An Online Newsletter of
“The Andy Griffith Show” Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC)
Note: For readers who receive this newsletter by email, the formatting can sometimes be kind of funky, almost as if Otis might’ve been in charge of the layout. If the email version you receive looks like it has had the dipsy-doodle treatment, check out this Web Version for a smoother read.
Welcome to our fourth issue of The eBullet for 2022!
As we all continue to feel our way through the pandemic and the modern world’s other challenges, there’s a lot going on in the world of Mayberry this year. (See Floyd’s calendar below and check for regular updates at www.imayberry.com.)
Sadly, some of the news for this issue is especially somber. All of Mayberry is still reeling from the death of Maggie Peterson Mancuso on May 15. TAGSRWC has published a special edition of The eBullet: Remembering Maggie Peterson Mancuso. There is also updated information in the Merchandise Update section below about the items that Maggie and her family provided to our Weaver’s Department Store to sell on their behalf during the past couple of years.
During the last few weeks, director Gary Nelson and actors Bo Hopkins and Joe Turkel, all with one-episode TAGS connections, also passed away. Our In Memoriam tributes to each of them follow the News of Cast & Crew section below.
There’s also plenty of happy Mayberry news to report in this issue, so we have lots of reasons to keep on smiling!
The Event Calendar below has some of the scheduled happenings for the months ahead, and lots of news follows those listings as Mayberry activities for the year are definitely in full swing and barreling toward Mayberry Days® in September!
The Andy Griffith Museum, featuring the late Emmett Forrest’s extraordinary 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 encouraged 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 events that folks have posted on Floyd’s bulletin board:
* July 15 and 16: 10th Annual Mayberry Meetup, sponsored by TAGSRWC’s “Two Chairs, No Waiting” podcast, gathers in Mount Airy, N.C. For more info, visit this link: 10th Annual Mayberry Meetup. Note: Neal Brower‘s monthly summer lecture will be on Saturday (see the next listing). There’s also a Mayberry Bible Study on Sunday, the 17th.
* July 16: Coinciding with the Mayberry Meetup, Mayberry 101 author Neal Brower gives his second “Summer of Opie” lecture about TAGS, starting at 2 p.m., in the Andy Griffith Museum Theatre in Mount Airy, N.C. The hour-long lecture will be about the episode “Opie and the Bully.” Admission is included with Andy Griffith Museum admission ($8 for adults, $6 for ages 12 and under). Visit www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* Aug. 5-7: Jamie Farr (Sylvio in “The Gypsies”) is among the stars participating in the Fanboy Expo in Knoxville, Tenn. For more info, visit: www.fanboyexpo.com.
* Aug. 12: Mayberry is the theme of this week’s Fridays on Prouty Concert Series at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center in Troy, Ohio. Festivities begin at 7:30 p.m. and will include a bluegrass concert by local favorite Berachah Valley, a stage show with Mayberry tribute artists and a screening of 2021’s Mayberry Man movie (at about 8:30 p.m.) It’s all free, but bring your own lawn chair. For more info, visit www.troyhayner.org.
* Aug. 19-21: Clint Howard is among the special guests for Geek’d Con at the Shreveport Convention Center in Shreveport, La. For more info, visit www.geekdcon.com.
* Aug. 20: Mayberry 101 author Neal Brower gives his final “Summer of Opie” lecture about TAGS, starting at 2 p.m., in the Andy Griffith Museum Theatre in Mount Airy, N.C. The hour-long lecture will feature an all-time classic episode, “Mr. McBeevee.” Admission is included with Andy Griffith Museum admission ($8 for adults, $6 for ages 12 and under). Visit www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
* Aug. 29: An informal observance of the 96th Birth Anniversary of the late Betty Lynn will be held at the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy, N.C. Today is also the official publication date of Betty’s posthumous memoir, Becoming Thelma Lou–My Journey to Hollywood, Mayberry, and Beyond. Copies of Betty’s book will be available at the Museum’s gift shop for the first time beginning today. More details about the day’s commeration plans are TBA.
