Newsletter May 2007
* Exciting New Official Mayberry Licensee: Mayberry's Finest
The biggest product news in Mayberry this issue is actually about something that probably won't be on our shelves at Weaver's, but only because of the logistics involved. Whether it's on our shelves or not, we're sure that Mayberry fans everywhere will be eating it up.
What it is, is a new line of packaged foods called Mayberry's Finest. It's gonna be big...really big! Here's the scoop:
Dateline: Mayberry, N.C., via Nashville, Tenn. - (May 1, 2007)
Call Goober and the Darling family. Break out the Blue Willow and the checkered tablecloths! Aunt Bee is back in the kitchen in Mayberry, and she's cooking up some down-home, delicious dishes that will soon be ready for you to bring home from your favorite grocery store.
That's right. America's beloved hometown cook and the folks at Diversity Brands are teaming up to create an exciting new line of packaged foods that will bring the flavors of Mayberry right into homes all across America, and beyond.
The new line of foods is called Mayberry's Finest and it's being introduced to America at the Food Marketing Institute Show in Chicago, May 6 to 8, and will then stroll onto store shelves in late summer.
Among the millions of us still avidly tuning into Mayberry is Phil Connelly, president of Choice Food of America, a partner in Diversity Brands.
"I've always loved The Andy Griffith Show," said Phil, who is without question the biggest Goober at the Nashville-based food company. "When I think of Mayberry, I think of good friends, family, home and delicious food. Those are all qualities that we're shooting for with Mayberry's Finest." (Let's hope his aim is better than Barney's!)
Phil adds, "While we're focused on providing only the very best foods, we also plan for the appeal of the packaging and promotion to be a reflection of the wholesome entertainment and fun of the show itself."
"We're thrilled to have an association with The Andy Griffith Show, and to have this wonderful opportunity to create some delicious premium foods that also connect with the fond memories and deep affection that millions of people have for Mayberry and what The Andy Griffith Show stands for," says Marcela Gómez, president of Diversity Brands.
Marcela and Phil both conveniently dodge questions from us about how Mayberry's Finest plans to deal with the only two foods that Aunt Bee doesn't know how to prepare: homemade "kerosene cucumbers" and marmalade. All Phil will say is, "Wait and see. Wait and see."
And while it doesn't take a keen investigative mind like Barney's to predict that the companies involved with creating Mayberry's Finest would be enthusiastic about the new line of foods, what is the reaction on Main Street in Mayberry-that is, among the show's many devoted fans?
For the answer to that question, no one is in a better position to know than Kenneth Junkin, leader of TAGSRWC's "Hearty Eatin' Men and Beautiful, Delicate Women" chapter in Tuscaloosa and one of the biggest fans of TAGS.
"This is the biggest thing to happen with Mayberry in years. I couldn't be more excited about anything," says Kenneth. "There's nothing I like more than good food and Mayberry," he adds. "To have them combined and to actually be able to get a real taste of Mayberry is the best of both worlds," says Kenneth, who apparently was so overwhelmed by the big announcement about Mayberry's Finest that he forgot to mention any passion he might have for University of Alabama football. (Shazam!)
But that's just the sort of effect that the news about Mayberry's Finest is having on people. Mayberry's Finest will be featured in the Diversity Brands booth at the Food Marketing Institute Trade Show at McCormick Place in Chicago, May 6 to 8. Along with information about the new Mayberry Finest line of packaged foods, the booth will host three of Mayberry's finest - Darling cast members Maggie Peterson Mancuso, Doug Dillard and Rodney Dillard.
The booth will also feature a full-size replica of the Mayberry squad car. We could say a lot more about the Mayberry's Finest line of packaged foods, but as Andy Taylor and Briscoe Darling both once told Aunt Bee, "Eatin' speaks louder than words."
We'll follow their lead and leave it at that for now. And be sure to check out their Web site at www.mayberrysfinest.com. It'll be active in a few days, and will be updated regularly as products begin to reach stores later in the summer.
