An Online newsletter of
“The Andy Griffith Show” Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC)
Welcome to the August Weaver’s Newsletter!
This is the fourth edition of the Weaver’s Newsletter since I (Allan) took over the duties of putting together the content from the Mayberry legend, Jim Clark, back in February 2023. I have to tell you, we really owe a debt of gratitude to Jim for all the work he put in to keeping Mayberry fans informed and connected over the 40 years he was writer/editor for The Bullet, The eBullet, The Pocket, The Button, and of course the Weaver’s Newsletter. He made it all look so easy (because he was doing it and not one of us) that I don’t think we realized all the work he did to make things looks so easy. Thank you, Jim!
This spring and summer have been BIG for Mayberry fans with the Mayberry & I Love Lucy Day back in mid-April, the success of the first time event Mayberry Comes to Scottsburg the end of June and the 11th Mayberry Meet-up in late July all bringing fans together and Mayberry to life. The Mayberry year isn’t over yet because we have what I believe is THE event all fans should attend at least once, if not yearly, and that’s Mayberry Days in Andy’s hometown of Mt. Airy, NC. And don’t forget the Mayberry Cruise closing out the larger Mayberry event’s for the year.
But wait, there’s more! We have a whole calendar of events (below) to look forward to in the coming months and into 2024, with opportunities for Mayberry enthusiasts to come together and celebrate. To stay up to date with the latest event information between issues of the Weaver’s Newsletter, be sure to visit the Event Calendar located at iMayberry.com. Get ready for a thrilling journey ahead in the wonderful world of Mayberry!
Floyd’s Barbershop Bulletin Board & Event Calendar
The Andy Griffith Museum, featuring the late Emmett Forrest’s amazing collection of Andy Griffith artifacts, is operating on its full, normal schedule. For complete updates on operating hours and other info, visit the website at AndyGriffithMuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.
Here are upcoming events that folks have posted on Floyd’s bulletin board:
* Sept. 19-24: 34th Annual Mayberry Days® in Mount Airy, N.C. TAGS cast members confirmed so far include Rodney Dillard, who will be performing with his Dillards band; Ronnie Schell (two TAGS roles and Duke Slater on “Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.”); Dennis Rush (Opie pal Howie); Keith Thibodeaux (Johnny Paul Jason), who will be performing with his Christian Rock band, David and the Giants; and Margaret Kerry (Bess Muggins and Helen Scobey).
A TAGS cast member making her first appearance at any Mayberry event is Margaret Teele, who played Agnes Jean Parker in “A Visit to Barney Fife” and also appeared in two episodes of “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”
The Surry Arts Council is also pleased to announce that Karen Knotts (daughter of Don) will present a new show titled “Knotts Untied: “Dad Jokes, Yarns, and Gossip.” The Arts Council also welcomes back actor-producer-director Dan Roebuck (Cliff Lewis on “Matlock” for second Mayberry Days®. Producer Dick Atkins (Murder in Coweta County), a great friend of the festival, likewise is returning as well. (Dan will be giving a talk titled “Cliff’s Notes” on Saturday, and Dick will be hosting screenings of Murder in Coweta County with Q&A on Tuesday and Wednesday.)
Also attending the festival for the first time this year are three of legendary writer Harvey Bullock‘s children: Son Andy and daughters Kerry Scarvie and Courtney Bullock. They will be special guests for the first portion of Professor Brower’s Lecture with Neal Brower on Saturday afternoon. (Margaret Teele will be the special guest for the second portion of Neal’s lecture.)
Other ticketed parts of the festival that are confirmed include: Comedy by John Floyd (aka “the Mouth of Mayberry”), concerts by The Embers and Envision, Mayberry Days® Golf Tournament (aka The Emmett), Mayberry Days® Dinner & Entertainment (featuring Dan Roebuck), concert by Band of Oz, Michael Hoover’s “Memories of Elvis” with Denise Glass as Patsy Cline, Tim White and Troublesome Hollow’s “Tribute to Mayberry,” concert by The Bellamy Brothers, two concerts by Mayberry Melodies, two lectures by Randy Turner, and Colonel Tim’s Talent Time.
* Oct. 28-Nov. 2: Cruise to Mayberry 16 sets sail for five days from Charleston, S.C., with ports of call at Half Moon Cay and Nassau, Bahamas, aboard Carnival’s Sunshine. The cruise’s Special Guest will be Joy Ellison (Mary Wiggins and others). “All sail with thee, Miss Mayberry!”
