Weaver's Newsletter April 2020

Weaver’s Newsletter        
An Online newsletter of
“The Andy Griffith Show” Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC)

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Welcome to our April Weaver's Newsletter, our second for this 60th Anniversary year of TAGS!

"IRRITATIN', AIN'T IT?"--Somebody's a little stir crazy, perhaps? Or is this just the everyday temperament of this particular nut?!

The worldwide coronavirus pandemic has made recent weeks--and upcoming weeks and perhaps months--confusing, trying and at times even scary. There will continue to be tremendous upheaval in the daily rhythms of all our lives. Following the lead of Ernest T. Bass, our mantra has become "Hermitize and Sanitize."

All the concern and disruption has included the postponement or cancellation of most Mayberry-related events scheduled for the last six weeks and for at least the next few weeks. See the Event Calendar below for the latest updates as of the time we published this edition. And we'll also continually update the freestanding version of the Event Calendar at www.tagsrwc.com.

TIME TO WATCH--At ease at home with Mayberry.

With folks staying at home more than usual, an interesting trend has emerged around the country: TAGS is reportedly seeing one of the largest upticks in attention on video streaming services. More people are discovering (or rediscovering) the joys of Mayberry.

As it was during the turbulent times of the 1960s when TAGS first aired, viewers are turning to the comforts of Mayberry to escape, at least for 24 to 26 minutes at at time, some of the worries of the current day. And latter-day watchers are learning what longtime Mayberry fans have always known--that TAGS is more than just an escape. It's compelling, uplifting storytelling. It's good for the soul. To all of the new TAGS rerun watchers, we say, "Welcome to the club!"

Even with all the preoccupation with the difficulties and unknowns of the pandemic, there is a lot of Mayberry news to report this month. What better time to grab a cup of Mayberry's Finest coffee or other favorite beverage and just sit back and catch up on all the recent and upcoming happenings.

We'll start with some highlights in store at Weaver's.

**** Merchandise Update ****

You'll find a variety of new Mayberry-related items and best-selling classics online at TAGSRWC's Weaver's Department Store. Here are a few:

Great New T-Shirts in Store!

To help celebrate the 60th Anniversary year of TAGS in grand style, we've added seven new T-shirt designs, all currently exclusive to Weaver's! The 1960 TV Mayberry design is also available as a sweatshirt.

And Still More...!

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

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

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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.

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Miss Crump's Reading List

New Hardcover Edition

We have all kinds of great books about Mayberry--including a brand new hardcover edition of an old favorite that was originally published in 1991.

As part of the celebration of the 60th Anniversary of TAGS, publisher Thomas Nelson has released this hardcover edition of Aunt Bee's Mayberry Cookbook. The official publication date was Feb. 25, and Weaver's is keeping plenty in stock.

The cookbook has all the same recipes (including many from the TAGS cast and crew, as well as TAGSRWC members), bits of trivia, dialogue passages and photos as the 1991 edition, but all freshened up with a new design and a sturdy hardcover that also lies flat for easy use while cooking.

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CHECKED MATE--Aunt Bee stirs up strong emotions with her spoon.

And we're not sure, but maybe Aunt Bee's reputation for wielding her famous wooden spoon made the publisher agreeable, because they made sure to prominently include her spoon and Briscoe's spill-catching napkin on the cover for this edition.

In these days when we're being advised about the wisdom of trying to stay at home more, this cookbook is all the more helpful for preparing some truly delicious home-cooked meals. And it's a great gift for any occasion--from birthdays and graduations to weddings and Mother's Day (May 10) or even National Potato Week.

And check out the variety of other interesting Mayberry books in store at Weaver's. The next best thing to watching Mayberry is reading all about it!

Mayberry's Finest Coffee

$12.00

We're proud to offer the full line of premium coffees from Mayberry's Finest! The 12-ounce bags of ground coffees are available in Sunday Morning Breakfast Blend, Otis Campbell's Better-Than-Home Dark Roasted Coffee and Mayberry Diner's Decaffeinated Coffee.

