The eBullet: Volume 12 Special Edition Remembering George Lindsey May 2012

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The eBullet
An Online Newsletter of "The Andy Griffith Show" Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC)
Volume 12, Special Edition Remembering George Lindsey
May  2012
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Editor's Note

Our publication schedule for The eBullet has been altered by the sad loss of George Lindsey on May 6 and Doug Dillard on May 16.  This issue, devoted to George Lindsey, is the first of two Special Editions of The eBullet that we're doing before we publish our next regular issue of The eBullet, which was originally scheduled for May, but now will be published in early June (we think). Our Special Edition devoted to Doug Dillard will be published sometime between now and the regular issue.  Here's a link to Doug's official obituary, including visitation and funeral arrangements May 23 and 24.

In the meantime, be sure to check our online Event Calendar to stay current on the latest happenings in Mayberry. And TAGSRWC's online Weaver's Dept. Store has some new items and nice discounts on popular Mayberry items you might find worth a look before the delayed regular eBullet comes out in June.

TAGSRWC has also set up Memorial Pages for George Lindsey and Doug Dillard that include places where anyone can leave their remembrances for each of them.  Likewise, our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/tagsrwc has photo albums and numerous links about George and Doug. (You can see the highlights even if you're not registered with Facebook, but to see all the stories and links, you'll need to be a registered user with Facebook.) We're also listing links for several of the more noteworthy stories about George Lindsey at the bottom of this issue. We'll do the same for Doug Dillard's Special Edition.

Highlights of this Special Edition include the full text of a statement from Andy Griffith that was read at George's funeral service; statements from director Norman Lloyd, writer Ray Bradbury, writer-director-actor Billy Bob Thornton, and actor Lucas Black that were read at the service; and remembrances from Ray Stevens, Ernest Borgnine, Betty Lynn, Rance Howard, Ron Howard, James Best, Jackie Joseph and Ken Berry, and, most poignantly, Doug Dillard.

We know George would want us to start his commemorative issue with something funny, so here's an editorial cartoon by John Rose (who also draws "Snuffy Smith") that we love, followed by George's full obituary.

Courtesy of John Rose, the Daily News-Record and Byrd Newspapers of Virginia.


Obituary for

GEORGE LINDSEY
Beloved as Goober Pyle on "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Hee Haw"

 NASHVILLE, TENN., May 6, 2012--George Lindsey, the actor best known for his portrayal of dim yet lovable gas station mechanic Goober Pyle on "The Andy Griffith Show," died at 12:05 a.m. on Sunday, May 6, after a brief illness. He was 83.

Goober baby

Born in Fairfield, Ala., on December 17, 1928, George Smith Lindsey was raised in Jasper, Ala., and was the only child of Alice Smith Lindsey and George Ross Lindsey. As a young boy, Lindsey's best buddies were his dog One Spot and his pal Sappo, a lifelong friend and a popular foil for Lindsey's stand-up comedy act.

Lindsey liked to hang around his Aunt Ethel's gas station, where the mechanics wore felt caps to keep the grease and oil from dripping into their hair. Those caps would inspire Lindsey's trademark "beanie" worn by Goober.

Gas station notwithstanding, the Lindsey family of George's youth felt the full weight of the Great Depression. Those hard times were later a rich source of material for his comedy act, with jokes guaranteed to get a laugh, such as: "We were so poor that we'd eat beans for breakfast, drink water for lunch and swell up for supper."

As a student in Jasper, Lindsey was a good athlete. At Walker County High School, he excelled in football and basketball. One of the few other official high school activities he enjoyed was doing theatrical productions. He was as surprised as anybody when he graduated high school. With no real plans for his future other than a desire to be in the spotlight, Lindsey enrolled in local Walker Junior College. After being invited not to come back for a second semester at Walker, Lindsey enrolled (that is to say, "was sent away") for a year of junior college at Kemper Military School in Boonville, Mo.