* Sept. 19-25: 33rd Annual Mayberry Days® festival in Mount Airy, N.C. Tickets are already available HERE for many portions of the festival, including Thursday’s The Emmett Golf Tournament, which includes Mayberry Days® Dinner & Entertainment starring country music star T. Graham Brown (who also has a full concert on Friday) that may also be purchased separately; “Andy, Don, and Jim: My Memories of Three Mayberry Legends” presented by Ronnie Schell; Doug Dillard Tribute Concert by The Dillards featuring Rodney Dillard; and “Tied Up in Knotts–A Book Talk” by Karen Knotts.
And just announced: Hollywood legend Ruta Lee (“that college kid” and Darlene Mason) will be making her Mayberry Days® debut this year! It’s also her first-ever Mayberry event of any kind, so it’ll be the first chance for many fans to meet one of the nicest people in all of show business.
Other Special Guests connected to “The Andy Griffith Show” include Margaret Kerry (Bess Muggins and Helen Scobey), Dennis Rush (Howie), Bettina Linke (wife of late associate producer/personal manager Richard O. Linke) and Dreama Denver (wife of late actor Bob Denver, the second Dud Wash)..
Other ticketed highlights during Mayberry Days® include “Memories of Elvis” by Michael Hoover; “A Tribute to Mayberry” by Tim White and Troublesome Hollow; and Katie Deal: Crazy for Patsy Cline (and a second concert covering legendary Women of Country Music); concerts by The Embers, Band of Oz, and Legacy Motown; two concerts with Allen Leath’s Mayberry Melodies (including a Gospel show); three comedy shows by John Floyd (“The Mouth of Mayberry”); Professor Brower’s Lecture (saluting the life and career of Betty Lynn) with Neal Brower (immediately followed by TAGSRWC’s Annual Meeting); gospel music by The Lisembys; multiple screenings of Murder in Coweta County (including Q&A with producer Dick Atkins) and Chris Hudson‘s The Mayberry Effect documentary; and Saturday’s grand finale, “Colonel Tim’s Talent Time.”
This year’s festival will also include a special Celebration of Life for Betty Lynn. More information is to come about plans for that.
More Special Guests and more activities for the weekend are TBA. And as always, the vast majority of Mayberry Days® is free, including Saturday’s parade, the Mayberry Days® Trivia Contest (aka the World Championship of Mayberry Trivia), bunches of other Mayberry-inspired contests, and the Mayor’s Proclamation ceremony. For more info, visit www.mayberrydays.com.
* Sept. 24: The Dillards featuring Rodney Dillard headline the Uncle Pen Fest at the Bill Monroe Music Park & Campground (south of Indianapolis, between Morgantown and Nashville, Ind.). For more info visit: www.billmonroemusicpark.com. (Note: The group’s performance here is the day after their Friday concert at Mayberry Days®.)
* Sept. 30: Rodney Dillard is joined by a star-studded lineup of fellow music legends for Western Edge: Los Angeles Country-Rock in Concert at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville. The concert starts at 7 p.m. For tickets and more info visit: www.countrymusichalloffame.org.
* Oct. 22: Karen Knotts brings her “Tied Up in Knotts!” show to the Brownfield Community Center in Dawson, Penn. Showtime is 8 p.m.
* Oct. 23: Karen Knotts heads a couple of hours down the road and across the state line to the Church-McKee Arts Center in Keyser, W.V., with her “Tied Up in Knotts!” show. Showtime is 3 p.m. For more info, visit the Church-McKee website.
* 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‘s We Feed People documentary about World Central Kitchen continues to get an outstanding response from audiences and critics. And Thirteen Lives, Ron’s next feature film release as director, has likewise been getting tremendous buzz ahead of its arrival in theaters later this month.
