An Online Newsletter of “The Andy Griffith Show” Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC)
Volume 16, Issue 2
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.
* Mar. 31: Dean Webb and Missouri Boatride perform at the Pregnancy Lifeline event in Kimberling City, Mo.
* 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. For more info, visit www.azopry.com.
* Apr. 21 and 22: Most of the Mayberry tribute artists will be on hand for the annual Eagles’ Wings Golf Tournament (Thurs. at Indian Hills Country Club) and Dinner & Auction (Fri. evening at the Bryant Conference Center) in Tuscaloosa, Ala. For more info, visit www.eagleswingsoftuscaloosa.org.
* Apr. 22: Karen Knotts brings “Tied Up in Knotts” to Lyman, Wyo. Show time is 8 p.m. Further details TBA.
* Apr. 23: The Roland White Band performs at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn. at 9 p.m. More info at www.stationinn.com.
* 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.
* Apr. 28-30: Maggie Peterson and Margaret Kerry are among the special guests for the Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival in Marshfield, Mo. For more info, visit www.cherryblossomfest.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 act “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 bluegrass gospel group Trinity River Band. David Browning and a troupe of Mayberry tribute artists will also be performing throughout the weekend.
In conjunction with the festival, the 3rd Annual Crime Stoppers Mayberry Open Golf Tourney at noon on Thursday the 5th at Oconee Country Club. For info about how to register your team and/or become a hole sponsor, contact Jimmy Watt, Information Officer with the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, at (864) 638-419 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will also be a “Salute to Elvis” dinner show starring Wayne Euliss on Wednesday the 4th and Mayberry Bible Study on Thursday. A cruise-in, pageants, contests, crafts and assorted vendors are also part of the popular festival. For more info, visit www.mayberrywestminster.com.
* May 7: 29th Annual Uncle Jesse Big Bass Classic (founded by Denver Pyle) in Paris, Tex. For more info, visit: www.unclejessefishing.com.
* May 14: Dean Webb and Missouri Boatride perform a free concert at 7 p.m. at the Kimberling City Mall in Kimberling City, Mo.
* May 21 and 22: Mayberry in the Midwest festival in Danville, Ind. Maggie Peterson (Charlene Darling) is the first announced guest star. Also on hand will be the Mayberry tribute artists, who will perform a free show on both Sat. and Sun., as will the always popular VW Boys.
There will also be a Meet & Greet Dinner on Fri. evening, a parade Sat. morning, a basketball game on Sat. evening featuring Mayberry tribute artists vs. local celebrities, Mayberry After Dark (pub crawl and ghost walk) and the Phil Fox Comedy Show (both on Sat. night), and the Mayberry Squad Car Nationals on Sun. afternoon. More details TBA. For updates, visit the Mayberry in the Midwest page on Facebook or write organizer Christa Salyers at email@example.com.
* June 2-4: The Dillards (featuring Rodney Dillard) perform at the John Hartford Memorial Festival in Bean Blossom, Ind. Details TBA. For more info, visit www.johnhartfordmemfest.com.
* June 11: Dean Webb and Missouri Boatride perform a free concert at 7 p.m. at the Kimberling City Mall in Kimberling City, Mo.
* June 11: Neal Brower, author of Mayberry 101, presents a lecture on “The Big House” episode of TAGS, starting at 2 p.m., in the Andy Griffith Museum Theatre in Mount Airy, N.C. Admission is included with an Andy Griffith Museum admission ($6). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* June 17: Karen Knotts performs “Tied Up in Knotts” at the Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts in Fairfield, Iowa. Show time is 7 p.m. For info, call (641) 472-2000 or visit www.fairfieldacc.com.
* June 18: Karen Knotts brings “Tied Up in Knotts” to Madison, Wis. Details TBA.
* June 26-July 3: Ronnie Schell performs at Harvey’s Hotel & Casino in Lake Tahoe.
* July 9: Dean Webb and Missouri Boatride perform a free concert at 7 p.m. at the Kimberling City Mall in Kimberling City, Mo.
* July 9: Neal Brower presents a lecture on the “Andy’s Rich Girlfriend” episode of TAGS, starting at 2 p.m., in the Andy Griffith Museum Theatre in Mount Airy, N.C. Admission is included with an Andy Griffith Museum admission ($6). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* July 21: Don Knotts statue dedication in Morgantown, W.V. Details TBA.