Also on board will be a full crew of Mayberry tribute artists, including Dixie Griffith (Andy’s daughter) as Mt. Pilot Fun Girl Skippy. For more info and to book call All About Cruises (336)538-4926.
* May 8-10, 2024: The Mayberry Retreat, hosted by Mayberry author Randy Turner. The beautiful Sauder Heritage Inn in Archbold, Ohio, is the site for the 2024 retreat. The inaugural Mayberry Retreat this year was a real treat for attendees, and another good time is planned for 2024. Randy will be presenting a talk titled “How Andy Griffith Became Andy Taylor,” which will examine Andy’s early career and the origin of “The Andy Griffith Show.”
Mayberry Days regular Tim White will be providing entertainment filled with bluegrass music and comedy (“Got time to breathe, got time for music”). The event will be a relaxing Mayberry-filled weekend. For full details, visit the event’s website at mayberrybooks.com/mayberryretreat.
* July 21: A Don Knotts 100th Birthday Celebration Event at the Royal Theater in Macon, Mo. This afternoon event, sponsored by Carousel Productions and hosted by Blood Brothers chapter of TAGSRWC, features Sean Dietrich (aka Sean of the South), musical guest Keota, and an audio-visual presentation by Randy Turner. Details TBA, but for now just mark your calendar. For more info, contact Johnna at email@example.com.
**** Merchandise Update ****
Ben Weaver has been working hard to make sure the virtual shelves are filled for all your Mayberry shopping needs. It’s downright scary just how many great items he has in store. Here are some highlights:
Welcome to Mayberry! Plan your year with The Andy Griffith Show. This classic American comedy series was one of only three TV shows to end while still at the top of the Nielsen ratings.
Start each month with classic shots of Andy, Opie, Aunt Bee and rest of Mayberry. Some images are black and white for a throwback feel, while others are presented in vivid full color.
Covers 16 months from September 2023 – December 2024
One month is over two pages with an image at the top and calendar page on the bottom. Jot down plans and notes in the unruled daily blocks.
Includes a page with 4 extra calendar grids for September 2023 through December 2023 for early planning
Hang on a wall in your home, office or at school for a full year of planning and beyond
Printed on glossy paper stock suitable for pen and pencil notetaking. Measures 12″ x 12″ when closed, 12″ x 24″ when open.
Weaver’s has added some great new t-shirts like Mayberry Fan, Squad Car Mayberry, and Mayberry Pocket Flag seen in the image and this is just a small sample of the t-shirts, sweatshirts and other apparel found at Weaver’s. We even have long sleeve t-shirts if you want to be ready for the cold weather (we can dream of cold weather during summer). Click one of the links above or click the image to see a list of ALL our newest items.
Mayberry Two Tone Cap – $17
You can never have too many caps so add another great Mayberry cap to your collection. This great cap is a black & gray tone cap with Mayberry stitched on the front of the cap. It lets everyone know that, “You’re in a Mayberry State of mind.”
Adjustable,100% cotton, one size fits all for the right fit for any occasion.
The Gospel According to Andy, Volume 1 offers the reader a spiritual truth from each episode of seasons 1 and 2 of the series. Future volumes will venture into season 3 and beyond. Each devotional includes a guided prayer to begin a conversation with God about the day’s lesson. Also included is a “footnote,” a fun fact or trivia about each episode. Open this book and your heart and hear The Gospel According to Andy. Paperback: 261 pages
You may want to check out Ronald’s other book at Weaver’s called Messages from Mayberry for more Bible studies.
A Guide to Television’s Mayberry R.F.D. (softcover) – $25
A Guide to Television’s Mayberry R.F.D.
by Dale Robinson & David Fernandes (softcover edition)
A terrific Mayberry book by David Fernandes and Dale Robinson (authors of The Definitive Andy Griffith Show Reference), is 225 fact-filled pages of fun reading for any fan of Mayberry.
Now available in softcover, this is the first book devoted entirely to the “R.F.D.” years of Mayberry. It provides detailed, episode-by-episode information about everything you might ever want to know about what happens in “Mayberry R.F.D.” It has extensive notes about the show’s cast, crew and guest stars, plus there’s a beautiful foreword by Arlene Golonka.
Mayberry Man DVD –
$20 SALE $15
Mayberry Man is about an arrogant movie star who is busted for speeding in a small southern town and sentenced to attend Mayberry Fest: a weeklong festival celebrating The Andy Griffith Show. Immersed in a modern-day Mayberry, he’s given a chance to discover the true meaning of friendship and family.
