Gladys, acting mayor of Partonville, is on a tear. The fall celebration is just around the corner and there's more to do than can possibly be done --- especially since Dorothy is conspicuously absent from the inaugural committee meeting. She has enough on her plate, with band practice and getting the talent show up and running. Besides, Arthur's presence at the meeting --- due primarily to his being duped into attending by his wife, Jessie --- draws attention away from Dorothy's absence. Not only is the festival in the works, but Gladys has decided to inject even more life into the town by announcing that a Centennial Plus 30 will coincide with the annual revelry.
Meanwhile, Katie and Josh are having very real --- but very different --- identity crises. Popularity at his new school agrees with Josh --- only it's not the same Josh who came to Partonville just a short time ago. Katie is equally confused: old letters she's unearthed show her mother and aunt communicating in an odd code. What can it mean? The mother Katie thought she knew is slowly becoming a stranger. And --- even more perplexing --- is it possible that Gladys actually has a heart?
Secrets of the past find themselves aired in the present as Partonville erupts in whispers and almost unheard-of scandal. As usual, Dorothy finds herself right in the center of all the commotion. But once things calm down and traffic gets back to normal, Partonville finds itself, quite literally, catching up with time.