Many shoppers will remember the popular line of Mayberry's Finest baking mixes and canned goods from a few years back. Well, Mayberry's Finest is back and now associated with Malcolm Tucker LLC, so you know they mean business.

This line of fine coffees will eventually be coming to the shelves of leading supermarkets and other top retailers, but the Mayberry's Finest folks wanted Weaver's customers to have the opportunity to be the first to try them--with the added convenience of having bags of coffee delivered right to your door.

And don't forget about delicious Mayberry's Finest Country Bacon, also available at Weaver's. And the coffee and bacon will soon be joined by other treats, both at Weaver's and eventually your local grocer and other retailers.

Also keep an eye out for The Grascals' touring van and trailer rolling down the road and wrapped with signage promoting Mayberry's Finest, which is sponsoring the 2020 tour by the award-winning, Mayberry-loving bluegrass band.

EVERYBODY BACK...IN THE VAN--If the Grascals logos and photos of Mayberry's Finest products aren't enough, you'll know you've spotted the right van when you see the Weaver's web address along the bottom of its sides, as well as the eBullet logo on the back!

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Barney Face Tote Bag

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And there's more!  We have Goober Beanies, pouches and totes, Deputy Patches, and both Mayberry Sheriff and Mayberry Deputy Badges.

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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Floyd's Barbershop

Bulletin Board
&
Event Calendar

Getting all gussied up...with nowhere to go!

The Andy Griffith Museum, featuring the late Emmett Forrest's monumental collection of Andy Griffith artifacts, is temporarily closed for protection against the coronavirus outbreak. We'll place a notice in our website version of this calendar when the museum reopens. For updates on operating hours or other info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.

The following information is from "The eBullet": Official E-mail Newsletter of "The Andy Griffith Show" Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC).

* POSTPONED: Mar. 28: RESCHEDULED DATE TBA: LeRoy "Mack" McNees and Roland White will be on hand for a star-studded Induction Celebration at the Bluegrass Hall of Fame and Museum in Owensboro, Ky., to toast them (as members of The Kentucky Colonels) and their fellow honorees who last September were inducted into the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame. For more info, visit www.bluegrasshall.org.

* CANCELED: Apr. 17: Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou) greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 1:00-3:00 p.m. For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.

* POSTPONED...AGAIN; new date TBA: Apr. 17: Karen Knotts brings her Tied Up in Knotts stage show to the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks, Calif. (This is a show that was originally postponed from Mar. 20 because of the coronavirus.)  The new showtime is 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $21.99 (including all fees). For more info, visit Brown Paper Tickets.

* POSTPONED  Apr. 18: RESCHEDULED for June 13: Rodney Dillard and Keith Thibodeaux are special guests for the grand opening of the Mayberry-"I Love Lucy" Museum in historic Granville, Tenn. See the new listing for this event below.

* CANCELED: Apr. 23-25: Maggie Peterson Mancuso (Charlene Darling) and newlywed Margaret Kerry (Bess Muggins and Helen Scobey) are  among the guest stars for the Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival in Marshfield, Mo. Dreama Denver (wife of the late Bob "Dud Wash #2" Denver) is also a scheduled guest this year. For info, visit www.missouricherryblossomfest.com/WordPress.

* CANCELED: May 2: 33rd Annual Uncle Jesse's Big Bass Classic in Paris, Tex. This annual fishing tournament benefits Denver Pyle's Children Charities.

* CANCELED: May 2: Memories of Mayberry Festival in Valley Head, Ala., featuring Allan "Floyd" Newsome and other Mayberry tribute artists, along with lots of music, food vendors, assorted contests, a cruise-in, and more. From 9.am. till mid-afternoon.

