An Online Newsletter of “The Andy Griffith Show” Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC)
Volume 12, Issue 1
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Welcome to our first issue for 2012! This year is already shaping up as one full of Mayberry fun (“such goin’s on, such goin’s on”). Here’s some of what’s on tap so far:
The Andy Griffith Museum, featuring Emmett Forrest‘s phenomenal collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia, is open daily in Mount Airy, N.C. You can usually find Emmett himself there on Thursdays (and often other times), and Betty Lynn generally greets fans there during the afternoon of the third Friday each month. For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* Feb. 9: Rodney Dillard and the Dillard Band perform at 7 p.m. at the Historic Jonesborough Visitor Center Auditorium in Jonesborough, Tenn. FOr more info, call 866-401-4223 or visit www.jonesboroughbluegrass.com.
* Feb. 17: Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou) will greet fans at the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy, N.C. from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8?–10 photos available ($10) and would love to visit with you! For more info, visit www.andygriffithmuseum.org.
* Feb. 18: Rodney Dillard and the Dillard Band perform at 7:00 p.m. at Lenoir Community College in Kinston, N.C.
* Feb. 19; Beverly and Rodney Dillard present their Mayberry Values Ministeries at the First Baptist Church in Morrisville, N.C., at 10:30 a.m.
* Feb. 20: David Browning performs “From Gettysburg to Mayberry” (as Abe Lincoln and the Mayberry Deputy), at Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Va.
* Feb. 21: Rodney Dillard and the Dillard Band perform at 7:00 p.m. at the Temple Theater in Sanford, N.C. For more info visit www.templeshows.com.
* Mar. 1-3: 15th Annual George Lindsey UNA Film Festival in Florence, Ala. Actor Michael Rooker (Days of Thunder, Tombstone, etc.) is the first special guest announced. That is, in addition to George Lindsey himself. Highlights of this year’s festival include the dedication of a new Black Box theater on Fri. at 4 p.m. Details TBA. For updates (including at least one more very special guest!), visit http://lindseyfilmfest.com.
* Mar. 3: James Best greets fans at the Jenco Auto Sales and Jones County Cruisers First Annual Benefit Auto/Truck/Motorcycle Show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Carol’s Park in Gray, Ga.
* Mar. 10 and 11: Peggy McCay (Andy’s high school girlfriend Sharon DeSpain in “Class Reunion”) greets fans at a fundraiser event at Loews Vanderbilt Plaza in Nashville, Tenn., for Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescues. A fan Meet & Greet will be held Mar. 10 at 11:00 (admission $20), and a special brunch will be held on Mar. 11 (admission $50). Ticket info and other updates available soon at http://proverbs1210.rescuegroups.org.
* Mar. 10: Neal Brower, author of Mayberry 101, makes the first of two special appearances at the Andy Griffith Museum this spring. Each session will feature an episode of “The Andy Griffith Show” followed by a detailed lecture and Q&A. Lectures will take place in the lower level of the Museum at 2 p.m. Admission is $10. The episode featured for this lecture is “Big Fish in a Small Town.” Go ahead….take the bait and get hooked on learning neat stuff!
* Mar. 23: Karen Knotts performs her “Tied Up in Knotts” show at the Metropolitan Theatre in Morgantown, W.V., as a fundraiser for the Don Knotts Memorial Park, which will include a statue of her father. Details TBA.
* Mar. 23: Rodney Dillard and the Dillard Band perform at the South Florida Music Festival in Jupiter, Fla. Visit www.southfloridamusicfest.info for show times and updates.
* Apr. 14: Neal Brower, author of Mayberry 101, makes the second of two special appearances at the Andy Griffith Museum this spring. The “Fun Girls” episode will be shown today and will be followed by a lecture and Q&A. Lectures will take place in the lower level of the Museum at 2 p.m. Admission is $10. Neal’s lectures are always fun, girls and boys!
* Apr. 20 and 21: Second Annual Mayberry Comes to Westminster in Westminster, S.C. Rodney Dillard and the Dillard Band are confirmed guests. Other details TBA.
