An Online Newsletter of “The Andy Griffith Show” Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC)
Volume 15, Issue 6
Bulletin Board & Event Calendar
The Andy Griffith Museum, featuring the late Emmett Forrest’s outstanding collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia, is open daily in Mount Airy, N.C. For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* Nov. 20: Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou) greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-3:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8 x 10 photos available ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* Nov. 27: The Roland White Band performs at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn., at 9 p.m.
* Dec. 5: Roland White presents Bill Monroe Appreciation Night at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn.
* Dec. 11: Ron Howard‘s In the Heart of the Sea opens in theaters nationwide. It’s a whale of a movie. Think of it as sort of a 19th Century Star Wars prequel…a must-see before viewing Episode VII, which opens the next week.
* Dec. 18: Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou) greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-3:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8 x 10 photos available ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* Dec. 18: Maggie Peterson and Rodney Dillard and the Dillard Band are joined by David “Mayberry Deputy” Browning for a presentation of their Mayberry Christmas show at 7 p.m. ET at the historic State Theater in Elizabethtown, Ky. Tickets range from $34 for reserved seats to $24 for general admission balcony seats. For tickets and info, visit http://historicstatetheater.org.
* Dec. 19: Maggie Peterson and Rodney Dillard and the “Mayberry Christmas” show featuring David Browning come back to Middle Tennessee with a return engagement in Mt. Juliet at Victory Baptist Church 1777 Tate Rd. 37122. Doors open at 5 p.m., and the show starts at 6 p.m. Tickets go on sale Oct. 1 and are $20 in advance by calling 1-800-965-9324, ordering online at the following website www.itickets.com/events/349787/Mt._Juliet_TN/Mayberry_Christmas.html, or in person at the church offices listed on that site, or are $25 at the door. Child care will also be provided. The event is jointly presented by Abundant Life Church and Victory Baptist Church.
* Dec. 28-30: Karen Knotts does three performances of “Tied Up in Knotts” in Sedona, Ariz. Details TBA.
* Jan. 1: Karen Knotts performs “Tied Up in Knotts” at 7 p.m. at the Wild Rose Casino and Resort in Clinton, Iowa. for more info, visit www.clinton.wildroseresorts.com.
* Mar. 3-5: 19th Annual George Lindsey UNA Film Festival in Florence, Ala. For more info, visit www.lindseyfilmfest.com.
* Apr. 3 and 4: Karen Knotts performs “Tied Up in Knotts” at 8 p.m. both nights at Barleen’s Arizona Opry in Apache Junction, Ariz. Details TBA. For more info, visit www.azopry.com.
* Apr. 22: Karen Knotts brings “Tied Up in Knotts” to Lyman, Wyo. Show time is 8 p.m. Further details TBA.
* Apr. 25 and 26: Karen Knotts performs “Tied Up in Knotts” at 8 p.m. both days at Barleen’s Arizona Opry in Apache Junction, Ariz. Details TBA. For more info, visit www.azopry.com.
* May 6 and 7: 6th Annual Mayberry Comes Westminster (S.C.) festival. Karen Knotts is the special guest. She’ll be performing two shows of her new one-woman show “Knott Knotts Who’s There: Getting to Know the Man Behind Barney Fife.” She’ll also be the grand marshal for two parades on Saturday. Other performers include folk musician John McCutcheon and bluegrass gospel group Trinity River Band. David Browning and a troupe of Mayberry tribute artists will be performing throughout the weekend.
In conjunction with the festival, there will also be a Mayberry Bible Study on Thursday the 5th and a “Salute to Elvis” dinner show starring Wayne Euliss on Wednesday the 4th. A cruise-in, pageants, contests, crafts and assorted vendors are also part of the popular festival. For more info, visit www.mayberrywestminster.com.
* May 21 and 22: Mayberry in the Midwest festival in Danville, Ind. Details TBA.
* Aug. 27: Mayberry Night in Troy, N.C. , starring Maggie Peterson, the VW Boys and most of the Mayberry tribute artists in a fundraiser show for the local DARE program. Details TBA.
* Sept. 21-25: 27th Annual Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, N.C. Much of the festival is free. Tickets for some of the activities that have a paid admission are available online at www.mayberrydays.org.
* Oct. 29 -Nov. 2: Cruise to Mayberry 11. Details TBA soon.
