- Real Estate
Judge Hooker tells Gildersleeve that he’s unambitious because he doesn’t pursue any outside business activities, and that being the Water Commissioner is not really a fulltime job. Gildersleeve disagrees, but when he learns that his well-off neighbor Bullard is looking for a house for his widowed sister, he decides to do get into the real estate business.
First he suggests the house next door– Leila Ransom’s old place. Then he considers selling his own house, but Marjorie and Leroy don’t like that idea. Finally, he settles on the idea of selling Judge Hooker’s house, but that leaves him with the problem of finding a new home for the Judge.
First he tries to persuade Peavey to take Hooker in as a boarder, but Peavey resists. Determined to pull off the deal, Gildersleeve decides that he’ll invite Hooker to join the family. Marjorie and Leroy object to this idea, but Gildersleeve invites Hooker over for a special dinner.
Gildy tries to please the Judge in every way, but they end up having an argument. Gildersleeve realizes that they are better off as friendly enemies than they ever would be as housemates.
- The Slumber Party
Marjorie has a slumber party which disturbs Gildersleeve’s sleep. He’s even more disturbed, however, when he learns that one of the young guests had announced her secret engagement, and that Marjorie feels compelled to prove that she, too, can become engaged.
Marjorie invites her bashful boyfriend Ben over for a romantic evening, and she and Gildy clash over her seductive attire. Ben is the perfect gentleman and Marjorie succeeds in getting him to propose, only to reject him.
- The Pretty Lady
Gildersleeve falls in love with a woman that he sees for a moment in a restaurant. He has know idea how to meet her, or even how to find out who she is. He finally discovers that she was at the restaurant in the company of Otto Englebach, his enemy. He gets himself invited to Otto’s party at the country club by telling Judge Hooker that he wants to use the opportunity to apologize to Otto.
This is one of the most intensely romantic episodes of the series, with dreamy music, and a long fantasy sequence in which a bathing Gildersleeve imagines meeting the woman of his dreams.
- Bad Study Habits
Bullard talks to Gildersleeve about the poor quality of modern education and Summerfield’s public schools. Gildersleeve decides that Leroy is not getting a good education, and decides to talk to Eve Goodwin, the Principal of Leroy’s school, about the problem.
Eve tells Gildersleeve that the schools are overcrowded and teachers are underpaid, and suggests that if he wants to improve Leroy’s education he should do it by involvement and example. As a start, she talks Gildersleeve into reading Plato’s Republic. When he takes it home, however, he can’t force himself to read more than a few paragraphs.
- Birdie’s Vacation
Gildersleeve and Bullard run into each other at the barber shop, and Bullard complains about the servant problem. His cook, Lily Bee, a friend of Birdie’s, walked out on the family for no reason. Gildersleeve invites the Bullards to dinner the next evening.
When Gildersleeve arrives home, he finds Birdie and Lily Bee laughing and talking in the kitchen. When Lily Bee leaves, Gildersleeve and Birdie have a conversation. Gildersleeve speaks harshly of Lily Bee for “walking out” on the Bullards, and Birdie defends her. The Bullards had tried to add more duties to Lily Bee’s workload, and so she quit. She now has a good job as an elevator operator: fewer hours, more vacation, better pay. Gildersleeve, suddenly realizing that the family could lose Birdie, offers her a week of vacation, starting right away.
During Birdie’s vacation, the family shares the responsibility for cooking. Leroy makes a good attempt at breakfast, leaving a mess. Marjorie has less success with dinner, leaving Gildersleeve to watch the lamb chops for just a minute, during which time they catch fire. Gildersleeve. Marjorie and Leroy end up having liverwurst sandwiches at Peavey’s drugstore.
Back at home, they find Birdie enjoying stew that was in the freezer all along. Birdie’s not enjoying her vacation since all of her friends are working. Instead of a week of vacation, Gildersleeve offers her an extra week’s pay, which she enthusiastically accepts.