Next up was the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Lindsey lasted a semester there, but couldn't afford the tuition for a second semester. It was probably just as well. As he joked in his 1995 autobiography, Goober in a Nutshell, "I was in remedial everything. I was even in remedial lunch." He was, however, able to scrape together enough money to enroll at Florence State Teachers College (now the University of North Alabama).

Lindsey thrived in Florence. He eventually rose to starting quarterback for the football team. His football prowess earned him a much needed scholarship, which allowed him to finish his collegiate career at Florence State. He also performed regularly with the college theater group. He graduated in 1952 with a degree in biological science and physical education.

Dr. Goober?

His alma mater in Florence remained a passion for Lindsey the rest of his life. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by the university in 1992 and was inducted into the university's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. He was proud to be a co-founder of the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival in 1998. Several scholarships are also endowed in his name. The university is home to the George Lindsey Collection, which contains most of his television and movie scripts and much of his other career memorabilia. Lindsey was proudly on hand during the film festival in March of this year for the dedication of the George Lindsey Theater on the UNA campus.

After he graduated from college, Lindsey joined the Air Force. He was assigned to special services and to be a swimming instructor. At one point during his service at Ramey Air Force Base in Puerto Rico, he served as personal lifeguard for General Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command.

Much of his time with the Air Force was spent at Pinecastle Air Force Base near Orlando. He was responsible for putting together plays and other entertainment for the servicemen. He also worked on plays at nearby Rollins College in Winter Haven. It was at Rollins that Lindsey met and fell in love with Joyanne Herbert. They were married in 1955.

After Lindsey was discharged from the Air Force, the newlyweds moved to his home turf in Alabama. With his college degree (and a teacher's certificate) and Air Force experience, Lindsey landed a job coaching basketball and baseball and teaching history at Hazel Green High School in Madison County.

"I was the worst teacher in the world," Lindsey later said. After a painful year at Hazel Green High, Lindsey decided to put everyone out of the misery of his teaching. He was accepted at the prestigious American Theater Wing in New York City. With the help of GI Bill funds, he studied at the American Theater Wing for two years and loved every minute of it. To help pay the bills during and after this time, he worked as a comedian and actor in nightclubs and coffeehouses. He was noticed by agents from the William Morris Agency, and he signed with them to represent him.

In Wonderful Town with Florence Henderson.

Before long, Lindsey landed the role of Moose in the production of All American at Broadway's Winter Garden Theatre and later the role of the Wreck in an industrial show version of Wonderful Town, which toured the country after premiering on Broadway. He also began to get some work in television. But by far Lindsey's biggest hit during this time was the birth of his son George in 1962. In his father's eyes, a star was born.

The growing Lindsey family was soon following their dream to California. Most of Lindsey's early Hollywood work was as tough guys and bad guys, mostly in westerns, such as "The Rifleman" and "Gunsmoke." He also appeared in the "The Real McCoys," "The Twilight Zone," several Disney productions and three episodes of "Alfred Hitchcock Hour," most notably the episode titled "The Jar," one of his favorite performances.

Lindsey got a call in 1962 to audition for the one-episode role of a gas station attendant on "The Andy Griffith Show." He thought he had the job, but at the last minute Jim Nabors was given the role of Gomer Pyle, which evolved into a bigger part and a springboard to stardom for Nabors. When Lindsey saw that first episode featuring Gomer, he famously kicked in the screen on the television set in his living room. As he wrote in his autobiography, he was furious about losing the part. "Not only that, but now I didn't have a TV to watch 'Ben Casey' on."

Not to worry. Lindsey's destiny was still Mayberry. In 1964, Lindsey landed the role of Gomer's cousin Goober Pyle, who was to be Gomer's heir apparent at Mayberry's filling station. Seven full seasons of acting work as Goober followed for Lindsey, four on "The Andy Griffith Show" and then three on the sequel series, "Mayberry R.F.D."