* And Another Licensee Receives Its Official Verification
MAKE YOURSELF COMFORTABLE -- Marsha and Dave Scheuermann, your hosts at the newly licensed Taylor Home Inn in Clear Lake, Wis.
A second, newly official "Andy Griffith Show" licensee that has been announced is the Taylor Home Inn, a bed and breakfast in Clear Lake, Wis. You may recall from our previous coverage that this inn is a recreation of the Taylors' home in Mayberry. And the folks who run it are music and art teacher Marsha and mortician husband David Scheuermann. (No, Dave doesn't also do TV repairs.) They're the nicest folks. They met in our Internet chat room years ago and have a TAGSRWC chapter called Mayberry Scout Troop #44.
If you're considering a trip to the inn (and you really should because it will blow your mind to walk around in what until now has usually been only a 2-D world of Mayberry for us), they're getting booked up for the year at a pretty fast clip, especially for weekends. Check out their info at www.taylorhomeinn.com.
* Don Knotts Memorials
|FRIENDLY GESTURE-Model for the Don Knotts statue in Morgantown, W.V., by local sculptor Jamie Lester.|
Another project that's moving forward with full approvals is the Don Knotts Legacy Fund in Don's hometown of Morgantown, W.V. The Legacy Fund, established by the Greater Morgantown Community Trust, is going to create a Memorial Park that will include a welcoming statue of Don sitting on a bench. Don's family has given wholehearted approval for this effort, which should be a wonderful tribute to Don and his memory.
You can learn more about the Legacy Fund and the Memorial Park at these two sites: http://www.donknottsstatuefund.com/?cid0 and http://www.lestersculpture.com/
It's hard to believe that Don Knotts has been gone for over a year. The Morgantown Legacy Fund should provide a beautiful and lasting tribute in his hometown.
The Knotts family also has donated some of Don's scripts, his only original poem and other special items to his alma mater in Morgantown, West Virginia University and to other collections (see story below). Don also had donated some items to the university before his death.
* Autographed Item Is Fundraiser for Don Knotts Memorials
TAGSRWC is supporting the Don Knotts Legacy Fund effort above and two other charities in his memory by selling officially licensed, limited-edition photos (matted and framed) of Barney Fife that were signed by Don Knotts.
All profits from the sale of these framed prints will be divided equally among the Don Knotts Legacy Fund, the American Lung Association and the Surry Arts Council, organizer of Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, N.C. Don's family has given its blessings to our using these autographed items as a fundraiser toward our support of each of these charities in Don's memory.
About this item: It is a handsomely matted and framed photo of a classic Barney Fife pose and was signed by Don Knotts. There's also some descriptive text about Barney Fife and a second photo of Andy Griffith, Don Knotts and Jim Nabors sitting in chairs during a break in filming. A snapshot of Don signing prints and a certificate of authenticity are attached to the back of the frame. The frame measures 11 in. x 14 in. and is ready to hang with pride on a wall near you...or a friend's wall. The price is $135.00.
* More Don Knotts News
Mount Airy's Emmett Forrest received a special package from Francey Knotts, widow of Don Knotts, with several new pieces for his Andy Griffith Memorabilia Collection.
Photo by Hobart Jones
|A PAIR OF SUITS IMPRESSES PAIR-Emmett Forrest and Betty Lynn pose with the two salt-and-pepper suits donated by Francey Knotts to Emmett's memorabilia collection in Mount Airy.|
"I'm honored that Mrs. Knotts chose our Collection to be the permanent home for these special items," Emmett said. "I'm proud to accept them on behalf of our community. They are tremendous additions to our existing Collection. I think they will be of great interest to fans of Mr. Knotts and Mayberry."
One of the salt-and-pepper suits was worn by Don on The Andy Griffith Show and in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, among other occasions. Current information is that he wore the other suit in the 1986 reunion movie Return to Mayberry and for personal appearances.
New Mount Airy resident Betty Lynn was filled with mixed emotions as she viewed the special pieces of wardrobe worn by her dear friend. With tears coming into her eyes, she said, "We're supposed to be happy!" and smiled.