- The Big Bully
As the program opens, we find Leroy running down the street and into Peavey’s drugstore, where he falls on the floor. He’s very agitated and obviously scared of something– in fact, he shuts himself in the phone booth. Peavey talks to him and learns that he is being pursued by Schneider, the class bully. Peavey tries to reassure the boy, but to no avail. When Judge Hooker drops by to pay his bill, Peavey asks him to drive Leroy home.
The Judge goes in with Leroy to have a little talk with Gildersleeve. He tells Gildy that Leroy is afraid of this bully, and accuses Gildersleeve of having neglected an important part of Leroy’s education– the manly art of self-defense. Gildersleeve, who says he hates a coward, decides that perhaps the Judge is right.
At dinner, he questions Leroy about Schneider and promises to give him some lessons in self-defense. He also recounts a fight that he had in college, that he won with his famous punch, a real “atom bomb.” He gives Leroy some very confusing advice– never start a fight, but if there’s going to be a fight, always strike the first blow. He also shows Leroy how to do the atom bomb punch.
A few days later, Gildy talks to Eve Goodwin and learns that Leroy has been behaving strangely at school, antagonizing the other boys, and seemingly looking for a fight. When Gildersleeve tells Eve he has been instructing Leroy, she tells him that nothing is ever settled with physical violence, and urges him to set a better example for Leroy. When Gildy and Bullard get into one of their frequent fights, Gildersleeve remembers what Eve said and refrains from punching Bullard.
- Leroy’s Scooter
- Christmas Program
- New Year’s Party
Gildy is all set to go to the New Year’s Eve masquerade party dressed as a pirate. But when he visits Eve Goodwin to drop hints about his costume, he is in for a rude awakening. Since he had assumed they were going together, he neglected to actually invite her, so she accepted the invitation of someone else– a gym teacher.
Discouraged, Gildy goes home, where he finds that Marjorie is preparing to attend the same party with a new beau. Gildy tells her that she can’t go, so she makes plans to sleep over at a friend’s house. Gildy spends the evening playing checkers with Leroy, and then sends him to bed. At 11 PM, he listens to a broadcast from Atlanta, where it is midnight, and is reminded of Leila. He decides to don his pirate costume and attend the party. There he meets his buddies Mr. Peavey and Floyd Munson, as well as Judge Hooker, decked out as George Washington. They all want to dance with the mysterious bareback rider, but the best Gildy can do is a dance with Mrs. Munson, and a conversation with Eve Goodwin, who is dressed as an Arabian Princess.
The culmination of the festivities is a footrace by the men to claim partners for the Grand March and dinner. Eve flirtatiously encourages Gildy’s efforts, but when the raise comes, her beats everyone because he has put on his rubbers to thwart the slippery dance floor. Instead of claiming Eve, he claims the Bareback Rider– who turns out to be his own niece Marjorie.
- Leila, the Married Woman
Judge Hooker calls Gildersleeve to tell him that an old friend is coming to town– Mrs. Culpepper, otherwise known as Leila Ransom. She’s making a brief visit before joining her husband who is attending a medical convention. Gildersleeve is thrown into an emotional state by the news– he can hear his heart pounding, and so can the audience.
Gildersleeve is so confused by his feelings for Leila that he declines an invitation to a party in her honor, and then attends anyway. Leila lures him out to the kitchen, and then over to her house. Gildersleeve struggles over the temptation of being alone with Leila, a married woman, until Leila gives him some amazing news– she’s not really married!
- Sleigh Ride
Snow falls in Summerfield, and the Jolly Boys arrange for an evening sleigh ride. It’s Gildersleeve’s job to convince the “girls” to come along, and he does.
The only thing missing is Judge Hooker, who is home sick. Soon the Jolly Boys are convinced, from the scantiest of evidence, that the Judge is very sick indeed. They try to sing the Judge’s favorite song, and can’t get through it. Gildersleeve, in fact, is sure that he is dying, and he tells Marjorie and Leroy he hopes they will always remember the Judge, who was a good friend to all of them.
Gildersleeve, Mr. Peavey, Floyd Munson and Chief Gates go over to pay their respects at Judge Hooker’s house, where they discover that he’s not nearly as sick as they imagined. They go on the sleigh ride and sing a harmonious rendition of “Aunt Dinah’s Quilting Party.”