Because of the overwhelmingly positive responses from audiences at advance screenings, Thirteen Lives had been moved by MGM from a release in May to November in order to be closer to Academy Awards season. But then Amazon recently bought MGM and decided that it wants to make Thirteen Lives available on its Prime Video streaming service as soon as possible. So, the film is now scheduled to open exclusively in theaters on July 29, followed soon after by availability on Prime Video. You can watch the trailer HERE.
The Shrinking of Treehorn, which will be the first animated film that Ron has directed, is now in pre-production. The film has moved from Paramount to Netflix, but is still being produced in conjunction with Imagine Entertainment. Ron is also producer or executive producer of no less than two dozen movies, documentaries and TV shows that are either scheduled for release this year or currently in production. There likely will soon be even more projects in the pipeline, because Imagine recently made a first-look deal with The Washington Post, which should produce a steady stream of film ideas.
And the accolades for Ron are occurring almost as fast as his productions. Ron and Imagine partner Brian Grazer are two of six people who received honorary doctorates from the University of Southern California during its commencement exercises on May 13. The university awards its honorary doctorate to “remarkable individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the university and industry, education, philanthropy, athletics, leadership and other fields.”
On June 11, Imagine’s dynamic duo also received the Innovation in Entertainment Award from the G’Day USA and American Australian Association at a gala event in Los Angeles. Among other things, the two were recognized for their Thirteen Lives film, most of which was filmed in Australia.
Clint Howard (Leon) says he had a ball at Carolina Fear Fest, a cosplay event in Raleigh, N.C., during Memorial Day weekend. Though the festival’s attendees might’ve been drawn to some of Clint’s creepy horror films (such as Ice Cream Man) and his fantasy and sci-fi roles, a festival in Raleigh likely had some folks looking to have Clint sign a few photos of a certain little cowboy with a peanut butter and jelly sammich.
May was a bittersweet month for Rodney Dillard. TV sister Maggie Peterson Mancuso died on the 15th, and the 10th Anniversary of brother Doug’s death was on the 16th. The 18th was a happier milestone as Rodney celebrated his 80th birthday! Timed for that occasion, the Bluegrass Today website published an interesting profile/interview with Rodney by Lee Zimmerman.
Rodney and his current Dillards band also enjoyed performing at the John Hartford Memorial Festival in Springville, Ind., in early June.
Ronnie Schell had a successful stop in Fairfield, Ohio, with his “Evening with Ronnie Schell” presentation on June 25. The event was a fundraiser for the local Media Heritage Foundation. Ronnie next brings his show to Mayberry Days® in September.
Keith Thibodeaux (Johnny Paul Jason) has been touring with his longtime Christian rock band, David and the Giants. The 2022 touring schedule for Ballet Magnificat, the Christian ballet company that Keith’s wife Kathy founded and for which Keith is Executive Director, is also fully underway.
The team behind last year’s Mayberry Man movie, including Stark Howell and Cort Howell (sons of Hoke Howell, Mayberry’s first Dud Wash) and Greg Schell (son of Ronnie Schell) have announced a new “Mayberry Man” TV series, which is expected to begin filming this fall. .Like the original movie, which now has a deal for distribution, the series will be funded in large part by offering an array of incentives in exchange for relatively small donations by lots of fans. Significant funding for the series will also be provided by few larger investors. The number of episodes produced for the first season will depend in part on the amount of money raised, but there will be at least four episodes. The crowdfunding will be done primarily through Indiegogo. The fundraising campaign kicked off on June 25 and concludes July 31.
The series will follow the continuing story of Chris Stone (aka the Mayberry Man, played by Brett Varvel) and romantic interest Kate (played by Ashley Elaine). Favorite Mayberry tribute artists and others with Mayberry connections are expected to reprise their movie roles. They’ll be joined by some new, yet also familiar, faces. Stay tuned!
That’s a wrap for News of Cast & Crew for this issue.
