. Kitty starts to read the letter as we hear Sandy’s V.O.:

SANDY (recorded) Dear mother, you didn’t have to write the second letter. I’d received the first one, but just never got around to answering. We’re very busy here at school with exams and the usual last-minute things before vacation. About Christmas—Rita’s parents have told me I can spend the holidays with them again this year and I told them I would. I think it’s better that way. The Hortons are strangers to me, and, Mother Dear, in many ways, so are you. ‘Nuf said. You all have yourselves a good time in Salem. Hope Santa brings you—what you want. I’ll be fine with the Jacksons in New York. Got to dash off to class now. Sandy.


Alice asks about Sandy and is glad she can come for Christmas. She understands why she didn’t come for Thanksgiving and chose to go to New York City instead. Kitty says that at this age, Sandy wants to be popular and with friends. Alice keeps going on and on about not seeing Sandy since she was a baby. How the whole family can’t wait to meet her, get to know her. Its going to be a happy time for the Hortons with Mickey’s wedding and Sandy coming home. 
Alice asks about her arrival and Kitty plays it off and tells her she doesn’t know yet, with finals and everything at school. Alice hopes Sandy books her ticket soon. Alice goes to mail some cards as Kitty “talks to herself”:


KITTY 
(recorded) I’ve got to have you here, Sandy. I have to. I can’t come up empty-handed this time. Not after everything I’ve said—the big build up—all the excuses about Thanksgiving. I can’t disappoint them again. There’d be too many questions. They’d have to start doubting first what I’ve told them about you—then, the rest. I’m sorry, Dear Daughter. This time I’ve got to change your mind, or you could ruin everything. (Beat) You’d only ignore a letter. A phone call? That never seems to work with you either. (Beat) But—there is one way…


Kitty talks to Alice about staying out all day with Christmas shopping and perhaps watching a movie. Then she starts talking to herself again.


KITTY
 (recorded) By jet I can make it there and back in a day. But where do I get the money? I can’t ask Alice. I have no one I can ask—except—there may be one person in Salem who I can! (beat, then she smiles confidently) Of course...Eliot.


Eliot Kincaid and Kitty have known each other for 16 years. They have an antagonistic relationship. He threatens to tell the Hortons that she planned on divorcing Tommy when he came back from Korea. He says if she doesn’t leave Salem, then he’ll tell them about the real Kitty. She tells him that she cant leave until Sandy comes visit because the Hortons are begging to see her. Then she tells him about borrowing money. He mentions that he wants to take his previous bribe to get her out of town. She tells him that she needs the money now. 
 

She tells him that she needs to go see Sandy because she may lose her scholarship. He asks why didn’t she ask the Hortons. He seems very suspicious of her he doesn’t buy her story but he gives her the money. He gives her $100 and reminds her about leaving after the new year.

(Take airplane in flight. Hold. Then slow dissolve to sign at gate of rather exclusive eastern school—Edgewood Preparatory School for Girls)

Sandy’s Dorm (where we find the young lady dressed in sweater and skirt, lying across her bed, propped up on her elbow as she writes in a notebook, an open text nearby. For the record, this is a no-nonsense girl when it comes to her school work. Her sense of security stems from her success as a student. Establish, then hear... KNOCK ON DOOR Sandy doesn’t turn—continues working as she says with a certain exuberance in her voice:)


SANDY: Come on in. Door’s open.

(Door opens, Kitty takes a step or two inside)

SANDY: (Still without turning:) Be finished in a minute, Rita. Here, while you’re waiting, read this over, see if you like it.

(Sandy takes a page from her notebook, turns to hand it to Rita, stops cold in her tracks for a split second or two.)

KITTY:  Hello, Sandra.

(The initial shock of seeing her mother worn off, Sandy is completely relaxed. Her approach to her mother is not saccharine but devastatingly sweet. Her words express her feelings, not her tone of voice. She is not once rude, she is not once antagonistic in her delivery or in her expression. But the words are there, the calculated hurt is there—she never fails to impose on her mother—it screams out really beneath her smile. Underplaying, Sandy pretends she can’t quite place her mother)

SANDY: Let’s see now—I remember you. (Beat) Oh yes. Mother. How’ve you been?

(Despite everything, Kitty is vulnerable to her daughter. Part of it, of course, is her deep-seated guilt over her neglect of Sandy during the years, although being Kitty she’d do it all over again if it served her purpose. The other part is her need for Sandra’s cooperation. As for Sandra, by virtue of her background, she shows a maturity beyond her years)

KITTY:  (beat) I’ve been fine.

SANDY: I will say you’re looking very well.

(This is not sarcasm. But Kitty knows her daughter, is not taken in by her sweetness or apparent interest)

KITTY:  Thank you. Tell me, how’s school?

SANDY:  (no change of expression) You really want to know?

KITTY: I asked you, didn’t I?

SANDY: So far a high B in Trigonometry. A’s in everything else.

KITTY: (but not expansive) How wonderful.

SANDY:  Is it me, Mother, or do those words sound a little empty? Or maybe it’s just that you’ve never seemed too interested before. But no, I can’t say that either. When I won this scholarship—you were very interested then. Money was running low—and there’d be no problem of my having to cramp your style by living at home. (continues to smile sweetly) Let’s see now, who was it then? (beat)  Was his name Greg? You know, the one from New York. You were so sure he was going to marry you. But then you were so sure of so many men before him. Is that the attraction to Salem, why you’re staying there? Another man?

KITTY: (no anger, no reaction) No, Sandy. Your father’s family. Your family.

SANDY:  (sweetly) Which is another way of saying you ran out of money.

KITTY:  How do you think I got here today—if I was broke, as you seem to think?

SANDY:  (beat) It must be very important to you to come all the way here—my being in Salem for the holidays, I mean. You did get my letter?

KITTY: Yes.

SANDY:  Like—this morning, maybe? And so you took the first plane. Why, Mother? Why would it make any difference to you or them? They don’t know me, I don’t know them. As for you and I—how many Christmases have we spent together in the past five years? One? Or was it two? You always seemed to be invited to some far off exotic place by some very rich man.

KITTY:  Sandy, I don’t know where you got all these ideas about—men in my life.

(To repeat, at no time does Sandy lose her apparent composure, her smile, the seeming pleasantness in her voice)

SANDY:  Mother Dear, I may be young—but not naïve. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not passing judgment. If anything, I’m very liberal about things like that. A woman has to fend for herself the best way she can.

KITTY: I hope you don’t mean that.

SANDY:  Oh, but I do. I’m your daughter, remember? It’s a biological fact if nothing else. (a very slight shading, but keeping the smile) I’m just sorry you made this trip. Maybe you were right in always keeping us apart. Because when we’re together we say things that are better left unsaid. It happens every time. The week I was home this summer. And now today—only a matter of minutes. But don’t get me wrong—its not that I hate you, Mother. I don’t. Really. It’s just that—you’ve given me no reason to love you.

KITTY:  What if I told you, Sandra, that I’ve changed.