* May 3-31: The Month of Mayberry on MeTV.  The channel kicks off its month of Mayberry programming on May 3 with episodes of TAGS, "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." and "Mayberry R.F.D." from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. ET/PT.  Weekdays beginning May 4, MeTV will show TAGS from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. followed by "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." The channel will also be showing color TAGS episodes paired with "Mayberry R.F.D." beginning at 7 a.m. They'll be followed at 10 a.m. by episodes of "Matlock" featuring TAGS stars (in addition to Andy!).  (Episodes of "The Carol Burnett Show" and "Love Boat" will also feature episodes with Mayberry actors all month long. It all wraps up with the Return to Mayberry reunion movie on May 31. Check you local MeTV listings for more details.

* May 9: Roland White and his band perform at 9 p.m. at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn. Cover charge of $15.

* May 15: 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. (Definitely check with the Andy Griffith Museum to confirm that this appearance is still happening depending on the current status of pandemic precautions.)

May means Mayberry in the Midwest!

* CANCELED: May 15-17: Seventh Annual Mayberry in the Midwest festival in Danville, Ind. Special guests confirmed so far include Maggie Peterson Mancuso (Charlene Darling), Ronnie Schell (two TAGS roles and Duke Slater on "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.") "LeRoy Mack" McNees (one of the Country Boys in two TAGS episodes), Dixie Griffith (daughter of Andy), and George Lindsey Jr. A full slate of Mayberry tribute artists (at least a dozen) will also be on hand.

Other highlights include the Meet & Greet Dinner (Friday), a parade (Saturday), and the Mayberry Squad Car Nationals at the Robert Shelby Memorial Obstacle Course. Joe Mullins & the Radio Ramblers, the reigning IBMA Entertainers of the Year, will perform a free concert on Sat. night.

And there's always plenty of musical entertainment, assorted contests, and great eats, including at the landmark Mayberry Cafe. For more info, visit www.mayberryinthemidwest.com.

* POSTPONED: May 27-30: RESCHEDULED FOR SEPT. 30-OCT. 3: Rodney Dillard and the Dillard Band perform at the 10th Annual John Hartford Memorial Festival in Bean Blossom, Ind. See info at new date.

Dixie Griffith
(aka Fun Girl Skippy)

* June 5 and 6: Dixie Griffith (Andy's daughter) and a large contingent of Mayberry tribute artists (as well as tributeers for Doc and Festus of "Gunsmoke") are among the attractions for the Annual Mule Day and Chickenfest in Gordo, Ala.

Also performing will be bluegrass-comedy favorites the VW Boys and raucous country band Confederate Railroad, whose hits include 1994's "Elvis and Andy," (which was also the basis for a hugely popular  music video featuring David "Mayberry Deputy" Browning). The festival also includes three parades (antique tractors, classic cars, and wagons & mules), arts and crafts, and lots of food vendors. For more info, visit www.gordoareachamber.com.

SALVE THE DATE--Keith Thibodeaux (seen as Opie's pal Johnny Paul Jason here) will be pulling double duty in Granville by also representing "I Love Lucy" for his portrayal of Little Ricky.

* June 13: Rodney Dillard and Keith Thibodeaux are special guests for the grand opening of the Mayberry-"I Love Lucy" Museum in historic Granville, Tenn. (This event was postponed from its original date of Apr. 18.)

BACK ON THE TRUCK--Rodney Dillard

In presentations throughout the day, Rodney and Keith will separately share stories, greet fans, and perform music. Festivities begin at 9:00 a.m. and include a ribbon-cutting at 9:30 a.m., guided tours of historic Sutton Home, a genealogy festival, cornbread & moonshine festival, vintage car cruise-in, tribute artists, Pioneer Village with "craftsmen of yesteryear," Mayberry-style music (in addition to featured star performances by Rodney Dillard at 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. and by Keith Thibodeaux at Noon and 2 p.m.), and assorted down-home eating options, including the Sutton Ole Time Music Hour, which includes two options for a dinner seating (5:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.) and a show (the Rodney and Beverly Dillard concert at 6:00 p.m. and a bluegrass band TBA at 7:00.) Call 1-931-653-4151 for dinner/show reservations.

