There's once again a whole bunch of Mayberry goin's-on to share. We'll begin with upcoming events.
The Andy Griffith Museum, featuring the amazing collection of Andy Griffith artifacts started by the late Emmett Forrest, is now celebrating its completed renovation. The snazzy museum, chock-full of interesting and iconic items, is open daily in Mount Airy, N.C. For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* Sept. 11: A screening of the The Real Mayberry, a recent documentary about Mount Airy, N.C., will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the Silverspot Cinema in Chapel Hill, N.C.
* Sept. 14: The Real Mayberry will be shown at 7:00 p.m. at the Starmount Cinema in Jonesville, N.C.
* Sept. 15: Betty Lynn 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.
* Sept. 20-24: 28th Annual Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, N.C. Stars confirmed so far are Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou), Rodney Dillard (and the current Dillards band), Maggie Peterson (Charlene Darling), Clint Howard (Leon), Ronnie Schell (two episodes and also Duke Slater on "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.), "LeRoy Mack" McNees (two episodes as the Dobro-playing Country Boy), Margaret Kerry (Bess Muggins and Helen Scobey), Joy Ellison (Mary Wiggins and others), Bettina Linke (wife of late associate producer Richard O. Linke), Karen Knotts, and George Lindsey Jr.
Several of the stars are presenting their own ticketed concerts and shows during the weekend, including some that are in intimate (aka smaller) venues, so advance tickets are wise. And virtually all of the guests will be participating in larger portions of the weekend, some of which are also ticketed, but many of which are free.
Also booked to perform are the VW Boys, Michael Hoover and his "Memories of Elvis" show, the Malpass Brothers, Balsam Range, The Tams, The Lisemby Family, and James Gregory ("the funniest man in America"). Neal Brower will also be presenting his popular Professor Brower's Lecture.
For more info, visit the festival's recently enhanced website (highly user friendly!) at www.mayberrydays.org. Tickets are available for several performances and activities.
* Sept. 23: Missouri Boatride (with Dean Webb on mandolin) performs at the Carl Junction Bluegrass Festival in Carl Junction, Mo. (just a few miles northwest of Joplin).
* Sept. 23: Roland White and his band perform at 9 p.m. at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn.
* Sept. 30: The Missouri Boatride (featuring Darlings mandolinist Dean Webb) plays their final public performance of 2017 outside the Kimberling City (Mo.) Mall as part of the Music on the Lake series. They'll be there from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. It's free, but bring your own seating.
* Oct. 7: A half dozen of so of the top Mayberry tribute artists present A Tribute to Mayberry at the Averett Center for the Arts in Statesboro, Ga. Show time is 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $24. For more info visit www.averittcenterforthearts.org/professional-series.
* Oct. 19: Karen Knotts performs "Tied Up in Knotts" at 7 p.m. at the Gaslight Music Hall in Oro Valley, Ariz. For more info, visit www.gaslightmusichall.com.
* Oct. 20: Betty Lynn 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.
* Oct. 22: Karen Knotts gives the keynote speech titled "Don Knotts Rides Again" at the Wild Bunch Film Festival in Wilcox, Ariz. For info, visit www.thewildbunchfilmfestival.com.
* Oct. 24-29: Margaret Kerry (Bess Muggins and Helen Scobey) is the special guest star for Cruise to Mayberry 12. This year's cruise is for five days aboard Carnival's Ecstasy, departing Charleston, S.C., and traveling to Freeport and Nassau in the Bahamas.
Margaret will be joined by the usual cruise company of Mayberry tribute artists and musical entertainers. For more info, visit www.allaboutcruisesnc.net or call 1-800-832-7993.
* Oct. 27: Roland White and his band perform at 9 p.m. at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn.
* Nov. 14: A screening of the The Real Mayberry, a recent documentary about Mount Airy, N.C., will be held at 6:00 p.m. at the Aperture Cinema in Winston-Salem, N.C.
* Nov. 17: Betty Lynn 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: Roland White and his band perform at 9 p.m. at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn.
* Dec. 2: Roland White and his band host the annual Bill Monroe Appreciation Night at 9 p.m. at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn.
