There's a lot of news to report as the year begins to warm up. We'll start with some upcoming events.
The Andy Griffith Museum, featuring the late Emmett Forrest's amazing 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. 25: Roland White and his band perform at 9 p.m. at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn.
* Apr. 13: Karen Knotts and "Tied Up in Knotts" come to Morrill Hall Auditorium at Ohio State University at Marion. Show time is 7:30 p.m. For more info visit the OSU Marion website.
* Apr. 14: Roland White and his band perform at 9 p.m. at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn.
* Apr. 21: 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.
* Apr. 26-29: Margaret Kerry is the first star with Mayberry connections to be confirmed as a guest for this year's Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival in Marshfield. Maggie Peterson and Morgan Brittany have been regulars at the festival in recent years, so watch this space for updates on the line-up. Or visit the festival website at www.cherryblossomfest.com.
* May 6: 30th Annual Uncle Jesse Big Bass Classic (founded by Denver Pyle) in Paris, Tex. For more info, visit: www.unclejessefishing.com.
* May 19: 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.
* May 19-21: Mayberry in the Midwest in Danville, Ind. The Mayberry tribute artists lead a weekend of family entertainment that also includes a parade, the Mayberry Derby, the Mayberry Squad Car Nationals, and streets full of vendors. More details TBA. For updates, follow the 2017 festival's Facebook page.
* May 20: Missouri Boatride (featuring Dean Webb on mandolin) performs a free concert as part of the Arts in the Park program at the Visitors Center at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield (Republic, Mo.) at 7 p.m.
* June 10: Mayberry 101 author Neal Brower presents a lecture on the "Wedding Bells for Aunt Bee" 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.
* June 16: 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.
* June 29-30: Roland White and his band perform at the Starvy Creek Bluegrass Festival in Conway, Mo.
* July 8: Mayberry 101 author Neal Brower presents a lecture on the "Convicts-at- Large" 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.
* July 21: 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.
* July 21-22: Coinciding with the weekend of Betty Lynn's July meet-and-greet at the Andy Griffith Museum, the Mayberry Meet-Up will be held in Mount Airy, N.C., this weekend.
This informal gathering is being coordinated by Allan "Floyd" Newsome as a chance for fans to gather and enjoy Mount Airy during a quieter time of year than with the wall-to-wall activities and crowds of Mayberry Days (also not to be missed!) in September.
There's usually a loose schedule of planned activities that folks can pick and choose from. It's mostly just a chance to hang out and relax in Mount Airy with fellow visitors and local friends. Click this link for the Mayberry Motor Inn website for room reservation info. The motel and its gazebo serve as the home base for the weekend. Details TBA soon.
* Aug. 5: 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. Showtime at the James Garner Center is 7 p.m. Reserved seating is $20, general admission tickets are $15, and admission for kids ages 6-12 is $10. For advance tickets or info, contact Jeff Branch at email@example.com or (704) 985-6987.
* Aug. 12: Mayberry 101 author Neal Brower presents a lecture on the "Prisoner 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. 18: 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. 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. Mayberry stars already confirmed include Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou), Rodney Dillard (and the current Dillards band), Ronnie Schell (two episodes and also Duke Slater on "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.), Margaret Kerry (Bess Muggins and Helen Scobey), and Karen Knotts.
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.
Many more details TBA. For more info, visit www.mayberrydays.org. Tickets are already 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).
* 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. 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.
**** News of Cast & Crew ****
Ron Howard won a Grammy for best music film last month for his documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week--The Touring Years.
Ron wasn't able to be at the Grammys show in L.A. to pick up his award because he was in London the same night for the British Academy Film Awards, for which he was nominated for best documentary. (He didn't win that one.)
Ron and Imagine partner Brian Grazer are featured speakers at Variety's annual entertainment marketing conference this week at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills.
Ron was in Austin, Tex., last week for the SXSW festival. Top on Ron's agenda these days is talking about "Genius," the series Ron and Imagine are producing for the National Geographic Channel. The first season is about Albert Einstein. Ron directed the first episode, which premieres on April 25.
And Ron made a cameo appearance as himself as part of a pivotal storyline in the final episode of NBC's hit new series "This Is Us" that aired earlier this month.
Betty Lynn celebrated St. Patrick's Day by greeting fans at the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy. Even folks wearing green were still pinching themselves that they were getting to visit with Betty. Lucky folks indeed!
The Dillards are currently handling their own bookings, as well as Rodney Dillard's related Mayberry Moments, Mayberry Values and Mayberry Christmas shows. For info, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LeRoy McNees has been in Guatemala the last few days on a mission trip. And you can be sure that bringing his Dobro and singing some bluegrass gospel music is part of his mission.
Less fun for LeRoy was having a neighbor's gazebo blow away in one of the California storms back in February. The gazebo landed on LeRoy's motor home in his driveway. There was quite a bit of damage, but fixable.
And see Chapter News for coverage of a fun appearance by LeRoy with Mayberry's Sheldon Golomb last fall.
Margaret Kerry took a tumble last week, but she thankfully escaped with only a few bruises and scrapes. She was immediately up and about and raring to go for her book signing at Griffith Park in Los Angeles on the 19th.