**** In Memoriam ****
Remembering Gary Nelson
Gary Nelson, director of 1966’s “Malcolm at the Crossroads” episode of TAGS, died in Las Vegas, N.V., on May 25. He was 87.
In addition to his direct involvement with TAGS, Gary crossed paths with Mayberry friends on numerous occasions throughout his career–most notably as director of Murder in Coweta County, starring Andy Griffith, in 1983, a movie for which Gary was also the supervising producer. Gary also directed Andy in the popular 1977 miniseries Washington Behind Closed Doors (for which Gary earned an Emmy nomination) and in one episode of “Headmaster” in 1970.
Gary directed Ron Howard in “Love and the Happy Days,” a 1972 episode of “Love, American Style” that served as the pilot for the “Happy Days” series. (He also directed 10 other segments of “Love, American Style.”) In addition, Gary directed two episodes of “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” He also directed Clint Howard in an episode of “The Baileys of Balboa” in 1965 (and was assistant director to director Bob Sweeney in two others), Ken Berry in two episodes of “F Troop” in 1966, Ronnie Schell in multiple episodes of “Good Morning World” for executive producer Sheldon Leonard in 1967 and 1968, Jackie Joseph in several episodes of “The Doris Day Show” in 1968 and 1969, and Arlene Golonka in three episodes of “Arnie” in 1970.
Gary was the director of nearly 100 different TV series and movies, totaling hundreds of individual episodes and movies. Among his most notable credits as director were six episodes of “Have Gun, Will Travel,” 14 episodes of “The Patty Duke Show,” eight episodes of “Gilligan’s Island,” 23 episodes of “Get Smart,” nine episodes of “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir,” 10 episodes of “Nanny and the Professor,” four two-part episodes of “The Magical World of Disney,” the miniseries “Noble House” and 19 episodes of “Early Edition,” the critically acclaimed series which would be his last directing credit before retiring in 2000. (He was also co-executive producer for more than half of the episodes during that series’ four seasons.)
Early in his Hollywood career, during the 1950s, Gary had a reputation for expertise in Westerns, which was a good thing, because Westerns were the dominant genre, especially in those first years of commercial TV. For the big screen during that time, Gary was second assistant director or second-unit director, often uncredited, on classic movies, including Rebel Without a Cause, Guys and Dolls, The Searchers, Funny Face and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
As his career progressed, Gary proved to have a rare versatility. He could direct drama and comedy, sci-fi and thrillers, in a range from sitcoms and feature films to a miniseries with a single sustained storyline of 12 hours or more. Among his most memorable films released in theaters are Freaky Friday (1976) and The Black Hole (1979).
Born in Los Angeles on October 6, 1934, Gary grew up amid Hollywood’s Golden Age. He met his wife, actress and former professional ice skater Judi Meredith, in 1960, when both were working on the TV series “Hotel de Paree,” for which she was one of the stars and he was an assistant director. The couple were married in 1962 and had two sons, Garrett and Blue. Gary and Meredith loved spending time on their yacht, especially cruising around the Caribbean. They were married until Judi died on April 30, 2014, just two days shy of their 52nd wedding anniversary.
Mayberry fans got the chance to know Gary in recent years when he would travel with fellow Murder in Coweta County producer Dick Atkins as they visited Georgia, Mount Airy and elsewhere, for screenings and talks about the movie, which also stars Johnny Cash and includes a moving performance by Cindi Knight (just months before becoming Mrs. Andy Griffith) and which continues to have a loyal following.
Gary had stories about directing his one TAGS episode, but it was this talented man’s tales about his fascinating experiences over a long and amazingly varied Hollywood career that truly captivated audiences.
Most of all, folks lucky enough to meet Gary and perhaps to get to know him a little bit were able to learn first-hand what a genuinely nice person he was. There’s no doubt about it: Gary Nelson was a true man of Mayberry!
Gary is survived his two sons.
