An Online newsletter of
“The Andy Griffith Show” Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC)
It has been a roller coaster of both joyful and enormously sad times in Mayberry since our October issue. Just three weeks after a truly wonderful Mayberry Days® festival in September (along with the publication of two fascinating memoirs related to Mayberry and the recent release of the Mayberry Man movie), the Mayberry world was rocked by the death of everybody’s beloved Betty Lynn on October 16.
There likely has never been anybody from the TAGS cast and crew who has had a more engaging or more longstanding rapport with fans than Betty did. She genuinely loved meeting fans and actually getting to know folks. And the proof was in her incredible ability to remember not only faces, but names and details about people she met over a period of more than three decades of participating in Mayberry events. How did Betty do it? In a nutshell, it was because she really cared. Betty was a true “people person.”
Betty would see something in a store or on a shopping channel and think that it would make a nice gift for a friend or for somebody’s child or grandchild. She would just buy it and send it to them. No special occasion was necessary. This was not rare for Betty. It was a regular thing. Thoughtful calls, cards and notes were also part of Betty’s currency of friendship.
Betty probably single-handedly kept See’s Candies in business. (You’re welcome, Warren Buffet!) She loved candies from California-based See’s, and, especially after moving to North Carolina, she regularly sent boxes of those favored California treats to friends. (If you are a florist, Betty was also potentially your best customer!) Betty was simply filled with love, kindness and generosity. She truly spread sunshine along life’s way.
All of Mayberry mourns the passing of this talented actor who gave us Thelma Lou. We thankfully can continue to enjoy Betty’s marvelous performances on TAGS and in other works. But beyond Thelma Lou, all who were fortunate to be able to meet Betty and perhaps to get to know her realize that they were truly blessed to spend any amount of time with such a special person.
While things are now a whole lot sadder on Earth, it’s a safe bet that things just got a whole lot sweeter in Heaven with the arrival of one of the sweetest souls of all time.
Ben Weaver always likes to start with his merchandise news, so we’ll get right to that before moving on to the other Mayberry news..
**** Merchandise Update ****
First, an important reminder from our Shipping Department:
*** Holiday Shipping Schedule ***
We’ll still be shipping orders for Christmas right on through the week of Christmas, but unless you live really near our shipping HQ in Huntsville, Ala., any orders we receive after December 15th will require FedEx Overnight Delivery for them to be guaranteed to arrive by Christmas. UPS 2nd Day Delivery might be possible in some cases, and, if so, that choice likely could be less expensive than FedEx.
PLEASE NOTE: All FedEx and UPS charges are in addition to our standard flat rate of $5 for shipping and handling on all orders shipped to the same address. FedEx and UPS charges will be added to your order, and you will be required to approve the additional shipping cost in advance.
So, if you request these Express Delivery services, please check your inbox for an email from us to get your advance approval for the extra charges. Also, please be sure to provide a phone number where we can reach you at if we need to. Your order could be delayed if we can’t get in touch with you. We cannot ship your Express Delivery order until you approve the actual shipping cost.
But why pay extra money to FedEx or UPS overnight? Avoid the rush and order now. This is one time that it’s perfectly O.K. to go ahead and hurry a bit in Mayberry.
You’ll find an enormous variety of Mayberry-related items at your fingertips online at Weaver’s. 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 made so often 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).
The Boys–A Memoir of Hollywood and Family
by Ron Howard and Clint Howard
Our review of this book is simple: Read this book! (And then listen to the audio version, which is read by Ron and Clint.) The Boys is one of the best memoirs of any kind that anyone, Mayberry fan or not, could ever hope to read or listen to. (And it makes a perfect bookend to Tied Up in Knotts–My Dad and Me by Karen Knotts, which was published in September. See the next listing below.)
Ron and Clint’s tag-team approach to telling their family’s fascinating story is a perfect blend of perspectives. That format truly adds depth and a whole other dimension to the book. One of the things fans will enjoy most about The Boys is its generous number of rare family photos. Even the most diehard follower of the Howard Boys likely will not have ever seen most of the images. As much as the words in the book, the pictures capture the vibe of Howard family life.