* June 2: James Best greets fans and shows his artwork at the Greg’s Core Supply event in Felts Park in Galax, Va.
* POSTPONED July 14: 12th Annual Mayberry Squad Car Nationals. Check back for updates on the new date and location and guest stars.
* Aug. 24 and 25: Rodney Dillard and Maggie Peterson are joined by several of the Mayberry tribute artists (including David “Mayberry Deputy” Browning, Kenneth “Otis” Junkin and Jeff “Howard” Branch) for a Cruise-In on Fri. and then concert benefiting the Montgomery County DARE program on Sat. The evening concert will be at the James H. Garner Center in Troy, N.C. Details TBA. For more info, visit www.bluegrassintroy.com/.
* Sept. 25-27: Life Lessons From Mayberry: It’s All There in Black and White in Ridgecrest, N.C. (outside Asheville). This event is a celebration of “The Andy Griffith Show” and the biblical truths and life applications found in the show. It includes fun-filled Bible study based on some of favorite episodes, inspiring preaching and worship, and bluegrass music. More info at www.lifeway.com/mayberry.
* Sept. 27-30: 23rd Annual Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, N.C. Details TBA. Tickets are already available to order for several parts of the festival. For updates, visit www.mayberrydays.org.
* Oct. 6: A Mayberry Afternoon in Salisbury, N.C., featuring Mayberry music and Mayberry tribute artists, including David “Mayberry Deputy” Browning, Allan “Floyd” Newsome, Jeff “Howard” Branch, Tim “Goober” Pettigrew and Phil “Ernest T.” Fox. Details TBA.
* Oct. 29-Nov. 3: Halloween Cruise to Mayberry 7. Five Days aboard Carnival Cruise Line’s Destiny, leaving from Miami with ports of call in Nassau, Half Moon Cay, and Grand Turk, plus a fun day at sea. Seven Mayberry tribute artists, an Elvis tribute artist, and the VW Boys are among the entertainment provided exclusive to Mayberry Cruise participants. For more info, visit the All About Cruises website at www.allaboutcruisesnc.net/
**** News of Cast & Crew ****
Andy Griffith is wintering well at his coastal Carolina home.
Ron Howard is executive-producing the re-ignition of Arrested Development with new episodes for TV (well, sort of…they’ll be exclusive to Netflix) and possibly a feature film coming to theaters. Ron has also said that he’ll be back as the narrator.
Ron is in pre-production (as producer and director) for the feature film Rush about Formula I racing legend Niki Lauda. And Ron still has plans and hopes for the ambitious and complex project of bringing Stephen King’s Dark Towers to TV and theaters. Meanwhile, he is scheduled to direct the pilot for a new HBO series about Doc Holliday, and he is executive producer for a Sarah Silverman pilot requested by NBC.
And Ron is among the executive producers for TNT’s first reality show, “The Great Escape,” which will begin a 10-episode run this summer.
When You Find Me, a short film based on eight photos Ron selected in a contest called Project Imagin8ion (sponsored by Canon) and directed and co-written by Ron’s oldest daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard, has been receiving good reviews.
Ron has been making the rounds at various film festivals and awards shows, including Sundance. He’s also a judge for the Greenwich (Conn.) Youth Film Festival this winter.
And the really big Howard family news is that daughter Bryce had a baby girl on Jan. 19. Her name is Beatrice Jean Howard-Gabel. (Ron’s late mother’s name was Jean. As for Beatrice, we don’t yet know the inspiration for that, but some of us will have to be excused if we presumptively nickname her Bee.)
Jim Nabors performed at the Fourth annual Na Mele o na Keiki (Music for the Children) Holiday Concert in Honolulu in December. He’s still enjoying the good life and weather of Hawaii.