Remembering Bo Hopkins
Bo Hopkins, who played George, the gas station attendant hired by Goober in the 1967 TAGS episode “Goober the Executive,” died in Van Nuys, Calif., on May 28, following a heart attack on May 9. He was 84.
“George Lindsey always said he was the one who started my career,” Bo liked to quip about his pal George, whose Goober Pyle hired Bo’s George to work at his filling station.
The TAGS role wasn’t quite Bo’s first acting role on film, but it was close. Only “The Phyllis Diller Show” in 1966 and three TV Westerns preceded his Mayberry role. In any case, Bo would go on to have a long career as one of his generation’s most memorable character actors. He created some of Hollywood’s most iconic roles, which were often in equally iconic movies and TV shows.
William Mauldin Hopkins was born on Groundhog Day in 1938. He did not see his shadow that day. After his father, who worked at a local textile mill, died of heart attack when Bo was nine years old and then his mother remarried the next year, Bo lived with his grandparents. He later learned that he had been adopted during his first year, and he eventually got to know his birth family.
As a kid, Billy, as Bo was then known, was rambunctious–a little rascal or, you might say, a devil-may-care young scalawag. He avoided reform school by enlisting in the Army in early 1955. The Army soon sent him to Korea.
When his Army hitch was up, Bo returned to Greenville and did well enough in a local theater production to earn a scholarship to perform in summer stock at the Pioneer Playhouse in Danville, Ky. Success there led to New York and a role as Bo Decker in an off-Broadway production of Bus Stop (separate from the earlier Broadway run and movie). The theater folk suggested that he change his name from Billy. Inspired by his Bo Decker character, he changed his first name to Bo.
Armed with a Hollywood-ready name, Bo decided he wanted to try being in movies. He once again landed a scholarship, this time for an acting school affiliated with Desilu-Cahuenga Studios, coincidentally where TAGS was filmed.
As part of his acting training after arriving in Los Angeles, Bo continued to perform in theater productions, including a local production of Picnic, which caught the attention William Holden, who then suggested Bo for the role of Clarence “Crazy” Lee in director Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch. After that dynamic performance, the whole world knew who Bo Hopkins was.
He landed roles for rough-and-tumble, often menacing characters for feature films and for TV. For big parts and small, Bo was always magnetic. He could steal a scene in the blink of an eye, but audiences never wanted to blink. Among the roles he made classics during the early 1970s were Jumpin’ Joe Joslin in Monte Walsh (1970), Frank Jackson in Peckinpah’s The Getaway (1972; Spoiler Alert: Things don’t end well for Bo or for TAGS alum Jack Dodson in that one) and Billy Bowen in The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing (1973).
One of Bo’s most memorable roles was as Joe, leader of The Pharaohs, in American Graffiti (1973; working with Ron Howard for the second time), which was the first of two of Bo’s movies, along with Midnight Express (1978), that were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture.
Amid lots of work for television, other favorite movie roles during this period, both for Bo and audiences, included Pretty Boy Floyd in The Kansas City Massacre and Jerome Miller in Peckinpah’s Killer Elite (both in 1975).
It was for television, though, that Bo garnered one of his most beloved roles, recurring as John “Coop” Cooper, a delinquent attorney friend of Jim Rockford in three episodes of “The Rockford Files” in 1978 and 1979.
Bo continued to land interesting parts and make them even more interesting through the next four decades. He even played a sheriff opposite Andy Griffith in “The Man of the Year,” a 1991 episode of “Matlock.”
The closest Bo came to settling into a role for an extended time was for 10 episodes as Edred McCoy in “Doc Elliot” (1973-74) and, more memorably, for 18 episodes as tomcat Matthew Blaisdel on “Dynasty” (primarily in the first season, 1981-82).
Bo’s last role turned out to be playing Papaw to Glenn Close’s Mamaw in 2020’s Hillbilly Elegy, which made for one last special reunion with Ron Howard, who directed the film.