Check the Historic Granville website at www.granvilletn.com for additional info and updates.

* June 19: Roland White and his band perform at 9 p.m. at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn. Cover charge of $15.

Meet Mayberry's Sweetheart

* June 19: 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.

* June 19: Roland White and his band perform at 9 p.m. at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn. Cover charge of $15.

* June 20: Karen Knotts brings her "Tied Up in Knotts" stage show to the Blue Gate Music Hall in Shipshewana, Ind., at 8 p.m. Tickets are $37.95 for dinner and show and $19.95 for show only. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., dinner service is at 7:00 p.m., and the show is at 8:00 p.m. For tickets and info, visit www.thebluegate.com.

* July 11 and 12: Rodney Dillard and the Dillard Band headline the the IBMA -award-winning Frankfort Bluegrass Festival in Frankfort, Ill. The official schedule for the weekend is TBA. For info, visit www.frankfortbluegrassfest.com.

* July 17: 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.

* July 17-19: 8th Annual Mayberry Meet-Up in Mount Airy, N.C. This gathering is a great chance to visit with fellow Mayberry fans and enjoy Mount Airy during a less hectic time than September's Mayberry Days® festival. You'll have plenty of time to tour the Andy Griffith Museum at your leisure, have a shorter wait in line at the Snappy Lunch, and browse the shops on Main Street without the big crowds.

The event is timed to coincide with Betty Lynn's July meet-and-greet at the Andy Griffith Museum on Friday and Neal Brower's lecture at the museum on Saturday. As always, the grounds at Mayberry Motor Inn serve as the gathering place in the evening, but folks are encouraged to tour the town on their own during the day.

There's an online registration form, which helps organizers plan for how many folks to expect, but registered or not, everyone is welcome, even to drop by just on a whim. Y'all come!

"BEEP-BEEP! OUTTA THE WAY, SUNDAY DRIVER!"--You may not learn much about driving a car, but you will learn a lot about "The Andy Griffith Show" at Neal Brower's lecture.

* July 18: Mayberry 101 author Neal Brower presents the first of two summertime Professor Brower's Lectures about "The Andy Griffith Show" with a discussion of the "Hot Rod Otis" episode, starting at 2 p.m., in the Andy Griffith Museum Theatre in Mount Airy, N.C. 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.

GOOD BET--You'll be right on the "knows" if you book a visit to Neal Brower's lecture.

* Aug. 15: Mayberry 101 author Neal Brower presents this summer's final Professor Brower's Lecture about "The Andy Griffith Show" with a discussion of the "The Bookie Barber" episode, starting at 2 p.m., in the Andy Griffith Museum Theatre in Mount Airy, N.C. 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. 21: 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.

* Sept. 18: Beat the Mayberry Days® rush and see Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou) as she 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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Rodney Dillard

* 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).

GRINS SUIT GOOBER TO A "T."--George Lindsey on the "Hee Haw" set with his country-blues-gospel-singing pal T. Graham Brown in the late 1980s. "His T-ness," who is also founder of the venerable Bullet Maintenance chapter of TAGSRWC, brings his musical mastery to the Earle Theatre for a show on Fri. night during Mayberry Days.

There's also the Mayberry Days Golf Tournament (aka The Emmett), the popular Professor Brower's Lecture, Michael Hoover's "Memories of Elvis" and performances by T. Graham Brown, Collin Raye,  James Gregory ("the funniest man in America"), "Mayberry Melodies" (a musical revue of tunes from TAGS), The Embers, Motown Revue, Band of Oz, and John Floyd ("the Mouth of Mayberry.") More guest stars TBA. Get your tickets early for the best seats to what promises to be a banner year for Mayberry Days!

Also, don't delay in reserving your hotel rooms either. Most local hotels are now ready to take your room reservations for Mayberry Days®.

