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The eBullet: Volume 19, Issue 6, November 2019

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The eBullet
An Online Newsletter of
“The Andy Griffith Show” Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC)               
Volume 19, Issue 6
November 2019

This final issue of 2019 is one of our biggest editions ever–full of news about recent happenings, upcoming events and several brand new Mayberry items, just in time for the holiday season.

This has been another action-packed year for Mayberry fans, and next year’s 60th Anniversary of “The Andy Griffith Show” promises to be one of the busiest and most fun yet!

All of us who love Mayberry do indeed have a lot to be thankful for as 2019 winds down–especially all of the wonderful entertainment and friendships that we have enjoyed simply because of our common bond of Mayberry itself.

It’ll be exciting to see what Mayberry has in store for us in 2020.  See you there!

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Floyd’s Barbershop

Bulletin Board
&
Event Calendar

HAIR SCARE–The annual Scarecrow Festival in Granville, Tenn., had a Mayberry theme this year. No need for witch hazel for a good scare at this little shop.

The Andy Griffith Museum, features the late Emmett Forrest’s outstanding collection of Andy Griffith artifacts. The museum is open daily in Mount Airy, N.C. For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.

These happenings have been posted on Floyd’s bulletin board:

* Nov. 15: CANCELLED Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou) is under the weather this week (allergic reaction to a medication) and regrets that she must cancel this month’s greeting of fans at the Andy Griffith Museum that was scheduled for today. She’ll be back at the Museum on Dec. 20. For info visit www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.

* Nov. 29: Roland White and his band perform at 9 p.m. at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn.

* Dec. 7: Roland White and his band host the annual Bill Monroe Appreciation Night at 9 p.m. at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn.

DO YOUR ELF A FAVOR–Sled to the “Mayberry Christmas” show!

* Dec. 14: A Mayberry Christmas starring Maggie Peterson Mancuso (Charlene Darling), Rodney Dillard and the Dillard Band, and featuring David Browning as the Mayberry Deputy will be presented at 7:00 p.m. at the Montgomery Theater in Troy, N.C. For more info, call (704) 985-6987.

* Dec. 18: A Mayberry Christmas starring Maggie Peterson Mancuso (Charlene Darling), Rodney Dillard and the Dillard Band, and featuring David Browning as the Mayberry Deputy will be presented at 7:00 p.m. at the Freedom Hall Civic Center in Johnson City, Tenn.

* Dec. 20: Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou) greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 1:00-3:00 p.m. She will have 8 x 10 photos available for autographing ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.

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2020

* Mar. 5-7: 23rd Annual George Lindsey UNA Film Festival in Florence, Ala.  For more info, visit either www.lindseyfilmfest.com or the festival’s page on filmfreeway.com. Full schedule and special guests TBA.

May means Mayberry in the Midwest!

* May 15-17: Seventh Annual Mayberry in the Midwest festival in Danville, Ind. Special guests TBA. A full slate of Mayberry tribute artists will also be on hand. And there’s always plenty of musical entertainment, assorted contests, and great eats, including at the landmark Mayberry Cafe.

Other highlights include the Meet & Greet Dinner (Friday), a parade (Saturday), and the Mayberry Squad Car Nationals at the Robert Shelby Memorial Obstacle Course. For more info, visit www.mayberryinthemidwest.com.

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KNOTTS LANDING–Karen Knotts enjoys a tender moment with Betty Lynn during the 2019 Mayberry Days. Photo by Hobart Jones.

* Sept. 21-27: 31st Annual Mayberry Days® in Mount Airy, N.C. Celebrating the 60th Anniversary  of “The Andy Griffith Show.”  Special guests  already confirmed include Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou), Darling boy Rodney Dillard & the Dillard Band, Ronnie Schell (two Mayberry roles and Duke Slater on “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”), and Karen Knotts (daughter of Don Knotts).

Many more stars and concerts and presentations TBA. Get your tickets early for the best seats to what promises to be a banner year for Mayberry Days! (And much of the festival is free and doesn’t require a ticket.)

Also, don’t delay in reserving your hotel rooms either.  Most local hotels should now be ready to take reservations for Mayberry Days®. Or at least they will be ready to do so very soon.)

A-B-C…EASY AS 1-2-3–Mount Airy is ready to celebrate 2020’s 60th Anniversary of The Andy Griffith Show until Otis’s cow comes home during Mayberry Days®. Photo by Hobart Jones.

Tickets for Mayberry Days® are available online for several of the festival’s events at  www.mayberrydays.org. More than ever, this is one Mayberry celebration no Mayberry fan wants to miss!

* Oct. 3: 60th Anniversary of the airing of the first episode of “The Andy Griffith Show.

MAKE THAT A SUBMARINE SAMMICH?–Clint Howard‘s ready for jelly, fish on the Mayberry cruise!

* Nov. 1-7: Clint Howard is the Special Guest for Cruise to Mayberry 15 to the Eastern Caribbean aboard Carnival’s Breeze. Also including a boatload of popular Mayberry tribute artists and even an Elvis. For info, contact Sharon Euliss of  All About Cruises at PWESJE@aol.com or call her at (336) 538-4926.