* Dec. 9: The Mayberry Christmas show starring Maggie Peterson (Charlene Darling), Rodney Dillard and the current Dillards band, and David "Mayberry Deputy" Browning returns to Middle Tennessee for a performance at Green Hill Church, 13251 Lebanon Road in Mt. Juliet, Tenn. Doors open at 6 p.m. Show time is 7 p.m. Ticket information coming soon. Sponsored by Green Hill Church, Victory Baptist Church, and Abundant Life Church.
* Dec. 15: Celebrate the holidays with Betty Lynn as she 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.
**** News of Cast & Crew ****
As every being in every galaxy (whether near or far, far away) knows by now, Ron Howard has been brought in mid-filming to save the new Han Solo Star Wars film, which had gotten off course with its previous directing team. There's a general consensus that Han is in very good hands with Ron as solo director. The film is still slated for release during Memorial Day Weekend 2018.
A new season of "Arrested Development" is now filming. Ron returns as the narrator. He's also slated to return in at least one cameo as himself in the second season of the critically acclaimed "This Is Us," a smash hit for NBC-TV last season.
It has been announced (by his brother) that Clint Howard will be in the Han Solo movie. The exact role is still under wraps. (Maybe fans can wheedle some details out of Clint at Mayberry Days!) Fans can also expect to search for Ron's wife, Cheryl, in a cameo role, as she is in all of Ron's movies.
Betty Lynn participated in a sold-out lecture with Neal Brower for a specialty tour group at the Andy Griffith Museum in July. And she continues to greet fans and sign autographs every third Friday at the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy.
Maggie Peterson also at August's annual DARE fundraiser in Troy, N.C., where she was joined by Dixie Griffith (daughter of Andy). And Maggie and Rodney Dillard and his Dillards band were back in Georgia in August with their Mayberry Moments show with David "Mayberry Deputy" Browning.
The International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) announced on July 26 that Roland White (the mandolin-playing member of the Country Boys in the "Mayberry on Record" episode) will be inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame during the IBMA Awards, which will be held in Raleigh, N.C., on September 28. Roland's brother Clarence, the late legendary guitar player who appeared in the same TAGS episode and also in "Quiet Sam" (Roland was absent from the latter, because he joined the Air Force), was a 2016 inductee.
George Lindsey's alma mater, the University of North Alabama, is in the process of trying to complete funding of the George Lindsey Film and Media Endowed Scholarship at the university. It is an effort that TAGSRWC, Weaver's Department Store and other Mayberry groups and individuals have been supporting. Here's the link for making donations: www.una.edu/alumni/georgelindseyscholarship.
"You Belong in the Funny Papers!"--B. Fife
The September 1 installment of the popular Nancy comic strip once again featured TAGS:
Drawn by Nashvillian (and TAGSRWC member) Guy Gilchrist, Nancy, Sluggo, Aunt Fritzi and the gang always "shoot for the good feeling." Keep up with Nancy daily online at www.gocomics.com/Nancy.
**** Chapter Update ****
We currently have had 1,450 chapters founded since TAGSRWC started 38 years ago. No new chapters have started since our report in the July eBullet.
Starting a chapter of TAGSRWC is easy to do. Just pick a name that hasn't already been selected by another group. For example, a new chapter is currently being pondered for Orlando, but the group's first choice for a name (Eagle-Eye Annie) was already taken, so they're having to cast again.
You can check the searchable list of chapter names already taken at www.tagsrwc.com. Then submit your chapter's name 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, Suite 4, PMB 146, Nashville, TN 37203-3100).
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. (Info is at tagsrwc.com.)
**** Merchandise Update ****
With only about 100 shopping days till Christmas, we have lots of great new items on our shelves online at Weaver's Department Store. Here are some highlights:
Released in July, the 2018 wall calendar is 12 in. wide x 12 in. tall when closed and 12 in. wide x 24 in. tall when open.
Characters featured in this 2018 edition are Andy, Barney, Opie, Aunt Bee, Gomer and Goober.
The back side of the calendar shows the images for each month:
Get a jump on 2018 and your holiday shopping and order your Mayberry wall calendar (perennially a favorite Christmas present) today!
We now have more than 40 different T-shirt designs to choose from.
