Weaver's Newsletter February 2018

Weaver’s Newsletter        
An Online newsletter of
“The Andy Griffith Show” Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC)
February 2018

Welcome to our first issue for 2018! This year already has lots of Mayberry events on tap.

And two new items have joined our lineup of fun and useful Mayberry products.  Just look at how excited Ol' Ben is about it all!

**** Merchandise Update ****

Here are some highlights of the more than 200 different Mayberry-related items, both new and vintage, that we have on our shelves at Weaver's.

Mayberry Dog Tag

NEW! $2.50

We all know that part of any deputy's standard uniform includes an identification tag and chain to be worn during weigh-ins down at the civil service office. Here's your chance to get a Mayberry Sheriff Department identification tag, or what we laymen call a "dog tag," for your very own.

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This tags measures 2 inches x 1-1/8 inches and has a matte finish made of sturdy stainless steel with a rolled edge. The tag comes with a 24-inch ball-chain necklace. (NOTE: The special "heavyweight" chain that Barney wore for his weigh-in is not included!)

Mayberry Postcard Set

NEW-ISH! $5.00

Send your friends a postcard while you're visiting the corner room at the "Y" in Raleigh or wherever you might be traveling, or whenever you just want to say, "Hey!" These vintage Mayberry postcards capture the spirit that have made Mayberry our hometown. And they're guaranteed to bring smiles to every recipient.

Each set contains six postcards, each with a different image from Mayberry.

NOTE: If you need to send a more private note, check out the Mayberry Postmarks Set that includes envelopes and note cards.

Mayberry Pennant

NEW! $10

This felt pennant features Mayberry colors of the ol' Orange and Blue. White lettering outlined by orange all on a blue background and topped off by a sewn-on orange edge strip. The pennant measures 24 x 9 inches. Perfect for showing your Mayberry pride at home or at work.

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2018 "Andy Griffith Show" Wall Calendar

SPECIAL:  Buy 2 calendars, get 1 FREE! 

Since the year is already moving along, Mr. Weaver has unclenched his fists long enough to offer a special on the 2018 wall calendar. You can now purchase 2 of wall 2018 calendars and get a 3rd calendar FREE.

This deal is a great way to share some Mayberry with your friends, or add some Mayberry to your workplace, whether you work with Howard Sprague, Helen Crump or Goober! And this offer is also an opportunity for collectors who like to keep one or two spares in the shrink wrap for down the road. (You know who you are!)

Or just keep them in a safe place and bring them out in 2029, when this same calendar grid will be usable again.

$15.00 each or 3 for $30!

This official 2018 "Andy Griffith Show" Wall Calendar is 12 in. wide x 12 in. tall when closed and 12 in. wide x 24 in. tall when open.

Characters featured in this 2018 edition are Andy, Barney, Opie, Aunt Bee, Gomer and Goober.

The back side of the calendar shows the images for each month:

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T-Shirts and More!

We currently have more than 40 different T-shirt designs to choose from. Most of our adult-sized T-shirts are just $20. (A few designs are $18, and the Lawmen all-over design is $25.)

 

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We also have caps, Goober beanies, deputy patches and both Mayberry Sheriff and Mayberry Deputy badges.

And with sweatshirt season in full swing, don't forget that several of our popular T-shirt designs are also available in sweatshirts and hoodies!

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Check out new items and old favorites (including lots of great books for wintertime reading!) online at Weaver's Department Store. (Or just go to www.imayberry.com and click on one of the orange and blue Weaver's buttons.)

And 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, thank you for shopping at Weaver's!

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Floyd's Barbershop Bulletin Board
&
Event Calendar

Happy Valentine's Month from Floyd!

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The Andy Griffith Museum, featuring the amazing collection of Andy Griffith artifacts started by the late Emmett Forrest, continues to celebrate its complete renovation in 2017. It's a must-see! The museum is open daily in Mount Airy, N.C. For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.

VOTED TOP CHOICE IN N.C.--The Mayberry Days parade a few years back, during one of the busier mornings of the year on Mount Airy's Main Street. Photo by Hobart Jones.

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And Mount Airy's Main Street was recently voted by readers as the Top Choice in USA Today's 10 Best Travel Attractions for North Carolina! (The Biltmore Estate was a solid 3rd.)