The  cruise departs from of Ft. Lauderdale and makes stops in Nassau, Amber Cove, and Grand Turk and has two fun days at sea. For info, contact Sharon Euliss of  All About Cruises at PWESJE@aol.com or call her at (336) 538-4926.

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**** News of Cast & Crew ****

Ron Howard was in Rome last month to present his Pavarotti documentary at the Rome Film Festival. The film has been well received by audiences and critics alike since its official release in June. It comes to home formats this month.

Ron is also in post-production for Hillbilly Elegy, which is expected to be released by Netflix in 2020. And he has begun filming the spy comedy series “68 Whiskey” (expected to premiere on the Paramount Network in early 2020) and is working on Rebuilding Paradise, a documentary about the 2018 Paradise fire in California. Ron is also serving as producer or executive producer for these and other projects, including National Geographic’s “Genius” (the third season of which will be about Aretha Franklin).

QUICK SNAP–Couple couldn’t pass on new huddle house.

In indirect news relating to Ron Howard, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and supermodel wife Gisele Bündchen have purchased one of Ron and wife Cheryl’s former homes in Greenwich, Conn., for $9 million.

Clint Howard totaled his rental car while on his way to Mayberry Days. He was fortunately O.K. except for some soreness and a few kinks. He was able to participate in a few of the festival’s activities on Friday and even did this TV interview, but decided it was prudent just to rest on Saturday before heading back home. He also did this additional TV interview in Charlotte before the accident, which also threw a wrench in his plans to attend the Days of the Dead horror convention in Charlotte the day after Mayberry Days.

THE BOYS ARE ALL KEYED UP–Stark (left) and Cort Howell (sons of Hoke “Dud Wash” Howell) pose with Maggie Peterson Mancuso in the staging area for the Mayberry Days parade. The Howells, Greg Schell (son of Ronnie Schell) and others are working on a movie called Mayberry Man, portions of which they hope to film at both Mayberry in the Midwest and Mayberry Days in 2020.

In other news from Old Doc Andrews, Maggie Peterson Mancuso took a tumble while hurrying to catch an elevator while in Knoxville, Tenn., to perform with Rodney Dillard at the Tennessee Valley Fair in September. But she was back to please crowds (again performing with Rodney) at Mayberry Days. And they’re back together for a taping of “Song of the Mountains” in Marion, Va., in October, following a separate appearance by Rodney and his band earlier in October at a festival in Leadwood, Mo. Rodney and his band also have just completed an early-November mini-tour of Florida.

“GOT TIME TO BREATHE, GOT TIME FOR MUSIC”–Along with wife Beverly on banjo, Rodney Dillard and band perform during a sold-out taping of “Song of the Mountains,” which will air on PBS stations around the country. Watch your local listings.

And look for Maggie and Rodney being joined by David “Mayberry Deputy” Browning touring with their “Mayberry Christmas” show.

Rodney also expects to have a special new CD of Mayberry-inspired music released sometime during 2020. Get ready to “dance till your stockin’s are hot and ravelin’.”

HONORED–Roland White (left) and
“LeRoy Mack” McNees accept their Bluegrass Hall of Fame honor on behalf of the Kentucky Colonels. (Roland and brother Clarence White had previously been inducted individually.) Photo by Russ McNees.

Elsewhere on the on the Mayberry music front, LeRoy McNees and Roland White were on hand at the International Bluegrass Music Association awards in Raleigh on September 26 for the induction of the Kentucky Colonels into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. (The Kentucky Colonels was what the Country Boys renamed themselves shortly after their 1961 episodes of TAGS.) Congratulations to Roland and LeRoy and their fellow bandmates, including TAGS alums Clarence White, Eric White and Billy Ray Latham (who was later also a post-Mayberry member of The Dillards). LeRoy Mack’s first performance after his Hall of Fame induction was fittingly the next day at Mayberry Days!

And it’s not really medical news (more mechanical, really), but Margaret Kerry‘s computer recently conked out on her. Not even Tinker Bell’s pixie dust could revive it. But she’s back online now, which will be a big relief to her many friends and followers online. Meanwhile, Margaret is also making mostly Disney-related appearances, mostly in California.

And the big news for Margaret came when she was reunited at Mayberry Days with an old beau, whom she hadn’t seen in more that seven decades. She dated Bob Boeke in her late teens, before different career paths and geographic needs found them having to go separate ways. Both raised families and lost spouses. They reconnected by e-mail and phone this summer and saw each other in person again for the first time during September’s Mayberry Days. They currently live on opposite coasts, but at the very least, both know the way to Mount Airy, so stay tuned for updates on this rekindled special friendship!

Margaret was also once again reunited at Mayberry Days with her Mayberry daughter of two episodes, Joy Ellison, who has recently been doing dialect coaching on Waldo, an upcoming film release starring Mel Gibson.

GRAND FINALE–Elvis tribute artist extraordinaire Michael Hoover leads a stage full of performers (including several original TAGS cast members, as well as family members of the TAGS cast and crew) in the rousing closing number for “Colonel Tim’s Talent Time” during Mayberry Days. Photo by Hobart Jones.