SANDY: (beat as Sandy looks at her, would like to believe it for just an instant, then know it’s impossible.) I’d then have to say any changes came of necessity, not by choice. And that when the first man gives you that second look, you’ll be off and running again. Which, I repeat, is fine Mother. You have your life—but just let me live mine. Don’t dangle Salem or the Hortons in front of my face and expect me to come running. When my every instinct is to run the other way.

KITTY: But that is what I’m asking, Sandy. It’s very important to me that you spend the Christmas holidays with your father’s family. And I’m not going to take no for an answer.

SANDY: Aren’t you? We’ll see, Mother.  (Beat) We’ll see.


     
Macdonald Carey (Tom)...Marie Cheatham (Marie)...John Lupton (Mark)


Episode # 531: Sandy's Debut, Part 2
Airdate: Wednesday, December 13, 1967


At the end of act two, Marie and Mark are talking about this Christmas. Marie is telling him about Sandy coming and it being the first time she’ll meet her. The scene dissolves back into Sandy’s school:

SANDY: I’m so sorry, Mother, that you had to waste your time like this. But as I said in my letter, I’m going to be spending the holidays with Rita and her parents again this year.


ACT THREE
(Take it up immediately)


SANDY: I am a little curious about one thing, Mother. How did you ever explain away your coming here to see me? Explain to the Hortons I mean if they’re expecting me?  (Beat, Kitty just looks at her) Ohhh. I see. They don’t know about the trip. Thanks to the jet age. Breakfast in Salem, lunch in New York, dinner back in Salem again. And I bet you told them you went Christmas shopping.

KITTY: (doubt beat) You’re so much that I was at your age it’s – it’s a little frightening.

SANDY:  Why should it be frightening? I can’t think of any three people who’ve had as much fun as you have through the years.

KITTY: I know at your age, Sandy, you can’t imagine ever being as old as I am—but the years have a way of catching up with you. And you ask yourself—what have I done with my life?

SANDY:  Oh, but think of the memories, Mother. (Touch of facetiousness)

KITTY:  It just doesn’t work that way, Sandy. You think to the future. Words like “ security, a home” suddenly become very important. But where do you find them? How do you reach out for something that for so many years you turned your back on? Security was today. Tomorrow would take care of itself. For many years it did. But not any more.

SANDY:  (not at all moved by her mother’s words, but not arrogant either) Is that why you went to Salem? Looking for security?

KITTY: (beat, then Kitty decides complete candor is the only approach) Yes. You see, Sandy, I didn’t have a dime when I arrived at the Horton’s. I’ll admit I didn’t go there because I wanted to. I went there because there was no where else to turn. No one else to turn to. (beat) They took me in, they’ve been wonderful to me. I’ve been a part of that family ever since.

SANDY:  So then all of your problems are solved.

KITTY:  (beat) They—would like to see their granddaughter.

SANDY:  In other words, you need me to put in an appearance to complete the package, is that it?

KITTY:  Sandy, you belong to that family. You’re part of it – not by marriage, as I am, but by blood. Dr. and Mrs. Horton’s son was your father.

SANDY: (beat, then for the first time slightly shaded, but no anger) Mother, can you remember the number of times as a little girl that I used to ask you about my daddy? If you don’t—I do. Oh, I mean a real little girl. (Beat) But you never wanted to talk about him. He was a soldier, killed in Korea. Name, rank, and serial number. And that was about all. You didn’t want to talk about him, so I stopped asking about him. Why didn’t you tell me then about Salem and the Hortons? Why? But that’s right, you were the Merry Widow then, men lined up for each day of the week. Excuse me, each night of the week.

KITTY:  Sandy, if you have it in your head that I was any kind of—

SANDY: (by now topping) I don’t know what you were or weren’t – except that you weren’t a mother. But I’ve survived all that. I’m here on scholarship, I’m somehow emotionally stable and I can truly say I’m happy here. I repeat—it’s not that I hate you, Mother. I don’t. You’ve just never given me anything to love. And now I’m supposed to come running because you need me.

KITTY:  It’s something you’ve never had—all right, something I never gave you. A family—made up of fine, wonderful, decent, wholesome people. People who know what it is to love. People who are ready and willing to offer their love.

SANDY:  But you aren’t really thinking of me, Mother? Can’t you see that? You’re only thinking of yourself—as usual. This love you talk about is just incidental to your needs. Obviously if you don’t produce me for the holidays—they’re going to ask questions and—poof, there goes your security. That’s what all this is about. You know it. I know it. Let’s at least be that honest with one another.

KITTY: Yes, it’s important to me. But I also believe it could be important to you. At least come and meet these people. Don’t do it for me, do it for yourself. You want to know about your father—and what a wonderful man he was, now you can find out. You want to know what love is? It’s there waiting for you. More than you can possibly imagine. I’m asking you to do this, Sandy, with the promise that if you do—I’ll never ask anything of you again. (beat)  Well, Sandy?

(Take Sandy—not in any way revealing in her expression—but only revealing in that she does not have a ready no for her mother this time…and)


ACT FOUR

Tom is wondering whether a mink coat is a good present to replace the fur coat that he gave Alice six years ago. Alice comes down the stairs and they have a conversation about the coat after she catches him in the closet. She hints that she thinks mink is expensive, but she'd rather have a beaver coat. Then she changes the subject to Kitty. She’s been gone all day. They are saying she’s wonderful and can’t wait to meet Sandy…Kitty comes to the door…


ALICE:  Oh, Tom, I’m so anxious. (beat, then with emotion)  Tommy’s daughter. At long last a part of our family. (Beat)  In a way we—we’ll have him again—through her.

(HEAR KEY IN FRONT DOOR AND DOOR OPEN)

TOM:  Well, here’s someone.

ALICE:  (projecting) Marie?

KITTY:  (off-camera) No, Alice. Kitty.

ALICE: My goodness, you certainly made a day of it.

KITTY:  Yes, I did, didn’t I.  (coming into picture)  Hello, Doctor.

TOM: Hello, Kitty.

ALICE:  Where’s all the packages?

KITTY:  They—well, they’ll be delivered next week. (And she’s talking about Sandy)

ALICE:  Then you found what you're looking for.

KITTY:  (beat)  Yes, I...I got exactly what I wanted.
(Hold on Kitty, her confident smile, and fade out)


Heather North (Sandy)

Episode # 537
Airdate: Thursday, December 21, 1967

ACT ONE

(Same time as the close of preceding script. Horton Living Room. Take Tom just entering the house. He puts his black bag down, takes off his coat, starts to hang up coat as Alice comes into hallway from kitchen)

Tom compliments Alice on the new dress. He thought she would be at the airport with Kitty, picking Sandy up. She doesn’t answer the question and instead talks about how excited she is to finally meet Tommy’s daughter. Tom reminds her that she a young woman and not the baby they last saw. They walk into the living room and Tom gives a gentle reminder of not putting too much pressure on the situation because it’ll make everyone uncomfortable. He says they have to put Sandy at ease and thinks this must be so foreign to her- walking into a house full of strangers. Alice says that they love her. Tom warns that Sandy may not feel quite as they are feeling right now. He tells her not to be disappointed if Sandy doesn’t feel any attachment to them. She never knew Tommy and they should only give emotional support if she wants it. She mentions that she told Kitty that they will just be happy that she’s coming- no expectations. Alice thinks with two weeks here in their house, they may need to plan some activities for her. She mentions that the house will be busy with Christmas, New Years’s and Mickey’s wedding, but that may not be enough. She was talking with Marie, and Marie suggested a tour of the hospital. Tom said that sounds fine, but let’s gauge her interest first. It has to be Sandy that’s interested in going to the hospital. He tells her of taking her to get the Christmas tree. Alice thinks that’s a great idea. She tells him that Mickey and Laura are stopping by and thought about calling Bill to see if he’ll come and meet his niece. Tom says that Bill has made it clear that he won’t be spending holidays at the house. Tom says their house is always open whenever Bill decides to come back. Tom asks about Sandy’s flight and Alice says that it lands at 4:45 and it on time. Tom says its 5:30, they should have been here by now. He can’t understand how she restrained herself from going to the airport with Kitty. She tells him that Kitty asked for some time alone with her daughter. Tom thinks they apparently have a lot of stuff to talk over.


