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Weaver's Newsletter
An Online newsletter of
"The Andy Griffith Show" Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC)
September 7, 2008

Welcome to our fourth Weaver's Newsletter for 2008! 

   We have some new items and lots of other news to report, so we'll get right to it.  If you're a newsletter skimmer (and you know who you are!), be sure not to skim past the Breaking News in Floyd's Barbershop Bulletin Board below.  On the other hand, we don't want you to skim past any other interesting news to get to that news either!  To be safe, you probably just ought to read everything.


**** Merchandise Update ****

   You can check out our full line of Mayberry  items at http://www.weaversdepartmentstore.com, but here are some highlights:


2009 Andy Griffith Show Wall Calendar (addditional image)2009 Andy Griffith Show Wall Calendar* 2009 Andy Griffith Show Wall Calendar    $14.00   



   After having all color photos in the 2008 calendar, this 2009 edition turns back the clock and has all black-and-white photos, all of which are also from the black-and-white seasons (1960-65).     

   There's a nice variety of Mayberry characters in this calendar.  In addition to Andy, Barney, Aunt Bee, Opie, and Gomer, there are photos of Goober, Floyd, Fun Girl Daphne, and even Mr. McBeevee.  Several of these photos have never before been published.

   Also, if you haven't gotten your 2008 Wall Calendar, we still have some left, including in a special combo offer with this 2009 calendar for only $22.00.


* Otis the Artist's Grab-Bag of Mayberry Art   $30.00



Otis the Artist's Grab-Bag of Mayberry ArtOtis the Artist's Grab-Bag of Mayberry Art (addditional image)

   This special Grab-Bag, inspired by Otis and his artistic efforts with mosaics, pieces together several collectible Mayberry items that will add beauty and grace to any wall in home or office...or courthouse cell!


  Each of Otis's Grab-Bags contains at least the following:



* 1 Officially Licensed Large Limited Edition Lithograph of Barney Sipping Soda by artist Brad Keim

* 1 2008 "Andy Griffith Show" Wall Calendar

* 2 Oversized Mayberry event posters

* 1 Portrait of Otis (8 x 10)


   All proceeds (not just the profits, but 100% of the $30 price) are going toward our annual support of the Surry Arts Council and its Mayberry Days festival in September in Mount Airy, N.C.  So with a Grab-Bag purchase, you get a good deal while also supporting a good Mayberry cause!


Classic Barney NecktieClassic Barney Necktie   $25.00


   This tie is out of production, so it's now even more of a collectible.  We've unexpectedly received one last small shipment from the licensed manufacturer.  We've got just those few left, and then that'll be it for this popular fashion statement.

   This silk necktie features Barney in black and white (it therefore coordinates with any outfit).  Anyone who wears this tie is guaranteed to look suave and worldly.  Wear it with the old salt and pepper and it’ll be just right for the dips.  Made with fine silk from the Orient.


It's Me, It's Me, It's Ernest T.* It’s Me, It’s Me, It’s Ernest T. T-Shirt   $20.00


   Now you can dress like a rock star!  This classic T-shirt was produced in limited quantities under the auspices of Howard Morris, Ernest T. Bass himself.  We're proud to be able to offer the last handful of these officially sanctioned shirts honoring this wily and beloved character, a true rocker if there ever was one!

  All proceeds from the sale of this shirt are going toward our support of the Surry Arts Council in its work to put on Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, N.C., in September.

   Rock on!



Matlock: Season One

* Complete First Season of “Matlock” on DVD   $39.00



   After years of anticipation, “Matlock” is finally available on DVD!  The first season has 23 episodes plus the movie pilot on seven discs.  “Matlock” always had great guest stars, and the first season certainly set the pace with Dick Van Dyke, Roddy McDowall, Billy Bob Thornton, Pipe Laurie, Desi Arnaz Jr., Norman Fell, Billy Zane, Josť  Ferrer and lots of other familiar faces.  The list price for this set is $50, but we’ve got it in stock now for just $39.00!


* Barney Fife's Guide to Life Love and Self-Defense   $15.00



Barney Fife's Guide to Live, Love and Self-Defense

   This fun 1993 book (hardback, 166 pages) by brothers Len and John Oszustowicz imagines worldly advice coming from the mind of Barney Fife.  Nuff said.

   The popular book has been out of print for over 10 years and is now a sought-after collectible. We have a few copies from the First Printing that are still in brand new condition.  And best of all, we're offering the book for just a few dollars more than the cover price (and less than the annual inflation rate has been.)  Get 'em while you can before we change our minds about the price.