* July 24: The Dillards (featuring Rodney Dillard) perform at First United Methodist Church in Starkville, Miss. Details TBA.
* Aug 13: Mayberry 101 author Neal Brower presents a lecture on the “Goober and the Art of Love” episode of TAGS, starting at 2 p.m., in the Andy Griffith Museum Theatre in Mount Airy, N.C. Admission is included with an Andy Griffith Museum admission ($6). Visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* Aug. 20: 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.
* Aug. 20 and 21: Hal J. Smith (aka Otis Campbell) 100th Birthday Celebration in Massena, N.Y. Hal was born in Petoskey, Mich., on Aug. 24, 1916, but called Massena home for many years. Details of the celebration are TBA. Follow updates on plans at the event’s Facebook page, or contact organizer John Michaud III by phone at (315) 769-2102 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* Aug. 26-31: As part of the celebration of Betty Lynn’s 90th Birthday (Aug. 29), the historic Earle Theatre in Mount Airy, N.C., will screen June Bride, the 1948 film starring Betty in the title role. Also starring Bette Davis and Robert Montgomery. And look for Debbie Reynolds and Mayberry’s Amzie Strickland (Miss Rosemary) and Tom Tully (Walt Simpson) in smaller roles.
* Sept. 19-22: Memories From Mayberry: Timeless Truths from America’s Hometown is a Bible study event drawing on the biblical truths and life applications found in “The Andy Griffith Show.” Hosted by the Georgia Baptist Conference Center in Toccoa, GA (90 miles NE of Atlanta). Early Bird price (until Mar. 15) is $300 per person (based on double occupancy). After that, the price is $325 per person.
The all-inclusive price includes three nights of on-campus lodging, eight meals, Bible study sessions based on favorite TAGS episodes, dynamic preaching, worship, and special guest star LeRoy McNees (“Mayberry on Record” and “Quiet Sam”) in concert. To register, call (706) 886-3133 or visit www.mytoccoa.com/mayberry.
* Sept. 21-25: 27th Annual Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, N.C. Stars confirmed so far include Mount Airy’s own Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou), The Dillards (featuring Rodney Dillard), and Karen Knotts (daughter of Don Knotts), who will present two one-woman shows this year: her popular “Tied Up in Knotts” and her brand new one, “A Deputy’s Daughter.” Dorothy Best (with David Browning) will also present “Remember Me with Laughter: A Tribute to James Best.”
Other performances include the comedy of James Gregory (“the funniest man in America”), The VW Boys, Michael Hoover’s Elvis, The Embers (featuring Craig Woolard), The Tams and the Malpass Brothers. Tickets are also available for The Emmett Golf Tournament, the Golf Banquet & Entertainment, Professor Brower’s Lecture/TAGSRWC Meeting, and Colonel Tim’s Talent Time.
More details and stars TBA. Much of the festival is free, but tickets for many of the activities/performances listed above that have a paid admission are now available online at www.mayberrydays.org.
* Oct. 29 -Nov. 3: Cruise to Mayberry 11 with special guest star Jackie Joseph (aka to Ernest T. Bass’s Sweet Romeena)! Join the fun (including Halloween) in the western Caribbean aboard Carnival’s Paradise cruise ship as it departs Tampa with stops in Grand Cayman (a favorite of Asa’s and Mr. Meldrim’s) and Cozumel (a fave of Daphne and Skippy and Mavis Neff).
A bunch of popular Mayberry tribute artists (and also an Elvis) will join Jackie in providing entertainment and hosting contests, along with all the hearty eatin’ and usual cruise highlights. For more info, visit www.allaboutcruisesnc.net or call 1-800-832-7993.
**** News of Cast & Crew ****
Andy Griffith will officially and literally become a pillar of the community when he and seven fellow Tar Heel legends have their images placed on giant columns in the lobby of the Knight Theater in Charlotte’s Spirit Square. Look for a photo of Andy’s completed column in our next issue. Andy will be joined by Earl Scruggs, Nina Simone, James Taylor, Maya Angelou, James Brown, Dizzie Gillespie and artist Romare Bearden.
