An Online Newsletter of
“The Andy Griffith Show” Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC)
Welcome to our first issue of The eBullet 2022! This year marks the beginning of our fifth decade of publishing either The Bullet, which was our original printed newsletter for the first two decades, or this online eBullet, which has been published the last two decades. Those of us old enough to have read that first issue are now officially “no spring chickens anymore,” but we’re still clucking.
Things are generally pretty quiet around Mayberry this time of year–even more so with the recent storms and the ongoing pandemic. There’s nevertheless still news here and there as some Mayberry stars have been out and about for appearances and performances. A few chapters also have been able to safely have gatherings.
Several events are already on the 2022 calendar, and we expect to add a few more by our next issue. And there’s always something interesting happening at Weaver’s Dept. Store, so when in doubt…shop!
No matter which ways you enjoy experiencing Mayberry (and it’s hard to beat just watching TAGS episodes!), there’s a lot to look forward to in 2022!
The Andy Griffith Museum, featuring the late Emmett Forrest’s monumental collection of Andy Griffith artifacts, is operating on its full, normal schedule. For their own safety and the safety of those around them as the pandemic lingers, all guests are required to wear masks when indoors and near others.
For complete updates on operating hours, safety procedures or other info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
Here are some upcoming happenings that folks have posted on Floyd’s bulletin board:
* Mar. 3-5: The 25th 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. The full schedule (including a screening of the Mayberry Man movie) and guests TBA.
* Mar. 12: Karen Knotts brings her one-woman “Tied Up in Knotts” show to the Smoot Theatre in Parkersburg, W.V. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets for reserved seats are $25 and may be purchased at www.smoottheatre.com or the box office. For more info, call 304-422-7529.
* Mar. 13: Karen Knotts and “Tied Up in Knotts” come to the Metropolitan Theater in her dad’s hometown of Morgantown, W.V. Showtime is 4 p.m. Ticket prices start at $25 and are available online at www.morgantownmet.com.
* Mar. 15: Ron Howard and Clint Howard talk about their memoir and their careers in show business at the Desert Town Hall lecture series in Indian Wells, Calif. For info, call 760-610-2852.
* Apr. 8 and 9: Keith Thibodeaux (Johnny Paul Jason in Mayberry and Little Ricky on “I Love Lucy”) is the first special guest announced for this year’s Mayberry & I Love Lucy Day in Granville, Tenn., which is also home of a unique combo, the Mayberry-Lucy Museum. Popular Mayberry and Lucy & Desi tribute artists will also be on hand, as well as Darlings-style bluegrass music.
Most festival activities are on Saturday, but there will be Mayberry Dinner Theater performances (dedicated to Betty Lynn) on both Friday and Saturday at 5:30 p.m. (Reservations are required.) Check back here for festival updates and visit www.granvilletn.com for the full schedule. For more info, call 931-653-4151.
* Sept. 19-25: 33rd Annual Mayberry Days® festival in Mount Airy, N.C. Tickets are already available HERE for portions of the festival, including The Emmett Golf Tournament (including Mayberry Days® Dinner & Entertainment, for which tickets may also be purchased separately), concert by The Dillards featuring Rodney Dillard, and Professor Brower’s Lecture. For more info, visit www.mayberrydays.com.
Oct. 23-29: Clint Howard is the special guest for Mayberry Cruise 15, which was postponed with a few tweaks from its original dates in 2020 and again in 2021 because of the pandemic.
This cruise aboard Carnival’s Horizon will depart from Miami and travel to the Caribbean with ports of call in Grand Cayman, Ocho Rios, and Cozumel. Rates (including all taxes) start at $625 per person.
**** News of Cast & Crew ****
Ron Howard has his usual full slate of movies in various states of production. On the directing side, his Thirteen Lives movie about the Thailand cave rescue is scheduled for release nationwide on April 15. Ron is also in post-production on his documentary about Chef José Andrés.
On the producing side, big projects for Ron and Imagine Entertainment include tick, tick…BOOM! which had limited theatrical release with critical acclaim and boffo audience reviews in November and is now streaming. Also in the pipeline are Mars 2080 and The Beanie Bubble, among many others for big and small screens.