Aunt Bees Mealtime in Mayberry  

And we also have several other classic, out-of-print Mayberry books, including Inside Mayberry, Mayberry My Hometown and Aunt Bee’s Mealtime in Mayberry.  (Those last two titles are in especially pristine condition and even still in their original shrink wrap from the publisher!)


The Incredible Mr. Don KnottsComing Soon:

Gomer Pyle season 5 * A new hardcover book called The Incredible Mr. Don Knotts-An Eye-Popping Look at His Movies will be released this fall.   (We'll probably have copies in stock and be fulfilling orders around mid-October.)

* The final season (the fifth) of "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." is schedule for release on Nov. 25, right before Thanksgiving.  We'll be carrying it, along with the other four seasons that we currently stock.



Widening Our Scope

Credit Cards

   Along with Visa and MasterCard, Weaver's Dept. Store now is set up to accept DiscoverCard!  Brace yourself...we're flying head over heels into the 21st Century!  Unfortunately, we don't see the American Express Card in our future, so you can still leave that one at home for now.


Mayberry's Finest

**** Update on Mayberry's Finest Line of Packaged Foods ****

   The full line of canned goods and baking mixes is now available in about 2,000 stores and also online (with the additional offering of mail-order gift baskets) at the Mayberry's Finest Web site at http://www.mayberrysfinest.com.  The Web site currently has a partial list of stores and precise locations (organized by state) in its Foley's Market section.  Look for them in even more stores soon!

   Keep an eye out for Mayberry's Finest at your favorite store.  If you don't find the products in the store where you shop, ask the store manager if the store can stock the items for you and others.


**** Floyd's Barbershop Bulletin Board & Event Calendar ****


* Sept. 16-21: Ronnie Schell headlines in the Comedy Improv Room at Harrah's in Las Vegas, N.V.

 * Sept. 25-28: 19th Annual Mayberry Days in Mount Airy, N.C.  Stars confirmed so far include Doug Dillard, Rodney Dillard, Betty Lynn, Maggie Peterson Mancuso, James Best, Jackie Joseph, LeRoy McNees, George Spence, David "Ernest Too" Morris, son of Howard Morris, and Francey Yarborough Knotts, widow of Don Knotts.  For more info, visit: http://www.surryarts.org.  

BREAKING NEWS: There are likely to be some big updates coming from Mount Airy between now and Mayberry Days because the Surry Arts Council just last week got a big (really big...big-big!) grant from the State of North Carolina.  It's earmarked for helping to fund the building of an addition to the Andy Griffith Playhouse in order to house Emmett Forrest's amazing collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia.  So stay tuned for updates related to that news as they're posted on the Event Calendar at mayberry.com and at surryarts.org.

* Oct. 5: David Browning throws his hat in the ring for the Wise Fall Fling in Wise, Va.

* Oct. 11: David Browning is vintage Mayberry at the Vinton Fall Festival in Vinton, Va.

* Oct. 26: David Browning is on the track to write up any and all speeders at the Atlanta Motor Speedway's NASCAR race in Hampton, Ga. (Better bring an extra ticket book, deputy!)

* Nov. 1-6:
  A Cruise to Mayberry (click here for more info and photos of past cruises) to the Bahamas aboard Carnival's Fascination ship. This 5-day cruise departs from Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday, November 1, and cruises to: Nassau, Half Moon Cay, and 2- "Days at Sea" returning back to Jacksonville on Thursday, November 6.  The VW Boys are joining the Mayberry family with their mixture of Music, Magic & Comedy. Tribute artists, Ken "Otis" Junkin, Allan "Floyd" Newsome, Bob "Briscoe Darling" Mundy, Jeff "Howard Sprague" Branch, Jamie "Opie" Sullivan, Gary "Gomer" Crain, Tara "Juanita" Spath, and Samantha "The Manicurist" Miles. Others TBA.  Rates start at $259 plus $179.92 Port Tax per person, based on two per cabin.  For more info, call Sharon Euliss at All About Cruises in Burlington, N.C., at 1-800-832-7993. Or e-mail her at PWESJE@aol.com.

 * Nov. 20: David Browning is booked for the Friends of Smyth-Bland Regional Library Meeting in Marion, Va.  No word yet on whether he'll be reading from Poems of Romance by T. Jonathan Osgood.