(Dissolve to the car, to Kitty and Sandy, where absolutely nothing is being said—two people who sit in silence as they drive to the Hortons’. Take Kitty, hold, then let her look over to her daughter. Then take Sandy, totally expressionless as she looks straight ahead.)


ACT TWO

(Take it up immediately in the car. Open on silence. Take Kitty first and then take Sandy. Move in for an extreme closeup of Sandy. Hear Kitty off:)

Kitty has been calling Sandy’s name. Sandy has been recalling their conversation at the school where her mother asked her to cancel her plans with Rita, her friend, and come to the Hortons for Christmas break.

(Sandy becomes aware that her mother has been calling her. By now the car has stopped. Sandy looks at Kitty.)

Kitty reminds her not to embarrass her in front of the Hortons. Sandy tells her that she’ll play her game, but after the holiday she never wants to see her or the Hortons again. Sandy opens the door and Kitty doesn’t know what to expect of her daughter.


ACT THREE

(Take it up immediately inside the Horton Living Room. Alice is starting to walk towards the front door. Tom looks after her.)

Tom tells her that the car she heard could be Marie. Alice goes up to the window and tells him that she’s right- it's Kitty and Sandy. They share a warm moment between them. They both proceed towards the door.

(Cut to exterior as Kitty and Sandy approach the house, big smiles on their faces in fear that someone might be watching)

Sandy makes a sarcastic remark about being a good little girl with a huge grin. Kitty tells her to cut it out. Sandy tells her that she’ll put on the best performance for the Hortons. She recognizes that she’s acting like her mother. Kitty presents Sandra to Tom and Alice.  Sandy immediately call them “grandma and grandpa.” Alice has tears in her eyes. Tom comments that this is a special moment for them. Sandy agrees. Alice asks for a hug and Sandy plays it up and lets her linger on the hug for a bit. Tom suggests that they let Sandy take her coat off. That breaks up the hug and Alice offers to hang it up for her. Kitty offers to hang up all the coats as they go into the living room. Tom asks about Sandy’s flight and she says it was fine and she compliments them on their home. Alice tells her that it’s her home too. Tom tells her the layout of the house- kitchen, den, front hall, living room. Sandy notices the fireplace and Tom immediately tells her that he’ll build a fire if that’s what she wants. Sandy tells him not to do anything special on her account. Alice mentions the picture that Kitty has showed them of Sandy and Tom can’t wait to take some pictures of their own. Tom brings up Sandy’s excellent school record and scholarship. She tells him that it’s the “Horton” in her. Tom says then Sandy is a hard worker too. Sandy agrees although she thinks she could have gotten that from her mother since she worked very hard to raise her by herself.  Kitty steps in and tells her that it’s not her grandparents fault that she wanted to raise her by herself. She tells her that she was wrong not to take their offer, but she felt it was out of pity. She doesn’t want her to blame the Hortons. Alice hopes they can in some way make up for the past. Sandy thanks Alice and tells her that she doesn’t know how she feels about being here in their home.


Kitty talks to herself in a recorded voice:

KITTY: You’re playing your part well, Sandy. Frighteningly well. Dear God, is this my daughter?

(Hold on Kitty, both pleased and alarmed at what she sees in her daughter)


ACT FOUR

(A short time later, as Tom and his granddaughter approach the doorway)


Tom is giving Sandy the tour of the house and stops at his study. She notices it looks like a doctor’s study and asks if he sees patients here. He says occasionally, but he mostly sees him at the hospital, 20 minutes away.  Sandy asks him if she’ll be able to visit there while she’s here on vacation. Tom’s a bit surprised but he tells her that Marie was thinking of taking her there and showing her the lab where she works. Tom tells her that her uncle Bill’s a surgeon and Laura works as a psychiatrist. Tom asks why she’s interested since he thinks it would be boring for a teen. She doesn’t think it's boring…she has been thinking about going into medicine since it's close to the time that she narrow down her potential career choices. Tom is pleased. Sandy goes on to explain that ever since her mother told her that her father went to medical school before he enlisted, she was curious about medicine. She would be thinking how it would be if she continued what her father couldn’t finish- being in the medical field. Tom is speechless. Sandy figures using her emotions about her father was the wrong reason to go into medicine. 
Tom then lists the history of the Hortons going into medicine and assures her that he’ll show her the aspects of the professional without trying to “sell” her on it. Then he tells her regardless of what she decides to do, she will go to college because her expenses will be paid by them. Sandy brings up going to work and Tom tells her that she and her mother have had to work hard enough, they will take care of her books and tuition. Sandy says that would be a lot of money. Tom tells her it's an investment in their grandchild’s future. She thanks him. Tom tells him it's what her father would have wanted. Sandy tells him even though she never knew her father, she feels him in this house. She tells him that she always wondered about how her father was like but her mother couldn’t tell her some stuff. Tom asks if she wonders now. She says that she thinks by learning about her father, she’ll learn more about herself. She then tells him that she doesn’t want to bring up old feelings and only want to talk about her father, if they feel comfortable. Kitty walks by the doorway to interrupt them to tell them dinner’s ready. She hears Sandy’s “speech” about her father. Kitty interrupts them to tell them dinner’s ready.

(At which point the phone rings. Tom answers it. Kitty and Sandy look at one another, smiles in place for Tom’s benefit, but tacitly communicating on an entirely different level)

Tom gets a call from a Mr. Wilson and he tells them to go ahead to dinner. They leave the room and Sandy tells Kitty that she thinks she’ll never be able to “keep this up” for the whole two weeks.



  
Edward Mallory (Bill)...Denise Alexander (Susan)...Coleen Gray (Diane)

Episode # 538

Airdate: Friday, December 22, 1967

 

ACT ONE

(Morning. Open with tight shot of Horton Christmas tree lighted up in all its glory. Pull back to reveal Alice enjoying the beauty of the tree. Bring Tom into the room, stopping at the doorway as he notices his wife, smiles warmly. Then he approaches, stops beside her, puts his arm around her. Let it be more of a solemn moment for both of them, let there be deep feeling)


Tom looks at the tree and says it’s the prettiest. He also comments that he says that about every tree. They recall the first time they picked out a tree as a couple and decorated it...40 years ago:


ALICE:
 (beat)  Um-hmm. You and your father went out to the woods on Christmas Eve, cut down two of them.