.For the record, Mayberry cast and crew attending this year’s Mayberry Days included Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou), Bruce Bilson (assistant director for the first two seasons), Gary Nelson (director of “Malcolm at the Crossroads” in his Mayberry Days debut), Maggie Peterson Mancuso (Charlene Darling), Rodney Dillard (Rodney Darling), Keith Thibodeaux (Johnny Paul Jason), Dennis Rush (Howie), Joy Ellison (Mary Wiggins and others), Margaret Kerry (Bess Muggins and Helen Scobey), Ronnie Schell (two episodes of TAGS and Duke Slater on “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”), Clint Howard (Leon), LeRoy McNees (The Country Boys), Calvin Peeler (Martin in the “Youth Takes Over” episode of “Mayberry R.F.D.”) and Karen Knotts (Opie’s secretary in 1986’s Return to Mayberry movie and daughter of Don). Gary Nelson and Calvin Peeler received Keys to the City of Mount Airy during this year’s festival.

Family members representing deceased cast and crew this year were Bettina Linke (wife of associate producer/personal manager Richard O. Linke), Stark and Cort Howell (sons of Hoke Howell), Dreama Denver (wife of Bob “Other Dud Wash” Denver). Incognito as Fun Girl Skippy most of the weekend was Dixie Griffith (daughter of Andy). More than 20 local Griffith relatives also joined in festivities during the weekend.

A RETURN TO MAYBERRY AFTER 51 YEARS–A capacity crowd filled the Andy Griffith Museum Theatre during Mayberry Days to hear Calvin Peeler talk about his unique experiences as “The kid who wrote his way into Mayberry” as part of a screening of his “Youth Takes Over” episode. (Read more about Calvin’s fascinating journey to Mayberry and beyond in this Special Edition of The eBullet.) Photo by Jan Newsome.

HOW WE DOIN’?–Dennis Rush (aka Opie’s pal Howie) makes his point as wife Judy joins him for the ride in the Mayberry Days parade. Photo by Tim Bradshaw.

Other guests included Dick Atkins (producer of the Gary Nelson-directed Murder in Coweta County, which starred Andy Griffith), Renne Bilson, Kathy Thibodeaux, Judy Rush, Janice McNees, Beverly Dillard, Joanna Atkins (spouses) and Greg Schell and Garrett Nelson (sons of Ronnie and Gary, respectively).

See lots  more really outstanding Mayberry Days photos by photographers Hobart Jones and Kenny Hooker in the 2019 Mayberry Days Photo Gallery online at www.mayberrydays.org.

About a week after their participation at Mayberry Days, Keith Thibodeaux and wife Kathy found themselves in Brazil for a two-week stint with their Christian ballet company, Ballet Magnificat, which also had its Mayberry Days debut this year. The world is indeed a stage!

Keith and his fellow original members of Christian rock group David and the Giants have released their first new studio album since 1989. It’s called What Are You Wating For? and contains 11 songs.

WOW-EE IN MAUI–Jim Nabors’ home in Maui. Go nuts!

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The 170-acre Maui estate (aka macadamia nut plantation) of Jim Nabors was recently listed for sale. The asking price is $4.5 million. The offering comes on the heels of his Honolulu home selling for $12 million earlier this year and a recent auction items of home decor and memorabilia this summer.

SEE SCHELL AT SEA– Ronnie Schell makes a presentation about his career on this month’s Cruise to Mayberry, which last week returned to its home port after a great five days sailing from Charleston to the Bahamas. Ronnie’s son Greg, Dixie Griffith and a bunch of Mayberry tribute artists were also onboard to share the Mayberry fun with fans, almost all of whom were TAGSRWC members, who always enjoy seeing Ronnie and hearing him share memories about his fascinating entertainment career, including visits to Mayberry and stints on “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”

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Mayberry in Memoriam

We are sad to have news of the passing of three people with Mayberry connections.

Earlie Gilley Jr. passed away on October 27 at age 60. His name is familiar even to Mayberry fans who never met Earlie. His father, Earlie Gilley Sr., was mentioned in several episodes of TAGS.  Earlie Sr.’s wife was the former Virginia Lorraine Beasley, Andy’s first cousin on his father’s side. (The engagement of Virginia Beasley to Earlie Gilley is mentioned in “Opie’s Fortune.”)

Generations of Gilleys and other Griffith kin live in and near the Pilot Mountain area of Surry County, N.C. All have had keen interest in TAGS activities, including being supporters of and participants in Mayberry Days. From the earliest years of the Mount Airy festival, Earlie Jr. (and later Earlie III, or simply “3” as he is known to some) played in the Mayberry Days Golf Tournament (now known as The Emmett, in honor of the late Emmett Forrest).

TAGS NAME TAGS–Three generations of Earlie Gilleys attended a dinner for Special Guests and Griffith family members during the 2018 Mayberry Days festival. Photo by Kenny Hooker.