But it is Ron’s and Clint’s words that really make this 386-page book soar. It is by turns touching, frank, entertaining, funny, sad and uplifting. In the end, readers are sure to feel that they know not only Ron and Clint, but also their remarkable parents, Rance and Jean. And readers are also certain to be really grateful that Ron and Clint have provided this insightful window into their formative years and their family history.
Tied Up in Knotts–My Dad and Me
by Karen Knotts
What a blessing it is for Mayberry fans to see–within less than a month of each other–the publication of both The Boys and this immensely enjoyable book from Karen Knotts!
Not only does Karen share her own memories of her famous and beloved father, but she also talked to dozens of people from all stages of her father’s life and gleaned their firsthand accounts of events involving her dad. Fans are sure to learn new and perhaps surprising things about Don Knotts and about Karen and others in the Knotts family.
Karen’s storytelling comes from a place of great love, but she doesn’t flinch at sharing very personal and sometimes painful parts of her father’s life, as well as her own–all of which will deepen any reader’s appreciation for Don Knotts as a person in full and not just as a treasured actor.
If you like Don Knotts (and who among us doesn’t?!), you’ll like him even more after you read this essential book for any fan. You’ll have fun while learning more about Don (and Karen) and gaining a greater understanding of him (and Karen). This fascinating edition is an important addition to our library of insights about the people who played key roles in creating the world of Mayberry, which has brought so much joy to generations of fans. No one but Karen could have written this book, and readers will be forever thankful that she did!
This 272-page hardcover book will be on the must-read list for all Mayberry fans.
Note: Weaver’s offers copies with bookplates autographed by Karen. (They’re the copies for $38.) We’re sorry, but the autographs can’t be personalized.
2022 “Andy Griffith Show”
This 2022 edition of the popular TAGS Wall Calendar features fun images from the show to give a warm Mayberry feeling each time you glance to see a date. Black and white images from Mayberry are featured on every page of the calendar.
Every month you’ll enjoy a large (12 in. x 12 in.) image of favorite Mayberry characters, plus two smaller photos for Goob measure. The characters featured in this 2022 edition are Andy, Barney, Opie, Otis, Aunt Bee, Goober, Floyd, Helen, Thelma Lou and Gomer.
The calendar is 12 in. wide x 24 in. tall when open. Perfect for home or office and always a great holiday gift! (Hint: The last couple of years, the wall calendar has sold out before Christmas.)
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: More items were recently added!
All proceeds will go 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.
Find the perfect Mayberry fit for you and friends and family!
And there’s much more at Weaver’s, including books, caps, Goober beanies, Deputy Patches, DVDs, music, posters and tin signs, and Mayberry’s Finest brand foods (including popular coffee and delicious bacon).
And coming to Weaver’s shelves “any day now” (probably the very week this issue is published) is the brand new Blu-ray edition of the Complete Series of TAGS! Be sure to check out the DVD section at Weaver’s for this new arrival!
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!.
& Event Calendar
The Andy Griffith Museum, featuring the late Emmett Forrest’s amazing collection of Andy Griffith artifacts, is decked out for the season and ready for holiday visitors!
In accordance with the latest CDC recommendations and for their own safety and the safety of those around them, everybody is encouraged to wear masks when indoors and near others.
The following information is from our “brother figure” publication, The eBullet:
* Dec. 18: Roland White and his band perform at 9 p.m. at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn..
* Jan. 15: The Dillards featuring Rodney Dillard perform at the Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum in Owensboro, Ky. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the 7 p.m. show. Tickets for reserved seats are $20. For more info, visit HERE.
* 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. Full schedule and guests TBA.
* 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.
* Sept. 20-25: 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, which 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.
For info, contact Sharon Euliss of All About Cruises at PWESJE@aol.com or call her at (336) 538-4926.