TOM:  (beat as he reflects, then:)  Just the two of us then.

ALICE:  You were an intern. I was a mere child.

TOM: Well, now don’t make it sound like I robbed the cradle.

ALICE: (she smiles, then a beat) I remember the two of us sitting by the tree—wondering about the future, hoping that one day we’d have a large family. (beat) I didn’t know it then, not until a few weeks later, that I was already pregnant.

TOM:  You mean—doubly pregnant.

ALICE: Our twins. Addie and Tommy. (beat) Then a few years later—Mickey.

TOM:  And for seven long years we thought—that was going to be our family.

ALICE: And then Bill came along.

TOM:  And for four more years we thought—that was going to be our family.

ALICE: And then Marie.

TOM:  (looks at Alice, smiles, then intimately:) I assume, Mrs. Horton, you’ve about given up on any more little surprises.

ALICE: (beat; then:) I’m afraid from now on we’ll have to leave those to the children…Children who aren’t children anymore.

TOM:  I would guess that Addie and Ben pretty much have their family by now. So really the only immediate prospects are Mickey and Laura. Who knows, maybe by next year this time—there’ll be another little Horton gathered around the tree.

ALICE:  I know nothing would make Mickey happier.

TOM:  Yes, that old man’s got some catching up to do. And knowing, Mickey, he will.

ALICE:  If—if only I live to see that day.

TOM:  All right, enough of that kind of talk.

Alice starts talking about last night, Sandy being there to help decorate the tree. She says that she’ll never forget her face- everything new to her. Tom says he’ll never forget Alice’s face- so happy watching Sandy. Alice thinks she’s enjoying herself. Tom agrees but at times she seemed removed, but understandable given that she just met them. Alice mentions Sandy asking about Bill. Tom asks what she told Sandy. She told Sandy that he was on call at the hospital and she’ll meet him when she visits the hospital. Sandy didn’t understand why he wasn’t here but she couldn’t really explain with Mickey and Laura there. Tom was a bit surprised that Kitty didn’t say anything about Bill, but Alice understands that Bill is an enigma. Alice asks if he thinks he really is going to stay away during the holidays. Tom thinks they shouldn’t push it and settle for what they have now. Then he says he doesn’t think Bill will visit, but he also didn’t think he would be the hospital Santa Claus this year and he’s volunteered again.

(As we dissolve to Bill's Quarters and see him with his Santa Claus boots and pants on, stuffing a pillow or whatever into the area of his stomach, grousing and grumbling—with Mark looking on somewhat humored by it all)

Bill is grumbling about being talked into dressing up as Santa by Miss Perkins. Mark was surprised but he’s starting to look like Santa. Then he helps him put on the coat. Mark says that he just needs to change his attitude and he’ll he a hit with the kids. Bill says he wants to scare the kids. Mark thinks that he’s just saying that and he’ll rise to the occasion…he bets on it. Bill picks up the beard and asks how it goes. Mark says it needs adhesive and he helps him by applying it.


(Mark applies the adhesive to Bill’s grumpy face, then let Mark put the beard in place. Now at this point please only take Bill from the back. Let’s save the full impact of him wearing the costume for our tag)

Mark helps him put the wig and hat on as Bill is still complaining. Mark tells him to go to the mirror and look.

(Bill reluctantly goes over to the mirror where we see him for the first time since his beard, wig and hat are on. Let him take a good long look at himself—and let the reaction very slowly build before—despite himself—a smile penetrates through the mass of whiskers)


ACT TWO

(Same time. Open at Susan's Apartment on extreme close up of card on gift with name “Bill” written on it. Pull back to reveal Susan, dressed and standing by the tree, looking at the gift. In the background, Diane is busy perhaps folding up Christmas wrapping paper, ribbon or whatever)

Susan is talking to her mother, Diane. She hopes that Bill likes the present that she bought him- a new stethoscope. Susan says the one he has, he had to tape. Laura thinks he’s had it since medical school. Diane thinks that’s a good gift but Susan now wonders whether he likes his old, taped up stethoscope. He probably would have bought one by now, maybe he’s attached to it? Diane asks what Laura thought and Susan says that he needed a new one, but she really didn’t know. Susan really wants a special gift for him but Diane thinks that she’s over thinking the gift. Susan then thinks whether she should send the gift to the hospital or wait. Diane thinks that she should send it since he’s probably very busy during the holidays. Susan is disappointed in thinking that he wouldn’t/couldn’t be coming over here to get the present. She decides to wait a little while longer before she sends it.

(Dissolve to Pediatric Ward at University Hospital. About ten pre-schoolers are seen—some in, some out, of bed, all wearing pajamas. There’s an upright piano somewhere off to the side. The one end of the ward resembles a playroom. A middle-aged RN is on duty. Let one little girl be off in a corner, sitting in a wheelchair, a rather shy three year old. Establish the room in normal activity, then hear:)

The kids hear the sleigh bells as the nurse tells them to quiet down and listen to them. She asks the kids who could that be? Then Bill comes in with his bag of presents. In his booming voice he says “Merry Christmas, boys and girls:”

BILL: I made a special trip all the way from the North Pole to bring some presents for you and hope you all get better real soon. Tell me, have you all been good boys and girls since last Christmas?

(Reaction from kids. If it’s not forthcoming, let him pull it out of them)

BILL: Well, seeing that you were all so good to your Mommy’s and Daddy’s, your brother’s and sister’s, you’re each going to get a real nice present. But before we pass them out, how about you all joining Santa in a song or two.

Bill goes to the piano and starts playing “Jingle Bells.”  The kids sing with Santa. Then Bill tells them it's time for presents. He passes them out to all the kids and notices that he has one present left. He looks around and sees the little girl in the wheelchair and goes to her. Bill tells her that he’s sorry that he didn’t see her over here and tells her that this is a real special present for her. She looks in awe but is hesitant to take the present. She’s shy and slowly takes the gift and impulsively gives Santa a big hug and tells him that she loves him.


ACT THREE

(Horton Living Room. Later. Establish Alice alone, opening some Christmas cards, whatever. DOORBELL. She goes to door, opens it. Let there be real emotion as Alice looks through the storm door, sees Bill standing there with six or seven presents. Bill feels similar emotion although he’ll keep much of his under the surface.)