"Goober, you really got talent!"

And from there bloomed a career of both embracing and running from Goober--most prominently during two decades as a regular on the syndicated "Hee Haw" on which he dressed as Goober but was usually addressed as George. Over the years, Lindsey made his peace with the role that had pigeonholed him. As he wrote in his "What Mayberry Means to Me" poem, which he used as his signature finale for his stand-up act for 30 years, "The thing I like about Mayberry, most of all, it's made ol' Goober rich!"

Shortly after landing the role of Goober on "The Andy Griffith Show," Lindsey upstaged himself with the birth of his beautiful daughter Camden. With son George now two, the Lindsey family of 1964 was hitting on all cylinders and "running like a scalded dog."

Lindsey had become one of the busiest performers in show business. He was a frequent guest star on top television shows and made countless guest appearances on talk shows and game shows. Movie roles, including voice-over work for favorite Disney animated features, and a full slate of stand-up comedy, both as a headliner and as an opening act for top country music acts, kept Lindsey in demand. He was also spokesperson for Getty Oil Truck Stops and Liberty Trouser Company, and he opened a chain of fleetingly successful George Lindsey's Family Steak Houses. He even recorded a few albums of both comedy and country music, including tunes by some of Nashville's top songwriters and a few that Lindsey co-wrote.

Through it all, Lindsey always found time to support good causes. He was a fixture at charity fundraisers. The cause closest to his heart was Special Olympics. His annual George Lindsey Celebrity Golf Weekend raised over $1,000,000 for Alabama Special Olympics from 1973 to 1988. One of the legacies of that effort was the George Lindsey Aquatic Center in Tuscaloosa.

Accepting the Minnie Pearl Award.

When Lindsey was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1983, it was in recognition of his work as a "Youth Benefactor" for Special Olympics more so than for his own athletic accomplishments in high school and college. His receipt of the Minnie Pearl Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997 was also primarily in recognition of his charitable works. For that reason and because comedienne Minnie Pearl had been such an important friend in his life, Lindsey often said that award was the one that meant the most to him. (That's not to say that he didn't also appreciate receiving the Tire Gauge to the City of Nashville during Goober Pyle Day in 1990--presented on behalf of the city's mayor by country music's Bellamy Brothers.)

Displaying the Tire Gauge to the City of Nashville with Howard and David Bellamy.

After "Hee Haw" ended production in 1992, Lindsey, who was recently divorced, made his permanent home in Nashville. He maintained a busy schedule of stage and film work. He embraced the Goober character to the point that he often gave up his customary tuxedo and wore the "Goober Suit" for his stand-up shows. In the wake of the hit Return to Mayberry made-for-TV movie in 1986, Lindsey's appearances at Mayberry reunion shows and festivals drew large crowds of enthusiastic fans over the next two decades. Several television retrospectives for "The Andy Griffith Show" also garnered high ratings. In 2004, Lindsey shared the TV Land Legend Award with other members of the "Griffith" cast and crew.

In addition to hosting the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival the last 15 years, Lindsey continued to find varied and fulfilling work. From NBC's "News Radio" in 1997 and serving as host of the Turner South series "Liars & Legends" in 2000 to the country music single and video for "Find Me a Man Like Goober" in 2007 and Larry the Cable Guy's "Hula -Palooza Christmas Luau" in 2009, Lindsey constantly found opportunities to savor the spotlight and bring smiles to as many faces as possible. He was an eager participant in "Salute to the Kornfield," a "Hee Haw" reunion created for both a series of DVDs in 2011 and a cable TV special this year.

Lindsey often commented that he was torn about what he wanted his tombstone to say. One choice goes for the joke: "I told you I was sick." The other goes for the heart: "I hope I made you laugh."

George with Anne Wilson at his birthday celebration in Nashville in December 2011. Photo by Alan Thornton.