GreenLight Collectibles has put our love of Mayberry into a 1:64th scale replica of the Mayberry squad car. This die-cast replica is the same size as the 1961 squad car released in 1998 by Johnny Lightning.
This is an officially licensed, limited-edition run, so don't delay and miss the chance to add this 1967 Ford Custom Mayberry Squad Car to your collection.
And Still More...
An item we're particularly pleased to offer is a CD compilation of 45 tunes from three acclaimed Dillards albums (Back Porch Bluegrass, Live Almost and Pickin' and Fiddlin'), all on a new 2-CD set. Check out the long list of tracks (including many songs that The Dillards played as the Darling boys in Mayberry).
And remember that your purchases from Weaver's help support Mayberry events and Mayberry-related charitable causes all year long at locations all around the country. Those sales also help keep our online Mayberry newsletters and communities available to everybody free of charge. As always, thank you for shopping at Weaver's!
**** Chapter News ***
Barney chapter (Greensboro, N.C.) continues to hold monthly meetings as they celebrate the 25th year of the current iteration of the chapter, which was actually founded 35 years ago (and still includes one of the original founders).
Members of Andy chapter (Nashville, Tenn.) were able to attend the July Barney meeting after also having spent the day with a Barney member visiting Mayberry sites in Raleigh (the original TAGS TV Land Landmark at Pullen Park) and Siler City (Frances Bavier's home and gravesite, where, yes, they found two jars of pickles, albeit store-bought, left by previous visitors). The same group also got in visit to Mount Airy and the remodeled Andy Griffith Museum.
The Andy members also couldn't resist getting in a visit with the "Compelsion Nuts" of Kingsport, Tenn., on the same trip. It helped that everyone shared a compelsion for breakfast at Cracker Barrel.
"'Course, I Don't Fix 'Em; I Just Put in the Gas" chapter (Oil City, Ontario) is already making plans to catch the Mayberry Christmas show when the tour makes a stop in Nashville in December (see Floyd's bulletin board above). Sounds like a good plan for fans on both sides of the border!
Mayberry chapter (Knoxville, Tenn.) published its Mayberry Minutes newsletter (another 16-pager in full color) in July and they held their annual lake party in August. Some loons definitely were seen and heard there--and they weren't necessarily coming from the direction of the lake!
Several members of Mayberry chapter also attended the Mayberry Meet-Up in Mount Airy in July (see the photo later in this issue). And the group will participate in their local Tennessee Valley Fair on Sept. 16, and then some members will head to Mount Airy for Mayberry Days (along members of dozens of other chapters!) the following week.
That's our Chapter News for this issue. If your chapter has news or photos you'd like to share with The eBullet, please send them to Goober@imayberry.com.
**** Mayberry on the Web ****
This TAGSRWC online group is organized and overseen by webmaster Allan "Floyd" Newsome with big help from Keith "Col. Harvey" Brown. You can check out the fun 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 pages, 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. Most weeks also include a Mayberry History Lesson from special correspondent Randy Turner.
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 443 episodes since Allan started the podcasts in 2008.)
And you'll also find links on that web page to a couple of other outstanding Mayberry-related podcasts: Burke on Mayberry (hosted by TAGSRWC's Kevin Burke) and the Mayberry Bible Study Podcast (again hosted by Allan Newsome).
TAGSRWC's official page on Facebook has 243,000 Mayberry 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!
We also have links in our "Liked by this Page" section to the pages of several TAGSRWC chapters on Facebook (including the Goober and Gomer Pyle Comic Book Literary Guild), as well as to Facebook pages of Mayberry Days, the Andy Griffith Museum, TAGS actors and others.
Ben Weaver also has his own Facebook page at www.facebook.com/weaversdepartmentstore. It features all the latest in Mayberry items and merchandise news.
**** 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. It has some content overlap with The eBullet, sometimes earlier and sometimes later. To sign up, go to Weaver's Newsletter Sign-Up.
The final eBullet for 2017 will be published in November, and the next Weaver's Newsletter is scheduled for October.
We had published this photo in the June issue of the Weaver's Newsletter, but we forgot to also share it with eBullet readers. With all the controversy about military statues these days, it's nice to have one going up that's sure to bring smiles to all faces.