1947-09-11 Graveyard Gertie

Graveyard Gertie used a script from 1946-02-25 with the same name. It's a fun script with a sympathetic character who endears herself to Casey and Ann but meets an unfortunate end. Somehow, she gets the last word on the case in an amusing way through her peculiar "companion." There are no continuity notes for this 1947 broadcast. It is quite interesting how much detail is in the notes for the new scripts under A-H sponsorship and how brief the notes are for the time it was a sustained program.

ADC continuity notes from the 1946 broadcast, errors included...
Casey and Ann make the acquaintance of an old woman known as Graveyard Gertie, who is a vaudeville performer and lives alone near the cemetary with only a stuffed snake named Roger as a companion. Later the old woman disappears and a live snake is found in the box with the stuffed one. One of the gravediggers had murdered her for her money and confesses when he is bitten by the live snake which he thinks is poisonous.

0:30 Ethelbert says he never got past the "Fourth Reader." He's referring to McGuffey's Eclectic Fourth Reader, a common and foundational textbook for grammar school students. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McGuffey_Readers
This article and paper describe how important the books were through two centuries https://www.theedadvocate.org/story-american-education-mcguffey-readers/
Read the Fourth Readerhttps://www.gutenberg.org/files/14880/14880-pdf.pdf

10:39 Convinced that Gertie has a dead body in the trunk, both Casey and Ann are shocked when "Roger" the stuffed snake powered by a spring pops out of the trunk. The snake, when living, was part of Gertie's act, but when it died, she had it stuffed.

Everyone loves the old spring-loaded snake in the can trick. It was invented just over 30 years prior to the broadcast. None of us can remember a time when there wasn't a spring-loaded snake can, and it's become one of the most ubiquitous tricks in kids magic tricks kits.

14:26 Gertie is missing and all of the cabinets are open, and "Roger's" head is sticking out of the trunk. Someone was looking for what Gertie was hiding. Casey's certain Gertie has been murdered.

17:58 A cough from the audience! It happens during an inopportune time when Casey and Ann are discussing in the quiet of Gertie's home. Cotsworth was staunchly against audiences in dramatic broadcasts like Casey.

20:00 Two major ethnicities of New York ... or is it Boston ... of Italian and Irish are portrayed. This had to be part of an actor's skill at that time, and is frowned upon today.

22:20 Casey's plan of relating that Gertie's money is hidden in the trunk works... and Joe is the culprit. It is funny that Logan is with Casey and Ann after protesting so much that this wasn't a murder case.

24:20 Joe confesses thinking his snake bite was from a poisonous copperhead. Casey admits that he and Logan put a non-poisonous snake in the box and rigged some nails to make it feel there was a bite to anyone putting their hand in the box. They said they got the snake from the zoo. Under current rules about handling animals, no zoo would agree to lending out one of their collection under this circumstance.

27:35 Casey reveals that Gertie really only had $10 to her name ($120 in today's dollars) and that he and Ann inherited "Roger" and his trunk. Ethelbert asks what they plan to do with it. At that very moment (27:46) a delivery man asks for Ethelbert Gibson to sign for delivery of the trunk to the Blue Note. Casey and Ann leave Ethelbert befuddled as to what he should do with such a thing, and the closing music begins. John Gibson played Ethelbert from the beginning, and was the longest running actor in the Casey series on both radio and television. This was the first time in any of the recordings that Ethelbert's last name was used, and he is not mentioned in any of the other broadcasts that exist either (but we are listening to each of the shows again to be sure!). We have yet to have a recording that mentions Casey's first name, Jack, but it is mentioned in newspaper clippings.

Gertie was played by Abby Lewis. She was known for being able to play much older women in theatrical productions as well as on the radio.
1947-05-04 Tampa Bay FL Times
Post a reply 1947-152

She was a very active radio performer; RGI lists only 70 surviving recordings of her, but, like many of our radio favorites, most of their performances were uncredited. She did a lot of 1950s radio on NBC programs like X Minus One and The Chase. http://www.radiogoldindex.com/cgi-local/p4.cgi?ArtistName=Lewis,%20Abby&ArtistNumber=00129

This article also reviews her career in radio.
1947-12-18 Cincinnati OH Enquirer
Post a reply 1947-153

She was a descendant of Meriwether Lewis of the explorers Lewis & Clark!
Here's her IMDb page https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0506885

Casey 47-09-11 202 Graveyard Gertie (Repeat of # 128) UPGRADE.mp3
Degoo https://cloud.degoo.com/e/drive-prbo7bvebazm
hubiC http://ovh.to/Ncbbsma

This is the only newspaper clip that I could locate that had any plotline detail...
1947-09-11 Mason City IA Globe-Gazette
Post a reply 1947-151