George Lindsey is survived by son George Lindsey, Jr., of Woodland Hills, Calif.; daughter Camden Jo Lindsey Gardner, her husband Russell and their sons, Carson Cole Gardner and Andrew Liam Gardner, all of Valencia, Calif.; a cousin, Rebecca Weber of Gadsden, Ala.; and his dear companion of many years, Anne Wilson of Nashville, Tenn.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Lindsey's memory may be made to: Special Olympics Alabama, 880 South Court Street, Montgomery, AL 36104; UNA Foundation, with a designation to the George Lindsey Film and Digital Media Scholarship, UNA Box 5113, Florence, AL 35632-0001; or another charity of the donor's choice.

###

Visitation and Funeral on May 11, 2012

At the visitation for George at Westminster Presbyterian Church on May 11, hundreds of friends turned out to pay their respects. Best buddy Ernest Borgnine sent heartfelt remembrances by video.  Led by producer Sam Lovullo, dozens of members of the "Hee Haw" cast and crew sang the familiar song below, as George had stipulated be done.  All who were gathered joined for a second round of the chorus.  (At Sam's suggestion, an opening verse about George was added for the occasion.)

"Hee Haw" Salute to George Lindsey

"Saaaa-lute!

You are the funny man we love the most,
Mayberry to Hee Haw, you made our day.
With grits and ham, we offer this toast:
Say it again, George, "Goober says hey!"

CHORUS:
Where, oh where, are you tonight?
Why did you leave me here all alone?
I searched the world over, and thought I'd found true love.
You met another, and PFFT!...You was gone!

Ray Stevens then took a seat at a baby grand piano and played a beautiful rendition of "The Andy Griffith Theme."

In the service that in the church sanctuary following the visitation, four great friends eulogized George.  First to speak was radio and TV host Keith Bilbrey, whose remarks included reading the following statement on behalf of Andy Griffith.

Statement From Andy Griffith

George Lindsey was my friend. I had great respect for his talent and his human spirit. In recent years, we spoke often by telephone. Our last conversation was a few days ago.  We would talk about our health, how much we missed our friends who passed before us, and usually about something funny.

I am happy to say that as we found ourselves in our eighties, we were not afraid to say, "I love you." That was the last thing George and I had to say to each other. "I love you."

George often told me his fondest memories of his life in show business were the years he spent working on "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Mayberry R.F.D." They were for me, too.

George and I had different styles in how we presented our sense of humor. After "Mayberry R.F.D." ended, George was doing some nightclub work. My wife Cindi and I went to Sparks, Nevada, to see George perform with Mel Tillis. George was a better joke-teller than me, and I will say here that I "borrowed" jokes from George that he may have "borrowed" from Minnie Pearl. We were both proud to be associated with "The Grand Ole Opry."

Shortly after that, the producers of "Hee Haw" were trying to do another television show called "Nashville Palace." I was invited to do a comedy sketch with George and participate in a few musical numbers.  Cindi and I spent several days riding around Nashville with George and never laughed so hard in our lives. Cindi and I were still dating and I constantly called Cindi "Sweetheart." George said one day, "I am sick of all this Sweetheart stuff!" He then went right into this monologue making fun of me:

"Look, Sweethort, there's a stop sign! Look Sweethort, there's a lamp-post! Oh look, Sweethort, there's a fire hydrant!  Sweethort, sweethort, sweethort!"

On the red carpet at the 2004 TV Land Awards.

Cindi and I laugh about it even now. That same day, George got me off to the side and was the first person ever to say to me: "Cindi is in love with you--REALLY in love with you." Cindi had not said anything to him. He just observed.

George attended Cindi's first-ever meal that was home-cooked by her, a Thanksgiving dinner. We were joined by some other friends, including Ken Berry and Jack Dodson. We sure do wish we could do that again.  As the song goes: "Will the circle be unbroken, by and by, Lord, by and by.   There's a better home awaiting in the sky, Lord, in the sky."