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.

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Tickets for Mayberry Days® are available online for several of the festival's events at  www.mayberrydays.org. (And much of the festival is free and doesn't require a ticket.)

More than ever, this is one Mayberry celebration no Mayberry fan wants to miss!

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 Sept. 30-Oct. 3: Rodney Dillard and the Dillard Band perform at the 10th Annual John Hartford Memorial Festival in Bean Blossom, Ind. The schedule is TBA. For info, visit www.hartfordfest.com.

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

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MAKE THAT A SUBMARINE SAMMICH?--Clint Howard's Leon ready to sail with Mayberry!

* 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.

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 ****

By now, most of our readers likely have read on our Facebook page or elsewhere that Maggie Peterson Mancuso (Mayberry's beloved Charlene Darling) has had a really tough past year or so with medical issues--from shoulder surgeries to several falls and most recently a broken ankle. She was in a physical rehab facility for most of December and all of January and February.

Fortunately, Maggie was allowed to shift to home care before the coronavirus wave hit the U.S. She has made great progress and is mending well. But all of Maggie's health issues have resulted in really big medical bills that have greatly exceeded her insurance coverage and have put a strain on her family's capacity to provide direct help.

So, Maggie's niece and nephew started a GoFundMe Page for Maggie. There has already been a tremendous outpouring of support from Mayberry fans. But Maggie still needs more help from us. Not only does she have a backlog of bills, but she and husband Gus are needing to have ongoing healthcare assistance at home.

These are trying  times all the way around for just about everybody. The impacts on the financial markets and people's jobs are affecting all of our bottom lines and therefore also our abilities to provide financial help to others. But if you find yourself in a position to donate to Maggie's fund, you'll be helping a truly "Darling person" in her time of need. We're hoping Mayberry comes through with even more hatfuls of help for Maggie than Briscoe needed for the thirsty radiator on the Darlings' truck!

Maggie says she's feeling much better and that she continues to get better every day with physical therapy and other home rehabilitation. She sends out her deep appreciation to all fans--not just for their generosity during this difficult time, but also for all the love shown to her through all the years. She says Gus is also doing well.

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Ron Howard is executive producer of Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band, which was produced by his Imagine Documentaries and others and released in theaters in February.

Ron's is working with George Lucas to develop a "Willow" TV series based on the 1988 film, which Ron also directed for Lucas. The series, being developed for the Disney Plus channel, doesn't yet have the official green light to start production, but there's a lot of creative momentum behind the project--including Ron's excitement about it.

And Ron has signed to direct The Fixer, a movie based on a true story about a CIA-related/Chicago mob-linked plot to kill Fidel Castro during the Cold War. Ron's Imagine Entertainment is also a producer for the film for Paramount Pictures.

Betty Lynn (Thelma Lou) continues to greet fans and sign autographs at the Andy Griffith Museum in Mount Airy on the third Friday afternoon of every month that the coronavirus doesn't preempt. (The Museum wisely canceled the March and April sessions even before it was even an official government advisory to do so. Her May 15 appearance is currently still scheduled, but definitely check with the Museum closer to the date to check the status before traveling to see her that day.)

Like everybody else, Betty is staying at home and obeying all rules. Or at least most of them! She looks forward to being out among friends (and even people in general!) again soon.

BRIDE AND JOY--Together again, Margaret Kerry and Bob Boeke rejoice on their wedding day.

As of Valentine's Day, Margaret Kerry (Mayberry's Bess Muggins and Helen Scobey) is now Margaret Kerry-Boeke! Margaret and Bob Boeke, a beau from her teen years, reconnected in 2019 and then reunited at Mayberry Days last September, seven decades after careers and geography took them on separate paths. (She's now 90, and he's 94.) Ever romantic, the sweethearts chose Valentine's Day to be married.

The happy newlyweds have recently moved to Sarasota, Fla.--Margaret from California and Bob from South Carolina. And so it is that Margaret's pixie-dusted fairy tale has a wonderful new chapter! Best wishes to the happy couple, young-at-heart couple!