It is a family tradition of the Gilleys to be genuinely nice people and of strong religious faith–folks who would do anything to help a neighbor or a stranger.  And Earlie Jr. never met a stranger. He was as friendly a person as anybody could ever hope to meet. As Barney Fife would say, Earlie Jr. (or Earl as he was often called by friends and family) was “kind behind the eyes.” Many TAGSRWC members and other Mayberry fans have been blessed to know that firsthand, and consider Earlie Jr. and other members of the extended Gilley family cherished friends.

Our hearts go out to all of Earlie Jr.’s family, including wife Tammy, children Earlie III and Elizabeth, sister Carol (who also lost husband Keith earlier this year) and six grandchildren, including Earlie Gilley IV. You can read the official obituary for Earlie Jr. here.

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Susie Walsh and Ken Berry. Facebook photo courtesy of Jackie Joseph-Lawrence.

Susie Walsh, devoted longtime partner of Ken Berry (who died December 1, 2018) died on October 31. Jackie Joseph-Lawrence (Mayberry’s Sweet Romeena and Ken’s ex-wife) lovingly shared the news about Susie’s passing online: “Susie was Ken’s perfect partner for the last several decades of his life. I always thought of Susie as an angel that gave Ken love, companionship and laughter. (And she got him out of the house!) He adored her and truly enjoyed her family and friends. When he passed, her heart was broken in more pieces than one could count. She carefully made sure that his things were respected and guided them off to appropriate homes where they could continue to be treasured. I have grown very, very fond of Susie and admired her commitment, not only to Ken, but to her career as a stage manager (at the Mark Taper, The Geffen and more…), and her love of the outdoors where she trekked many trails and climbed and walked and ran.”

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Remembering Sam Bobrick

Sam Bobrick
1932-2019

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of writer Sam Bobrick, who died in Northridge, Calif., from complications of a stroke on October 11. He was  87.

Along with writing partner Bill Idelson, Sam wrote 19 classic episodes of TAGS and 15 episodes of “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” Their first script for TAGS, “The Shoplifters,” won a Writers Guild of America Award.

Just a sampling of the classic episodes by the writing duo includes “A Deal Is a Deal,” “Barney’s Bloodhound,” “Barney’s Uniform,” “Barney Fife, Realtor,” “Goober Takes a Car Apart,” “The Case of the Punch in the Nose,” “The Luck of Newton Monroe” and “The Return of Barney Fife.”

Sam Bobrick was born in Chicago on July 24, 1932. Father Jack owned an Army surplus store and mother Minette worked for the U.S. Postal Service. In part due to a sometimes tumultuous life at home and anti-semitic bullying in his neighborhood, Sam spent many of his later childhood years living with his grandparents on their farm in Benton Harbor, Mich.

After high school, Sam continued his studies in junior college, but when studying accounting didn’t agree with him, he opted to spend “three years, nine months and 23 days” (who said he couldn’t count?!) in the Air Force.

Initially and ironically being assigned to the accounting department, Sam was eventually transferred from numbers to words and put in charge of the library at Clinton County Air Force Base in Wilmington, Ohio. He also began his first writing job as editor of  The Tribe Scribe, a politically incorrect newspaper on base.

After the Air Force, Sam completed his college studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He graduated with a degree in Jounalism in 1956 and moved to New York to work as a songwriter. His biggest hit came in 1960 with “The Girl of My Best Friend,” which he co-wrote with Beverly Ross and which was a Top 10 hit in England for Elvis Presley and was later a Top 20 hit in the United States for Ray Donner.

With songwriting alone not exactly paying the bills beyond “hot dogs and jelly doughnuts,” Sam also worked in the mailroom at ABC and eventually landed small assignments writing for Ray Bolger, Jack Benny and others. He also wrote for radio talk shows and television game shows, including ones hosted by Robert Q. Lewis, who is now largely forgotten but was a modest star of that genre in that era.

It was while writing for game shows that Sam first crossed paths with future TAGS director Alan Rafkin. When one of Robert Q. Lewis’ game shows was cancelled, both Sam and Alan made the segue to “Captain Kangaroo,” for which Sam wrote and Alan handled behind-the-scenes tasks, including one that became the title of his memoir, Cue the Bunny on the Rainbow. Sam and Alan’s careers would intersect many times through the years.

“WATER YOU LOOKIN’ AT?”–Sam poses with actress Bridget Flanery (who played female lead Linda Shoup in a recent stage production of Sam’s New York Water) and his longtime pal George Shapiro.

As with so many other writers, work in television eventually led Sam to Los Angeles in 1962. (Talent manager  George Shapiro, who was Carl Reiner’s nephew and later would guide the careers of Andy Kaufman and Jerry Seinfeld, told Sam that California was the place he ought to be.) Sam left his apartment in Brooklyn Heights and became the L.A. roommate of writer Sam Denoff, who with writing partner Bill Persky wrote for “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and who together would later create “That Girl” and be involved in other top shows, including several for producers Sheldon Leonard and Danny Thomas.

Shapiro, Denoff and Persky all recommended Sam Bobrick to Bill Idelson, who at the time was looking for a writing partner. (Bill Idelson is also a familiar face in TV reruns, especially for his portrayal of Herman Glimscher in four episodes of “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”) The award-winning “Shoplifters”  episode of TAGS was Sam and Bill’s first script together. They would go on to become one of the hottest TV comedy  writing teams of the mid-’60s. .