Cindi and I believe we will see George again "When they ring those Golden Bells for you and me."

***

George with Ray Stevens (in cap) and Ralph Emery at a CD release party for Stevens in Nashville on Feb. 28, 2012.

Ralph Emery and Sam Lovullo spoke next.  Each was eloquent and touching.  They were followed by Terry Pace, a long time friend from Florence, Ala., and the University of North Alabama.  Terry worked on the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival for a decade and has been a booster of other events in the Shoals area involving George.

Terry graciously has made remarks he relayed from others at George's funeral service available to The eBullet.  And he has also provided some of the accompanying photos.  Here are remarks Terry read on behalf of four friends and colleagues of George's:

From Norman Lloyd
Producer and director for "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," including the Emmy-nominated 1964 episode, "The Jar," which starred George Lindsey. (Norman is also father of actress Josie Lloyd, who played Goober's girlfriend Lydia Crosswaith and others on "The Andy Griffith Show.")

"It had been my great good fortune to produce, with Joan Harrison, 'The Alfred Hitchcock Hour' for television. We worked in a bungalow on the Universal lot. There were offices in the bungalow, and in them Mr. Hitchcock expected somber deportment and appropriate dress.

"Miss Harrison, elegant in her office of splendid Georgian furniture, and I in my more utilitarian setting, conducted ourselves in the impeccable manner required. Miss Harrison, to steal a phrase, was the 'glass of fashion' in tasteful clothes proper for wear in the studio. It was required that I wear a suit and tie.

"Imagine the scene when the secretary, an elderly lioness who guarded the sacred portals, burst into my office one day to announce that a strange man had entered the bungalow dressed in overalls, wearing a hat that was cut into many wedges and speaking in an impenetrable Southern accent. Need I tell you that it was George? Intrigued by her description of a man so alien to our world, I requested the secretary to send him in.

Norman Lloyd with George at a 2008 seminar about "The Jar" at UNA. Photo by Shannon Wells, courtesy of Terry Pace.

"Enter George in his overalls. He greeted me in his thickest Alabama mumble. I was charmed, but I did not let him know it because I feared that if I did, he would raise his price . . .

"Somehow, he had gotten hold of the script, determined he was perfect for the part (he certainly was) and wanted to read for it. And so he read. Perfection plus. The part was his. When we shot the episode, he did his scene in one take, a gem for all time.

"To have known George while we worked on 'The Jar' was a privilege. His talent, his warmth, his humor, his simplicity were all to be savored. He was a consummate actor.

"George, if only all actors wore overalls, what a wonderful world this would be!

"Farewell, my friend. May angels sing thee to thy rest."

***

From Ray Bradbury

"I first wrote 'The Jar' for Weird Tales magazine in 1944. It took twenty years for me to realize it, but unconsciously I created the character of Juke Marmer for a talented young actor from Alabama named George Lindsey. Juke was one of the first roles George played when he arrived in Hollywood, and he was surrounded by some of the most seasoned character actors in the business - Pat Buttram, Jane Darwell of The Grapes of Wrath, James Best, Collin Wilcox, Slim Pickens, Billy Barty, William Marshall, Carl Benton Reid, Sammy Reese and Jocelyn Brando.

George in "The Jar" with James Best and Collin Wilcox.

"George not only held his own in that distinguished company - he totally stole the show. George gave us two of the most mesmerizing moments in the history of television. When 'The Jar' made its network television debut on "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" - on the night of Valentine's Day 1964 - I invited director Norman Lloyd and the cast of 'The Jar' over to our house to celebrate. We watched the show together and shared our moment of triumph. It remains one of the finest adaptations of my work, and George Lindsey played a decisive role in its success. Farewell, dear George - you made us laugh, you made us cry and you truly made Juke your own."

***

From Lucas Black
Actor in Sling Blade (one of George's personal favorites) and other noted films.

