1947-10-30 Great Grandfather's Rent Receipt

Great Grandfather's Rent Receipt may be the worst Casey show ever broadcast. It's about Casey's grandfather back in Ireland with a twist for Halloween. If you're looking for our usual detective story and a murder and a photographer and a bumbling police captain and a bartender who mangles philosophy or the English language or both, you're looking in the wrong place this time.

This was adapted from a Witch's Tale script Procrastinatin' Willie's Rent Receipt that was produced on 1931-12-21 and 1935-07-10. Cole had this in his back pocket and decided to pull it out of and use it for this broadcast. Maybe someone said "gee, maybe you can build a script around Halloween." So he did, to the detriment of all involved. This is not to say it's not a cute story. But it can be cute somewhere else.

Cole wrapped the usual Casey episode elements around what seems to be a mainly intact Witch's Tale core. The story emerges out of a conversation at the Blue Note, is re-capped mid-show, with the usual Blue Note-based epilogue.

The story appears to be built around an Irish legend, and recounted in Wandering Willie's Tale by Sir Walter Scott in 1824. It was part of a larger work, Redgauntlet. Wandering Willie is a fiddler, just like Casey's grandfather. This link has more details about the work and others: https://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/wandering-willies-tale
Cole's interest in the supernatural, which we know from Witch's Tale, probably led him to be quite familiar with the original story.

This is the most forgettable, and perhaps most unfortunate, Casey episodes in the entire series. Sure, there are bad episodes (such as Thunderbolt from the Philip Morris series). This episode just serves no useful purpose. It wastes the talents of radio great Karl Swenson in the process. It wastes the time of listeners. Shame on you, Alonzo Deen Cole. Shame on you, producer John Dietz for letting this happen. I bet the Anchor-Hocking executives were really thrilled with this one. Do not let anyone you're trying to interest in OTR get close to this recording. Friends don't let friends listen to Great Grandfather's Rent Receipt.

A clue to a possible reason for shortchanging the listeners is that the next two weeks are scripts by other writers followed by a repeated 1946 Cole script. Perhaps Cole was going on vacation?

Detailing the story as usually done here is fruitless because it's not a true Casey episode. The only insight we get is that Casey always asks for receipts on Halloween. But there is a summary in ADC's notes.

ADC continuity notes...
Casey's great grandfather, Patrick, was known (prior to a memorable All Hallow's Eve) as one of the greatest idlers in Ireland. One night when Patrick, and his practical fiancee, Molly, are on their way to pay the quarter's rent on Pat's run-down little farm, easy-going Pat spends most of the evening playing jig-tunes on his beloved fiddle. When they arrive late at the castle of the irate landowner, Sir Timothy O'Hare, he reads the riot act to Pat for being late. Pat meekly pays the rent to Sir Tim but is afraid to ask the lord for a receipt. Practical Molly steps up and demands Pat's due, but before she can get the receipt, Sir Tim is suddenly stricken with a heart attack and dies. The rent money mysteriously disappears and Pat is faced with the payment of double rent on his farm, and because he can't meet the payment, disgrace in the community. Then, on All Hallow's Eve, wandering disconsolate and alone with his ever-present fiddle, Pat gets a ghostly call that takes him to the infernal presence of Sir Tim's ghost. Then things begin to happen -- Pat gets a new lease on life and a rent receipt written on asbestos from Sir Tim.
In ADC's notes, the word "idlers" refers to lazy people.

Patrick was played by Karl Swenson, one of the most successful radio actors ever, with respectable careers in movies, television, and theater. The only blemish in his career is starring in Mr. Chameleon for Frank and Anne Hummert :)   (There are some Mr. Chameleon fans who have made it clear it was their favorite program in the late 40s and early 50s; only 2 episodes are known to exist)

RadioGoldindex http://www.radiogoldindex.com/cgi-local/p4.cgi?ArtistName=Swenson,%20Karl&ArtistNumber=30137
IMDb https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0842425/
Playbill http://www.playbill.com/person/karl-swenson-vault-0000048390

Molly was played by Kathy MacGregor
RadioGoldindex http://www.radiogoldindex.com/cgi-local/p4.cgi?ArtistName=MacGregor,%20Kathy&ArtistNumber=30284
IMDb https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0532339/bio?ref_=nm_ov_bio_sm

Casey 47-10-30 209 Great Grandfather's Rent Receipt UPGRADE.mp3
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1947-10-30 Mason City IA Globe-Gazette
Post a reply 1947-175

We do have to remember that we are reviewing these episodes 72+ years after their broadcast. A radio editor at the Akron OH Beacon Journal, Bee Offineer, found the broadcast to be a nice change of pace.

1947-11-02 Akron OH Beacon Journal
Post a reply 1947-176

Offineer was an award-winner radio critic who unfortunately passed away after a long illness about two years after this column excerpt was published. She was only 34 years old.