Karen Knotts (daughter of Don) has already had several of performances of her popular one-woman "Tied Up in Knotts" show. She started close to home in California, and just got back from a highly successful show in Iowa. Next up is an April performance in Marion, Ohio.
**** Chapter Update ****
Three new chapters have officially started since our last report in the January eBullet. We currently have had 1,450 chapters founded since TAGSRWC started 38 years ago.
Colorado Fishin' Hole Whistlers Colorado Springs, Colo.
"Mayberry Minutemen--Always Ready
with the Answers" West Columbia, S.C.
"Well, Life Ain't All Police Work,
Ya Know, Andy" Hillsborough, N.C.
A big Mayberry welcome to all three new chapters!
Starting a chapter of TAGSRWC is easy. Just pick a name that hasn't already been selected by another group. You can check the searchable list of chapter names already taken at www.tagsrwc.com.
Then, submit the 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. (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 at www.imayberry.com
With short-sleeve weather upon us (hooray!), what better time to shop for some new Mayberry T-shirts? We have 36 different designs to choose from.
Here are two new designs in cool cream colored shirts we're offering, along with two other favorites in gray:
|Suit yourself to a Spring Tee!|
Two of our most popular T-shirts are 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!).
Miss Crump's March Reading Madness
We have all kinds of great books about Mayberry that are perfect for relaxed reading--perhaps on a park bench on a balmy spring day. Or just get a nice cool glass of lemonade or sweet tea, sit in your rocker or porch swing or under a shady tree, and sit back and read interesting things about Mayberry.
If you nod off for a snooze now and then while you're at it, that's O.K. Floyd even recommends it. And if you work up an appetite after all that heavy reading, we've got a wide variety of Mayberry and pop culture cookbooks, too.
You'll find these items and much more, including CDs, DVDs, collectibles, tin signs, artwork, rare board games, blankets, and items for vehicles online at 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 ****
Chapters from Indiana (and everywhere else, for that matter) are invited to a regular gathering of Mayberry fans at the Mayberry Cafe in Danville, Ind., at 2 p.m. on April 1. It's always a fun time of fellowship, TAGS episodes, and great food. And the Mayberry Cafe and our Indiana chapters will also be at the heart of May's annual Mayberry in the Midwest festival.
Myers Lake Bait Shop (Waterville, Ohio) says they continue to meet once a month. Membership has grown 350% since they were founded just a few years ago!
"Hit One for the Ol' Goober" (Killen, Ala.), "Mother Figure" (Huntsville, Ala.), "Hearty Eatin' Men and Beautiful Delicate Women" (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) and Andy chapter (Nashville, Tenn.) were chapters represented at the 20th Annual George Lindsey UNA Film Festival in Florence, Ala., earlier this month. Filmmakers from as far away as Europe and Australia were also in attendance.
Mayberry tribute artist Allan "Floyd" Newsome and Kenneth "Otis" Junkin were among the speakers sharing memories of George Lindsey, along with daughter Camden Gardner. Tribute artist Tim "Goober " Pettigrew also was on hand to entertain attendees and show support for George's legacy.
Mayberry chapter (Knoxville, Tenn.) published another gargantuan edition (16 pages, full color) of its Mayberry Minutes newsletter in January. The chapter's recent activities included two Christmas parades, a chapter Christmas party, and celebrations of Maggie Peterson's birthday (January) and Elizabeth MacRae's birthday (February). Upcoming group activities include celebrating Dean Webb's birthday this month and a bowling party in April. The chapter is also in the process of refurbishing one of its seven Mayberry squad car replicas.
AS TIME GOES BY--At left (with a helping hand from the present), David "Mayberry Deputy" Browning poses with Jeff "Mayberry Deputy Jr." Stout (Mrs. Mendelbright's Bulb-Snatchers of Cedar Rapids, Iowa) at the 1993 Mayberry Squad Car Rendezvous in Bradford, Ohio. At right, David and Jeff (now apparently an undercover deputy who has replaced his badge with a swoosh) visit again at an event in Monticello, Iowa, in February. And just for completeness, our eagle-eye staff thinks that's Dennis Hasty, founder of "Jailsick, Kiss My Mouth" chapter (Lockland, Ohio) mostly obscured behind David in the earlier photo.
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.
Odd Facts Known by Few (Or Fun in the Garage on a Rainy Day)
* What better way to Welcome Sweet Springtime than by watching Don Knotts re-creating his original singing of "Good Ol' 14-A during a show at Opryland USA in Nashville in 2000. Guaranteed to be the best 6 1/2 minutes you spend today:
* This next one is just pane and simple:
* Additional screenings of The Real Mayberry, a documentary about Mount Airy's efforts to adapt to a changing economy and times while also still maintaining its small-town spirit, are being planned for Mount Airy, Chapel Hill, and Durham, N.C., this spring. Watch Floyd's Event Calendar online or visit therealmayberry.com for screening updates as they become available.
**** 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 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 418 episodes since Allan started the podcasts in 2008.)
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 has over 240,000 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!
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.
And don't forget: Ben Weaver has his own Facebook page at www.facebook.com/weaversdepartmentstore. Check it out for the latest 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 next eBullet is planned for May, and the next Weaver's Newsletter is scheduled for April.