You can watch the Mayberry Movie for FREE on Amazon Prime, Tubi, YouTube and more BUT to own a copy for yourself, drop by Weaver’s and pick up a DVD.
Running time: 1h 38min – 2021 – Family, Comedy, Drama
Dove Approved for All Ages:
“Mayberry Man is a charming, homegrown film” – Dove Foundation
BONUS FEATURES INCLUDE:
- “The Making of Mayberry Man” Documentary
- Theatrical Trailer
- Director/Composer Commentary
- Behind-the-Scenes Slideshow
If you would like to have “Floyd” (Allan Newsome) autograph your DVD, PLEASE check the box at Weaver’s when ordering. (NOTE: Autographing the DVD will require the factory packaging to be opened.)
****News of Cast & Crew ****
Ron Howard (Opie) responded to a post on social media on July 4th related to a safety message he and Andy did. Ron said, “thanks for this memory…and believe it or not i actually Do remember taking this photo. though i don’t look too happy about it, do I? Photo shoots were always way less fun for me than doing scenes. In those days people were losing a lotta fingers and hands to cherry bombs and other fireworks which are illegal now, so it was an especially important message in ‘61 or 2.“
Even with the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, Imagine Entertainment founded by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer is still moving along strong. Imagine recently received 14 Emmy nominations across categories from Outstanding Scripted Variety Series to Nonfiction Special.
Finally, George Lucas’ 1973 coming-of-age story American Graffiti that stared Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Cindy Williams and so many other up-and-coming actors has been remastered with a brand-new sound mix. The film cruised it’s way back into theaters limited number of special screenings on Sunday, August 27th and Wednesday, August 30th.
Clint Howard (Leon) recently posted a photo of his younger self in a baseball uniform saying, “I was a pitcher for the Dino’s Demons of Burbank Parks and Rec league. Sponsored by Dean Martin. My first organized baseball adventures.” Ron replied to him with support and adding, “you were more than just a pitcher. You were the ace of the staff as I recall.” Paige Howard, Ron’s daughter, also added, “Uncle Clint you are so adorable ! Awww.” We have to agree that Clint certainly looked like a young man who knew how to play the game and looked good doing so.
Clint has appeared in five different Star Trek shows, making him the only actor to have appeared in both The Original Series and either Discovery or Strange New Worlds. His role as Balok in Star Trek: The Original Series showcased his talent at a young age, portraying a frightening alien with a surprising twist. His recent appearance in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds as Commander Buck Martinez highlights his versatility as an actor, as he portrays a no-nonsense Chief Medical Officer.
Clint will be at Flashback Toys and Collectibles in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. on Sept. 2, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m signing autographs and greeting fans. If you’re in the area, drop in and tell him “hey” from Mayberry.
Margaret Kerry (Bess Muggins and Helen Scobey) continues to make the rounds at events around the country signing autographs. As the original reference model for Tinker Bell in Walt Disney’s legendary movie, Peter Pan, she is always in demand and has lines of people waiting for a chance to see her in person. Of course, her time on The Andy Griffith Show also draw folks to her line. Back in late July, Margaret was seen being escorted around Disney Land by Peter Pan so fans enjoyed seeing Tinker Bell and Peter together again.
Rodney Dillard (guitar playing Darling boy) has been staying in touch with fans using social media and sharing memories of the amazing experiences The Dillards have had during their career to include their time in Mayberry. He and The Dillards performed at the Grand Ole Opry on July 14, 2023 and will be performing during Mayberry Days coming up in September (details in the Event Calendar).
Ronnie Schell (two episodes and Duke Slater on “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.”) is scheduled to make a Canadian appearance at the Northern National Collectors’ Convention at Caesars Windsor, Ontario, Canada from September 29 & 30, 2023. Ronnie is also using social media to post memories of his amazing career so follow him to stay in the know.
LeRoy “Mack” McNees (guitar player on “Mayberry on Record”) attended the SummerGrass Bluegrass Festival in San Diego, Calif. the weekend of August 18-20, 2023. He reports that while bluegrass and hurricane Hilary do not go well together yet thousands attended the event because of their love of music. The storm held off Friday and Saturday but Sunday the 20th the rains came. LeRoy and his wife Janice were able to met up with long time friends and had a great time catching up.
****Chapter News ****
Mayberry chapter (Knoxville, Tenn.) members attended the Farragut, Tenn. Independence Day Parade sharing the Mayberry spirit. Mark Cawood provided his Mayberry patrol car and Ernest T. Bass (Chris Monday) hammed it up with the ladies trying to show off his new gold tooth and asking for a dance.
