THOMAS, Roger "Raj"
1147 Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA
Roger is a skinny, African-American teenager
with dark-rimmed glasses. He lives with his
hardworking and devoted mother, ("Mama") and
his bratty little sister, Dee. Mama's snug
hugs of affection make Roger cry "Mama, I
Roger's parents are divorced but his scheming
father, Bill Thomas (who cheated during his
marriage) visits their house in times of crisis
to help his ex-wife with the children's
problems. While Mama works as a maid to put food
on the table, she calls upon Roger to baby sit
his little sister, Dee.
Now, Dee can be a real pain in the butt. She
gets $1.00 a week for allowance but Dee is
always finding ways of extorting money from
Roger ("Give me a quarter") when she gets the
goods on him. By threatening "Ooooh, I'm gonna
tell Mama," she nicely supplements her income.
Dee occasionally loans money to Roger and
friends but always charges interest on top of
the loan amount (which she figures up with her
handy little calculator). Dee's personal library
of books contains the multi-volume collection
entitled "The History of Banks."
Roger's friends are shy Dwayne Nelson (his
father is a councilman) and overweight Frederick
"Rerun" Stubbs (who lives with his married
sister and likes to dance). Dwayne's greeting is
"Hey! HEY! Hey!"; Rerun greets people with
They all hangout at Rob's Place, a local
hamburger/soda shop on Second Avenue that
employs a plump, wisecracking waitress named
Shirley Wilson who is their friend. (Shirley
baby sits Dee Thomas when Mrs. Thomas is out of
The owner of the
place, Rob cooks the food while Shirley serves
up such delicacies as hamburgers (much loved by
Rerun), orange sodas (Raj's pick) and strawberry
milkshakes (Dee's favorite).
At school, Roger is the editor of the Jefferson
High Gazette and dreams of one day becoming a
writer. He published his first story "Mr. Beaver
Builds a Dam and Saves the Town of Gum Drop
Falls" for $35 to Little Miss Muffet magazine.
Roger is very studious and spends a lot of time
at the local library. His favorite teacher is
his history teacher, Miss Collins. In his spare
time, Roger writes a column for a small
underground newspaper. Contributing writers
included William Shakespeare (Rerun) who writes
articles on food and sex.
To earn extra money, Roger worked as delivery
boy for Pronson's Market, and got hired to write
for a TV series called Central Avenue. Roger
even took the job as West Coast representative
selling frozen meat for the Unified Meat Company
("A whole new career in meat"). But the job only
lasted one day because the company president was
arrested for fraud. Frantic, Roger took a job as
a nude model to make some quick cash ($35.00 an
hour) to pay the bills. He later gets hired part
time as a cub reporter for a local newspaper.
Here is list of some other misadventures in
- Manages 'The Givens Kids,' a group of four
talented child singers and gets them an audition
on The Gong Show. Rerun gets scheduled to dance
on the same show but at the last moment fakes a
leg injury to avoid winning the prize and
compromising his friendship with Roger.
- Finds investors to get seed money for Rerun to
enter a Disco dance contest (prize $100). But
Rerun oversells his shares but luckily loses the
- Gets arrested scalping tickets at a Steve Wonder
- Goes to the hospital for knee surgery, and
shares a room with a surly old man who once
played for the Negro Leagues.
- Negotiates settlement damages when a Rolls Royce
driven by Amid, the teenage son of a foreign
dignitary from the Arabic Republic of Arango
hits Rerun's car.
- Interviews The Doobie Brothers when they come to
town to play a charity concert at Jefferson High
School (their alma mater) while Rerun agrees
unknowingly to record the concert for some
- Helps Rerun with his credit card addiction after
Rerun fills their apartment with stuff he can't
afford. After making restitution by selling the
stuff, Rerun shreds his credit cards in a food
- Gets elected spokesperson by the tenants of his
apartment building to negotiate better living
conditions with the new landlord. Unfortunately,
the landlord terminates the boy's month-to-month
occupancy and kicks Roger and Rerun of the place
for fomenting discontent. Luckily, they got
their apartment back when all the tenants in the
building came to their defense by carrying signs
around the building and shouting "No Roger!, No
Rerun! No Rent!"
- Tries to convince Rerun not to sue Rob's Place
after some tainted food sent him to the hospital
with food poisoning (which turned out to be an
attack of appendicitis).
- Smooths over allegations that his sister, Dee
stole jewelry (worth $39.37) from Bradford
Jewelry Store. Actually, Dee's friend "Little
Earl" who belonged to a gang called "The
Vultures" gave her an ugly necklace for her
birthday, and when she tried to return it for
money, she was accused of shoplifting.
- Tutors a young girl and is promised a puppy from
a litter of dogs. Unfortunately, when Mrs.
Thomas hears that Susie (a dog) is pregnant, she
thinks Roger has fathered a child out of
- Confronts a bunch of aged bank robbers who years
earlier stashed their loot ($2500) from a
Westlake Trust heist in the walls of Roger's
house. In the end, Roger agrees to donate the
money to the retirement home to benefit the gang
members and the other residents.
- Volunteers to participate in a local charity
event to raise money for the local Teen Center.
Roger and Dee sing (they are called "The Donnie
and Marie of Watts"). Dwayne plays drums and
Rerun promises to get Sammy Davis, Jr., as the
main act. But when Sammy Davis is a no show, Dee
Thomas points out the positive side that there
will now be money for a Teen Center. Although
disappointed, the audience didn't ask for their
- Tracks down the Christmas presents stolen by a
thief. Roger and Rerun inadvertently help the
burglar get away with the heavy bag filled with
their stuff as he left their apartment. (Note:
Roger's cousin "Wee Willie" Thomas is a
- Cheats on a history exam. Actually, Roger was
giving answers to Rerun so he could pass the
final exam in Miss Collins History class. Roger
knew Rerun could answer the questions, but Rerun
refused the answers because he was afraid to
leave high school (after seven years) and begin
a new life. Psst! Rerun took the test over and
got an A.
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