In other big Imagine news, the company is in talks to sell a majority share of the company to a London-based investment company. Ron and longtime business partner Brian Grazer previously sold a majority stake in the company a few years ago. (This new majority stake would presumably include much of the old majority stake.) Ron and Brian have been turning over many of the day-to-day production reins in recent years.
Meanwhile, Ron and brother Clint Howard‘s The Boys memoir continues to see steady sales amid glowing reviews by critics and fans alike.
At the end of December, an online estate auction for the late Betty Lynn was conducted by Mount Airy’s Rogers Realty & Auction Co. (the same firm that conducted the estate auction for Frances Bavier in 1990).
Proceeds from the 118 items sold in the auction topped $50,000, which benefited several charities designated by Betty. It no doubt would have pleased ever-generous Betty to know that so many of her personal items would find happy new homes and at the same time support causes that were important to her.
Rodney Dillard and his Dillards band performed at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Owensboro, Ky., on January 15. Even the massive storm that was on the march across the region didn’t deter the boys (and girls) from getting back on the truck to put on a foot-stompin’ show.
An interview with Rodney aired on Raleigh’s WRAL-TV earlier this month. Here’s a LINK to the three-minute interview, which was conducted at Mayberry Days® last September.
In addition to his appearance at the Mayberry & I Love Lucy Day in Granville, Tenn., in April (see Floyd’s calendar above), Keith Thibodeaux is busy with the 2022 season of Ballet Magnificat, the Christian ballet company that he and wife Kathy co-founded and run.
Here’s a LINK to a six-minute interview that Keith did with a Tulsa TV station on January 18. (He talks about the ballet, his ministry and “I Love Lucy,” not TAGS, but Keith’s always engaging with his thoughtful comments.
Karen Knotts has been busy promoting her Tied Up in Knotts memoir (including as a guest on an installment of the “Huckabee” TV show that aired on January 15. She also has some dates for her “Tied Up in Knotts” stage show coming up in March. (See Floyd’s event calendar above.)
It has been a sad time for Maggie Peterson Mancuso (Charlene Darling). Gus Mancuso, her beloved husband of nearly 44 years, died in Las Vegas of complications of Alzheimer’s Disease on December 9. He was 88.
As Mayberry fans occasionally were able to experience when he joined Maggie on stage to perform at Mayberry events, Gus was a word-class musical virtuoso. Though he usually played only the piano at the Mayberry events, Gus mastered a staggering number of instruments and was revered by his fellow jazz musicians.
There is an excellent tribute to Gus in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. For any fans of great music who don’t already have the Gus Mancuso & Special Friends CD, it’s a superb collection of his music. Beyond his music, Gus was just a super nice person who greeted everyone with a warm smile, as many friends and fans were lucky to know first-hand through the years.
In addition to Maggie, Gus is survived by son Ronnie. All of Mayberry mourns with them.
That’s a wrap for News of Cast & Crew for this issue.
**** Chapter Update ****
No chapters have started since the November eBullet, so our grand total of chapters that have started since TAGSRWC was founded in 1979 stands at 1,475. (We first started having chapters in 1982, beginning with Andy chapter in Nashville and then Barney chapter in Greensboro, N.C.)
Starting a chapter of TAGSRWC is still just as easy as it was 40 years ago. You simply 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 your chapter’s name with your location and 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). That’s all it takes!
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 exclusively online chapters on Facebook and, more recently, MeWe (see Mayberry on the Web below)..
**** Merchandise Update ****
You can find a tremendous variety of Mayberry-related items right at your fingertips online at TAGSRWC’s Weaver’s Department Store. We have added lots of new items just in the last few months. Here are some of our newest and most popular items:
The Mayberry Travel Guide, the latest book by Randy Turner, is both an actual travel guide for Andy Griffith’s hometown of Mount Airy, N.C., and a book filled with facts and trivia about “The Andy Griffith Show.” The guide contains info on the many influences Andy’s hometown had on the beloved series with full explanations of the many references he so often made to the real town of Mount Airy–to its businesses, streets and roads, nearby towns and communities, and real people from back home. The 384-page softcover book contains over 350 photos and 40 sidebars that provide detailed looks at items of interest.