"I'm sorry I can't be there in person to speak at George's memorial, but I'm so honored that you asked. I'm in Atlanta filming a movie right now, so I know George would understand.

Lucas Black with George doing his Karl Childers face from Sling Blade. (George loved doing that face.) Photo by Terry Pace.

"Not long after the first time I appeared at George's film festival at UNA, he made a special trip back to northwest Alabama and was the commencement speaker for my graduation ceremony at Speake High School. That was a big honor for me, and needless to say George was lively and funny and inspiring. He was a big hit with everybody.

"George had such a great heart. He believed life was all about giving. He was great for the community and a supporter of people in need through his work with Special Olympics and other charitable projects. He never forgot where he came from, and he always reached out to people who needed a helping hand.

"I think everybody can learn something from George Lindsey's life and influence. It was an honor to know him and call him my friend. We all loved him, and we're definitely going to miss him. He was an inspiration."

***

 From Billy Bob Thornton

Billy Bob Thornton at the 2008 George Lindsey UNA Film Festival with George (again with the Karl Childers face!). Photo by Shannon Wells.

"George Lindsey was one of my heroes growing up. I was always struck by his ability to bring so much humanity to his characters. When I finally had the great pleasure to get to know him, I found out why. It's just the way he was. I don't know if I've ever met such a kind human being before or since. He was a true original and a natural talent. One of the great honors of my life was being invited to his film festival a few years back. We could all learn a lesson from this kind and graceful soul. We love you and miss you, George."

Our thanks again to Terry Pace for sharing these statements from remarks Terry made at George's funeral service.

George and Lulu Roman during taping of the "Hee Haw" Reunion in 2011.

After the four eulogies, Ray Stevens sang and played on a piano his hit "Everything Is Beautiful."  Pastor Donovan Drake then gave a wonderful sermon that drew on Chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes and the "There Is a Time" theme.  Accompanied by "Hee Haw" music director Charlie McCoy and guitar player Russ Hicks, Lulu Roman then sang a gorgeous and moving version of "Wayfaring Stranger."

The service concluded and many gathered a short time later at Loews Vanderbilt Plaza Hotel for a reception of George's favorite "meat and three" foods, including fried okra, turnip greens, black-eyed peas, barbecued pork, fried chicken and cornbread.  And topped off with banana pudding.

Burial followed the next day in his family's plot at Oak Hill Cemetery in Jasper, Ala.  Son George Lindsey Jr. and daughter Camden Lindsey Gardner both made moving remarks about their father after the preacher's reading of scripture, including Psalm 91 about soaring on the wings of eagles.

***

Here are additional statements by two of George's best friends:

From Ray Stevens

George and his Icon Award with Ray Stevens and Carrie and Debbie Moore

"George Lindsey was an excellent actor and comedian as well as a great humanitarian and my good friend. He will be missed by millions and especially by me and the other members of a little group he was a part of that we call the 'Nashville Breakfast Club.' We had breakfast together every Saturday morning for years. I remember once when it was Goober's turn to pick up the check, he studied it carefully for a long time and then asked 'Who had the jelly?'"

***

George and Ernie, best friends at the dedication of the George Lindsey Theatre in March 2012. Photo by Shannon Wells.

Ernest Borgnine About George Lindsey

"He was the kindest and most generous man I have known in my life.  He was my best friend. I'm very lost that he's gone and very, very saddened."

***

Memories of George From Some of His Mayberry Friends

From Betty Lynn

Betty and George onstage at the Mayberry Cast Reunion at Opryland in 1991.

"I loved George. He was an unusual fellow, very talented. He could do almost anything. Well, maybe not Shakespeare. But maybe. I saw him do things that were really unusual. When he was doing his stand-up act, he would walk back and forth on the stage after every few lines, like what I imagine Will Rogers did. He had that kind of humor. I thought it was really terrific. And besides that, he sang and danced, and did everything. He had his own shows that he went out on the road with. And all the shows and things he arranged for charities were a wonderful, wonderful thing.