Some of their other early credits included three episodes of “The Flintstones,” “Get Smart” (including the Writers Guild award-winner “Viva Smart”) and “Bewitched,” as well as their 15 episodes of “Gomer Pyle.”

On his own, Sam wrote an episode of “Good Morning World” (for executive producer Sheldon Leonard and starring Ronnie Schell and featuring lots of veterans of TAGS behind the scenes).

The Funny Thinker at work.

Sam was part of a large team of writers (including Steve Martin, Ron Clark, Bob Eisenstein, Lorenzo Music and Mason Williams) for 26 episodes  of “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” in 1967-68 season. Sam was nominated for an Emmy for an episode (starring Simon and Garfunkel and featuring Ronnie Schell).

Working with another large team of writers (again including Steve Martin and Ron Clark), Sam shared a third Writers Guild Award for the 1971 “Kraft Music Hall” presentation of  “Alan King’s Wonderful World of Aggravations.”

Among his work in the 1970s, Sam was creator of “The Paul Lynde Show” and was script supervisor for episodes of “The Tim Conway Comedy Hour.”  And along with all of his TV writing, Sam was also hard at work on his true passion–writing plays.

Sam was a prolific playwright. He wrote more than 40 plays (including four co-written with Ron Clark) and was continuing to write until he died. Several of his plays made it to Broadway with stellar casts, but  none ran for longer than 12 shows. All were considered flops. But that didn’t deter Sam at all.

In fact, one of his Broadway flops, Norman, Is that You? (which he wrote with Ron Clark and which was directed on Broadway by George Abbott and starred Lou Jacobi and Maureen Stapleton) opened and closed at the Lyceum Theatre in February 1970, but went on to become a hit in regional theater. (Don Knotts and Frank Sutton are among the actors to have played the father in the play.) A production of the play ran for five years in Paris, and it has been produced in more than two dozen countries. “Rowan &  Martin’s Laugh-In” bought the film rights, and MGM released a movie version starring Redd Foxx and Pearl Bailey in 1977.

THE MAN HAS A POINT–All eyes are on Don Knotts in a 2001 production of Sam Bobrick’s Norman, Is That You? at the New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park, Kan. (Francey Yarborough, Don’s future third wife, is standing behind him in this scene.)

Even though Sam’s own plays didn’t have much success on Broadway, he did help others make it. For example, he was hired to fix the script for The Wiz prior to its wildly successful run on Broadway and beyond.

Sam’s The Pyschic, a comical murder mystery, won a prestigious Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America in 2011.

Sam wrote half a dozen books. So far, one has been published and has had impressive sales: Sheldon and Mrs. Levine, which he wrote with future wife Julie Stein and which was published in 1994. The couple later adapted the book for the stage.

Of all of Sam’s legendary work (including two sophomoric comedy music albums for Mad Magazine: Mad Twists Rock ‘n’ Roll and Fink Along with Mad and a more recent comedy take on country music called Totally Twisted Country ), he might be best remembered beyond the Mayberry city limits for being the creator of the popular TV series “Saved by the Bell,” which debuted in 1989 and was a retooled version of  his “Good Morning, Miss Bliss” series the previous TV season.

TOLL ORDER–“Saved by the Bell” cast.

“Saved by the Bell” was a hit in its original four seasons, from 1989 to 1992, and continued to find even more success in syndication and follow-up productions. (Yet another incarnation of  “Saved by the Bell ” is coming in 2020 on NBCUniversal’s new Peacock streaming service. Sam will once again earn a creator credit.)

On learning that Sam had passed, former agent and longtime friend George Shapiro posted on Facebook: “My treasured, talented, hilarious friend, Sam Bobrick, just left us, leaving a void in my heart that can never be replaced.”

Actor and friend Adam Carl offered this tribute to Sam:  “Sam was, more than anything, a mensch of the highest order. He was a writer who absolutely adored actors (not always a given), and appreciated the contributions they brought to the table. He was never precious or defensive about suggestions or notes; he wanted the work to be the best it could be, and cherished a good idea from no matter where it came. ”

Sam and wife Julie Stein.

Adam Carl continues, “He was a delightful raconteur, a thoughtful and generous host, and never saw milk he couldn’t turn into a shake. He was also wickedly and darkly funny. His humor was sometimes barbed, sometimes silly, sometimes absurdist, often self-deprecating. But this above all–he was never ever not funny.”

All of us who love “The Andy Griffith Show” are fortunate that Sam Bobrick’s journey brought him to Mayberry, a place where he created a lot of hilarious and touching moments that we can enjoy over and over for all time.

Sam married Jeanne Johnson in 1963. They divorced in 1990. He married fellow writer Julie Stein in 2000. In addition to his wife, Sam is survived by daughters Lori and Stefanie, son Joey, brother Edward, sister Carole, two grandchildren, and Albert the Wonder Pug.

