'Spotlights & Shadows' by Sandra Grabman


Who On Earth



Albert Salmi

Peggy Ann

Pat Buttram

No Retakes!

Lloyd Nolan


“‘Impossible’ is
Just a
Frame of Mind”

“A Book That’s
Meant to Be”

“A Day in the
Life of a

“Problems Are
for Creativity”

“It’s Not
All Bad, Folks”


“House of Esther”

Spotlights & Shadows Credits Fan Forum Fan-Fiction DVDs

Lighthearted Scenes
Created for Albert Salmi
By His Fans

Albert had a wonderful sense of humor, but he very rarely had a chance to show it to us. Let’s be his script writers and give him some roles that he could’ve really had fun with!

Poems and Sketches:
Ballad of Albert
Albert Settles Actors’ Residuals
Albert on The Beverly Hillbillies
Jonny Cobb Sketch
Cliffordville Sketch
Albert and Dino

Cliffordville Revisited
The Devil and Mr. Feathersmith
Power Play Revisited
Something Big – Revisited

Would you like to write a comedy scene for Albert? Feel free to contribute your ideas. Contact Sandra Grabman at srgrabman@cableone.net.

Cliffordville Revisited

By Klaus D. Haisch

Main Characters:

1) MR. BILL FEATHERSMITH – People who create things are called “Smiths”. A blacksmith works with iron, making sturdy things. A goldsmith works with gold, making precious things. So, is a feathersmith someone who makes things of no substance (like a feather)?

2) MISS DEVLIN – A devil in disguise; actually Bill Feathersmith’s Guardian Angel (though he doesn’t know it). She died in 1888, at the age of 30, and appears this age throughout.

3) HECATE – Pronounced “hay-CAH-tay.” The three-fold moon goddess, also goddess of justice and revenge.

4) MR. GIBBONS – A gibbon is an ape, and he has that skinny, ape-like face. A banker in 1910.

5) JOANNA – Mr. Gibbons’ eligible daughter.

6) MR. DIETRICH – “Dietrich” is an old German word for “skeleton key.“ He is the key to Mr. Feathersmith’s attempt to re-live his life. Former boss of young Bill Feathersmith, and owner of the “Dietrich Tool & Die Company“ since 1923.

Our story opens in 1963, and Guardian Angel 3rd class Julie is standing on a dark stage, covered with dry-ice machine fog, with a bright spotlight on her (don’t ask what color, this is all in black & white).

Voice From Above: You are in trouble, Guardian Angel 3rd class. You have failed in your assignment. You were to save the soul of Bill Feathersmith.

Julie: Yes, your Lordship.

Voice: You were born in 1858, and died in 1888 at the age of 30. Your life was not good enough to get you into heaven; you were promiscuous and had not done any good deeds. However, you weren’t bad enough to be sent to the Other Place. We made you a Guardian Angel 3rd class, temporarily. If you had done your assignment, you would have been granted full membership into heaven.

Julie: My assignment was Bill Feathersmith, born in 1888, the same year and day I died.

Voice: You have not saved his soul.

Julie: I did all I could. I tried to put moral thoughts in his head. Bother him like a conscience. There is only so much I can do, when he can’t see or hear me.

Voice: You must pull out all the stops. From now on, you may appear visible to him. You may talk to him. But save his soul, or he will go to the Other Place, and you will always be the lowest in the kingdom of heaven. I am sending you back to Earth now.

Julie: Just tell me, before you do that. . . why didn’t I get full membership into heaven? Was it because I’m not Catholic?

Voice: You know better than that. ALL religions have truth in them. It matters not to Me whether someone is Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, Buddhist, Hindu, Islam. . . all seek the truth. There is truth in your Wiccan beliefs, too. Now go.

Julie is back on Earth. She goes to a Wiccan place, outdoors, and looks up at the full moon. Julie prays, “Oh, Hecate, three-fold goddess, help me in my hour of need.”

Voice of Hecate: I hear you, my daughter.

Julie: I need your help. I ask a favor from you, but I have no gift or sacrifice for you.

Voice of Hecate: Have you forgotten “The Charge of the Goddess”? “Nor do I demand sacrifice; for behold, I am the Mother of all living, and my love is poured out upon the Earth.”

Julie: I ask that you help me save the soul of Bill Feathersmith.

Voice of Hecate: Very well, I’ll help you in this noble task. But, since he would not listen to us, we will disguise ourselves. You shall not appear to him as a Guardian Angel, but rather as the Devil – call yourself “Miss Devlin”. Feathersmith is distrustful of women, so I will appear to him as a man – a lowly man he would not have reason to suspect nor fear, a janitor.

Julie: Oh goddess, is it possible to go back in time, and let him re-live his life?

