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Grandpa and Frank


The time is 1947, the place a farm in Illinois. Twelve-year-old Sarah McDermott was orphaned at age five and ever since has lived on the farm with her grandpa, to whom she is very close; Aunt Martha; and Uncle Frank, a man with a mean streak as wide as the Mississippi. Grandpa has had a stroke and has begun doing some rather odd but harmless things, such as wandering around outdoors wearing only his shoes and hiding dead mice in his closet. Frank, who wants full control of Grandpa's farm has seized on Grandpa's eccentricities as evidence of the old man's mental incompetency. He announces that, come Labor Day, he is going to have Grandpa committed to the County Home.
To Sarah, this is intolerable. Resolved to find a doctor who will certify Grandpa is of sound mine, Sarah and her thirteen-year-old neighbor, Joey, "kidnap" Grandpa and set out on a wildly hazardous odyssey to Chicago over back roads in a Model-A pickup--with Joey at the wheel. In a masterpiece of understatement that reflects what happens on the trip, Joey observes that Sarah is "always making things sound so simple, and they hardly never end up that way."
Sarah and Joey went on to star in the CBS movie, "Home to Stay," with Henry Fonda in the role of Grandpa.
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