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 **** Chapter Update ****

We’re pleased to announce that four new chapters have started since the September eBullet:

The Diner                                                                        Plymouth, Ala.
Bailey’s Bad Boy Redemption                     Elizabethton, Tenn.
14 Maple Street, Mayberry                             Elgin, S.C.
“Best to You and Yours”                                     Holiday, Fla.

A big TAGSRWC welcome to our four newest chapters!

We now have had a total  1,466 chapters founded since TAGSRWC began in the fall of 1979. Yep, it’s hard to believe that  it has been 40 years since four Goobers first began gathering around a TV in Nashville to watch TAGS, and then eventually asked themselves, “Why don’t we call ourselves something?”

And so it is that here we are 40 years later and still calling ourselves “The Andy Griffith Show” Rerun Watchers Club–and now joined by tens of thousands of our fellow Goobers. Here’s looking forward to the next 40 years of organized Mayberry fun!

“WILL YOU HELP US?” Yes, starting a chapter is fun and easy!

Speaking of which, if you’re interested in organizing a group, you’ll be glad to know that starting a chapter of TAGSRWC is really simple to do. Just pick a name that hasn’t already been selected by another group and let us know who your founders are and where you’re based. That’s it.

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 or any of several chapters on Facebook.

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**** Merchandise Update ****

DON’T LET YOURSELF BECOME LIKE THIS–Malcolm Tucker says: Avoid the stress of last-minute shopping. Shop now (“Just do it, man, do it!), and then relax and enjoy the holiday season.

You’ll find a variety of new Mayberry-related items and best-selling classics online at TAGSRWC’s Weaver’s Department Store. Get a jump on your holiday gift-buying with the convenience and ease of shopping online at Weaver’s.

Here are some highlights:.

This official 2020 TAGS Wall Calendar features images from around Mayberry that will bring back that Mayberry feeling every time you glance to see what the date is. Black and white scenes from the show are featured on every page of the calendar.

Enjoy each month with images of Mayberry friends on your home or office wall. Or maybe even both! Characters featured in this 2020 edition are Andy, Barney, Opie, Aunt Bee, Gomer, Goober and Helen. The calendar is 12 in. wide x 24 in. tall when open. Any way you look at it, it’s a perfect 2020 vision!

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Want a new Mayberry calendar experience every day in addition to every month? Well, then this is the calendar for you! It consists of 366 days (2020 is a leap year, you know) of fun facts about “The Andy Griffith Show.”  A real page-turner, you might say.

Each fact actually occurred on the calendar date. The calendar is all new for 2020. If you loved all the interesting Mayberry info in the 2019 edition, just imagine the fun of learning that much more new stuff about Mayberry again in 2020!

The calendar stands on an easel and is designed to be used as a desk calendar throughout the year with pages that are flipped over each day instead of being removed. At the end of the year, the easel can be removed, if desired, and it becomes a book that can be kept as a reference.

So get ready to start each day of Mayberry’s 60th Anniversary year with a 4 in. x 5.75 in. fact about America’s hometown.

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Fishin’ Hole Fleece Blanket

$40.00
New and Improved Fabric!

You’ll be all set for game-day tailgating with one of our comfy fleece blankets. Or maybe just snuggle up on that couch Goober was telling us about.

Note: Weaver’s previously carried a fleece blanket with this same design, but this is a new and amazingly soft upgrade from our previous offering.

Join Andy and Opie at the Fishin’ Hole with this soft, ultra silky and double-overlock stitched (for unsurpassed durability and comfort) blanket, which has amazing color and detail. It’s also resistant to shrinking and fading.

GET FLEECED–But in a good way! This blanket is even softer than the fox fur Newton sold to Barney. And unlike the fur, it won’t fall apart in bunches…bunches!

It is so soft…if you could touch it through this screen….you would buy it just to be able to feel it against your skin.

This blanket is 100% polyester made from soft napped insulating polar fleece and measures 36 in. x 58 in. The Fishin’ Hole design is on one side with the reverse being a soft white fleece. It’s easy to wash and quick drying. We also have fleece blankets in two other designs, both featuring Barney.

Additional Note: This is a dye-sublimated print. Each item is Uniquely Hand Printed in the U.S.A. The dye sublimation printing process creates slight imperfections over seams and/or folds and are unique to and a part of each item.

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And now exclusive to Weaver’s are Woven Throws in three designs and two sizes, including the brand new super-sized deluxe throw that measures a whopping 48 in. x 80 in. Aw, big ain’t the word for it!

We also have Accessories Pouches for this and that in the popular Fishin’ Hole, Barney Face and Lawmen designs.

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Weaver’s is pleased to have this zip-up hoodie featuring the fan-favorite Mayberry Police Department design.

The front of the jacket has no design but does have pockets to keep your hands toasty warm and drawstrings to pull the hoodie tight.

The back of the sweatshirt-style jacket has the Mayberry Police Department design with a distressed look to give it a nostalgic feeling.

The hoodie is made of 75% premium ring-spun cotton and 25% polyester with double-needled cuffs for added durability. It features a classic fit that runs true to size and weighs in at a comfy 9 ounces.