Here are some upcoming happenings in the world of Mayberry:

* Mar. 1-3: 21st Annual George Lindsey UNA Film Festival in Florence, Ala. George Lindsey Jr. is co-host of the awards show on Sat. Details at www.lindseyfilmfest.com.

* Mar. 10: Karen Knotts performs at the Effingham Performance Center in Effingham, Ill., at 7:00 p.m. For more info, visit www.the-epc.org.

* Mar. 16: Betty Lynn greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-3:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8 x 10 photos available ($10). Visit www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.

* Mar. 17: Roland White and his band perform at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn., at 9 p.m. Tickets at the door.

* Apr. 15: Karen Knotts performs at the McPherson Opera House in McPherson, Kan., at 3:00 p.m. For more info, visit www.mcphersonoperahouse.ticketforce.com.

* Apr. 20: Betty Lynn greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-3:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8 x 10 photos available ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.

* Apr. 27: Roland White and his band perform at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn., at 9 p.m. Tickets at the door.

COME FISH COME--Tippi (Mrs. Denver) Pyle with a couple of contestants ready to hook some bass.

* May 5: 31st Annual Uncle Jesse Big Bass Classic (founded by Denver Pyle) in Paris, Tex.  For info, visit: www.unclejessefishing.com.

* May 18:Betty Lynn greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-3:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8 x 10 photos available ($10). Info at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.

* May 18-20: Fifth Annual Mayberry in the Midwest festival (also featuring the Mayberry Squad Car Nationals) in Danville, Ind. Special guest stars this year are Maggie Peterson Mancuso (Mayberry's Charlene Darling), Ronnie Schell (two episodes of TAGS and Duke Slater on "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C."), Margaret Kerry (Bess Muggins and Helen Scobey), Dixie Griffith (daughter of Andy Griffith), and George Lindsey Jr. Lots of Mayberry tribute artists will be on hand as well. Look for updates here and either on the event's website or at Mayberry in the Midwest on Facebook.

* May 19: Roland White and his band perform at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn., at 9 p.m. Tickets at the door.

* June 15: Betty Lynn greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-3:30 p.m. with autographed 8 x 10 photos available ($10). Visit www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.

* June 15: Roland White and his band perform at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tenn., at 9 p.m. Tickets at the door.

Ensnare knowledge!

* June 16: Mayberry 101 author Neal Brower kicks off his summer lecture series about TAGS with a talk about the "Back to Nature" episode (including Golden Arms, Wild Pheasant Birds and Lake Loons!), 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.

* July 12: Karen Knotts brings her "Tied Up in Knotts" show to the Muckenthaler Cultural Center in Fullerton, Calif.  Show time is 7:30 p.m. For info, visit themuck.org/upcoming.

* July 20: Betty Lynn greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-3:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8 x 10 photos available ($10). For more info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.

* July 20-22: The 6th Annual Mayberry Meet-Up takes place in Mount Airy, N.C., sponsored by TAGSRWC's "Two Chairs, No Waiting" Podcast and hosted by Allan "Floyd" Newsome. Home base for the event is the Mayberry Motor Inn.

This year's event is timed to coincide with both Betty Lynn's meet-and-greet at the Andy Griffith Museum on July 20 and Neal Brower's lecture at the Museum on July 21. For more info, visit the Mayberry Meet-Up Facebook page.

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FREE THINKING--Join the Mayberry tree of knowledge!

* July 21: Mayberry 101 author Neal Brower presents a lecture on the classic "Opie the Birdman" episode of TAGS, 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). For more info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.

ARE YA OR AIN'T YA?--Gonna learn, that is. You'll definitely get your nickel's worth at this month's lecture by Neal Brower!

* Aug. 11: Mayberry 101 author Neal Brower wraps up his trilogy of summer lectures with a session on the "Opie and the Bully" episode of TAGS, 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 the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.

SPECIAL DELIVERY--Betty Lynn creates a memorable moment for a delighted fan at meet-and-greet event at the Andy Griffith Museum. Photo by Hobart Jones.

* Aug. 17: Betty Lynn greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-3:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8 x 10 photos available ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.

* Sept. 21:Betty Lynn greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-3:30 p.m. (Beat the rush to visit with her the next week at Mayberry Days!) She will have autographed 8 x 10 photos available ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.