Maggie Peterson Mancuso, Ronnie Schell, Jackie Joseph-Lawrence, Keith Thibodeaux and Clint Howard are TAGS cast members who are slated to join Karen Knotts, George Lindsey Jr. and others (including popular Mayberry tribute artists) in Mayberry Man, an independent film written by and to be directed by Stark Howell, son of the late Hoke Howell (Mayberry's Dud Wash).

Cort Howell (another son of Hoke Howell) and Greg Schell (son of Ronnie) are helping produce and promote the film. A successful six-week, fan-based fundraising campaign officially wrapped up with parties on Feb. 29 in Burbank, Mount Airy and Danville, Ind.

Depending on the vagaries of the coronavirus and any related restrictions on travel and gatherings, filming is scheduled to begin at the Mayberry in the Midwest festival in May. The other key location for filming will be in and around Mount Airy during Mayberry Days.

That's all for our News of Cast & Crew for this issue. Stay tuned for lots more happening this year!

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In Memoriam

We're sad to note the passing of actor Forrest Compton on April 5. He died of complications of COVID-19 on Shelter Island, N.Y. He was 94.

Though Forrest was never on TAGS, he had strong Mayberry ties. He played base commander Col. Edward Gray in 39 episodes of "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." (and Capt. Brinson in two earlier episodes) and he played the character Biddleton in "Millie, the Model," during the second season of "Mayberry R.F.D." in 1969.

Forrest Starr Compton was born in Reading, Penn., on September 15, 1925, as the only child of Estella and Harry Compton, who sold pots and pans for an aluminum company and later was a chemist for a steel mill. After high school, Forrest joined the Army and served in the 103rd Infantry Division in France during World War II. He was wounded in the leg by a mortar during the first combat he saw in Alsace. He recovered and rejoined his unit on the front lines.

After the ware, enrolled at Swarthmore College with the idea of going to law school. His participation in theater productions at a summer resort and in college changed his thinking. With a bachelor's degree in English in hand, he joined the esteemed Drama school at Yale University, where he earned his Master of Fine Arts degree and was a classmate of Paul Newman.

Not content with his first film work in TV commercials (his first being an ad for Tavern Blue Cheese Crackers), Forrest moved to Los Angeles in 1957. His Hollywood career began with a one-episode role in the TV Western "The Gray Ghost," which starred Tod Andrews (Inspector Ralph Case and Mr. Franklin on TAGS) and Phil Chambers (recurring hotel clerk Jason on TAGS).

Another early role was as Connell in "American U-Boat III" a 1958 episode of "Navy Log," a series that reenacted events of World War II based on Defense Department records and that included a Who's Who of character actors and future stars seen in Mayberry and elsewhere.

A slew of TV Westerns (including "Death Valley Days," "Johnny Ringo" and"Fury") followed in the late 1950s, followed by portrayals of authority figures (mostly military and law enf0rcement officers and the occasional medical professional) in the 1960s. Among the series in which he appeared are "Route 66," "Hawaiian Eye," "The Twilight Zone" ("The Thirty-Fathom Grave"), "The Fugitive" and "My Three Sons."

The height of Forrest's work in prime-time TV was from 1964 to 1973, which included not only his 41 episodes of "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." but also six episodes of "Hogan's Heroes" and 10 episodes of "The F.B.I."

WAKE-UP CALL OF DUTY--Forrest Compton (in robe) deals with a missing ring needed for a wedding in "Third Finger, Left Loaf," a 1964 episode of "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." that was written by Ray Allen and Harvey Bullock. Also pictured (l-r): Ted Bessel, Jim Nabors, Frank Sutton and John Lupton.

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But Forrest found his most sustained work in daytime dramas, especially "The Edge of Night," which was filmed in New York City and for which he played Detective Mike Karr from 1971 to 1984.