Alice opens the door for Bill and they hug. She takes Bill’s presents and they go to the living room and places them around the tree. Bill tells her that he’s a poor resident, some presents look big, but he doesn’t earn a lot. Alice is just happy seeing Bill at home. He puts his arms around her. He tells her that he was going to have the present sent over but putting on the Santa suit gave him the Christmas spirit and he started remembering the great Christmases they had when he was a kid. He then asks about the tree. He also asks who was there to trim the tree last night. Alice tells him everyone but Addie and you. Bill says that’s the first time he’s missed it. Alice tells him that she so wanted to call him but she understood. Bill thanks her for not calling him because he would said no and didn’t want to say no to the one person in the world he can’t say no to. He tells her that they’ll get together after the New Years. He reminds her that they owe Mark a dinner at the Hortons. They set up a night next week. Bill then tells her that he wants to meet Sandy and asks if she’s home. Alice tells him that Kitty and Sandy had some last minute shopping but he should be seeing her at the hospital. They are planning to go after Christmas to visit Marie. Bill tells her to tell Marie to make sure they stop by his office too. She tells him that Marie is going to take her on a whole tour of the hospital. Bill then stops and looks at the tree- the ornaments:

BILL: Mark’s working up there now. But then Marie knows that, doesn’t she? She spending a lot of time up there herself. (beat) Well, I’m sure Mark won’t mind. (Beat as Bill looks at the tree again, at the ornaments, reaches out, touches one tenderly) The ornaments Dad’s mother made for the family jus before she died. Beautiful, aren’t they?

ALICE:  And precious. (She finds the one with Bill’s name on it) Here’s the one with your name, dear.

BILL:  (looks at it, then at the others with names, Tom and Alice near the top together, the children circled around the tree) Tom…Alice…Tommy…Addie…Mickey…Marie.

ALICE:  Remember how as children you’d each hang your own ornaments?

BILL: Yeah. How we’d look over the tree, find just the right place—make a big project out of it.

ALICE: And the one year you said you wanted yours way up at the top—so that your grandmother could see it better.

BILL:  (beat, then with emotion) I did that?

ALICE:  She’d been dead about a year or so. You couldn’t have been more than five.

BILL: (beat) In some ways I had more sense than—than I do now, didn’t I? (slight pause, then Bill slowly takes his ornament, looks toward the top of the tree, finds a place way up there, hangs it)

BILL: So that—Grandma can see it better.

(Take a very touching picture of mother and son)


ACT FOUR

(Short time later. Susan's Apartment. Take Susan looking at Bill’s gift, which she holds in her hand, then slowly she turns to the phone, goes to it, picks it up, dials)

Susan calls a cab so that someone can deliver the present to Bill. The door bell rings and Susan goes to get it. She has to hang up the phone first. Then the person rings the bell a second time…Susan finally gets to the door and it's Bill. He holding a gift. Susan has a big, warm smile for him. Bill enters as Diane comes from the bedroom. They both greet each other but Diane excuses herself saying she needs to catch up on her letter-writing. Bills asks Susan how she's feeling. She tells him that she’s been following the orders that he and Tom told her to do. Bill’s concerned about her being more independent. She tells him that she’s convinced her mother to only stay until after the New Year. She takes his coat. He tells her that he wishes he could stay longer, but it's only a quick visit. She understands and tell him that she’s grateful. Susan brings up being Santa – if he went through with it. Bill tells her he did and it was fun and they took pictures. He tells her as soon as he gets a picture, he’ll bring it over. She thanks him. He doesn’t realize that he still has her gift, and gives it to her. She goes to get his gift. Bill tells her that they agreed not to give presents to each other. She remembers…then they both smile. She tells him that he can open it. He looks at the stethoscope and can’t be more grateful since his just had it. He can’t thank her enough. He wants her to open his gift to her. He tells her it's not imaginative- a bottle of perfume. He tells her that he thinks the perfume smells nice. She thanks him not only for the perfume, but for giving her back her life. He takes her hand and tells her “Merry Christmas, Susie.” She tells him, “Merry Christmas, Bill.”

(Hold for a long, long picture of these two people...and fade out)


 

 
John Clarke (Mickey)...Susan Flannery (Laura)

Episode # 539

Airdate: Monday, December 25, 1967



ACT ONE

(Although this episode is scheduled to air Christmas Day, we’ll avoid any direct references because of possible pre-emptions between then and now. Morning. Horton Living Room. Gift boxes are in evidence under and around the tree, some open, some closed, but all wrappings have been discarded by now. There’s a fire in the fireplace, the tree is lighted, the Horton home radiates warmth and epitomizes the American Christmas scene. Alice is wearing her new coat, is gently stroking her hand along the collar as Tom looks on approvingly, wearing a new Christmas sweater, smoking a new Christmas pipe)

Tom and Alice are recalling the hints being dropped about Alice having an old coat. Alice calls Tom out on trying to get hints when he asked her the question about the coat. Tom accuses Alice is acting surprised since he thinks his questioning was very blatant. She tells him that she was surprised because she had forgotten the day he asked her the question about the coat. She could never imagine getting a coat this extravagant and asks if Marie helped him pick it out. He tells her he picked it out all by himself. She kiddingly says maybe he has a guilty conscience. He’s flattered. She thanks him again and gives him a gentle kiss. He tells her to stop fussing with the coat and fix some breakfast. Alice goes to hang up the coat and down the stairs comes Sandy. Alice tells her that she’ll have breakfast ready in a few minutes. Sandy offers to help. She tells him to go and keep her grandfather company. Sandy sees Tom putting another log in the fire as he’s smoking his pipe. She has a bored look but smiles when she comes into the room. She jokes that he’s keep the home fires burning. Then he tells her she hopes she notices something else that’s burning- his new pipe. It was a gift that Sandy bought him. He so proud of it. As he’s tending to the fire, she asks about her father. She asks if her father looks like him. He tells her she’s seen the pictures. She says pictures really aren’t a good indicator, she wants his opinion. He tells her Tommy looks the most like him. Sandy keeps asking about his. Was Tommy serious or fun? Tom says he was more on the studious/serious side but did have a flair for living. Did he date? Tom says, sure, the ol’ dinner and a Saturday night movie. Then she asks if he was ever serious with a girl before her mother. Tom tells her that nope, he liked some girls, but not like her mother. From this information, she thinks it's strange that he married her mother before finishing school. Tom says he enlisted then met Kitty, who worked near the base, fell in love, and whatever plans he had, changed. She asks him how he felt after hearing about the marriage. He says he was surprised. Tommy only mentioned Kitty in one letter, in a passing way. Then he writes that he got married…just turned 21. If this is what he wanted, then we were all happy for him. Tom asks Sandy why all these questions. Sandy just tells him she wants more information on her father. She picks one of Tom’s pipes and asks him if Tommy wanted to be like him. Didn’t he smoke a pipe too? Tom tells her that they were very close…dreaming of some day practicing together- but that ended in Korea. She tells him she often thinks what her life would have been like if he wasn’t killed in action.

(Take her looking down at the pipe, then dissolve to the lab, to an extreme close up of Mark’s pipe as he fills it with tobacco, then brings it to his mouth, lights it. Then we see his face through the cloud of smoke:)


ACT TWO

(Short time later. Lab. Mark, pipe in mouth, looking into microscope, jotting down his observations along the way. Establish. Then door opens. It’s Bill wearing his resident’s garb, carrying two paper containers of coffee)

Bill jokes about Mark interrupting his finding an important scientific discovery. Mark tells him that surgeons are afraid of researchers putting them out of business. Bill counters that if that’s the case, he can always be a butcher. Mark looks at the coffee and guesses he’s on break. Bill tells him it's slow on up in surgery, so he thought he would stop by. Mark notices that Bill’s never been to his lab. Bill tells him that since his teens, he’s really never liked the lab.