Bo married Norma Lee Woodle in 1959. The couple had a daughter, Jane, before divorcing in 1962. In 1989, Bo and Sian Green were married. They had a son, Matthew. Bo is survived by his wife and both children.
Bo Hopkins made every role he played his own. In Mayberry, he will always be George, the gas station attendant hired by Goober Pyle. And Mayberry fans will gleefully continue the tradition of asserting George Lindsey’s playful claim that he started his friend’s career.
Remembering Joe Turkel
Joe Turkel, who played Fred, one of the crooks who take Andy Taylor hostage in 1966’s “Otis the Deputy” episode of TAGS, died of liver failure in Santa Monica, Calif., on June 27. He was 94 and just a few weeks short of his 95th birthday.
Joe was the consummate “character actor’s character actor” in a busy Hollywood career that spanned more than four decades. His portrayals commanded the audience’s attention, even in scenes with some of Hollywood’s most charismatic stars, including Ronald Reagan (Hellcats of the Navy, 1957), Kirk Douglas (Paths of Glory, 1957), Steve McQueen (The Sand Pebbles, 1966), Jack Nicholson (The Shining, 1980) and Harrison Ford (Blade Runner, 1982).
Legendary director Stanley Kubrick took a shining to Joe, who appeared in three Kubrick films:The Killing (1956), Paths of Glory and The Shining, which produced Joe’s most iconic role as Lloyd, the purposely inscrutable bartender.
Two of Joe’s films were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture: Friendly Persuasion (1956) and The Sand Pebbles a decade later. Other notable movies included Sammy Fuller’s Verboten! in 1959 (starring James Best and featuring a cameo by the future Mayberry Courthouse) and The Hindenburg (1975).
A list of just the names of the colorful characters Joe played provides insight into his varied and interesting career. Here’s a sampling: Shimmy, Stinky, Sneeze, Benny the Blood, Pinky, Dusty, Curly, Tiny, Striker, Henchman Monte, Abu the Genie, Fargo and Dropper. Among his five roles on “The Untouchables” alone he played Deuces, Gobo and Birdie.
And that’s just in his first 15 years in Hollywood. Later roles are no less interesting: Klimmer, Dino, Alf, Jake “Greasy Thumb” Guzik, Peyote, Lupe, Swampgas and Kharma. And of course, Fred to fellow character-actor legend Charles Dierkop’s Larry as the pair of kidnapping bank robbers on the lam at the old Carson shack on TAGS.
While his role as Lloyd the bartender in The Shining remains probably Joe’s most recognized role, a close second likely would be his role as Dr. Eldon Tyrell in Blade Runner.
Joe rarely played a leading role. Most of his roles would be considered small. But the old adage of there being no small parts, just small actors was never more true than with Joe. He could make even the smallest part be memorable and meaningful, often pivotal. In Joe’s book, anything worth doing was worth doing the best he could. (Speaking of books, Joe wrote a memoir titled The Miseries of Success, which might be published posthumously.)
Joe was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on July 15, 1927, to Polish-Jewish immigrants Benjamin, a tailor, and Gazella, an opera singer. Joe grew up loving baseball, a passion that continued for his whole life.
Joe joined the U.S. Merchant Marines at age 17, and served in Europe during World War II. He transferred to the Army after the war. When his military stint was up, Joe studied acting in New York for a short time before deciding he wanted to give Hollywood a try in 1947. (Fortunately, his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles a few years after Joe did.) His first credited film role was as the aforementioned Shimmy in 1949’s City Across the River, which also provided Tony Curtis with his first credited film role.
Though Joe’s career was peppered with standout roles in movies, his work for TV series was his bread and butter with more than 100 roles, ranging from the pantheon of 1950s Westerns and detective shows to “Land of the Giants” in 1969 to “Fantasy Island” and “Miami Vice” in the 1980s.