George and daughter Camden at the 2004 TV Land Awards.

George Lindsey Jr. cutting up with Allan Newsome at the 2011 Mayberry Days.

"I met his daughter and son-in-law at the TV Land Awards a few years back. We were at the same table, and they were darling. And then I met George Jr. last year here in Mount Airy, at Mayberry Days. What a darling fellow he is. He's so cute. At first, I told him I didn't see a similarity with his father. But the more I saw him doing and cutting up, the more I thought, you know, he's just like his daddy! A real sweetheart.

"The fans loved George. I know they'll really miss him."

***

 From Rance Howard

Rance with George at the 2009 George Lindsey UNA Film Festival. Photo courtesy of Terry Pace.

"I first met George in New York when we were both working on one of the live 'Kraft' TV shows. George and I almost immediately became friends. The next time I saw George was in Hollywood. He was one of the stars of a pilot called 'My Fifteen Blocks.' I wasn't in it, but my younger son Clint was in it. And the next thing I know my other son, Ron, was playing Opie on 'The Andy Griffith Show,' and George came on board as Goober. So, George and I were, in a way, birds of a feather. We didn't socialize a lot, but we were buddies.

"George was always upbeat and had a great sense of humor. He was very ambitious. When we were working on 'The Andy Griffith Show,' he was working on a nightclub act that he was hoping to take to Vegas. He eventually succeeded at that and had quite a career with that. After that, we would run into each other from time to time and spend 15 or 20 minutes just catching up.

"The last time I saw George was when I was invited to participate in his film festival down in Alabama. We talked extensively at that time. And as a result of that time together, we were both cast in a movie that hasn't yet happened, but could have.

"George was very optimistic and always looking to the future. He was a fine actor. I think Hollywood underestimated him. He sort of fell into playing the second banana with the beanie, but he was a serious actor. George's talent really knew no limits. He had a great run. I cannot say enough about George Lindsey. He was a great friend. Just knowing that George is off the planet is sad."

***

Ron and George at a Producers Guild awards show in 2001. Photo by Eric Charbonneau/BEI.

From Ron Howard

Ron was in England directing his current film project, Rush, but he was able to take a moment to send this Tweet:

"George Lindsey-warm intelligent lovable He generated lots of laughs & raised a lot of money for Special Olympics RIP George."

***

From James Best

Terry Pace, George, Norman Lloyd and James Best at the seminar on "The Jar" at the University of North Alabama in 2009. Photo by Anita Pace.

"Working with George was always a great and funny experience. His sense of humor never failed to make everyone around him smile or laugh. He was always a pleasure to be with on and off the set.  His performance in the 'Alfred Hitchcock Hour' episode 'The Jar' was in my opinion worthy of an Emmy. He was a fine actor and even a better person, and I was honored to be called one of his many friends."

 ***

From Jackie Joseph

George's birthday group after lunch at the Loveless Cafe in December 2011. Photo by Alan Thornton.

"George, bless his soul, instantly brings to mind the unforgettable character of Goober Pyle. No matter how many other varied and fascinating portrayals George Lindsey played in his career as an actor, you just can't help thinking-George/Goober. Maybe he was too good at it for his own good? George was an interesting man, saddled in a way, by his definitive role.

"I'm sure the fans that celebrated George and his birthdays gave him much happiness. They have been very loving and caring. Such a blessing that surely went both ways.

A photo of the 1995 Mayberry Cast Reunion Show in Winston-Salem. Event organizer Neal Brower's finger is obscuring Jackie Joseph's head, but George Lindsey is unobstructed.

"I remember what a hit George was at the Mayberry Reunion some years back when so many of us were together and put on an amazing show. He was Big!

"When my former husband, Ken Berry, worked with George in 'Mayberry R.F.D." we socialized quite a bit and I do remember a lovely party in the Lindseys' back yard, a very cozy time.