Ron Howard continues with post-production work on Inferno, which is currently scheduled to be in theaters on October 28 and is a solid bet for box-office success.
Ron and is also set to produce (with Imagine Entertainment partner Brian Grazer, whose wedding to Veronica Smiley was attended by Ron and wife Cheryl in February) and direct The Girl Before for Universal Studios. The movie, based on a novel by J.P. Delaney (aka Tony Strong), is such a hot property that the movie deal was made even before the novel’s planned release next fall.
Ron and the Imagine team have also announced plans to produce a six-part sci-fi docu-miniseries with the working title of “MARS” (with a previous working title of “Red Planet”) about the colonization of Mars that’s scheduled for Nat Geo Channel’s 2016-17 season.
And Imagine is producing Stephen King’s Dark Tower across several media platforms, including a feature film expected in 2017 and a TV series that might tie episodes into the movie’s storyline both before and after the movie’s release.
Imagine is producing and Ron is directing The Beatles Live, a documentary scheduled for release later this year. And look for Ron online playing himself in Funny or Die’s Donald’s Trump’s Art of the Deal: The Movie, starring Johnny Depp.
Ron also directed (and was seen in) an outstanding and star-studded opening segment for Super Bowl 50.
And Ron was indirectly involved in giving Cam Newton some post-game advice. In case you’ve been “hermitizing” yourself under a rock and missed the funny video (with a timeless message) that went viral after Cam Newton abruptly walked out of his post-game press conference, here’s a link to the instructive Andy & Opie-Cam video.
Clint Howard was in Nashville in December filming episodes of an upcoming TV series for CMT called “Still the King,” which stars Billy Ray Cyrus as an Elvis impersonator, or…uh…tribute artist. Clint’s character is a roadie named Crazy Dave, who Clint says is a lot of fun to play, in much the same way as his memorable Creepy Rodney was a hoot to play in a couple of episodes of NBC’s popular “My Name Is Earl” a decade ago. “Still the King” is tentatively scheduled to start airing in August. (Thanks to K.D., our “eyes on the set,” for the heads-up that Clint might be working in TAGSRWC HQ’s back yard!)
Betty Lynn has been continuing her meet-and-greet sessions at the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy, N.C., this winter. (See Floyd’s bulletin board above for upcoming dates.) And Betty was the subject of an excellent profile by Tim Warsinskey for The Cleveland Plain Dealer in January. (There’s also a nice story about Mount Airy in the same package.) Here’s a link to the story. Be sure to scroll down and watch the charming 2-and-1/2-minute video of Betty being interviewed for the story.
Rodney Dillard and his band (now officially billed again as The Dillards) have put the finishing touches on their new album, which is expected to be released soon. They’re also taping an episode of the RFD-TV’s “Larry’s Country Diner” in Nashville in April. (It’s expected to air in May.) Meanwhile, Rodney and the band recently returned from another of their successful Mayberry Moments events with Maggie Peterson in Cumming, Ga.
Maggie also says that she and husband Gus are doing well and are enjoying their new dog, a Maltese Yorkie named Phoebe. (Their cats are maybe not quite as keen about Phoebe joining the family, but after all…they’re the cats.)
We’re sad to report the passing of two people with Mayberry connections.
Mary Weaver Dodson, widow of Jack Dodson (Howard Sprague), died February 15 of complications of Parkinson’s disease in Woodland Hills, Calif. She was 83.
Born in Pittsburgh, Penn., on September 24, 1932, Mary graduated from Carnegie Tech University, where she also met future husband Jack, also a Pittsburgh native.
Mary was a set designer and art director for numerous TV shows, including “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson,” “Days of Our Lives,” “The Jack Benny Show,” “Battlestar Gallactica,” “Falcon Crest,” “Taxi,” “Columbo” and more than 100 episodes of “Murder She Wrote.” Mary was the first woman member of the Art Directors Guild, and she earned four Emmy nominations for her work.
Survivors include daughters Amy and Cristina and brothers Fritz Weaver (the Tony Award-winning actor and History Channel narrator) and Daniel Weaver.
George Kennedy, State Police Detective in “The Big House” (Episode 95) and an MP in “And Baby Makes Three” (a 1968 episode of “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”) died in Middleton, Idaho, on February 28. He was 91.