 * Dec. 15: David Browning is aboard for the 22nd Second Annual Morgan Shepherd Christmas Charity Trip in Stuart, Va., and through the mountains to nearby communities.  For more info, visit http://www.morganshepherd.com


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

Mr. Schwamp on a bench with Andy   Andy Griffith recently filmed a music video for the song “Waitin’ on a Woman” for country superstar (and certifiable Mayberry nut) Brad Paisley.  The video was filmed near Andy’s home in Manteo, N.C.  It’s a real hoot (see how Andy gets in touch with his inner Mr. Schwamp in the photo below), so keep an eye out for it on CMT and GAC.  Or check it out online here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvKgnkIN8C8

   By popular demand, a version of the song with Andy’s embellishments is also starting to get airplay on country radio stations across the country, so listen for that…or better yet, call in and request it.

   Brad Paisley says, “One of the greatest moments in my career was getting to shoot this video with Andy Griffith and getting to know him.  Andy & Brad Paisley

 I’ll cherish this video and opportunity to become friends with this wonderful and influential man for the rest of my life.  ‘Waitin’ on a Woman’ is one of the most important songs I’ve recorded; it’s a masterpiece written by Wynn Varble and Don Sampson, and the video demanded excellence and art to match the composition. 

   Andy was my #1 choice for the video – he is the perfect person that embodies wisdom, years, and personality of the character in the video.” 


   Andy is also featured in a political TV spot for Bev Perdue, a Democratic candidate for governor in North Carolina.  (She won her primary election on May 6.)  Here’s a link to the place on her Web site that has the spot: http://www.bevperdue.com/u2b_gallery.asp?videoID=uGFDrHs6z18

   Andy also called into Illinois radio station Y103.9 and talked with DJ Jim Shea about first one thing and then another, but mostly about the appalling treatment of TAGS closing credits on TVLand (not to mention the regrettable editing out of special moments).  You can hear Andy’s conversation and sign an online petition by going here: http://y1039.com/Andy-Griffith-joins-Jim-Shea-on-the-Morning-Drive-/2187480
   No release date has been announced yet for Play the Game, the movie Andy filmed last fall.  The film also features Rance Howard and Clint Howard.

   Ron Howard has wrapped production of the film version of Frost/Nixon, based on the hit play about David Frost's interviews with Richard Nixon after he resigned.  It's currently scheduled for Oscar-qualifying release on Dec. 5.
   Also, Ron is currently directing Angels & Demons, the sequel to The Da Vinci Code that stars Tom Hanks.  The release date for that film, originally set for release this Christmas, has been pushed back until May 2009 because of the writers strike.
   Ron is also producer for several other projects, including an Arrested Development movie, based on the comedy series he produced and narrated, and The Changeling, which is being directed by Clint Eastwood.
   And look for Ron in "Ron Howard, 50 Years in Film," a 90-minute special about his career, on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in December.  It should be top night.
   Daughter Bryce is currently filming Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins in Albuquerque and elsewhere in New Mexico.  She plays Kate Connor in this fourth of the Terminator movies.  (The last we heard, Arnold will not be back for this fourth installment in the Terminator series, which is scheduled for release next year.)
   Another interesting Mayberry connection to this Terminator film is that Joy Ellison (Opie's girlfriend Mary Wiggins and other characters) is the dialect coach on the film.  Joy also ran into Mayberry's Finest spokes-group The Grascals while working on a film called Peacock in Iowa awhile back.

   Jim Nabors gave his last planned concert of his career at the American Music Theatre in Lancaster, Penn., on July 9.  Shazam...what a career!  We'll still hope that he can be coaxed out of his cozy Hawaiian paradise for an unplanned performance here and there.  Meanwhile, we're grateful for all the memorable concerts this wonderful entertainer has given us for more than four decades.

When I Find The Ocean   George Lindsey has been approached about roles in a TV pilot and a feature film.  Meanwhile, his last feature film, When I Find the Ocean, is being released on DVD on Aug. 5.  Rated PG.
   George also has just gotten back from a trip to California to see family, including a first visit with second grandson Andrew.

   James Best is in an award-winning movie that's now on DVD: Moondance Alexander.  James also has an entertaining new DVD that he has produced called "James Best: Hazardous Road Trip" that features shots of James visiting original filming locations for the "Dukes of Hazzard," as well as him painting in his art studio and other activities.  Find out more at http://www.jamesbest.com.  And James been busy with personal appearances this summer, including DukesFest in Atlanta in June and the Western Film Fair with Betty Lynn in Winston-Salem a couple of weeks ago.

   Maggie Peterson Mancuso has mended well from surgery on both knees earlier this year and she's eagerly back performing and making personal appearances.  She and Doug Dillard and Rodney Dillard and their band recently performed in at a DARE fundraiser in Troy, N.C., with several of the Mayberry tribute artists.  Here's the event's Web site with full coverage of the weekend:  http://jeffbranchpromotions.blogspot.com/

   Francey Knotts (Don's widow), Karen Knotts (Don's daughter) and Ronnie Schell all participated in the Don Knotts Hometown Celebration in Morgantown, W.V., July 18 and 19.  All were well received by audiences as they paid tribute to Don.  David Browning was also on hand to honor his friend and inspiration and of course to help out with crowd control as necessary.