Emmett has been speaking with Francey Knotts regarding other donations to the Collection. Those are expected to arrive by special carrier soon. We'll have an update after they're officially announced.
Emmett also has shared with Francey his excitement about the upcoming new Mount Airy Visitors Center that is to be located beside the Andy Griffith Playhouse and that will be the new permanent home of the Collection.
According to Betty Lynn, "Francey looks forward to a visit to Mount Airy."
As do all fans of Mayberry and Don Knotts. It will be wonderful to see this part of Mayberry and show business history on display with other items in Emmett's collection at the new Visitors Center when we visit Mount Airy. These new donations are just two more reasons why Mount Airy suits us so well!
**** MERCHANDISE UPDATE ****
Here are some new and recent offers available at Weaver's. Our shelves are well-stocked with many other popular items, including some that had temporarily sold out in recent months.
All New Box Set of All Eight Seasons of "The Andy
Show," Plus the "Danny Thomas" Pilot and Return
to Mayberry $192.00
The suggested retail price for this brand new Box Set of every episode of "The Andy Griffith Show" (plus the "Danny Thomas" pilot episode and the 1986 Return to Mayberry movie) is over $240.00. The previous 8-season box-set release (without the pilot and the movie and now also discontinued) carried a suggested retail price of $320.00.
We offered the original 8-season set at a steep discount of just $249.00. We've knocked an additional 20% off the already-lowered price of this new edition and are offering this collection for just $192.00! While the previous 8-season box set was a great deal at $249.00, this new set, at a still lower price and with the additional features, is an even better deal.
If you procrastinated in getting the original box set, you missed out on a few months of viewing some great-quality DVDs, but you've lucked into an even sweeter deal with this new Complete Series Collection release. (As Barney might say, "This set has just been sitting on a velvet pillow.")
We're taking pre-orders now. The official release date is May 29. We'll ship all pre-orders by that day.
Souls Church Fundraiser
We're pleased to make this All Souls Church Wooden Building Front available in larger quantities as a potential fundraiser for church groups and other civic organizations. The numbered building fronts, which had a limited-edition production of no more than 5,000 pieces, are no longer in production.
The painted pieces, part of the retired Mayberry Main Street Collection, measure approx. 5 in. x 5 in. x 1 in. thick. The manufacturer's suggested retail price for each building front was $18. We sell them individually at Weaver's for $15. While they last, we're offering the All Souls Church in lots of 20 for $100. It doesn't' take Ernest T.'s mathematical feet to tell us that's just $5.00 each. It's a miracle!
Our thought is that, at this price (below wholesale), church groups and civic organizations could re-sell the buildings for $10 to $15 each and thereby produce a pretty amazing fundraiser. (It sure beat Miracle Salve!) This price might even make it feasible for Mayberry Bible Study groups to use the buildings as nice items to present to Bible Study participants who complete the course.
Any which way your group uses the buildings, one thing's for sure--Mayberry is always a good place for All Souls!
Griffith Show" Wall Calendar $13.00
Nope, it's not too late. We've still got some copies of this year's official Mayberry Wall Calendar. Get one and get some good use out of it before it becomes a hard-to-find collectible. We would suggest that you get a second one and keep it in the shrink wrap as a pristine collectible, but Bert Miller says that's too pushy, so we won't suggest it.
**** Floyd's Barbershop Bulletin Board-Event Calendar ****
Here are some upcoming happenings around Mayberry. It's becoming another jam-packed year.
* May 2: The Waitress, an award-winning film featuring Andy Griffith, opens in limited release in theaters.
* May 16: David Browning patrols the Small Business Expo in Sanford, N.C.
* May 25: It's time to rock and roll when David Browning is in town for the Salem (Va.) Avalanche game.
* May 26: David Browning is off to run the bases at the Lexington (Ky.) Legends baseball game.
* May 27: Jim Nabors sings "Back Home Again in Indiana" again at the Indy 500.