Get yours and be the hippest guy or gal on patrol in the Mayberry neighbor-hoodie!

P.S. And don’t forget we also have Sweatshirts and/or Pull-Over Hoodies in a total of nine different designs to choose from. Make sure you’re ready for that cold weather, because you know it’s now upon us!

Mayberry’s Finest Bacon (biscuits not included).

Weaver’s is excited to offer a new line of gourmet bacon from Mayberry’s Finest and award-winning pork curer, Broadbent B & B Foods!

We currently have two varieties of gourmet bacon from Mayberry’s Finest. The classic Hickory Smoked Country Bacon is hand rubbed, aged, slow smoked, and dry-cured with salt producing a flavor that has been loved for generations.

Mayberry Finest’s Pepper Bacon by Broadbent is the Hickory Smoked Bacon with  a generous coating of coarse ground black pepper. This Broadbent bacon  is a Two-Time Winner of the “Outstanding Meat, Pate or Seafood” award at the International Fancy Food Show in recognition of its superior quality and flavor.

Broadbent has been making their acclaimed bacon this same way since 1909. This dry-cured process means that no water is added, which also means that your bacon will shrink very little during cooking. (See photo above.)

These 14-ounce packages of bacon ($12.00 per pack) are shelf stable, which allows them to be shipped and stored for three months with no refrigeration. But folks will be wanting to gobble these delicious bacon varieties so fast that you’ll probably never have to even think about anything but ordering more!.

Mayberry’s Finest Coffee

 $12.00

And don’t forget about the wonderful Premium Coffees from Mayberry’s Finest! The 12-ounce bags of ground coffees are available in three varieties: Sunday Morning Breakfast Blend, Otis Campbell’s Better-Than-Home Dark Roasted Coffee and Mayberry Diner’s Decaffeinated Coffee.

Mayberry’s Finest coffees are sourced, roasted and ground by the unsurpassed Just Love Coffee Roasters. They know coffee! And we think you’ll “just love” this coffee brought to you by Mayberry’s Finest!

And look for more fine food items from Mayberry’s Finest coming to Weaver’s in 2020!

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Miss Crump’s Reading List

New!

We have all kinds of great books about Mayberry. The latest was published in August:

Mayberry Firsts: A Compendium of Historical Essays on the Classic Television Series ($20, 224-page softcover) by TAGSRWC member Randy Turner.

PROUD MOMENT–Randy Turner being presented the Mayberry Friendship Award by Allan Newsome at the TAGSRWC Annual Meeting during Mayberry Days. Photo by Jan Newsome.

Mayberry Firsts is a collection of short-form essays. Each essay makes us aware of the “first” time something happened in Mayberry, but it isn’t just a checklist of events. Each “first” is used as a springboard to dive deeper into the series and present fun and interesting facts about The Andy Griffith Show in the process.

It’s entertaining, informative and comfortably bite-sized reading that’s sure to please every fan of Mayberry. But just remember: Mayberry knowledge is a fine thing, but don’t flaunt it!
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T-Shirts Galore!

Weaver’s now has more than 50 different T-shirt designs to choose from!

Just a few of the designs in our T-shirt lineup.

Most of our adult-sized T-shirts are just $20. A few designs are $18, and the Lawmen and Sheriff all-over designs are $25. (The long-sleeved Sheriff shirt is $40.) Several designs are available in Sweatshirts (and some also as Hoodies) as well..

 We’ve Got You Covered!

SIDECAR EXPRESS–Rev up for cooler weather with a Mayberry sweatshirt, like this super-cool and ultra-warm Mayberry Choppers design! (This design and Mayberry Union design are also available in a pullover hoodie.)

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Weaver’s also has several Mayberry items especially for the Christmas season, including music, movies and books.

Also, 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, thanks for browsing Weaver’s!

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**** Chapter News ****

Chapters have been doing lots of activities since the September eBullet, including the biggest Mayberry event of the year, the 30th annual Mayberry Days. We’ll share most of the news through photos and captions..

HEAR YE, HEAR YE–As most of the Mayberry Days guests of honor look on during the Mayor’s Proclamation ceremony, Allan “Floyd” Newsome presents TAGSRWC’s Neal Brower of Barney chapter (Greensboro, N.C.) with the “You’re the Cat’s!” Award (sponsored by “We’re the Cat’s!” chapter of Fort Erie, Ont.). The annual award has the dual purpose of simultaneously saluting Betty Lynn and recognizing someone for his or her significant contributions to Mayberry Days, which Neal has done for more than two decades with the festival’s popular Professor Brower’s Lecture, which this year featured Bruce Bilson. Photo by Tim Bradshaw.

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READY FOR HIS CLOSE-UP–Neal Brower with his “Cat’s” award.

“Up at State Prison” (Bayport, Minn.) checked in to say that things are going O.K. with the chapter. You might say they’re doing the time of their life!

OUTSTANDING TRIBUTES–Just a few of the Mayberry tribute artists (with a Knotts and a Griffith among them) ready to entertain in the Mayberry Days parade. See how many you can identify, including Leonard Blush.