Born in New York City on February 18, 1925, George was a highly decorated soldier who served under Gen. George Patton in World War II during his 16-year Army career, before he decided to pursue acting.
His prolific and distinguished career found him playing heavies and tough guys in his early roles and then authority figures in mid-career (including all four films in the popular Airport series) and beyond. He showed his comedic abilities in films such as the Naked Gun series. He earned an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in 1967’s Cool Hand Luke, opposite Paul Newman. (He was the oldest living Oscar winner in that category at the time of his death.)
George was preceded in death by his wife, Joan, and by a son and daughter. Survivors include a daughter, granddaughter and grandson.
**** Chapter Update ****
Two new chaptesr have been founded since our last report in the January eBullet. We now have had 1,441 chapters founded since TAGSRWC started in 1979.
“Mounted Patrol Checking In” Suwanee, Ga.
The Songfesters Griffin, Ga.
A hearty Mayberry welcome to our newest chapters! 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 ****
Here are highlights from our online Weaver’s Department Store this month.
Most of us may not feel like we can step into Andy’s shoes but, what about Barney’s?
This badge is a sturdy, but simplified representation of Barney’s Mayberry Deputy’s badge. In other words, it’s not an exact replica, but for the price, you can’t beat it.
The color is “nickel” and you’ll be able to pin it to the khaki shirt of your choice to have that official deputy look. Get a Mayberry Deputy Patch to accessorize even more like a true Mayberry Deputy!
Two of our most popular T-shirts are now available in Toddler sizes, so that even the youngest fans can show their Mayberry spirit. We have both our “Aw, Pa” and Newest Nip It designs in Toddler 2, 3 and 4 sizes. And what makes them irresistible (besides a cute kid wearing them, of course!) is the smaller price, just $16, compared to $20 for adult sizes (also a great deal!). No doubt about it…these new sizes are “darn cute.”
Just right for the transition from winter to spring (and fishing season), another of our most popular T-shirt designs is now available in a sweatshirt!
This nostalgic sweatshirt joins the T-shirt of the same design in really capturing the easy-going, relaxed feeling of Mayberry with three of our favorite characters smiling and doing what they like best–hanging out at the fishin’ hole.
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.)
**** Chapter News ****
Members of at least two chapters, “Hearty Eatin’ Men and Beautiful, Delicate Women” and Andy (Nashville, Tenn.) attended the 19th Annual George Lindsey/UNA Film Festival in Florence, Ala. By all reports, it was another very successful installment. All eyes are now on the 20th Anniversary festival in 2017.
Mavis Neff chapter (Durham, N.C.) also got together with members of Andy chapter for some hearty eatin’ in Nashville earlier this month.
Mayberry Mainstreeters (Royersford, Penn.) says they’re growing with new generations of new members. The chapter will proudly mark its 30th Anniversary next year.
“Still Ugly, Single and Pitting Prunes” (Casey, Ill.) got everybody on the truck for the ride down to Columbia, Ill., to see Darlings mandolinist Dean Webb and The Missouri Boatride perform at the Falls Event Center earlier this month. As is always the case with Dean and his current band, they received universally outstanding reviews.
“Al’s Fine, Too” (Des Moines, Iowa), another of our most venerable chapters wrote to say that they’re having great fun not only watching TAGS, but also spotting TAGS stars and guest actors in other TV shows and movies, thanks to Netflix and other convenient sources for classic TV and cinema that help them warm up the electronic hearth during Iowa winters.
Speaking of Al, “Better Phone Him, Al” (Rugby, N.D.) wrote to tell us that they have a breakfast group made up folks from towns in the area. Everybody picks a Mayberry name for themselves, as well as a location mentioned on TAGS for their town. With a fun idea like that, we’re wondering how they decided who got to be Goober…and if anybody picked Great Dismal Swamp!
That’s our Chapter News for this time. Send your news and photos for The eBullet 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 classic installments you’ve missed. (There have been a mind-boggling 369 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: Burke on Mayberry (hosted by TAGSRWC’s Kevin Burke) and the Mayberry Bible Study Podcast (hosted by Allan Newsome).
TAGSRWC’s official page on Facebook now has over 217,000 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!
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, even 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 next eBullet for is planned for May, and the first Weaver’s Newsletter for 2016 will be out in April.