George Lindsey is getting ready for his 15th Annual George Lindsey UNA Film Festival in Florence, Ala. (see listing in Floyd’s calendar above and check the festival website for the schedule and exciting updates!). Meanwhile, viewers in the Nashville area were treated to a week of Goober episodes at the end of January and early February when local station WUXP did “Goober Gone Wild” Week. Did George like that? “Yo!”
Maggie Peterson and Betty Lynn headlined a successful Mayberry-themed musical fundraiser for Alzheimer’s care and research in Roanoke,Va., in November.
Dean Webb, Dillards and Darlings mandolin player, is featured in “Sounds of Home–Music from the Ozarks” for Ozarks Public Television. Dean is interviewed and performs some music with his current band, Missouri Boatride. The show has aired a couple of times. Viewers in the Ozarks, check your local listings for future airdates Dean and the band are also performing every other Saturday during the winter season in their home base of Kimberling City, Mo. (They’ll also be doing a summer series.) For complete details, visit www.missouriboatride.com.
James Best is well into the editing process for Return of the Killer Shrews. To stay current on the latest Shrews news (including the movie’s first trailer), visit www.killershrewsmovie.com.
Meanwhile, James was on hand for an art show featuring his work in Mount Dora, Fla, .on Super Bowl weekend. You can find James at www.jamesbest.com.
Bernard Fox says that he’s doing well and sends all his best to his Mayberry friends. He’s largely retired from acting, but never say never. He enjoys doing the occasional autograph show in Burbank near his home.
And Bernard might be the first featured performer on TAGS to be seen in 3D on the big screen when Titanic is rereleased on Apr. 6 (the 100th anniversary of Titanic‘s launch). (We’re sure we’ll hear from “trained noticers” if there’s another key TAGS performer who has already appeared in 3D on the big screen.)
Julie Adams (Nurse Mary in “The County Nurse,” Episode 56) is getting a good response to her autobiography, The Lucky Southern Star–Reflections From the Black Lagoon, published last fall For more info about the book and Julie’s schedule, check out her website at www.julieadams.biz.
Also on the literary front, Margaret Kerry (“Christmas Story” and “Andy Forecloses” episodes) is progressing well with writing for Tinker Bell Talks–Tales of a Pixie Dusted Life, her autobiography. At last update, she was up to more than 60 chapters!
It’s with great sadness that we report that writer Jack Elinson, a legend in Mayberry andHollywood, died in Santa Monica, Calif., on Nov. 17. He was 89. Jack wrote more episodes (34) of “The Andy Griffith Show” than anyone else. Most of his episodes (29) were in the first two seasons and written with long time collaborator Charles Stewart. Helping Mayberry stay on solid footing after the departure of Don Knotts and the dawn of color, Jack returned to write five episodes in the sixth season. Jack’s landmark episodes of TAGS would have been legacy enough for most writers, but Jack had a distinguished career before and after Mayberry.
During the 1950s, Jack wrote extensively for “All-Star Revue,” “The Colgate Comedy Hour,” “The Ed Wynn Show,” “The Jimmy Durante Show,” “Hey, Jeannie!,” “The Johnny Carson Show,” “The Real McCoys” and “The Danny Thomas Show,” among others.
In 1961, Jack and Chuck Stewart received an Emmy nomination for their writing on “Make Room for Daddy.”
Jack was nominated for four Writers Guild Awards. He and Chuck Stewart won the award for their writing of the “Manhunt” episode of TAGS. A further hint to Jack’s importance to TAGS is indicated in the mention of just a few of his episodes: “The New Housekeeper,” “Ellie for Council,” “Keeper of the Flame,” “The Manicurist,” “Barney and the Choir” and “Andy on Trial.” Jack’s talent and versatility allowed him to write brilliantly for any Mayberry mood or theme.
Jack was a writer and producer for “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. He also wrote many episodes and was either producer or executive producer for “The Doris Day Show,” “Good Times,” “One Day at a Time” and “The Facts of Life,” “227” and “Wait Till Your Father Gets Home.”