.Members of “Blood Brothers” chapter (Macon, Mo.) took a roadtrip to Danville, Ind., last month to visit with local chapters, including Briscoe of Mayberry (Indianapolis, Ind.) and “Now You’re Gonna Glenn Ford It All Over Town” (Veedersburg, Ind.), for a meal at the Mabyerry Cafe and a Mayberry lecture by Randy Turner (a leader of the online Gomer and Goober Pyle Comic Book Literary Guild chapter).

A few days later, “A Dollar and Quarter” chapter (New Philadelphia, Ohio) also hosted Randy Turner for a Mayberry presentation on the occasion of celebrating the chapter’s 21st anniversary as a group.

IN THE LOOP–Chapter president David Millard (left) and Steve Hinkley pose with what is thought to be the only official Chapter Rug of a TAGSRWC chapter. Steve hooked the rug himself a few years ago. Note the leaky rowboat from the chapter’s namesake “Manhunt” episode. Photo by Randy Turner.

Mayberry chapter (Knoxville, Tenn.) published the latest edition of its Mayberry Minutes newsletter in September. It was another giant 16-page, full-color issue that included highlights of recent chapter activities (including their Mayberry-themed trip to California during the summer; see coverage in the July and September eBullets) and other Mayberry news from around the country. (For info about subscribing to the newsletter, visit their chapter website at www.mayberrychapter.com.)

THE DOTS GOT IT–Michelle Bryson was the recipient of the 2019 Jim Schwenke Memorial Award at the TAGSRWC Annual Meeting during Mayberry Days. “The Schwenke” (established in 2003 in memory of the revered late founder of Houston’s Mayberry Texans) chapter, is one of the two highest honors presented by TAGSRWC. In addition to her tribute to Mt. Pilot Fun Girl Daphne at Mayberry events, Michelle is a longtime and enthusiastic behind-the-scenes supporter of many key Mayberry activities. Photo by Jan Newsome.

Andy chapter (Nashville, Tenn.) and TAGSRWC’s Presiding Goober were surprised and very grateful to receive a special “Thank You” award, presented by Allan Newsome on behalf of TAGSRWC members as a way of marking this fall’s 40th Anniversary of TAGSRWC as an organized group.

That beautiful award (as well as the Mayberry Friendship, “You’re the Cat’s!” and “Schwenke” awards are all designed by Al Gandolfi of “There He Goes!” chapter (Greenville, S.C.). Johnny Paul Jason says that all of these touching awards caused several cases of “lergics” by the recipients and others.

NEITHER EASY NOR SLOW–Jim Sherrill of “Mayberry, Where the Living Is Easy and Slow” chapter (Virginia Beach, Va.) successfully defended his Champion title at the Mayberry Days Trivia Contest in September. He topped tough competition from second-place winner and former champion Pat Bullins (aka the Lady in Red) of Barney chapter (Greensboro, N.C.) and an impressive contingent of other tough competitors, including other previous champions. Photo by Hobart Jones.

“Nary a Thing” chapter (Madison/Mayodan, N.C.) continues its recent streak of roughly monthly meetings at their local library branch in Madison with a gathering on Nov. 26. Following up on their fall festival gathering last month, the November meeting will feature trivia (with prizes) and light refreshments.

With that, we’ll conclude Chapter News for this issue. If you have news or photos of your chapter activities that you would like to share with The eBullet, please send your updates to Goober@imayberry.com.

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**** Mayberry on the Web ****

imayberrycommunityThe iMayberry Community

TOOT-TOOT, TOOTSIE, HELLO–Keith Brown as Col. Harvey, back with vigor on the streets of Mount Airy during this year’s Mayberry Days.

This TAGSRWC online group is organized and overseen by webmaster Allan “Floyd” Newsome with 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. (As of this week, there have been an astounding 556 episodes since Allan started the podcasts 11 years ago.).

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 (another one hosted by Allan Newsome).

SURE-FIRE FUN–Members of the online “Only One Word I Can Think of…Big!” chapter once again gathered around the old cannon in Mount Airy during Mayberry Days for their annual chapter photo.

TAGSRWC’s official page on Facebook now has over 250,000 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 Gomer and Goober 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 ****

You can always catch up on back issues by visiting the eBullet Archives in the Newsletters section at imayberry.com. Each issue is placed in the Archives at the same time that it’s published.

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.

ROGER THAT–Members of the online “Who’s Been Messin’ Up the Bulletin Board?” chapter pose for their annual group photo during Mayberry Days. Photo by Jan Newsome.

TAGSRWC publishes Weaver’s Newsletter (our brother-figure publication) in alternate months to The eBullet. Like The eBullet, Weaver’s Newsletter is free. Its focus is tilted slightly more to Mayberry merchandise and collectibles and quick newsflashes. It has some content overlap with The eBullet–sometimes earlier and sometimes later, depending on the timing of the news. To sign up, go to Weaver’s Newsletter Sign-Up.

The next regularly scheduled issue of The eBullet will be published in January to kick off the 60th Anniversary year of The Andy Griffith Show. The next Weaver’s Newsletter is set for December.

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Turkey Time!

 

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