BILL:  Why? Because it always was my older brother’s domain. Any spare time he had during pre-med, med school—he spent it here with Dad. As I remember, even Mike here was Tommy’s doing. They used him for experiments until Dad retired him a couple of years ago. Don’t get the wrong idea. My gripe isn’t, never has been with my older brother Tommy. Mickey was in law school, I’d just started high school—but I knew then that I was going into medicine. Dad knew it. But I had a father who couldn’t look beyond his oldest son. It was only after Tommy was killed that he turned to me, reached out—but by then I wanted no part of it. It was too late.


Mark decids to play devil’s advocate and tells Bill perhaps he’s being unfair towards his father. Bill says he didn’t like it. Mark asks him if his father was aware of his feelings. He tells him that kids can hold onto to anything…so no. Mark tells him, knowing Tom, he can't believe that he was so partial to one son, while neglecting the other. He tells him perhaps it's youth that’s blinding him.

BILL: I’ve told you that’s only part of it. The other part is a brother who was killed in action. Why? Because he had to enlist in the service to finally break this noose my father had put around his neck. An awfully sensitive guy who wanted out of medicine and didn’t know any other way out of it without hurting his father. (beat) As it turned out, he never did have to tell Dad. Because he never came back.

(Mark doesn’t relate any of this to himself. Bill, no one, has ever said that Tommy fought in Korea. Even then Mark wouldn’t identify other than to be caught in his own recall of his ordeal there)

Mark is again questioning whether his facts are accurate. Bill tells him why would a guy two years into medical school, suddenly quit and enlist? He then regrets he ever talked about this and tells him about the visitor tomorrow- Sandy. He tells Mark that being in his old lab might have some meaning to her. Mark thinks it may hold some meaning. Bill is skeptical. He doesn’t understand why all of a sudden Kitty comes to Salem after years of wanting nothing to do with his family. He agrees and decides to change the subject to that dinner invitation that has been on hold because of the wedding and holidays. He tells him if next Tuesday or Wednesday after the first of the year is fine. Mark says he needs to talk to Kincaid about his surgery, but he’s looking forward to meeting Bill's mother.

(Dissolve to Horton Living Room, to close up of the ornament with Tommy’s name on it. Pull back to reveal Alice who maybe touches it tenderly… And we see from her expression that her thoughts are at this moment of her oldest son whom she believes was killed in Korea)


ACT THREE

(Later. Scene in progress between Mickey and his father as they’re entering Tom's Study)

Mickey and Tom are talking about Kitty and Marie going over to Susan’s to drop off a gift. The conversation turns to the bridal shower and stag dinner that Laura and Mickey are having. Susan is determined to give Laura a shower and Tom thinks it's ok as long as her Mom's there to help. Mickey’s lawyer friends are throwing him the stag dinner at the “Lawyer’s Club.” Mickey asks how Tom knew about the stag dinner. He said as best man, he was invited. Mickey now warns him that those parties can be raunchy. Tom tells him that he's a big boy. Tom asks as best man, what should he be getting/doing that he hasn’t done to prepare for the wedding. Tom asks about his tails and Mickey says he’s already taken care of that. Tom asks about his nerves. Mickey says to have the phenobarb ready; that and the ring. Tom asks about getting them to the airport after the wedding. Mickey says, yes, he needs him for that too. Tom asks if the honeymoon is still a secret but Mickey tells him- Jamaica. Tom says to give him a report on Jamaica because he may want to take his mother there. They talk about Laura’s dad. Mickey tells him he staying at the Claremont and not with him because he’ll be moving out of his place before they leave for the honeymoon. He wants to move his stuff before because Laura is going from Jamaica to the medical convention in New York City and he’ll have trial as soon as he comes back. Tom hope he leaves his past in his apartment, especially the little black book. Mickey tells him not to worry, that another lawyer is going to take over his lease…and most of his belongings. Mickey then talks about Laura and Bill. He says that Bill was all about medicine and never did he think the lady intern was Laura. He says that Bill was too wrapped up in himself to notice and once he saw Laura, he wasted no time in asking her on a date. He goes on to say that poor Laura went through Bill’s drama- his loss of the use of his hand. She was wearing his ring, but they were drawn together when they worked on Susan’s case. Then she returned his ring and decided to marry me. Mickey wonders if Bill's accepted their marriage. Tom says that he has to. Mickey says that they both know that Bill loves her and hopes he doesn’t cause any trouble.

ACT FOUR

(Short time later. Laura and Alice in the living room)

Laura asks Alice if she can bring her wedding attire here because they have to catch a plane at 10, it will be more convenient to have everything here. She is delighted to help and asks if she can help the day of the wedding. Alice can’t wait to see her gown. Laura says it's a blend of traditional and modern. Alice asks about the honeymoon- has Mickey told her where they are going? Laura says all Mickey tells her is to pack a bathing suit.  Tom and Mickey come out from the study. Tom asks about the egg nog and Alice goes and gets it in the kitchen. Tom goes with her. Mickey comes up to Laura and puts his arms around her. They look at the tree and Laura comments on how beautiful it is:

MICKEY:  Yes. (beat) In many respects, darling, it’s more than—just a tree. It's a – family heritage. A good many of those ornaments were made by Dad’s mother shortly before she died. I can remember that day in December Grandma Horton brought them over, each wrapped so carefully in tissue. She’d worked months on them. She knew there wasn’t too much time—but she was determined to finish them. And she did. This is her legacy. Ornaments with each of our names on them. Others with spangles and beads and glitter.

(Take Laura as she looks closely at those with names. Two nearest the top and close together)


LAURA  Alice…Tom…(then lower, circling the tree) Addie…Tommy…Mickey…Bill…Marie.

MICKEY: Addie’s in Europe. And Tommy—somewhere in Korea. (beat) I’m sorry you couldn’t have known my oldest brother, darling. He had to be one of the most wonderful guys who ever lived. (beat, then:) I don’t know how I got started on this. When I really should be using this very private moment to give you your one last Christmas present. (She looks at him as he puts his hand in his pocket, leaves it there)  I wanted to give you this when we decided to be married, Laura, but thought better to wait—under the circumstances. But I think you’ve been without a ring on that finger long enough now.

(He takes the ring out, no box, just loose. She looks at him as he takes her hand, slowly put the ring on her finger. Then she looks down at the ring)

LAURA: Oh, Mickey, it's – it's lovely. Thank you, darling.


(She brings her hand to her mouth, kisses the ring. Then looks at him. He takes her in his arms—and make it a lasting kiss by the tree. Bring Tom with a tray of egg nog glasses… as he starts to enter room, stops. In a few moments, Alice enters, stops beside him. Make this a warm, tender moment for Mickey’s parents. Take them, then back to Mickey and Laura with Tom and Alice in the background...and fade out)


And, although not actually a Christmas episode, in honor of Susan Flannery's five decades in soaps, here is Laura Spencer and Mickey Horton's wedding episode from December 29, 1967!