**** News of Cast & Crew ****
Ron Howard and brother Clint Howard both have, as usual, several film projects in various stages of production. Ron is in post-production on Thirteen Lives, a film he’s directing about 2018’s dramatic cave rescue in Thailand, and he’s is executive producer of numerous films and TV series that are underway.
The Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) announced earlier this month that Ron will receive the organization’s Filmmaker Award at their 69th Annual Golden Reel Awards in a virtual ceremony on March 13. “Ron Howard has inspired and delighted movie lovers worldwide with a body of work incredible in its scope, broad appeal and consistent excellence,” said Mark Lanza, MPSE president. “His tireless imagination and generous spirit serve as an example to all of us involved in the art of filmmaking. We are proud to present him with this honor.”
Clint has a good part in The Old Way, an upcoming Western starring Nicholas Cage (with weapons armoring by the same, now tragically notorious, armorer as Rust!), and Clint cleans up as a theater janitor in Playing with Beethoven, which was released on Black Friday.
But the big Howard family news continues to be the enormous success of Ron and Clint’s book, The Boys–A Memoir of Hollywood and Family, which has been on numerous best-seller lists since its release in October. The book is also receiving rave reviews from all corners as the brothers have traveled far and wide (including overseas for Ron) promoting the book. (See more info in the Merchandise Update section above.)
Rodney Dillard and his Dillards band had several gigs after Mayberry Days®, including October gigs in Tennessee and North Carolina.
Margaret Kerry greeted fans at the FanBoy Expo in Knoxville on October 30. Afterward, she and husband Bob were able to join members of TAGSRWC’s Mayberry chapter (based in Knoxville) for dinner.
In addition to his duties as executive director Ballet Magnificat, the Christian dance company that he and wife Kathy founded, Keith Thibodeaux (Johnny Paul Jason) has been touring with David and the Giants, the legendary Christian rock band that has reunited and has been touring again. The tour this fall has included dates in Mississippi and Texas.
Because of the pandemic, the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival went virtual this year with online screenings in late October. The festival, whose hallmark is in-person interaction among filmmakers, plans to return to being an in-person event in Florence, Ala., next March for its 25th annual edition.
That’s a wrap for News of Cast & Crew for this issue.
**** In Memoriam ****
In addition to the news of the passing of Betty Lynn (the link to our tribute is HERE), we’re sad to report the death of Jan Shutan, who had a memorable performance in “Guest in the House” in the fifth season of TAGS.
Remembering Jan Shutan
Jan Shutan Levinson died in Los Angeles on October 7th. She was 88. Jan brightened Mayberry as Andy’s “cousin” Gloria in 1965’s “Guest in the House” episode of TAGS.
Jan was born Janice Dottenheim in Los Angeles to parents Shirley and Henry (an attorney and silk importer-exporter) on November 5, 1932. She attended Beverly Hills High School, where she was a member of Los Buenos Vecinos (the Good Neighbors), a school club that focused on learning Spanish outside the classroom (She was in Spanish Club? Si.), and the International Statesmen, a club that discussed and debated important issues of the day (probably not unlike Mayberry Union High’s Philomathian Literary Society).
After high school, Jan began pursuing a career as a model, a singer and eventually an actress. Jan married attorney Robert Shutan in 1955. While the couple was on their honeymoon in New York City, Jan auditioned as a singer for Arthur Godfrey’s “Talent Scouts” show on CBS, and she won.
By the late 1950s, Jan and Robert were parents of daughter Anne, who would grow up to become a renowned sculptor of wood, and Peter, a longtime attorney for the City of Los Angeles.
Jan appeared in numerous print ads and television commercials from the 1950s to 1970s, perhaps most memorably in commercials for Tareyton cigarettes. (Martha Stewart, Lyle Waggoner and Mayberry’s Ronnie Schell are others who did the famous, “Rather fight than switch” ads.)
Jan’s first acting role for television was as a receptionist in a 1963 episode of “Arrest and Trial.” She followed that with roles on “My Three Sons” and “The Outer Limits” in 1964 before landing her guest-star role as Gloria on TAGS in 1965.
