WALTER'S RADIO CAREER (continued)

Walter Tetley and Harold Peary
Walter Tetley and Harold Peary

Hooker also competed with Gildersleeve, on at least one occasion, for the affections of a lady...........and the competition was not always completely nice!! He also enjoyed showing Gildy up, or making a fool out of him, in front of others. Gildy almost always got his sweet revenge, in the end, and made the Judge regret, whatever joke he had pulled! Of all the things, that the Judge did, probably the most exasperating, for Gildersleeve, was when he "conveniently" showed up, at their household, right at dinner time (and ended up being invited to the table, to feast on the labor's of the family cook, Birdie Lee Coggins!). It was kind of curious, that a prominent member of the community, like Judge Hooker (and also a man in his sixties), would pull a stunt like that, time and again.

Suffice it to say, you could say that they got each other's goat........and "goat" is a very appropriate word, because that is exactly what Gildy would call Hooker, whenever he was mad at him: "YOU OLD GOAT!!". Hooker would even laugh like a goat, thus making that epithet all the more apropos. His raspy, blaring cackle, would reverberate almost exactly like the bleat of a goat!

Hooker was not always nasty; he could actually be quite charming. Even when he was charming, however, he was almost always "full of himself" and conceited (kind of like Gildersleeve; maybe that is why they never got along, too well; their personalities were too much alike). Judge Hooker would always make me laugh, when he suddenly became dismayed, with something that Gildy had done, and his crusty, raspy voice would become quite high-pitched, as he squawked, in alarm: "WHAT???!!!???"

Hooker called Gildersleeve "Gildy", both affectionately and scornfully. Sometimes his affection, would change to scorn, in practically the same breath. They were the best of friends and the worst of friends (to steal a line from Charles Dickens!). Perhaps their whole "Love/Hate" relationship can be traced all the way back to the first time that they met. The two of them met on a train and they really butted heads, and insulted each other profoundly. Gildersleeve would never, in a million years, guess that he would be in that same man's courtroom, in a matter of days, for approval of his guardianship of Leroy and Margerie Forrester. What a nightmare that was, for him, when he saw who the judge was!!

As for Harold Peary's Gildersleeve portrayal, though there were times, that he seemed a bit "cartoonish", on the whole he was very much a flesh and blood man, and very realistic and believable. I think what I enjoyed most, about Gildersleeve (and what I laughed most about), was how quickly he became a "hot head", when confronted with a difficult person. Gildy did not like to take anything from anyone (sometimes even if it was from a policeman!!). You could almost see that rabid, ruddy color, rising up into his face, when he would impatiently start to say: "NOWWWWWWW SEE HERE!!!" or "WHYYYYYY YOU!!!!!!!!". He almost reminded me of a singer, who was warming up with some scales!

Next Page