**** News of Cast & Crew ****
Ron Howard was one of five recipients of a 2015 DGA Honors award presented by the Directors Guild of America at a star-filled ceremony at the Guild’s theater in Manhattan on October 15.
Ron and Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer are serving as executive producers of the “Breathrough” documentary series for “National Geographic.” The series began airing on the National Geographic Channel earlier this month and continues for five Sundays (skipping the Sunday before Thanksgiving).
Ron also directed one episode of the series, “The Age of Aging,” which premieres on November 29. Here’s a link to Ron talking about the series.
And look for In the Heart of the Sea, Ron’s big holiday movie release will be in theaters nationwide on Dec. 11. Here’s a link to the final trailer for the film: www.intheheartoftheseamovie.com.
And Ron will be talking about In the Heart of the Sea as part of the Film Society Talks series at New York City’s Lincoln Center on November 22. The talk is at 5 p.m. Admission is free if you happen to be in the area.
Betty Lynn has two meet & greet sessions left this year (one this Friday, November 20, and one in December) at the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy, N.C. She made multiple appearances during September (including Mayberry Days) and two last month, including a special lecture with Neal Brower, when they discussed the “Barney and Thelma Lou, Phfftt” episode.
Elinor Donahue was not at Mayberry Days this year, but she was in North Carolina that same week. She was superb in the role of Betty Chumley in a production of Harvey at the Owens Auditorium at Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst. The play ran the exact days of Mayberry Days, but some fans managed to attend both events.
Rodney Dillard and the Dillard Band have been in the recording studio in Nashville several times this fall. They’re working on a new album that’s scheduled for release in February. Rodney and the band traveled to Troy, N.C., for the annual DARE fundraiser with Maggie Peterson and some of the Mayberry tribute artists before heading on to Mayberry Days in Mount Airy. Rodney and his band, along with Maggie and also David Browning are now gearing up for the annual tour of their Mayberry Christmas show.
Fresh from Mayberry Days, Ronnie Schell was joined by son Greg for the 10th Annual Mayberry Cruise to the Caribbean in October.
Dozens of fans, several Mayberry tribute artists (and an Elvis) and Tim White of the VW Boys were on board for what was by all accounts another fantastic time at sea aboard Carnival’s Conquest.
Jackie Joseph has been involved in her usual assortment of fun social and charitable events, including the recent VisionWalk to support the Foundation Fighting Blindness. And she continues to write a column most months for The Tolucan Times. You can read some of her recent columns HERE.
Richard O. (Dick) Linke, who celebrated his 98th birthday with friends and family on October 23, says he’s feeling his age a bit these days, but continues to be in good spirits.
Joy Ellison (Opie’s pal Mary Wiggins and others) had to miss Mayberry Days this year because she has been working as dialogue coach for Emma Watson in the sci-fi thriller The Circle (also starring Tom Hanks), which is in production in L.A. and is scheduled for release next year.
Margaret Kerry had a busy week in North Carolina in September. She was the special guest for the final “Life Lessons from Mayberry” to be held at Ridgecrest, N.C., September 20 to 23. And then she was at Mayberry Days the rest of that week. And she continues to make regular public appearances celebrating her work as the original live model for Tinkerbell at Disney events.
Karen Knotts has completed another mini-tour of her popular “Tied Up in Knotts” stage show with full houses for two shows in Texas in October. And she has several dates (primarily in Arizona so far) lined up for this winter and next spring.
Mayberry Days Recap and Gallery
This year’s 26th Annual Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, N.C., was another huge success. Among the many performers and presenters were 10 from the TAGS cast and crew.
For the record, the cast and crew at the festival were Betty Lynn, Maggie Peterson, Rodney Dillard, assistant director Bruce Bilson, Morgan Brittany, Margaret Kerry, Ronnie Schell, and first-timers Barbara Eden, Clint Howard and Ronnie Dapo. All three of the stars making their debut received a Key to the City of Mount Airy.
Also performing were three family members of TAGS stars: Karen Knotts performed her always popular “Tied Up in Knotts” show, George Lindsey Jr. did some stand-up comedy and sang crowd-pleasing “silly songs,” and Dorothy Best, wife of the late James Best, was joined by David Browning in presenting ”Remember Me with Laughter,” a tribute that was moving and filled with fun memories. Dorothy also expressed her gratitude for James’ posthumously receiving a star on the walkway at the Andy Griffith Museum. Also attending this year were Andy Griffith‘s daughter, Dixie, and Morgan Brittany’s daughter, Katie, both of whom rode in the Mayberry Days parade.