.That indelible visit to Mayberry gained even greater status in latter-day TAGS lore when George Spence, who played Frank, Gloria’s once and future fiancé, began appearing at Mayberry Days® and other Mayberry events and recounting their scene together where Frank greets Gloria with an extended kiss.
George and Jan nailed the scene in one take. George delighted audiences with his account of how Andy Griffith thought it was hilarious that his old Lost Colony buddy was limited to just the one take for the kiss with such a beautiful woman. George had been counting on needing several tries to get the scene right.
Jan went on to have memorable roles on several TV shows during the rest of the 1960s, including “The Fugitive,” “Felony Squad” and “The F.B.I.” and multiple episodes of both “Valentine’s Day” and “Ben Casey,” as well as a recurring role as Bonnie on “Room 222.” She also appeared in the TV movies Barnaby and Dick Tracy, which was created as a pilot for a potential series that never materialized.
Beyond her visit to Mayberry, the role that Jan is probably most remembered for by audiences today is that of Lt. Mira Romaine in “The Lights of Zetar,” a 1969 episode of “Star Trek.”
Jan would go on to have roles in popular series of the 1970s, including “Nanny and the Professor,” “Night Gallery,” “Love, American Style,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “Quinsey M.E.” She also played a central figure in 1977’s Dracula’s Dog, aka Zoltan, The Hound of Dracula. (We can assume that Zoltan would not have liked Barney’s special whistle.).
It was while working as a regular on the “Sons and Daughters” series for ABC-TV in 1974 that Jan told writer/producer (and in this case, executive producer) David Levinson that she was despondent about having just separated from her husband. He told her that he likewise had recently separated from his wife. David promptly asked Jan for a date, and she accepted. Her divorce was final in 1975, and Jan and David were married 0n Christmas Eve in 1980. They remained happily married until his death the day before her 87th birthday in 2019.
After her passing, Jan’s family shared that “Jan loved the theater, travel, tennis, great hotels, shopping, her golden retriever Charlie and her Wednesday poker game.” They also noted her vitality, elegance and complete love of life, including “great restaurants, a great New York steak and dirty martinis.”
In addition to her son and daughter, Jan is survived by three stepchildren and five grandchildren, including granddaughter Mira, namesake of Jan’s “Star Trek” character. A private Celebration of Life is planned for November 14.
Jan Shutan made only one visit to Mayberry, but, as Aunt Bee said, “We’ve been friends so long–it’s almost like family.” Aunt Bee was right.
**** 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 662 episodes since Allan started doing the podcast just over 13 years ago! Past episodes are in an online Archives in case you want to listen to or view classic installments you’ve missed.
And look for links on the podcast’s regular web page which includes another outstanding Mayberry-related podcast: Burke on Mayberry (hosted by TAGSRWC’s Kevin Burke).
TAGSRWC’s official page on Facebook is now 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 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 close order by Allan Newsome and the “Two Chairs, No Waiting” Podcast and “The Andy Griffith Show–Big,” administered by Myron Clark 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 like a quiet street like Willow or Woods Way as opposed to the hustle and bustle of Main Street in downtown Mayberry. (“You’re on my foot! You’re on my foot!”) So, if you’re looking to “relax, slow down, take it easy,” check out some of the TAGSRWC groups on MeWe.
And while online this time of year, be sure to give a listen to Charlie Monk‘s wonderful recitation of “Andy & Opie Christmas” on YouTube. It has become a Mayberry-style holiday tradition. It’s a nostalgic 4 minutes and 22 seconds that’s sure to get you in the Christmas spirit.
**** 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?” (aka “WBMUTBB?”) 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 Newsletter. The 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.
TAGSRWC’s other main vehicle for Mayberry information is simply our website at www.tagsrwc.com (and its “brother figure” site www.iMayberry.com). Both sites have extensive content and links for just about everything a Mayberry fan might be looking for.
The first issue of Weaver’s Newsletter for 2022 is slated for February, and the next issue The eBullet is scheduled for November.