Jack was born in New York City on April 21, 1922, and served in the Army during WWII. After the war he followed his older brother Isidor (Iz) into show business, first writing jokes for Walter Winchell’s newspaper column and then working as one of the top gag writers in radio. (Iz Elinson also co-wrote three TAGS episodes, including one with Jack, “The Foster Lady.”)
Jack was predeceased by his first wife, Katie, and is survived by his four children: Michael (Meryl), David (Barbara), Robbie (Dorothy), and Ethel (David); his second wife, Estelle, her three children: Marcy (Steve), Claudia (Brian) and Valerie (Adam); and 12 grandchildren.
A private memorial service was held in Mission Hills, Calif. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations may be made in Jack’s name to OPICA Daycare and/or Skirball Hospice. (TAGSRWC has made a donation on behalf of the fan club as a whole in Jack’s memory to the Barbara and Emmett Forrest Endowment for the Surry Arts Council, sponsor of Mayberry Days inMountAiry, which Jack and Estelle were able to attend in 2000.)
We’re also sad to report the passing on the same day in December of two actors with featured roles in Mayberry.
Dan Frazer, who played movie producer Mr. Harmon in “Mayberry Goes Hollywood” (Episode 13), died of cardiac arrest at his home in Manhattan on Dec. 16. He was 90.
He had a long career of steady work, but he’s probably best known for his role as Capt. Frank McNeil on TV’s “Kojak.” As for us TAGS fans, we’ll always appreciate his character’s keen eye for what was special and worth protecting about Mayberry.
You can read more about Dan Frazer and his life and career here: Dan FrazerNYTimes.
We’re also sad to have the news that Robert Easton died of natural causes at his home in Toluca Lake, Calif., on Dec. 16. He was 81. Robert played be-eyelashed Pete Johnson in “Irresistible Andy” (Episode 5).
He was known as the dean of dialect coaches in Hollywood and respected throughout the acting profession for his knowledge and expertise. Read more about his remarkable life at: RobertEastonLATimes.
**** Chapter Update ****
We’re pleased to welcome six new chapters since our last eBullet:
|The Ol’ Steel Traps||Rock Hill, S.C.|
|Mayberry Hysterical Society–CSI Division||Cameron, Mo.|
|West Indian Licorice Mocha Delight||Lexington, Tenn|
|Orville Monroe||Spring Hill, Tenn.|
|“A Little Tree for a Little Room”||Nashville, Tenn.|
|Syrup and Biscuits||Heartland, Ala.|
We now have had 1,387 chapters founded since TAGSRWC started almost 33 years ago. If you’re interested in starting a chapter of TAGSRWC, all you need to do is choose a name that hasn’t already been picked, and submit it with a list of your founding members to TAGSRWC’s HQ in Nashville (see addresses below). The hardest part is simply finding a name that hasn’t already been chosen. There’s a searchable list of chapter names at www.tagsrwc.com.
Once you successfully choose a name that’s “all yours and nobody else’s,” you’ll receive your Official Chapter Charter, fancily inscribed (and “suitable for framing”) by Sherry Hyatt, one of our “Compelsion Nuts” chapter in East Tennessee.
What you do as a chapter is entirely up to you. Your group can do as much or as little as you like. The idea is simply to have lots of Mayberry fun with whatever you do.
Or if you’re feeling more like a joiner than a starter, you can write to us about how to contact a chapter near you. Our mailing address is TAGSRWC, 9 Music Square South, PMB 146, Nashville TN 37203-3211. Our e-mail address is Goober@iMayberry.com.
Or you can join our online “Who’s Been Messin’ Up the Bulletin Board?” chapter. (It’s really quick and easy to do. Info is at tagsrwc.com.)
Either way, we hope you can enjoy the fun of being part of a TAGSRWC chapter!