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Rodney Dillard

* Sept. 27-30: 29th Annual Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, N.C. Actually, a few festival events start as early as Monday the 24th. Stars from "The Andy Griffith Show" confirmed so far include Betty Lynn, Rodney Dillard, Ronnie Schell, and LeRoy McNees. Karen Knotts will also present her show "A Deputy's Daughter." Much more TBA soon.

BUDDIES TO THE CORPS--Ronnie Schell and Jim Nabors in "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C."

Tickets are already available for several performances and activities, including The Doug Dillard Tribute Concert featuring Rodney Dillard and his band, Ronnie Schell's Salute to Jim Nabors, and "Bluegrass Mayberry Style" by LeRoy McNees and Friends.

Also performing are The VW Boys with their "Salute to Mayberry," the Motown Legacy Revue, Michael Hoover's "Memories of Elvis," the Mayberry Days debut of country star Collin Raye (four platinum albums and four #1 singles), the legendary Marty Stuart and the Fabulous Superlatives (another Mayberry Days debut), James Gregory ("the funniest man in America"), and the Malpass Brothers.

There's still more: Colonel Tim's Talent Time, Neal Brower's Lecture/TAGSRWC Annual Meeting, and the Mayberry Days Golf Tournament and its separate Banquet & Entertainment.

Or make it a whole week of fun in Mount Airy with shows earlier in the week, Sept. 24-26, including comedian John Floyd (Mon.) and beach music by both Band of Oz (Tues.) and The Embers featuring Craig Woolard (Wed.).

2017 Mayberry Days Parade. Photo by Hobart Jones.

And those are just the ticketed events. There's much more that doesn't require tickets, including the Mayberry Days Parade, Mrs. Wiley's Tea Party, trivia, apple-peeling, checkers, horseshoes, pie-eating, pork chop sandwich-eating and Mayberry Idle Talent contests, music, and vendors, including barbecue from the Mayberry Days Barbecue Cook-Off.

And that's not to mention meet-and-greet sessions with the Mayberry stars, the Andy Griffith Museum, Mayberry-related movies at the Earle Theatre, Mayberry Days Silent Auction and all of the everyday sights and attractions of Mount Airy.

In other words, it's not at all too early to start making plans to attend. For complete info, visit www.mayberrydays.org.

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* Oct. 19: Betty Lynn greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-3:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8 x 10 photos available ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.

* Nov. 5-10: Mayberry Cruise 13Dixie Griffith (daughter of Andy) will be the guest for the cruise to the Western Caribbean from Tampa to Cozumel and back aboard Carnival's Paradise. For more info, visit www.allaboutcruisesnc.net or call (336) 538-4926.

* Nov. 16: Betty Lynn greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-3:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8 x 10 photos available ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.

* Dec. 21: Betty Lynn greets fans at the Andy Griffith Museum 12:30-3:30 p.m. She will have autographed 8 x 10 photos available ($10). For info, visit the website at www.andygriffithmuseum.org or call (336) 786-1604.

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**** News of Cast & Crew ****

Ron Howard has wrapped filming of Solo: A Star Wars Story, which will be released May 25. He's busy editing and teasing our entire galaxy (and probably others!) with tidbits and snippets from the highly anticipated movie. Clint Howard is in the movie, but his role is being kept unspecified for now. More teasing!

FILM FATALE--With Ron Howard by her side, Natalie Portman made a direct hit on Hollywood in January during their presentation of the award for Best Director at the Golden Globes.

Ron returns as narrator for the hit Netflix comedy "Arrested Development," for which new episodes will be released sometime this year.

Ron was a presenter of the award for Best Director at the Golden Globe Awards last month. He was wryly upstaged a little by co-presenter Natalie Portman as she pointed out that all of the nominated directors were men, before she and Ron then took turns announcing the nominees.

A loving gathering of friends, show business colleagues and family attended a special memorial tribute for Rance Howard (father or Ron and Clint) held at Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank on February 10. A lunch followed at the Smoke House, Rance's favorite restaurant. (TAGSRWC's tribute to Rance is HERE.)

A PAUSE FOR A CAUSE--Rance Howard's "Broken Memories" costar Ivan Sergei is flanked by Bryce Dallas Howard and father Ron at the fundraiser premiere on November 14, sadly just a few days before Rance passed away.

Likewise, a private memorial service was held for Jim Nabors on January 20 at the Pacific Club in Honolulu. Here's a link to a report in the Honolulu Star Advertiser. (TAGSRWC's tribute to Jim is HERE.)