Voice of Hecate: Time travel is not possible for humans. A life lived is complete. But we can give him the illusion of time travel.

[like the Twilight Zone episode: “A Nice Place to Visit” (episode # 1.28) 4/15/1960 where Larry Blyden was in hell – but all the “people” there were just illusions for his benefit]

And now, our story picks up where the Twilight Zone episode begins. . .

Mr. Dietrich is keeping his 2 o’clock appointment with Bill Feathersmith, in Feathersmith’s office.

Feathersmith (referring to the early 1920s): I remember vividly one afternoon, when you called me into your office. . . (Feathersmith seems to relish the idea that now he is calling HIM into HIS office) . . . and you said, “Bill Feathersmith – I like your style, boy. I want you in with me.” Do you remember that?

Dietrich: I shall never cease to regret it.

Bill Feathersmith has bought up Dietrich’s $3,000,000 loan, which is “payable on demand.”

Feathersmith: It reads “payable on demand”. So, Mr. Dietrich, on demand it ‘TIS! Not tomorrow, not this evening around supper-time, NOW, Mr. Dietrich.

That evening, goddess Hecate takes the form of a custodian (since she is the three-fold goddess, she assumes the title “custodian of the top 3 floors”). Also, she pronounces her name “HECK-ett” so as not to tip off Feathersmith. The body she had possessed is one of the janitor, a reformed alcoholic.

Feathersmith is babbling. He smashes a bottle with his mighty left arm. Feathersmith demands, “Who are you, anyway?” (rather odd that he never noticed the custodian before – he’s been there for 34 years.)

Hecate: HECK-ett, sir. Custodian of the top 3 floors.

Feathersmith: You have a drink, Heck-ett.

Hecate (remembering her host body is a recovered alcoholic): Thank you, no, sir. But I appreciate that.

She gets Feathersmith to talk. Hecate tells him how (s)he received a gold watch for services.

Feathersmith sarcastically remarks, “Your aggressive self-assurance unnerves me, Heck-ett.”

All the while she’s thinking – oh, you’ll get yours, buddy! This is her first view of Feathersmith, and he comes across as a real bully. She just smiles at this scenario.

Feathersmith tells Hecate how he grew up in Cliffordville, Indiana. “You ever hear of it, Heck-ett?”

Well, here she continues her act.

Hecate: That’s a coincidence, sir. I was born in Cliffordville.

And she will appear there during his illusionary “time travel” sequence, too. She is setting him up for it.

Feathersmith says they are both very much alike. Then sarcastically continues, “We both put on our pants on one leg at a time, and there the similarity ends.”

She wonders, why is she helping this sarcastic jerk? Hecate moves her eyes back and forth, kind of reeling from Feathersmith’s insensitivity. Then she just looks at him, almost feeling sorry for him.

Feathersmith: Alexander the Great Feathersmith. I’ve got everything there is to get. . . and I’m still hungry.

Hecate thinks, how well she knew Alexander the Great! Born 356 B.C., he conquered the entire known world at that time, and died a lonely man in 323 B.C.; he was only 33 years old. And all his worldly goods do him no good in Hades. Alexander the Great had prayed to Hecate, too – but only asked for help in conquests, never for help to save his soul. This poor Feathersmith was a lot him, a modern-day Alexander.

Hecate (remembering like it was yesterday): He cried because he had no more worlds to conquer.

She said that aloud, thinking to herself. She didn’t realize Feathersmith heard her. Hecate looks at Feathersmith with deep, piercing eyes: “I guess he was kind of like you, Mr. Feathersmith.” She has almost blown her cover.

But Feathersmith responds to this insightful remark by opening up, for the first time. He talks to Hecate like a real person, not as a sarcastic boss to a flunky. Feathersmith says he wishes he could go back, and start all over again.

Hecate’s work is done. She has set the stage, it is now up to Julie, Guardian Angel 3rd class to pick up the ball and run with it.

Hecate looks at him with piercing eyes. Feathersmith recovers his sarcasm, and tells Heck-ett, “Don't forget to wind your gold watch.”

Well, Feathersmith was a real human there, for a moment.

As he walks away, Hecate looks down, with deep sorrow in her eyes.

And the story continues. . . . .

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Would you like to tell Klaus how much you enjoyed his version of this story? He’s an Albert fan, too. Drop him a line at Kdhaisch@AOL.com.

Would you like to write a comedy scene or a script for Albert? Feel free to contribute your ideas. Contact Sandra Grabman at srgrabman@cableone.net.

Spotlights & Shadows: The Albert Salmi Story, by Sandra Grabman, is available in both print and audio formats. Read by author Michael Hoctor, the unabridged audiobook runs 6 hours and 58 minutes.

Print edition ~

eBook edition ~

Audiobook ~