* May 29: New Box Set release of "The Andy Griffith Show" from CBS Paramount Network Television. This release will contain all eight seasons (249 episodes), plus the show's pilot episode from "The Danny Thomas Show," and the 1986 reunion movie, Return to Mayberry. We're taking pre-orders at Weaver's Dept. Store at http://www.mayberry.com now.
* May 31: David Browning helps hand out citations at the DARE graduation in Rocky Mount, Va.
* June 1-3: James Best appears at CMT DukesFest in Nashville, Tenn. (He calls in David Browning for additional crowd control on the 3rd.) Tickets available through Ticketmaster at (615) 255-9600. For more info, visit http://www.cootersplace.com/.
* June 6: David Browning wings it at the Peninsula Pilots baseball game in Hampton, Va.
* June 8-10: Jim Nabors performs at the Mohegan Sun Casino's Cabaret Theatre in Uncasville, Conn. Tickets for the concerts go on sale at Ticketmaster on April 23rd. Additional info about the venue is available at http://www.mohegansun.com/entertainment.
* June 10: Orange you glad to see that David Browning is able to squeeze in a night at the Bradenton (Fla.) Juice baseball game.
* June 12: David Browning lands a whopper at the Charlotte County (Fla.) Redfish baseball game.
* June 15-17: Doug and Rodney Dillard float in for the Huck Finn Jubilee in Victorville, Calif. For more info, visit http://www.huckfinn.com/.
* June 23: David Browning suits the Edenton (N.C.) Steamers to a tea for their baseball game.
* June 26: Tentative release date for the Second Season of "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." Pre-orders will begin at our Weaver's Dept. Store on June 1.
* June 28: David Browning receives applause with claws at the Hickory (N.C.) Crawdads baseball game. They'll have a Mayberry Squad Car replica on hand, too.
* June 29: Rut-ro! David Browning is a star at the Greenville (Tenn.) Astros baseball game.
* July 1: David Browning is slowly on the move for Summer Motion Festival in Ashland, Ky.
* July 6: Heeeey, Joe! David Browning is like a cup of hot coffee at the Anderson (S.C.) Joes baseball game.
* July 7: David Browning is on the run for the Aiken (S.C.) Foxhounds baseball game.
* July 12: David Browning doubles your pleasure for the Elizabethton (Tenn.) Twins baseball game.
* July 13: David "Hat-Trick" Browning is back in town for the Salem (Va.) Avalanche baseball game.
* July 17: David Browning glides into town for the Princeton (W.V.) Devil Rays baseball game.
* July 21: This new date is now confirmed for the 7th Annual Mayberry Squad Car Nationals in conjunction with the 3rd Annual Mayberry Comes to Graysville festival in Graysville, Ala. Stars and details TBA.
* July 27: David Browning is fearless as he makes his whole body a weapon for the Danville (Va.) Braves baseball game.
* Aug. 3: David Browning will be getting guitar sounds, banjo sounds, and who knows what all out of his jug of tricks for the Macon (Ga.) Music baseball game.
* Aug. 5: Calling all Goobers! David Browning is in town for the South Georgia Peanuts baseball game.
* Aug. 10: It's no cliffhanger to know who's back in town for the Salem (Va.) Avalanche baseball game.
*Aug. 11: An as-yet-unnamed Mayberry event in Troy, N.C., featuring TAGS stars, and tribute artists, including David "Mayberry Deputy" Browning, Kenneth "Otis" Junkin, Jamie "Opie" Sullivan, and Jeff "Howard" Branch. Details TBA.
* Aug. 15-19: David Browning camps out at the Winnebago County Fair in Winnebago, Ill.
* Aug. 21: David Browning checks the porosity of footwear at the Bristol (Va.) White Sox baseball game.
* Aug. 23-25: David Browning is off to the races again at the Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol (Tenn.).
* Sept. 1-3: David Browning is looking to make arrests for a-salt and buttery at the Popcorn Festival in Casey, Ill.
* Sept. 7 and 8: There's nothing tent-ative about David Browning's appearance for an event at Tom Johnson RV in Marion, N.C.