Betty Lynn was the unannounced (but not exactly surprise) special attendee for the debut of Dr. Elliot Engel's lecture about Andy Griffith in Mount Airy on November 14.  All reports are that the lecture was very well received. Engel is now presenting the lecture elsewhere. Meanwhile, Betty continues to greet fans and sign autographs during the afternoon of the third Friday of each month at the Andy Griffith Museum.

Maggie Peterson Mancuso and husband Gus continue to entertain regularly (usually Fridays of late) in the Main Room at the famed Bootlegger Bistro in Las Vegas.

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DECK THE HALLS WITH DARLINGS!--Maggie Peterson Mancuso and Rodney Dillard brought music and laughs to Mt. Juliet, Tenn., and elsewhere with their "Mayberry Christmas" show, which also featured members of Rodney's band and David "Mayberry Deputy" Browning.

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Rodney Dillard and wife Beverly are just back from several dates touring Florida. They'll return to the touring trail in the spring. Meanwhile, closer to home, Rodney joined old pal John McEuen on stage for a few songs (including "The Old Home Place," the Dillards classic written by Dean Webb and Mitch Jayne) during a concert at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau on January 27.

Dean Webb (mandolin player of the original Dillards and Mayberry's Darlings) has been under the weather in recent weeks. Upon Dean's official retirement from performing this fall, his most bluegrass band at the time, The Missouri Boatride, also decided to disband.

When recently asked by a former bandmate how he was feeling, Dean replied, "I feel like an old chicken with an egg busted in her!" (We think that means he was feeling better than if had eaten a ruined Hoot Owl Pie, but we can't be 100% sure.) In any case, we hope Dean feels fit as a fiddle, if not a mandolin, very soon!

JOLLY TIME--Angelina Jolie grabs a chance for a photo with Margaret Kerry at the international animation association's 45th Annual Annie Awards in Los Angeles on February 3.

Margaret Kerry is ever-busy with personal appearances--usually more related to Disney than Mayberry, though she has recently been added as a guest for May's Mayberry in the Midwest festival.

This year is the 65th Anniversary of Disney's animated Peter Pan, for which Margaret was the live model for Tinker Bell, so she'll probably be spreading pixie dust around the globe throughout the year.

Joy Ellison (Margaret Kerry's daughter in two TAGS episodes, plus roles in other episodes) is dialect coach for the upcoming season (starting April 24) of Nat Geo's "Genius" series about Pablo Picasso, starring Antonio Banderas. (Ron Howard is one of the executive producers again for this season.)

WRITE ON!--Jim Brooks, Simpsons-ized.

Oscar- and Emmy-winning writer James L. Brooks received the Writers Guild of America West's prestigious Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement during a ceremony in Los Angeles on February 11.

Relatively early in his career, Jim wrote "The Mayberry Chef" (Episode 236) and "Emmett's Brother-in-Law" (Episode 237) of TAGS, as well as the "Youth Takes Over" episode of "Mayberry R.F.D." and also episodes for other shows in the Sheldon Leonard-Danny Thomas production family.

Jim's career then really took off as a creator of shows such as "Room 222," "Mary Tyler Moore," "Rhoda," "Lou Grant," "Taxi" and "The Simpsons," while receiving 19 Emmys along the way. He also has been nominated for eight Academy Awards--winning three for writing, directing and producing Terms of Endearment.

Congratulations to Jim Brooks for this latest in a long line of deserved accolades!

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George Lindsey's alma mater, the University of North Alabama, reports that the George Lindsey Film and Digital Media Endowed Scholarship at the university is now fully endowed!

Thanks to donations from family, friends and fans of George, the fund met its $25,000 goal by the December 31 funding deadline.

The university appreciates all of the contributors (including many members of TAGSRWC) whose donations have helped make this part of George's legacy a reality!

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In Memorium

 

Jerry Van Dyke, who played Jerry Miller in "Banjo-Playing Deputy" (Episode 159, the final black-and-white episode of TAGS, both filmed and broadcast), died of heart disease at his ranch in Hot Spring County, Ark., on January 5. He had recently been in hospice care and had been in declining health since a car accident in 2015. He was 86.

GUN-HO--Andy and Jerry inspect Mayberry's arsenal in "Banjo-Playing Deputy."