The book was specifically written to be of interest to Mayberry fans, even if you have no intention of ever actually visiting Mount Airy (though you definitely should whenever you have the chance).
The much-anticipated (that is to say, we’ve been waiting forever!) complete TAGS on Blu-ray is finally here! The set includes not only all 249 episodes, but also the “Danny Meets Andy Griffith” pilot episode, Return to Mayberry movie, bunches of original commercials, an interview with Andy Griffith, the color version of “The Pickle Story” and more. Not to mention the knock-out quality of blu-ray sound and visuals. A real treat for any Mayberry fan!
Maggie Peterson Mancuso, best known as “Charlene Darling” on TAGS, loved being part of our favorite show and getting to know so many fans at Mayberry events through the years.
Weaver’s Department Store is teaming with Maggie and her family to bring you photographs and other items from her career. We are hopeful that you find a treasure that brings you the same joy that Maggie received being on TAGS. Maggie wants to share this collection rather that having the items just sitting in her closet or on her shelves not being used and fully appreciated. Maggie is no longer able to perform in person, so this is a way that you can stay connected with her.
Maggie is residing in a senior assisted living facility. Since moving there, she has required additional care due to her ongoing health conditions, limited mobility and restricted use of her arms. These conditions make it impossible for her to live independently. This level of care increases the costs for Maggie.
Please look through the Maggie Peterson Collection of photographs, scripts and other items. The photos are 8 in. x 10 in. and most include Maggie’s autograph. Many are limited editions. Note: Some additional items were recently added!
All proceeds are going directly to helping Maggie. We encourage you to check back from time to time because we expect to add more items as we receive them from Maggie and her family.
If you would rather donate directly or provide additional funds to Maggie, please consider going to the GoFundMe Page for Maggie operated by her family.
Weaver’s is pleased to offer more than five dozen designs of Mayberry T-shirts. Some designs are also available as long-sleeved T-shirts, sweatshirts and hoodies. Most designs are available in Adult sizes Small to 3X-large, but we also offer several designs in toddler sizes and some in the just recently added 4X size. (Aw, BIG is the word for ’em!)
Find the perfect Mayberry fit for you and friends and family!
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 the virtual shelves at Weaver’s!
**** Chapter News ****
**** 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 of this online community 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.
There’s a new episode every Tuesday (and you can watch and listen live during tapings on Monday evenings). As of this week, there have been 668 episodes since Allan started doing the podcast in November 2008! (Note: That’s not to be confused with the Episode #666-7/8 and it’s not to say that anyone was being superstitious about the episode that preceded #667!) Past episodes are in an online Archives in case you want to listen to or view classic installments you’ve missed.
And you’ll also find links on the podcast’s regular web page which includes another excellent Mayberry-related podcast: Burke on Mayberry (hosted by TAGSRWC’s Kevin Burke)..
TAGSRWC’s official page on Facebook is hovering around 250,000 Followers. 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.
Even Ben Weaver has his own Facebook page at www.facebook.com/weaversdepartmentstore. It features all the latest in Mayberry items and merchandise news.
And TAGSRWC also has a growing presence on www.MeWe.com. Mayberry’s pioneering outpost on MeWe is “Sittin’ on a Velvet Pillow” chapter, headed up by Lynn Thomas. That group was followed in short order by Allan Newsome and the “Two Chairs, No Waiting” Podcast and by “Only One Word I Can Think of…Big” (a TAGSRWC group that’s also on Facebook), administered by Myron Clark and Tommy Rainwater and an able crew.
In case you’re not familiar with MeWe, it’s similar to Facebook. It’s just smaller and a bit calmer. It has no ads. So, it’s more along the lines of a quiet street like Willow or Woods Way as compared to the hustle and bustle of Main Street in downtown Mayberry. (“You’re on my foot! You’re on my foot!”) If you’re looking to “relax, slow down, take it easy,” then you might want to check out some of the TAGSRWC groups on MeWe.
**** Post Note ****
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.
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 issue of The eBullet is scheduled for March. Our first issue of Weaver’s Newsletter will be published in February.