After his official retirement in 1989, Joe became a popular guest for Hollywood autograph shows, often on the same slate of stars as his Mayberry partner in crime, Charles Dierkop. Amazingly, the two prolific character actors worked together on film only one other time besides TAGS–The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre for director Roger Corman in 1967 .
Even though Joe played a criminal on the run on TAGS, Mayberry fans are glad he chose to pass through Mayberry. Joe’s crooked Fred has the distinction of being the only known person ever knocked out by a blow to the head with a liquor bottle wielded by Otis Campbell, in what would be Hal Smith’s final TAGS episode.
Joe was predeceased by his wife, Anita, and brother Howard. He is survived by sons Craig and Robert, brother David, and two grandchildren.
**** Chapter Update ****
No new chapters have started since the May eBullet. Our total number of chapters that have started since TAGSRWC was founded in 1979 remains at 1,478.
Starting a chapter of TAGSRWC is still just as easy as it was four decades 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 huge variety of Mayberry-related items right at your fingertips online at TAGSRWC’s Weaver’s Department Store, which has added several new items just in the last few months, and more on the way!
Sneak Peak: Weaver’s will soon be taking pre-orders for Becoming Thelma Lou–My Journey to Hollywood, Mayberry, and Beyond, Betty Lynn‘s autobiography that is being published posthumously on August 29, the 96th anniversary of her birth. This book is one last heartfelt gift from Betty to all of us. It promises to be a fascinating telling of her life story, with some parts that will be familiar and others that will be surprising. Plus lots of photos!
Meanwhile, here are some of our newest and most popular items currently on the shelves at Weaver’s:
“Any Old Tramps Down There?” Print
Weaver’s is fortunate to get this great piece of artwork from illustrator Jeff Preston.
Jeff originally created this piece for the Society of Illustrators’ yearly “Members Only” show. The theme that year was fear. We feel this image perfectly sums up that emotion. It’s sort of a mash-up of Mayberry’s Remshaw house and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken–not exactly either and not exactly not, either, but definitely Knotts. Whether it’s an attic or a cellar, ol’ Ben thinks it’ll be a good seller.
The print measures 13 x 19 inches and is printed on 100- lb. acid-free gloss enamel card stock.
The Mayberry Travel Guide
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 that 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 perfect-bound 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).
Pssst! It’s a great Mount Airy primer for your visit during the upcoming Mayberry Days®!
Maggie Peterson Mancuso Items
Note: Weaver’s is continuing to sell the inventory of items from Maggie’s collection to help her family with the expenses that they incurred during Maggie’s illness, as well as now helping with funeral and estate expenses. Your purchases will continue to help Maggie’s family. All of the money from the sale of these keepsakes goes to Maggie’s family.
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 has teamed 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 wanted to share this collection rather that having the items just sitting in her closet or on her shelves not being used and fully appreciated.
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.
T-Shirts & Sweatshirts
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.
Find the perfect Mayberry fit for yourself and friends and family!
**** Chapter News ****
**** Mayberry on the Web ****
The iMayberry Community
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.
Two Chairs, No Waiting” is our weekly podcast of TAGS news, interviews and pretty much whatever happens to be going on in and around Mayberry. It’s hosted by Allan Newsome.
There’s a new episode every Tuesday (and you can watch and listen live during tapings on Monday evenings). As of this week, there have been a whopping 693 episodes since Allan started doing the podcast in November 2008! Past episodes are in an online Archives in case you want to listen to or view classic installments you’ve missed.
And scroll to the bottom of the main Mayberry Podcasts web page for assorted links, including one for another outstanding Mayberry-related podcast: “Burke on Mayberry“ (hosted by TAGSRWC’s Kevin Burke). There are also links for the Mayberry Devotional hosted by Brian Rose and for the Mayberry Bible Study Podcast.
TAGSRWC’s official page on Facebook has over 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), 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, you can 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 our pre-Mayberry Days® issue, scheduled for September. The next issue of our Weaver’s Newsletter will be published in August.