**** Mayberry on the Web ****
New iMayberry Community
We’re excited to announce a really great new online feature hosted by TAGSRWC and organized and overseen by webmaster Allan “Floyd” Newsome. It’s called iMayberry Community. You can check it out and sign up for free at: http://imayberrycommunity.com/
Here’s what Allan says about it:
“Mayberry related websites, forums, podcasts, mailing lists, newsletters and more have been on the Internet for more than 20 years. I’m always amazed when folks say they never knew all this stuff about The Andy Griffith Show existed. Some knew of a few Mayberry things but didn’t realize the volume of material that is on the Web.
The iMayberry Community‘s goal is to help fans of The Andy Griffith Show connect with one another to share their knowledge and love of Mayberry.
“We’re just beginning this community, but with your help we should see our Mayberry friendships grow and develop relationships that are stronger.
“Community, friends, relationships, family–those are the things that we love about Mayberry and those are the things we want to nurture here.”
The hope is that the iMayberry Community will complement our other online activities, including our main www.imayberry.com page, podcasts, Facebook page, online newsletters (such as The eBullet!), weaversdepartmentstore.com and chat rooms. Combined with TAGSRWC chapters and the various Mayberry events for all fans (from Mayberry Days to ocean cruises), not to mention enjoying the sites of Mount Airy year-round, the world of Mayberry fun keeps expanding.
And best of all, it’s all rooted in watching the show itself. Whether through DVDs, local stations or TV Land, loving to watch the show continues to be the energy that feeds all the other Mayberry fun and activities that we enjoy. What a wonderful thing Andy Griffith and his talented team of actors, musicians, writers and crew people created 52 years ago–for us and generations to come!
Two Chairs, No Waiting is our weekly podcast of TAGS has news, interviews and pretty much whatever happens to be going on in and around Mayberry. It’s hosted by our Allan Newsome. There’s a new episode every Tuesday (and you can watch and listen live during tapings on Monday evenings). Past episodes are in an online Archives in case you want to listen to episodes you’ve missed. (There are about 174 episodes so far!)
There’s a lot of info and discussions that you simply won’t find anywhere else, including rare interviews (vintage and new) with cast and crew members of TAGS. If you’ve got sound on your computer or have an iPod or similar device, you can easily tune in or download these podcasts.
And there’s a Brother Figure podcast to Two Chairs, No Waiting. It’s hosted by longtime TAGSRWC member Kevin Burke, who does a great job of describing and discussing individual episodes. It’s called Burke on Mayberry. Check it out.
TAGSRWC’s official page on Facebook now has more than 8,000 friends! You can find us at www.facebook.com/tagsrwc. There’s a variety of comments about Mayberry, and a lively stream of fans’ favorite TAGS lines.And our Facebook page is also one of the first places we post announcements and breaking news about TAGS. If you haven’t already dropped by the page, we hope you’ll check it out sometime when you have the chance. We invite you to become a TAGSRWC Facebook Friend!
**** Chapter News ****
Kit Kat Club chapter (Salem, Ore., and Petaluma, Calif.) gathered over Thanksgiving. They say their feast included two green vegetables and one yellow and was enjoyed by all. “The potatoes were a picture no artist could paint. The turkey twanged our buds.” They go on to say, “A highlight of the long weekend was the Otis Campbell Memorial Wine Tasting Tour of Sonoma County California. The liquid refreshments were tastier than vintage spring water from the courthouse crock.” (That doesn’t sound like “mulberry squeezin’s” to us!)
Members of “Shakedown! Shakedown!” chapter (Laurinburg, N.C.) made the 2 ½ -hour trek to a meeting of Wally’s Fillin’ Station chapter (Wilson, N.C.) in December. They report, “We shared good food and conversation. We prepared trivia questions and provided Mayberry-related prizes for correct answers. Some of the Wally’s members are going to try to attend our chapter’s spring meeting here in Laurinburg.”
“I Think I’ll Find a Cave and Hermitize Myself” (Grand Ledge, Mich.) says that they are living up to their name again this winter. They did venture out for a Christmas party at Mrs. Wiley’s. (They brought green and red rocks, just to be festive for the occasion.)