MAINTAINING HIS EDGE--Forrest Compton with his "Edge of Night" costar Ann Flood on the cover of the November 1973 issue of a popular daytime TV weekly.

Forrest had minor roles in two movies: The Outsider (starring Tony Curtis) in 1961 and as President Flynn in McBain (starring Christopher Walken) in 1991. His final film roles before retiring in 2002 were as two characters in three episodes of the highly regarded TV series "Ed" in 2001 and 2002.

Forrest met Jeanne Sementini in 1975. They were married later that year. He was 50 and she was 40. It was the first marriage for both. They had no children. In 1978, the couple bought a house in the Mayberry-ish Ram Island section on Shelter Island, in the shadow of Long Island's Hamptons. They began living there full-time in 2002, which coincided with his retirement, which in turn coincided with his having heart bypass surgery.

The couple were "dog people" and active in the Shelter Island Presbyterian Church. According to a 2o19 interview in The Shelter Island Reporter, Forrest enjoyed playing tennis and eating chocolate ice cream, two things that may have flavored his optimistic attitude about life.

HAPPY COUPLE--Forrest Compton and wife Jeanne is recent times.

In that same 2019 interview, Forrest reflected, “Despite what is happening in this country now, people overall are kind--the goodness in most people is there," he said. "There are more good people than ones who are selfish and self-serving. It’s been true in my life, and I think in most people’s lives.”

Wise and compassionate words--worthy of Colonel Gray.

Forrest Compton is survived by wife Jeanne and a large community of friends and grateful fans, who proudly salute a life well lived.

 

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

imayberrycommunityThe 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 577 episodes since Allan started doing the podcast over a decade ago! 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 to a couple of other outstanding Mayberry-related podcasts: Burke on Mayberry (hosted by TAGSRWC's Kevin Burke) and the Mayberry Bible Study Podcast (again hosted by Allan Newsome).

TAGSRWC's official page on Facebook now has over 250,000 Likes! 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 and lively TAGS Group page founded by our "That's My Number One Job--Stalking, Not Fly Killing" chapter) as well as to Facebook pages of Mayberry Days, the Andy Griffith Museum, several 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.

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   **** Post Note ****

Between issues of our Weaver’s Newsletter, keep up with the happenings in Mayberry with the daily “Who’s Been Messin’ Up the Bulletin Board?” Digest. It’s a free subscriber list that consists entirely of comments, news flashes, and questions and answers from subscribers. You can sign up for that list by going to the “Mailing Lists” link at www.tagsrwc.com.

TAGSRWC also publishes The eBullet in alternate months to Weaver’s NewsletterThe eBullet is the online successor to our longtime printed newsletter, The Bullet. Like Weaver’s Newsletter, The eBullet is free. It includes some of the same news as Weaver’s Newsletter, but generally with more features and depth and a little less emphasis on merchandise news. To sign up, go to: www.tagsrwc.com/ebullet.

SPECIAL NOTICE:  The eBullet switched to a new e-mail notification system a couple of years ago.  (There were ongoing glitches with the previous system of distributing the newsletter itself by e-mail. We had the happy problem of having too big of a newsletter and more subscribers than the distribution system could handle!)

Unfortunately, the switch requires those who were already subscribers at the time of the switch to resubscribe. Fortunately, it's as easy as typing in your e-mail address and clicking a button, and then clicking a button in the follow-up confirmation e-mail sent to you. Here again is the link: www.tagsrwc.com/ebullet. Everything else about The eBullet remains the same--including its being free!

TAGSRWC’s other main vehicle for Mayberry information is simply our website at www.tagsrwc.com (and its sister site www.iMayberry.com). Both sites have extensive content and links for just about everything a Mayberry fan might be looking for.

The next issue of Weaver’s Newsletter is slated for June, and the next eBullet will be published in May.

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MAD WORM?--We found this 1987 comic strip in our archives while isolating at home this month. Courtesy of United Features Syndicate.

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