Episode # 543: Mickey and Laura’s wedding
Airdate: Friday, December 29, 1967


 
Harry Stanton (Dr. John Spencer)...Harry Holcombe (Minister)

ACT ONE:

Alice and Kitty are in the Horton Living Room getting the preparations ready for the wedding. The florist calls Alice for the time of the wedding, which is 6:30. Sandy’s helping too by getting the special tablecloth for after the wedding. She gets the wrong one and Alice asks Kitty to help her out. Marie and Laura come in the front door:


(Alice hangs up. The front door opens as Marie and Laura enter carrying her bridal gown which is in plastic or a garment bag, veil, and perhaps in another garment bag, Laura’s going- away outfit)

MARIE: (half-singing)  Here comes the bride…

ALICE: Laura, darling…

LAURA:  Hello, Mrs. Horton. Or is it time I started calling you Mother Horton?

ALICE:  I can’t think of a better time.

(There’s a very warm embrace)

ALICE: Laura, I don’t know when I’ve been so happy—or excited. (beat) Your bridal gown. (As she touches the garment bag)

LAURA:  Um-hmm..

ALICE:  I’m so anxious to see it.

MARIE: It may need a little last minute pressing here and there, Mom. When it’s all ready, we’ll call you.

LAURA:  Remember now, you promised to help me dress later on.

ALICE: Oh, I haven’t forgotten, dear.

MARIE: Mom, I left Laura’s suitcase in the car for one of the men.

ALICE:  They’re not here yet but I’m sure they will be soon. I’ll have one of them bring it inside. (To Laura)  I thought you could use Tom’s and my room.

LAURA:  Thank you. I think I’ll go right on up.

ALICE:  Would you like some coffee?

LAURA:  Hmm, I think I could use a cup about now.

MARIE:  Two, Mom.

ALICE: I’ll send Sandy up with them.

(During the last few lines, Laura and Marie have started to make their way upstairs—although Laura will stop and turn when addressing Alice. Bring Kitty out of the kitchen.)

KITTY: Well, I see the bride is here.

LAURA:  Hello, Kitty.

KITTY:  Is it all right if I poke my head in after we have things straightened away down here?

LAURA: Yes, of course. See you shortly.

(By now Marie is up the stairs and Laura follows. Alice pokes her head into the kitchen. Sandy is out of the picture, don’t bring her to the entrance)

ALICE: Sandra, would you please bring some coffee to Marie and Laura up in our room? And maybe put a few cookies on a dish.

SANDY:  (off) All right, Grandma.

KITTY: (To Alice who turns back into the hallway) The dining room is all set up.

ALICE:  The champagne and cake?

KITTY:  The champagne arrived a few minutes ago and the cake will be here within the hour. Can you think of any more loose ends?

ALICE: (Beat as she thinks for a moment) No, I don’t believe so.

KITTY:  Then maybe we should think about getting dressed.

(At which point the door opens, Mickey, carrying his tails in a garment bag, enters)

MICKEY:  Well, I see the groom has a reception committee waiting for him. How are you, Mom?

ALICE:  I’ve never been better dear.

(There’s a warm embrace between mother and son)

MICKEY:  For a mother who’s about to lose a son—you’re much too happy.

ALICE:  I’m not losing a son, I’m gaining a daughter.

MICKEY: Hello, Kitty.

KITTY:  Can I take that for you, Mickey?

MICKEY:  Thanks. (Hands her the garment bag) Mom, where do you have the groom and his best man?

ALICE:  You and your father will be using Bill’s old room.

KITTY: I’ll go on up with this. (Kitty exits up the stairs.)

MICKEY:  What about your room?

ALICE: That’s where the bride will be dressing. Laura just got here a few minutes ago. By the way, weren’t you suppose to bring her father?

MICKEY: The good doctor went back to his hotel room. He’ll be taking a cab over later. Dad here yet?

ALICE:  He’s picking up Susan. They should be here now most any time. Oh, and before I forget, Laura’s suitcase is in Marie’s car.

MICKEY:  Yeah, I’ve got one outside, too. I’ll bring them both in later. (Beat) Well, Mom, it’s really happening , isn’t it?

ALICE:  Yes, dear, it is.

MICKEY:  (He looks at his mother, beat, then he tenderly takes her by the shoulders) How do I—Mom, how do I go about thanking you for everything.

ALICE:  (Finding his deep-felt mood) There really hasn’t been all that much to do, dear. And Kitty, Sandy and your sister have been such a big help.

MICKEY:  I’m not talking about—just today. I’m talking about all the—days of my life. How do I thank you—for being you? How do I tell you how deeply grateful I am that—that I was lucky enough to have you as my mother.

ALICE: (tears, but no sobbing)  I—I think you already have.


(Another warm embrace as we dissolve to Tom and Alice's Bedroom)

(To Marie as she hangs the wedding gown on a door, in clear view)

MARIE: Oh Laura it—it’s so beautiful.

(Take Laura as she goes over, looks at it, with happiness, with a near reverence. Hold.)

ACT TWO

(This is several hours later. Mickey is virtually dressed, Tom is adjusting his tie, his coat still off. Needless to say both men are dressed in tails. For this act, we can possibly get by with just a portion of Bill’s old room)

MICKEY:  Dad, you’d better get a move on. We should have been on our way five minutes ago.

TOM:  I trust they won’t start without us. And anyway, we’re not even sure the bride is ready.

MICKEY: Well, with all the help she has in there, I would guess she is. But from what I heard, Laura’s not budging from that room until you and I are out of this house.

TOM: If you want to be of some help, you might put on my boutineer.

MICKEY:  Isn’t it the other way around? Isn’t the best man supposed to be helping the groom?

TOM:  Help is given where help is needed. Now get with it, will you?

MICKEY:  (he smiles) Yes, sir.

TOM:  I must say you seem to be holding up well.

MICKEY: Just make certain you bring the phenobarb. Beneath all this bravado is a guy whose nervous system is crawling the walls.

TOM:  (Tom smiles, then a beat) It seems to me as your father I should be making a speech of some sort about now. But it’s a little late for anything about the birds and the bees. (Mickey smiles, then holds the coat for his dad as Tom slips into it) I suppose I could also lecture you on the responsibilities of a husband. But since you’re both an attorney and in you mid-thirties, it seems a little late for that, too. (Then he turns to Mickey) Son, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you—you’re marrying a very wonderful, a very special young woman. Make sure you take good care of her—or you’ll answer to me.

MICKEY: I’ll remember that.

TOM: Just bring the same sense of values to your marriage that you’ve brought to your life so far—and I know that you and Laura will have a happy and rewarding life together.

MICKEY:  Thanks, Dad.

TOM: (beat, then:) Well, I think I’m about ready if you are.

MICKEY: Yes, I—I’m very ready. (Mickey opens the door, as Tom follows) I think I’ll shake up the girls a little before we leave.

(He goes over to his parents’ bedroom door. Knocks, starts jiggling handle.)


MICKEY:  I’ve got to come in there a minute to—

(Then Kitty, Alice, Sandy and Laura all shout in unison, “Don’t you dare… “Stay out of here,” etc… Mickey smiles, then projecting)

MICKEY: Darling? I’ll see you at the church.