Two scheduled stars unfortunately were unable to attend at the last minute. George Spence was recovering from a recent fall, and Elizabeth MacRae was in the process of moving to a new home.
And we encourage you to check out the extensive selection of outstanding photos by Hobart Jones and Kenny Hooker in the photo gallery at the official Mayberry Days website. (By the way, tickets to some of the events at the 2016 Mayberry Days are already available online HERE.).
**** Chapter Update ****
A couple of new chapters have been founded since our last report in September’s eBullet. We now have had 1,437 chapters founded since TAGSRWC started in 1979.
|“Didn’t Say Nothin’ About No Brick”||Flat Rock, N.C.|
|“Sprechen Sie Deutsch”||Westland, Mich.|
Starting a chapter of TAGSRWC is really easy to do. Just pick a name that hasn’t already been chosen (at this point, not as easy as it might sound!) and then submit it with a list of your founding members by e-mail (to Goober@imayberry.com) or by U.S. Mail to TAGSRWC’s HQ (118 16th Avenue South, PMB 146, Nashville, TN 37203-3100). There’s a searchable list of chapter names that are already taken at www.tagsrwc.com.
Whether or not you start or join a local chapter, you can always 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.)
**** Merchandise Update ****
It’s that time again already! The holiday shopping season is upon us. Fortunately, ol’ Ben Weaver has been stocking up his virtual shelves with popular Mayberry items that are sure to make perfect gifts for friends and family.
With Christmas being on a Friday this year, you can potentially wait a day or two later than usual to place your order online and still get your items delivered in time for Christmas. But why put yourself (and Ben!) through that stress? Order early and then relax and enjoy the holiday season.
Here are highlights from Weaver’s this season:
2016 “Andy Griffith Show” Wall Calendar
Now in stock!
All the photos contained in this 2016 edition are in black and white, but some of them are from color seasons or publicity photos. The calendar is 12 in. wide x 12 in. tall when closed and 12 in. wide x 24 in. tall when open.
This is always our single most popular item for holiday gifts!
Mike Johnson is an honorary native of North Carolina (and full-fledged member of TAGSRWC’s Barney chapter in Greensboro, N.C.; see him in a photo in Chapter News below). His artwork is a reflection of his love and reverence for small-town life and The Andy Griffith Show.
With his Mayberry Postmarks notecard set he has used scenes that are inspired by the show, but not actually of the show itself.
Each set contains 10 notecards (and 10 envelopes) with each having a different pen & ink drawing that will spread the Mayberry spirit to those who receive them. Write your own note inside the card to complete that personal connection with family and friends.
Just in time for fall and winter, two of our most popular T-shirt designs are now available in sweatshirts!
As Floyd might say, “Every sweatshirt is a walking testimonial.”
And our other new sweatshirt (below) will allow you to show your Mayberry Union High spirit and pride right on through the cool weather. Let others know that you are worthy of being in Barney “Scoop” Fife’s “Pickups and Splashes from Floor and Pool” sports column in the school paper.
You may think you’ve seen this shirt before, but, while it’s very similar, this tee is without the 50th Anniversary logo of the previous T-shirt.
This T-shirt has a classic image of four of Mayberry’s favorites on a heavyweight 100% preshrunk cotton shirt. The color? Why, that’s Courthouse Coffee, of course!
You’ll find these items and much more, including books, CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays, rare collectibles, tin signs, artwork, rare board games, blankets, items for vehicles and who knows what all–all online at www.weaversdepartmentstore.com. (Or just go to www.imayberry.com and click on one of the orange and blue Weaver’s buttons at the top.)
And while any of our items can make excellent gifts for any occasion, we have one section at Weaver’s devoted just to Christmas-related items. Be sure to check them out in time to enjoy them throughout the holiday season!
**** Chapter News ****
“Hey Paw” chapter (founded in Brooklyn, N.Y.), one of our earliest chapters, has been quiet in recent years as its leader has moved around the world, including China. But the chapter has settled down and looks to get re-established in Greenwich, Conn., which until recently was also where Ron Howard had his main home.