* Sept. 27-30: 18th Annual Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, N.C. For tickets and more info, visit http://www.surryarts.org/. Stars and other details TBA this summer.
* Oct. 19 and 20: Mayberry Comes to Cocoa 2 in Cocoa, Fla. This event is separate from but timed to be in conjunction with "Cruise to Mayberry 2" below. The cruise leaves from nearby Port Canaveral the day after this two-day event. The main day of the Cocoa festival is Sat., the 20th. That day opens with "A Gospel According to Mayberry" presentation at a local chapel, followed by festivities all day on Main Street in downtown Cocoa, and then a concert with the VW Boys that night. Additional activities, Mayberry stars attending and other details are TBA, but especially if you're planning on doing the cruise, you'll want to keep this event in mind for your advance planning.
* Oct. 21-25: Cruise to Mayberry 2 starring cast members Keith "Johnny Paul Jason" Thibodeaux and LeRoy "Country Boy" McNees and assorted Mayberry Tribute Artists, including Allan "Floyd" Newsome. For details about this second annual cruise to the Caribbean, visit the cruise's Web site at http://www.mayberry.com/tagsrwc/wbmutbb/anewsome/private/cruise.htm
**** NEWS OF CAST & CREW ****
Andy Griffith has moved into a new home on his coastal property in North Carolina. He continues to recover well from surgeries during the last year. The Waitress, which was filmed in late 2005 and features Andy as Old Joe, was well
Photo by Phil Bowling
A COUPLE OF REEL CUTUPS-George prepares to take a stab at a cake commemorating the film festival's 10th year.
|FOUND HIM!-Members of Mayberry and Tennessee TAGS chapters enjoy a moment with George Lindsey and country music duo Moore & Moore during the premiere of the "Find Me a Man Like Goober" music video|
received at this year's Sundance Film Festival and has been winning lots of awards at other festivals and is scheduled for a limited release in theaters this week.
Ron Howard is currently doing pre-production work for directing Angels & Demons, the follow-up to last year's Da Vinci Code. Angels & Demons is penciled in as a 2008 release. Ron and wife Cheryl are also new grandparents. Daughter Bryce gave birth to son Theo on February 16. It was the first child for her and husband Seth Gabel and the first grandchild for Ron and Cheryl. And that also makes Clint Howard a great-uncle. (O.K., we're feeling really old now!) Congratulations to all!
George Lindsey had another hugely successful George Lindsey UNA Film Festival in Florence, Ala., in early March. George welcomed pal Ernest Borgnine as special guest for the 10th annual event, which featured independent film entries (including an Academy Award nominee) from across the globe.
George also was in the spotlight for the star- and rhinestone-studded premiere of the "Find Me a Man Like Goober" music video at the Belcourt Theatre in Nashville in March. The video by sister act Moore & Moore features 17 country music legends, including Ray Stevens, Mel Tillis, Bill Anderson, Bobby Bare, Ralph Emery and Little Jimmy Dickens. Most of the stars and fans from at least seven states attended the gala event at the packed theater.
If you'd like to see the video, which is an outstanding and funny treatment of the irresistible tune, let the top two country music video channels know how you feel. You can contact Country Music Television at http://www.cmt.com/, where you can join a message board and post your request. Or call CMT toll-free at 1-866-877-4CMT. It's a little easier to contact GAC-TV, the TV home of The Grand Ole Opry. You can e-mail your request directly to GAC-TV at both firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com. Let 'em know you want to see Goober! Meanwhile, you can catch it on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VO1py1hI4bk
And George just returned from a successful performance with saxophone legend Boots Randolph at the Country Tonite Theatre in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.