LAURA:  All right, dear.

(Then let there be a little laughter, whatever, behind the closed door as Tom and Mickey walk toward the stairs)

(Cut to: Horton Living Room where we see Susan dressed in her gown, sitting—with Laura’s father nearby, in tails)

SUSAN: I don’t you think you can know, Dr. Spencer, how grateful I’ll always be to your daughter. If it wasn’t for what Laura was able to do during the trial—well, I don’t know what would have happened to me. Laura and Mickey. And here I am a few short months later—a part of their wedding, Laura’s Maid of Honor.

JOHN: May I say, Susan, that I don’t think my daughter could have found a more wonderful young woman to be her Maid of Honor.

SUSAN:  You hardly know me.

JOHN:  But I’ve heard Laura speak of you so often. Yes, I feel I know you very well.

(Bring Tom and Mickey down the stairs)


MICKEY:  Well, we’re on our way. Dr. Spencer, you and Susan getting along all right down here?

JOHN:  We’re doing just fine, Mickey.

SUSAN: Well, don’t the two of you look handsome.

TOM: Thank you, Susan. Can I get either of you anything before we leave?

MICKEY:  Dad, will you forget about being the host and give a little thought to being the best man.

TOM: What he’s trying to tell me is that we’re running a few minutes behind schedule. We’ll see you both at the church.

SUSAN:  You run along, we’re just fine, as Dr. Spencer said.

MICKEY:  See you both shortly.

(At which point Tom and Mickey leave. Bring Sandy and Kitty down the stairs, dressed very lovely for the wedding. All the ladies are wearing their corsages, Dr. Spencer, his boutineer. Remember, although we didn’t play it on stage, all these people, including Dr. Spencer, have met before)

JOHN: (Rising if he’s not already up) Well, I’m really being surrounded by beautiful ladies this evening.

KITTY:  But, Doctor, wait until you see the bride. Your daughter looks—well, breath-taking is the only word.

SUSAN:  I’m so anxious to see her.

KITTY:  You should have come up, Susan.

SUSAN:  Well—Dr. Horton doesn’t want me climbing any stairs.

KITTY:  Oh, I’m sorry! That was a little thoughtless of me.

SUSAN:  No, it’s all right, Kitty.

ALICE: (After a beat, hear Alice off:) Are you all down there?

SUSAN:  Yes, Mrs. Horton

(And anticipating the bride, they all go to the landing, the foot of the stairs. Now please take time here. Build the suspense for the audience, make Laura’s entrance very moving and dramatic. The drama, of course, is in the gown, in the evening. Let Alice come down the stairs, alone, get to the bottom stair, then look back. Take reactions, then let Laura slowly come into view and down the stairs, looking radiant. Take Laura, then get reactions, back to Laura)

SUSAN:  You were right, Kitty—breathtaking is the only word.


ACT THREE

  

(Take the Church of Salem, in the background let the chimes be sounding the hour of seven. We do a job of pictures here. Alice, Kitty, Sandy, and Marie are already in their places in the front pew. We’re going to need a very small anteroom where Tom, Mickey and the Reverend will be waiting to go out. In the back of the church, an area for Laura, Susan and Dr. John Spencer. But only take the four people in the pew now. Establish the church, near the back the organist and the soloist. Wait, then let the soloist start singing “Because.” If you need time, then let him do another appropriate selection. It is only after he begins his song that we cut to the various other groupings for solemn reactions. Certainly we should see the emotion of all the words and meaning of this piece. Let no one fight tears here. When the number is completed {or numbers, as the case may be}—then cut to the waiting room with Tom, Mickey and the Reverend, and have them begin their movement to the altar. Once there, Mickey and Tom turn, as you know, and all face the back of the church. Let us then hear “ The Wedding March.” First, Susan—slowly—then followed by Laura and her father. Take many and long reactions here – but certainly favor Mickey, Laura, Tom and Alice at this point. Then as Laura comes to Mickey, he takes her hand, and give us a very magic moment here as they stop, look into one another’s eyes, then as they start to face the Reverend:)


ACT FOUR

(Everyone having assumed his or her proper position, the good Reverend opens his book and:)

MINISTER:  Dearly beloved. We are gathered here in the sight of God, and in the presence of these witnesses, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony; which is an honorable estate, instituted by God. It is therefore not to be entered into unadvisedly, but reverently, discreetly, and in the fear of God. Into this holy estate these two persons come now to be joined. I require and charge you both, as you stand in the presence of God, to remember that love and loyalty alone will avail as a foundation of a happy and enduring home. No other human ties are more tender, no other vows are more sacred that those you now assume. If these solemn vows be kept inviolate, and if steadfastly you endeavor to do the will of your heavenly Father, your life will be full of joy, and the home which you are establishing will abide in peace. (Beat)

Michael Horton, wilt thou have this woman to be thy wedded wife, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honor and keep her in sickness, and in health; and forsaking all others keep thee only unto her, so long as ye both shall live?

MICKEY: I will.

MINISTER: Laura Spencer, wilt thou have this man to be thy wedded husband, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love him, comfort him, honor and keep him in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others keep thee only unto him, so long as ye both shall live?

LAURA: I will.

MINISTER: Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?

JOHN: I do.

(Then the minister shall cause the man with his right hand to take the woman by her right hand and say after him:)

MINISTER: I, Michael, take thee, Laura, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.


(Mickey has repeated these words. Then they loose their hands and the woman, with her right hand taking the man by his right hand, shall say after the minister:)

MINISTER: I, Laura, take thee, Michael, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth.

(Which Laura repeats. They shall again loose their hands; and then the two rings are brought forward)

MINISTER: These rings are an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, signifying unto all the uniting of this man and this woman in holy matrimony. (Beat) Let us pray. Bless, O Lord, the giving of this ring, that he who gives it and she who wears it may abide forever in Thy peace, and continue in Thy favor. Also that she who gives it and he who wears it may abide forever in Thy peace, and continue in Thy favor.

(The minister shall then deliver the ring to the man to put on the third finger of the woman’s left hand. {Laura does not wear her engagement ring.} The man, holding the ring there, shall say after the minister:)

MINISTER: In token and pledge of the vow between us made, with this ring I thee wed.

(The procedure is repeated for Laura as she holds Mickey’s ring)

LAURA: In token and pledge of the vow between us made, with this ring I thee wed.

(Pause, then the Minister joins their right hands together and with his hand on their united hands says:)

MINISTER: Foreasmuch as Michael and Laura have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have pledged their troth each to the other, and have declared the same by joining hands—and by giving and receiving a ring: I now pronounce that they are husband and wife together. And what God has joined together, let no man put asunder. Amen.

God the Father, bless, preserve and keep you: The Lord graciously with His favor look upon you, and so fill you with all spiritual benediction and love that you may so live together in this life—that in the world to come you may have life everlasting.

(Laura turns to Mickey, Mickey to Laura; Laura puts her veil back—an embrace and very, very tender and loving kiss. And with the organ music up… The others gathering around…fade out) 


 


All the best in your future endeavors, Susan!