Don’t forget that the Mayberry chapter produces a paper newsletter with the latest edition publishing this very month. The Mayberry Minutes is available for $20 for two or three 16 page issues per year or $10 for a pdf version. If you like your Mayberry news on paper, or as a pdf, Mayberry Minutes is a great option. For more info, contact editor Dennis Beal at KingOfMayberry@comcast.net.
Blood Brothers (Macon, Mo.) chapter met July 30 for its annual summer picnic. The group enjoyed a presentation on the music of Mayberry following lunch and door prizes. The Blood Brothers also are working on a BIG event coming in July 2024. Check out the Don Knotts 100th Birthday Celebration in the Event Calendar.
The Colorado Fish’in Hole Whistlers (Colorado Springs, Colo.) chapter gathered for a Mayberry Picnic event. 27 folks enjoyed watching and discussing “Up in Barney’s Room ” and “Class Reunion ” episodes. Pie eating contest (no hands!), apple-peeling contest (Dixie Griffith’s team came in 2nd), fun door prizes and great food!
The Mayberry Cronies (Sebring, Ohio) chapter met at Libby Hill Seafood during the Meet-Up for our Inaugural “Meet & Eat” with a few special guests. The chapter reported, “We held the price down, too, since no one got the shrimp cocktail.” The chapter was founded on crafting so they discussed their enterprises saying, “Our auction enterprises are at the root of our outreach to the Mayberry community for fundraising at the events, done in honor of all the things Shakedown, Shakedown chapter’s Dewey did for us Mayberry.” The Cronies had their picture made Glen Ford-in’ their Cronie shirts out in the parking lot
That’s it for Chapter News this issue. If you have a report from your chapter that you’d like to submit for future newsletters, please email it to me (floyd@iMayberry.com). Feel free to include a photo with your report.
****Chapter Update ****
TAGSRWC has no new chapters that started since the April issue of The Weaver’s Newsletter. That could be because Mr. Weaver missed it or it could be because there really haven’t been any new ones in a while. It could also be related to The eBullet no longer being published. Either way, here’s the latest chapter info:
Our total number of chapters that have started since TAGSRWC was founded in 1979 is 1,485.
Starting a chapter of TAGSRWC is still just as easy as it was four decades ago. You simply pick a name that hasn’t previously 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). 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 MeWe (see Mayberry on the Web below)..
**** Mayberry Days: It’s BIG!****
“Now is the time for all good men (and women) to come to”……Mt. Airy, NC!
Mayberry Days is coming to Andy Griffith’s hometown of Mt. Airy as it has 33 times before. September 18-24, 2023 will mark the 34th annual Mayberry Days and as a Mayberry fan you owe it to yourself to attend. Back in 1990, when the event began, it was a single day but over the years it has expanded to an entire week of things for fans to do. The activities for Mayberry fans kick into full swing beginning Thursday with events featuring cast members, authors, comedy, music, golf and more. You can check the MayberryDays.org to see the schedule (as soon as it’s published).
The special guests this year include stars from the show Rodney Dillard, Ronnie Schell, Margaret Kerry, Keith Thibodeaux, Dennis Rush, and first time attendee Margaret Teele (Agnes Jean Parker). I didn’t list the character played by every actor because I figured you already knew.) Other special guests include Karen Knotts (you may know her dad?), Dreama Denver (Bob Denver’s wife), Dick Atkins (Producer who worked with Andy on “Murder in Coweta County” TV movie), and Dan Roebuck (Ben Matlock’s assistant Cliff).
As they’d say on TV, “And that’s not all….” For Professor Brower’s lecture this year we have a special treat! Joining Neal will be Andy Bullock, Kerry Bullock Scarvie, and Courtney Bullock. These are the family of amazing writer (or co-writer) of 31 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, 21 episodes of Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., and writer of many other classic television series.
There are so many shows that will be highlights during Mayberry Days it will hard to pick and choose which to attend. I recommend that you so order your tickets ASAP so you won’t miss a single highlight. Tickets can be ordered online by going to https://www.surryarts.org/mayberrydays/shows.html and reading up to see what you’d like to attend.
All that said, there are MANY free things for fans to enjoy during Mayberry Days.
The best place to see the maximum number of special guest and tribute artist would be the Friday morning Mayor’s Proclamation at the Blackmon Amphitheatre. Pretty much all the special guests will be in attendance and characters will be walking around before so it’s a great time to at least take a few photos. You may not be able to get close to the special guests but you’ll at least be able to see them and take photos.