The historical record has conflicting versions of whether Jerry was ever actually offered a permanent role as Mayberry deputy to replace the departing Don Knotts' Barney Fife. The "Banjo-Playing Deputy" episode has the feel of being a tryout for the role (as did "The Luck of Newton Monroe" with Don Rickles). But whether either of those roles was ever intended to be more than a single-shot episode is not definitively documented.

What is known is that Jerry was famous both for turning down roles that would become iconic (including passing on the role of Gilligan on "Gilligan's Island") and for accepting roles on shows that were critical and often ratings disasters, including "My Mother the Car," a show that theoretically would've been the one he chose over TAGS.

Jerry McCord Van Dyke was born to parents Hazel and Loren (a traveling salesman) in Danville, Ill., on July 27, 1931. Like older brother Dick, Jerry got his start in show business by doing a comedy act at whatever kind of venue he could. Even his stint in the Air Force in the 1950s allowed him to hone his talents as an entertainer in the Special Services.

His first major work in TV was performing as himself on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1962. He was known as a reliable and versatile performer on variety shows of that era, including nine episodes as a regular on "The Judy Garland Show" in 1963 and 1964.

He got occasional work as an actor in fairly small roles in movies (The Courtship of Eddie's Father with Glenn Ford and Ron Howard, McLintock! with John Wayne, and Palm Springs Weekend, all in 1963), but his first notable national exposure as an actor was as Rob Petrie's brother Stacey in four episodes of "The Dick Van Dyke Show."

With personal manager Richard O. "Dick" Linke (also manager for Andy Griffith, Jim Nabors, Ken Berry, Ronnie Schell, Maggie Peterson and others) helping him navigate his career, Jerry landed parts on a lot of projects connected either to Andy Griffith or to ones involving Sheldon Leonard or Danny Thomas.

LINKE'S LINKS ON THE LINKS--Jerry Van Dyke (standing far left) was part of the talented group managed by Dick Linke in this 1968 photo at Lakeside Country Club in Toluca Lake, Calif. Also pictured (counter-clockwise from back middle) are Ken Berry, Jim Nabors, Andy Griffith, Dick Linke, Ronnie Schell and Maggie Peterson.

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BANJO JOY--Jerry and Jim Nabors teamed up in "Gomer and the Night Club Comic."

Jerry was a guest star in "Gomer and the Night Club Comic," a 1968 episode of "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." He also played comic Jerry Webster in the short-lived 1967 series "Accidental Family," a Sheldon Leonard production with a team of writers, crew members and guest stars that reads like the credits from TAGS.

Jerry also had a pivotal role in Angel in My Pocket, the 1969 movie that inspired Andy Griffith to give TV another try.

Andy's return to TV was "Headmaster" in 1970, which also starred Jerry as a gym coach named Jerry. The series lasted only 13 episodes before being retooled as the equally doomed "The New Andy Griffith Show," which did not include Jerry.

Jerry continued to get guest roles on TV shows throughout the 1970s and 1980s, but his bread and butter remained his nightclub work. He toured both as a popular solo act and also as part of shows with Andy Griffith, Don Knotts and others.

HAVING A BALL?--Maybe not. Jerry and Andy have their game faces on in "Headmaster." But maybe it was good practice for Jerry's signature role as Luther Van Dam on ''Coach" a couple of decades later.

In 1989, Jerry finally said yes to the right offer. That's when he landed the role of Luther Van Dam, the assistant coach on "Coach," which ran for eight seasons and 199 episodes. He was nominated for numerous awards, including four Emmy nods for Outstanding Supporting Actor, for his portrayal of the beloved character.

After "Coach," Jerry continued to land good roles in a full spectrum of TV comedies and light dramas, including recurring roles in "You Wish," "Teen Angel," "Yes, Dear" and "The Middle," in which he played Tag Spence. His work on that hit series was curtailed following the 2015 car accident. He also was seen all over TV in commercials for Big Lots in the early 2000s.

Away from Hollywood when not acting, Jerry enjoyed rural life with second wife Shirley Ann Jones (they were married in 1977) on their ranch in Hot Spring County, Ark., where he also saw a dream come true to perform in a production of Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys.

Another Arkansas enterprise, in the 1990s, was Jerry's development of some downtown property, including a theater and Jerry Van Dyke's Soda Shoppe, which was run by daughter Jerri, in Benton, in the adjacent county east of the Van Dyke ranch. Further enshrining his ties to the state, Jerry was inducted into the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame in 1998.