Photo by Diana Jayne
|MISSOURIANS LOVES COMPANY-Betty Lynn (center with corsage) poses with other special guests at April’s Cherry Blossom Festival in Marshfield, Mo. Seated next to Betty is Karolyn Grimes, who played Zuzu Bailey, the little girl who says, “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings” in It’s a Wonderful Life. Seated next to Zuzu is Mickey Carroll a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz. Standing in the back row next to Miss Cherry Blossom Festival is Mitch Jayne and next to him is Dean Webb.|
Betty Lynn says she is really enjoying her new home in Mount Airy. She has wasted no time in getting involved in the community. She was Honorary Chairperson for March's local Arts Ball, a fundraiser for in-school culture arts programs in Surry County.
In April, Betty traveled to her home state of Missouri for the Second Annual Marshfield Cherry Blossom Festival. (You may recall that she was inducted into their Walk of Fame last year.) This year she was honored with a seven-months belated 80th birthday luncheon that included remarks by Mayberry Missourians Mitch Jayne and Dean Webb. That same week Betty addressed the Missouri State Senate and visited with Governor Matt Blunt at the Governor's Mansion.
Speaking of Mitch Jayne, he has a new book coming out soon called Fiddler's Ghost. We'll of course be stocking it at Weaver's as soon as it's available, which we expect to be within just a few weeks. (We've been reading an advance copy around the Weaver's office and can barely put it down. It's classic Mitch Jayne storytelling.)
|MAYBERRY CHEER-LeRoy McNees spread joy while on a musical mission trip in Guatemala. Photo courtesy of Mark McNees. See more pictures and read about Mark's ministry at http://www.myspace.com/markmcnees.|
LeRoy McNees returned earlier this spring from a mission trip to Guatemala with his pastor son, Mark, and Mark's wife, Shannon. (LeRoy's wife, Jan, got to stay home with the grandkids.) LeRoy had a wonderful time with his musical outreach. Local promoters even used posters showing LeRoy playing Dobro on TAGS to advertise his concerts.
And it was a fantastic weekend with two cast members, the VW Boys and several Mayberry tribute artists for the second annual Mayberry-themed fundraiser for Eagles' Wings (a proposed facility for adults with disabilities) in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Elizabeth MacRae and Keith Thibodeaux delighted audiences. Elizabeth almost took the old show business saying of "break a leg" too literally, but proved she is truly a trouper with magical performances all weekend.
That's a wrap on the News of Cast & Crew for this time.
**** MORE MERCHANDISE INFO ****
You can find Mr. Weaver's full lineup of items at http://www.weaversdepartmentstore.com. (Or go to http://www.mayberry.com and click on the Weaver's link at the top of the front page.)
Photo by Gary Wedemeyer
|SHINING STAR--Elizabeth MacRae is radiant for a TV interview during the Eagles' Wings golf tourney.|
We also have our phone order line available for shopping convenience. The number is (615) 604-1298. Our phone line has part-time hours. It is generally manned Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. CT, but there will not always be somebody there even during those times. (It is fishin' season now, after all.) However, you can always leave a message 24 hours a day and we'll call you back "on our nickel" to get your order at a time convenient to you. And of course you can always order online or by mail any time.
You can find most of our items at our location on the third floor of the Main-Oak Emporium at 245 City Hall Street in Mount Airy, N.C.
**** POST NOTE ****
Between issues of the Weaver's Newsletter, keep up with the goings-on in Mayberry with the more-or-less 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 https://www.tagsrwc.com/.
TAGSRWC also publishes The eBullet in more or less alternate months to the Weaver's Newsletter. The eBullet is the online successor to our longtime printed newsletter, The Bullet. Like the Weaver's Newsletter, The eBullet is free. It includes some of the same news as the Weaver's Newsletter, but with more features and depth and a little less emphasis on merchandise news. To sign up go to https://www.tagsrwc.com/ebullet/joinebullet.htm.
TAGSRWC's other main vehicle for Mayberry information is simply our Web site at http://www.tagsrwc.com. It has extensive content and links for just about everything a Mayberry fan might be looking for.
The next issue of the Weaver's Newsletter is scheduled for June (with an eBullet coming out in the meantime, probably in a week or so).
That's all for now. We hope you have fun browsing at Weaver's and visiting www.mayberry.com.