Near the Andy Griffith Playhouse you’ll find an area for the Mayberry Kid in you to draw with sidewalk chalk, play checkers and see how you do in the Ernest T. Bass Rock Throwing Contest (trophy presented Saturday at 3pm). Young folks can even get a hardhat like Mr. McBeevee that help protect them from the rocks flying around.
The Mayberry Days Youth Trivia is held on Friday afternoon (time TBD) at the Blackmon Amphitheatre and is a wonderful tune up for fans to get ready for what we call the World Championship of Mayberry Trivia that immediately follows.
The Mayberry Days Trivia Championship is a sight to behold and you will not want to miss it. There are two rounds. The first round is to attempt to qualify for the Championship Rounds where you can compete against past Mayberry Days Trivia Champions to see if you, too, can become a champion. If you think you have what it takes, or if you just enjoy trying to answer the questions for the pride of doing so, make sure you’re there. Both trivia contests are free to watch but it’ll cost you a couple of dollars to actually compete.
Saturday morning at 9am the Mayberry Days Parade begins on the north end of Main Street and eventually makes it’s way to the Andy Griffith Playhouse. The parade is a highlight for many and kicks off the biggest day of the festival with all the Special Guests waving from their cars, tribute artists walking the parade route, marching bands, TAGSRWC chapters, Mayberry patrol cars and a whole lot of fun! The middle of the route gets very full of people so get there in time to find you a good standing spot anywhere along the parade route.
Following the parade, head down to the Blackmon Amphitheatre for the Live and Silent Auctions sponsored by “Who’s Been Messing Up The Bulletin Board?” Chapter. Even if you don’t bid on an item, you’ll want to see the unique Mayberry items, autographed memorabilia, and handcrafted one-of-a-kind donated items. 100% of the proceeds from this annual service project go to the Surry Arts Council in support of Mayberry Days.
Activities around town continue throughout the day. There is more going on that we can cover so drop by MayberryDays.org and they’ll have a complete schedule of events posted before the start of Mayberry Days. Look for the Mayberry Confidential when you arrive in Mt. Airy. Issues will be located at all Surry Arts Council venues and include the complete Mayberry Days schedule.
**** 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 Weaver’s Newsletter), weaversdepartmentstore.com and chat rooms.
“Two Chairs, No Waiting” is our weekly podcast of TAGS news, interviews and pretty much whatever’s happening in and around Mayberry. It’s hosted by Allan Newsome.
There’s a new episode every Tuesday (and you can watch and listen during live recording of the show on Monday evenings at 8pm ET @ live.twochairsnowaiting.com ). As of this week, there have been a mind-boggling 750 episodes since Allan launched the podcast in October 2008. Past episodes are in an online Archives in case you want to listen to or view installments you’ve missed. Surely you can find a few episodes you’d enjoy out of all those that are available. OH….they are all FREE!
And look around the main Mayberry Podcasts (https://iMayberry.com/podcaasts) web page for various other links, including one for another outstanding Mayberry-related podcast: “Burke on Mayberry“ (hosted by TAGSRWC’s Kevin Burke since 2008). 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 (in the “About” section) of several TAGSRWC chapters on Facebook, as well as to Facebook pages for Mayberry Days,® the Andy Griffith Museum, TAGS actors and others. Click “See All” to check out all the links.
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 a lot smaller and a bit more calm. 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 ****
Thank you for sticking around until the end of another issue of Weaver’s Newsletter. Thank you to everyone who sent updates about your chapters and events. I personally want to thank all of you who have dropped by WeaversDepartmentStore.com to browse and shop with us. Your support means more to Jan and to me thank we can express. We also home you enjoy the Newsletter.
Please remember that between issues of the Weaver’s Newsletter you can keep up with all the happenings in Mayberry with the daily Who’s Been Messin’ Up the Bulletin Board? (aka “WBMUTBB?”) Digest. You can sign up for that list by going to WBMUTBB.com and choosing the “Join/Subscribe/Unsubscribe” link. NEW is the WBMUTBB Facebook GROUP and a link to it is also found at WBMUTBB.com. It’s a private group administered by…well, me. It’s made up of TAGS fans only and I do my best to make sure things are fun for all…both on the WBMUTBB Digest emails and the Facebook group.
Finally, the next issue of our Weaver’s Newsletter will be published in early October so make sure you’re subscribed.