"I talked to Ken about George, and he carried on about how talented George was, creating such a unique character and playing it for all it was worth.

"Condolences to the Lindsey family. I know they will have wonderful memories of George forever."

***

And now for the one that really makes us cry.  Here are Doug Dillard's kind thoughts about George--generously provided just a few days before Doug himself passed away.

From Doug Dillard

"George was a great comedian and actor. He gave the world a lot. He was a very caring and giving person, as well as being a good friend. He was a good shining soul and is going to be sadly missed by all his fans. He was very spontaneous with his comedy. He could take something and really quick make something funny out of it. He could take any kind of a character and make it real.  I'm sure he knew a lot of Goobers down in Jasper. He was a very loving person.

"The Dillards did only one show with him, 'The Darling Fortune.' But we did a lot of live reunions with him. I remember one time he gave us the wrong cue to go on stage at one of the reunion shows at Opryland. He was very apologetic about it. It was just a mistake, but he felt bad about it. Later, he sent all of us a box of candy. See's Candy. He didn't need to do that. But that was George."

ONE FOR THE AGES--This must rank as one of the all-time most special photos we've had the good fortune to witness. It was taken on January 25 outside Nashville's Sylvan Park Restaurant. Having just had a delicious "meat and three lunch" with a couple of other Goobers, this trio paused for a photo. Left to right are legendary songwriter Curly Putman, George Lindsey and Doug Dillard. This is one of the last photos ever taken of George and Doug. They were together here, and it's comforting to believe they're now together again. Photo copyright Ken Beck.

***

"What Maybe Means to Me" by George Lindsey

Mayberry is going to church on Sunday,
and then after church going to the drugstore for a cherry Coke.
It's sitting around the barber shop reading the sports page,
and getting a shoe shine,
and listening to Fred and Spooky tell their corny jokes.

It's goin' to the wrestlin' matches on Saturda...y night,
or maybe to the county line for a beer or two.
It's sitting in your car on Main Street watching the people pass,
when there's nothing else to do.

It's shelling corn and making quilts,
and sometimes there's a remnant sale.
It's getting a call in the middle of the night,
to get a good buddy out of jail.

It's book satchels and cloak rooms and notes from your mother
when you're late to school.
It's getting a basketball for Christmas, and practicing the Golden Rule.

It's getting one of those Parker pen and pencil sets
for high school graduation,
Or, if you're a girl, it's always Evening in Paris perfume.
It's being scared to ask that special girl to dance at the senior prom;
That happens every June.

Oh, it's trying to learn to smoke cigarettes and dip snuff and chew tobacco,
and you get so sick you think you're gonna die.
It's trying to get somebody to show you how to make a Windsor know,
in your daddy's brand new Sunday tie.

It's everything and everybody, and when you talk about it
you get that very, very special itch,
but the think that I like about Mayberry, most of all,
IT'S MADE OL' GOOBER RICH!

***

If You Want to Read More...

Here are some links to some of the key stories about George Lindsey's passing.  (Most of these links and more are also on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/tagsrwc.)

Links:
* Story About George by Bob Carlton of The Birmingham News
* New York Times Story About George
* LA Times Story About George
* WXII-TV Interview with Betty Lynn and Emmett Forrest About George
* WFMY-TV Interview with Betty Lynn About George
* Associated Press Story About George's Funeral
* Story in The Tennessean About George's Funeral

* "Find Me a Man Like Goober" Country Music Video
* TAGSRWC's George Lindsey Memorial Page
* Mayberry Podcasts #187 and #188 About George Lindsey

**** Post Note ****

We're working on a Special Edition eBullet about Doug Dillard, which we hope to have ready to publish at the end of May or early June. The next regular issue of The eBullet (originally scheduled May) has been bumped to early June with the next Weaver's Newsletter planned for later in June.

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 or so 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.

 

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