Though Jerry passed through Mayberry just one time, he made a memorable impression, and his many associations with Andy Griffith and others linked to Mayberry make him feel like part of the family.

Jerry Van Dyke is survived by wife Shirley, brother Dick, daughter Jerri and son Ronald (both from his first marriage from 1957 to 1974) and two grandchildren. Another daughter from his first marriage, Kelly Jean Van Dyke-Nance, died in 1991.

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"HAPPY TO BE OF SERVICE"--Connie Sawyer as colorful Miss Blanchard in "Helen's Past."

Connie Sawyer, who played Kansas City Chronicle staffer Miss Blanchard in "Helen's Past" (Episode #243), died on January 21, following a heart attack, in Woodland Hills, Calif. She was 105.  That's not a typo!  She was the oldest living working actor in Hollywood. [Editor's Note: The distinction now passes to Norman Lloyd, father of Josie Lloyd (Mayberry's Lydia Crosswaith), still acting at 103.]

Connie was born Rosie Cohen in Pueblo, Colo., on November 27, 1912. That would be during the end of the Taft administration and more than a year before World War I). RMS Titanic had sunk just the previous April.

Connie moved with parents Samuel and Dora Cohen to Oakland, Calif., in early childhood, when she became interested in acting. She began performing professionally on the radio during her teens, not long after the first radio stations began broadcasting in the early Roaring Twenties.

"ALL HAIL, ALL HAIL!"--Connie Sawyer, once dubbed "The Crown Princess of Comedy," was also a good singer.

At 19, Connie moved to New York City and started doing comedy in vaudeville shows and nightclubs. In her mid-thirties, she was among the first performers during the dawn of broadcast television in 1948, appearing on NBC's "The Arrow Show" (a pioneering variety show hosted by Phil Silvers and with 21-year-old Neil Simon among its writers) on November 24 of that year.

Through the next seven decades, Connie was in more than 175 movies or episodes of TV shows. Her performance as Mrs. Kowalkski in "The Annihilator," a 1987 episode of "Matlock," was at about the halfway point of her long film career.

Her films ranged from True Grit and When Harry Met Sally to Dumb and Dumber and Pineapple Express. Her TV shows covered the gamut, from "All in the Family" to "The Rockford Files," from "Mary Tyler Moore" to "Seinfeld," from "The Office" to a recurring role in "Ray Donovan" in 2014, her last series role.

COVER GIRL--Connie's autobiography was published in 2017.

Almost all of Connie's roles would be considered modest parts, but with the expert craft that she brought to each one, many provided memorable moments for audiences, and all accomplished exactly what their productions needed.

She was consummately dependable and professional. She was universally considered to be delightful to work with, decade after decade.

Connie said that the key to her show-business career was simple: "I never gave up."  She added, "Never, never give up."

Connie was married for a decade to film distributor Marshall Schacker, who died in 1987. They had two daughters, Lisa and Julie, who survive her. She is also survived by four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Connie had an immensely fulfilling life on screen and stage and off. And when Mayberry came calling, she was ready to respond and "happy to be of service."

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**** 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 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). Past episodes are in an online Archives in case you want to listen to or view classic installments you've missed. (As of this week, there have been 465 episodes since Allan started the podcasts nine years ago.)

And you'll also find links on that podcast 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 has over 244,000 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, which has fascinating daily history contributions by member Randy Turner), as well as to Facebook pages of Mayberry Days, the Andy Griffith Museum, TAGS actors and others.

Ben Weaver also 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.

DARN CUTE--Make sure you continue to get notified when Mayberry news comes out! Take a moment to sign up for the new, more reliable eBullet newsletter list.

SPECIAL NOTICE:  The eBullet has recently switched to a new e-mail distribution system.  (There were ongoing glitches with the previous system, in part because of the happy problem of having more subscribers than the system could handle.)

Unfortunately, the switch requires current subscribers 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 confirmation e-mail sent to you. Here again is the link: www.tagsrwc.com/ebullet. Everything else about The eBullet remains the same--including 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 second issue of Weaver’s Newsletter for 2018 is scheduled for April, and the next eBullet will be out in March.

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Happy Valentines!

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Posted in newsletter | Comments Off on Weaver's Newsletter February 2018