Show description is taken from the Jot ‘Em Down Journal, the official publication of the National Lum and Abner Society:
The first “regular” episode of the new series does not stray far from tried and true territory. L&A discover that their store partially sits on the adjoining property, and a frantic search ensues to find their neighbor’s identity so they can correct the matter.
As he will on each show for the next few months, Wendell Niles opens this one with the blurb. “Frigidaire, a division of General Motors, brings you a brand-new kind of visit with those old characters down in Pine Ridge.”
To move the store, Ben Withers recommends Mt. Ida resident Clarence Zincafoose (whose first name is probably an inside joke on Clarence Hartzcll), father of identical twins Herbert and Kenneth (“You wouldn’t be able to tell them apart if it weren’t fur their difference in appearance”). The Burgess family is temporarily living with the Zincafoose clan; it seems Clarence moved the Burgess’s house for them, but can’t remember where he put it. Squire Skimp again appears, claiming to own the property next to the store… as soon as he buys it from Ezra Seestrunk, that is. He leases them the strip on which the store sits for $20 per year… except, of course, the first and last 40 years’ rent must be paid in advance. ‘When Squire finds out it is not the south side of the store that is in question, but the north side, he nearly has a coronary.
A new voice introduced in this episode is that of Sister Simpson, who had never previously been portrayed on the 15- minute series. The NLAS archives contain recordings of an unbelievable number of auditions that were conducted for this role; seemingly any radio actress who thought she could do a rural dialect tested for the part during August and September. The coveted role finally went to one Vivian Lasswell, who does not seem to have any other radio series to her credit. That she was a fairly inexperienced actress is borne out by her first scene in this episode. Ms. Lasswell proceeds to completely blow her lines, fumbling through her scene in a manner that is positively embarrassing to hear. Lauck and Goff do their best to keep her on track, but one can imagine their blood pressure rising as they recall how many actresses they tested for this part, only to wind up with a victim of mike fright! Through the messy playing of this scene, L&A learn that the lot is owned by Elsie Lovelace of the county seat.
While hitchhiking to Mena, L&A meet a friendly passing motorist who identifies himself as Wendell Niles, local Frigidaire representative for their district. This is, of course, the program’s way of bringing in the “integrated commercial,” in the form made so famous by Harlow Wilcox on Fibber McGee and Molly. In each succeeding show, Niles will show up during whatever story is going on, and take a few minutes to promote the glories of Frigidaire’s products.
Lum goes to work his romantic charms on Elsie while Abner goes to see her illtempered lawyer Mr. Dushnell (played by Herbert Rawlinson, who would be a semi-regular in these early shows). This escalates into a comedy of errors, but unfortunately we cannot identify the actress who plays the giggly Elsie. In the show’s closing, L&A end up having Clarence Zincafoose, whose voice should be very familiar to listeners of the 15 minute episodes. The role of Zincafoose is being essayed by Western movie sidekick Horace Murphy, whose whining tunes had been heard on the show as Ira Hodgekins since 1944, and as Caleb Weehunt in one isolated 1946 show. Murphy would be returning to Lum and Abner often during the coming months.