“Chewin’ Tar Is Good for Your Teeth” (Varysburg, N.Y.) is all keyed up about its first big chapter meeting in a couple of weeks. They’re inviting fellow Goobers from throughout the their upstate New York neck of the woods to come by for a day of reruns, bluegrass music, games, contests and good food. We’ll have a recap in our next issue.
Barney chapter (Greensboro, N.C.) co-founder Blake Clark celebrated his 90th birthday in January and was joined by representatives of Andy chapter (Nashville, Tenn.) and Sarah chapter (Mooresville, N.C.). He appreciated all the cards and good wishes from fellow Barney chapter members, as well as from bunches of other TAGSRWC members and chapters from far and wide.
Mayberry chapter (Knoxville, Tenn.) has just printed the January issue of its Mayberry Minutes newsletter. It’s a whopping 16 pages with full color throughout. As Ernest T. might say, “Slickety, ain’t it!” There’s not only chapter news, but all kinds of tidbidts about general Mayberry events, cast news (similar to what you’ll read here) and who knows what all. Find out more about the group’s activities or join their fun at www.mayberrychapter.com.
And we have some very sad news from Mount Airy. Griggs Hampton (affectionately known simply as “Griggs” to most folks around Mount Airy) died on Dec. 21. He had been convalescing from surgery earlier in the year.
Griggs was a fixture on the streets of Mount Airy and was ever ready with a smile and a nod in much the way that Mr. Schwamp seems ever present in Mayberry. His friendliness and generosity were instant with everyone he met. He was widely known as one of Mount Airy’s most enthusiastic and successful fundraisers for charity. (TAGSRWC has made a donation in memory of Griggs on behalf of our organization as a whole to the Surry Arts Council in Mount Airy.) Read more about Griggs, his good works and legacy here: Remembering Griggs.
**** Merchandise Update ****
Here’s what this special set includes:
*Matzie Velvet Touch Putter with George Lindsey Celebrity Golf Tournament logo
* A sleeve of 3 brand new (or rather, unused) golf balls with the George Lindsey logo. (They’re from the 1980s, so we wouldn’t recommend playing golf with them unless you don’t care about distance or breaking your hands. Ernest T. might like ’em for throwin’, though!)
* A T-shirt with the logo of the 13th edition of the tournament. The shirt is size XL, but it’s from the 1980s, so that’ more like a size Large with today’s sizing.
* Color photo of Goober autographed by George (it can be personalized, if desired)
All proceeds–the full $195– goes toward our support of the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival.
The golf season is just around the corner for most parts of the country. What better way to get your game on the right course than with this putter and the accompanying accessories!
Just like Barney did at the Esquire Club in Raleigh that time, with these items you can bring a magic Mayberry touch to your own golf game or that of a golf nut you know.
**** Post Note ****
If you ever miss receiving an issue of The eBullet, you can always catch up by reading it in the eBullet Archives in the Newsletters section at iMayberry.com. Each issue is usually placed in the Archives within about a week of its being distributed to subscribers.
Between issues of The eBullet, keep up with the goings-on in Mayberry with the daily “Who’s Been Messin’ Up the Bulletin Board?” (aka WBMUTBB) Digest. It’s a free subscriber list that consists entirely of comments, newsflashes, and questions and answers from subscribers. You can sign up for that list by going to the “Mailing Lists” link at tagsrwc.com. WBMUTBB also has its own Archives where you can follow the ongoing stream of messages.
And TAGSRWC publishes Weaver’s Newsletter in more-or-less alternate months to The eBullet. Like The eBullet, the Weaver’s Newsletter is free. Its focus is mainly on new Mayberry merchandise and collectibles and quick newsflashes. To sign up, go to: Weaver’s Newsletter Sign-Up.
TAGSRWC’s other main vehicle for Mayberry information is simply our website at www.tagsrwc.com (and its sister site www.iMayberry.com). Both sites have extensive content and links for just about everything a Mayberry fan might be looking for.
The next issue of The eBullet is scheduled for late March with the next Weaver’s Newsletter planned for late February.