Charles Whitley is an elderly resident of Sunnyvale Rest, a home for the aged. It's not a happy place and Charles' hopes of moving in with his son David are dashed when he's told they can't take him in. He wistfully recalls his youth where they played kick the can and didn't have a worry in the world. His close friend Ben Conroy begins to worry him when Charles suggests all you have to do is wish it, and you can be young again. Ben is worried his friend will end up in the loony bin but it's Ben who is in for a surprise. Written by
[referring to their childhood]
You believed in magic then.
Yes, you did! When we walked on different sides of a street lamp you'd say 'bread and butter'. And when your baby teeth came out, you put 'em under the pillow for the tooth fairy. Yeah, you believed in magic.
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While this is one of the best known episodes, it isn't as noteworthy as some say. It involves one who does not want to go gentle into that good night. He is fed up with the old people at the old folks home, because, in his mind, they have given up. Now, let's realize that these folks are pretty lethargic and the man who runs the home is quite the Nazi. So he's probably right. What always bothered me is the idea that we have to return to being young children. Is this really the happiest time? I don't know. If this guy was in the same place I was, I would find a way to push him out a second story window. It's the old thing that there is a no it all in the setting, and if we don't follow his lead, there is something wrong. What we perceive as a dignified withdrawal is part of aging and, in some ways, this guy is a bit of a threat. The other thing is that these people are pretty clichéd residents. it was nice to see Bert Mustin again. I always liked him.
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