Most recent chapter news centers around Mayberry Days. At TAGSRWC’s Annual Meeting during the September festival, Allan Newsome presented Jeff Koontz with this year’s prestigious Jim Schwenke Memorial Award, recognizing Jeff’s years of many contributions to TAGSRWC and other Mayberry efforts, including the Mayberry Days Silent Auction.
Speaking of the silent auction, this year’s edition, sponsored by our Internet-based Who’s Been Messin’ Up the Bulletin Board? chapter and spearheaded by Jeff, had 94 items from 23 donors and raised $3,703.25 for the Surry Arts Council and its Mayberry Days efforts.
Also at the annual meeting, Michael Oliver (aka Gomer Pyle in the Mayberry tribute artist group) received TAGSRWC’s Mayberry Friendship Award from Kenneth Junkin (aka Otis) of “Hearty Eatin’ Men and Beautiful, Delicate Women” chapter (Tuscaloosa, Ala.). A longtime TAGSRWC member, Michael has been a wonderful recent addition to the Mayberry tribute artists. Without even having to say a word, he always gets howls of laughter with his dead-on Gomer mannerisms.
The other major TAGSRWC award presented during the festival was the “You’re the Cat’s Award, which recognizes significant contributions to Mayberry Days and which was also created to honor Betty Lynn. The award, sponsored by Terry and Ron Quinsey of “We’re the Cat’s” chapter (Fort Erie, Ont.), was conceived as a way to salute special people, whether they are performing or working behind the scenes, at Mayberry Days.
The first “Cat’s” Award was presented at the 2014 Mayberry Days to Tanya Jones, Executive Director of the Surry Arts Council and the creator and driving force behind Mayberry Days.
This year’s “You’re the Cat’s” Award was presented during Colonel Tim’s Talent Time by Allan Newsome to David Browning, known to Mayberry fans everywhere as the Mayberry Deputy. He is also a member of TAGSRWC’s “I Ain’t No Rockefeller” chapter (Bristol, Va.).
David has been a tireless and greatly admired performer at every Mayberry Days since 1991. He is the engaging master of ceremonies at many of the festival’s key events, including the Golf Tournament Banquet, Mayor’s Proclamation and Colonel Tim’s Talent Time–not to mention his working the crowds while “on patrol” throughout the festival. (By the way, you can read about David’s exploits at Mayberry Days and elsewhere in his memoir, We Have Extra Security Tonight–My Life as the Mayberry Deputy, published earlier this year.)
Congratulations to all three of these most-deserving 2015 award recipients! Our thanks go to all three for the many ways they enhance the enjoyment of Mayberry for countless friends and fans.
If your chapter has news or photos to share, you can write to us the old-fashioned way at TAGSRWC HQ, 118 16th Avenue South, PMB 146, Nashville TN 37203-3100, or by e-mail to Goober@imayberry.com.
**** Mayberry on the Web ****
This TAGSRWC online group is organized and overseen by webmaster Allan “Floyd” Newsome with able assistance from Keith “Col. Harvey” Brown. You can check it out and sign up for free at: http://imayberrycommunity.com.
The iMayberry Community complements 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.
Two Chairs, No Waiting is our weekly podcast of TAGS news, interviews and pretty much whatever happens to be going on in and around Mayberry. It’s hosted by 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 or view episodes you’ve missed.
There have been a mind-boggling 352 episodes since Allan started the podcasts in 2008.
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. And you’ll also find links there to a couple of other outstanding Mayberry-related podcasts.
TAGSRWC’s official page on Facebook now has over 180,000 friends! You can find us at www.facebook.com/tagsrwc. 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!
And even Ol’ Ben Weaver recently launched his own Facebook page at www.facebook.com/weaversdepartmentstore. Check it out for the latest Mayberry items and merchandise news. And remember, rbrm though Ben may be grouchy, he needs Friends, too!
**** 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 placed in the Archives at the same time that it’s distributed to subscribers.
Between issues of The eBullet, keep up with all the happenings 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 alternate months to The eBullet. Like The eBullet, the Weaver’s Newsletter is free. Its focus is tilted a little more to Mayberry merchandise and collectibles and quick newsflashes. To sign up, go to Weaver’s Newsletter Sign-Up.
The first eBullet for 2016 is planned for January, and the last Weaver’s Newsletter for 2015 will be out in December.