Seaman Jacobs    We're very sorry to report the death of writer Seaman (aka Si and Jake) Jacobs in Los Angeles on April 8.  He was 96.  (We thought we had reported his death earlier, but recently realized that we fumbled our coverage when we got out of sync with our newsletter schedule around the time he died). 
   Born in Kingston, N.Y., on Feb. 25, 1912, Seaman Jacobs attended Syracuse University.  He was a freshman when Sheldon Leonard was a senior.  He wrote seven episodes of TAGS (six with writer Michael L. Morris) during the last two seasons.  They were: "Goodbye, Dolly," "Howard the Comedian," "Opie's Most Unforgettable Character," "Goober the Executive," "Tape Recorder," "Aunt Bee and the Lecturer" and "Andy's Investment."
    He also was a frequent writer for Bob Hope and George Burns, among many other top stars and shows.  Here are excerpts from the obituary released by his family through the Writers Guild of America West:

   "...Creating a career in comedy spanning more than half a century, prolific writer Jacobs penned countless episodes of some of America's favorite TV series.

 "Soon, he ventured into the then-new medium of television.  His sense of humor can be seen not only in his work on hit shows such as 'The Addams Family' and 'F-Troop,' but in the laughs to be found in the countless episodes of classic comedy TV hits he either wrote or co-wrote, such as 'Maude,' 'The Jeffersons,' 'My Three Sons,' 'My Favorite Martian,' 'I Dream of Jeannie,' 'Here's Lucy,' 'Chico and the Man,' 'Diff'rent Strokes,' 'Family Affair,' 'Petticoat Junction' 'Bachelor Father,' 'The Andy Griffith Show' and 'The Love Boat,' many of which he often co-wrote with his frequent writing partners Fred S. Fox and Ed James.

   "Jacobs' talent wasn't limited to the small screen.  His feature film credits include the Elvis Presley starrer It Happened at the World's Fair (1962), co-written with Si Rose, and the George Burns hit sequel, Oh, God! Book II (1980, screenplay by Josh Greenfeld and Hal Goldman and Fred S. Fox and Seaman Jacobs and Melissa Miller, story by Josh Greenfeld).  In addition, Jacobs made a career as an in-demand comedy writer, penning monologues for several comedy legends over the years.  For nearly five decades, his clever wordplay helped define TV comedy as spoken by icons including Bob Hope, George Burns, Lucille Ball, Red Skelton, Danny Thomas, Ed Wynn and Johnny Carson.

   "Among the dozens of primetime TV comedy specials Jacobs helped pen, he may be best known to TV viewers for contributing to Bob Hope's long run of annual all-star comedy TV specials during the '80s and '90s.  In 1978, he earned a Writers Guild Award (Variety - Series or Special, Musical or Comedy) for his work on 'The George Burns One Man Show,' shared with co-writers Elon Packard and Fred S. Fox.  In 1980, Jacobs also earned a shared WGA nomination for his work on 'George Burns in Nashville' with frequent co-writers Fred S. Fox and Hal Goldman."

   In addition to his wife, singer Vicki Benet Jacobs, he leaves behind his son, Tom Jacobs, and four grandchildren, Will, Rebecca, Nathaniel and Stephen.

   A memorial service was held on May 9 at the Writers Guild Theater in Beverly Hills.  The family has requested that donations in his memory may be made to the Motion Picture & Television Fund or the Writers Guild Foundation.


   We're also sad to report that actor Henry Beckman died June 17 in Barcelona, Spain.  He was 86.

Henry BeckmanBorn in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Nov. 26, 1921, Henry appeared hundreds movies and episodes of TV shows from the 1950s until as late as 2002.  He often played authority figures, including in his one TAGS episode, "Aunt Bee the Juror," in which he played the prosecutor, Mr. Gilbert.  In real life, he did battle at Normandy in World War II.
   His career is one of those that spanned the history of TV.  His credits run the gamut from westerns, comedies and commercials to cop shows, courtroom dramas and medical shows.  He was also a prolific and highly regarded writer.

   Henry was preceded in death by Cheryl, his wife of 43 years.  He is survived by second wife Hillary and two sons by his first marriage, Brian and Stuart.
   Despite his impressive 50 years of acting credits worldwide, Henry Beckman will always be remembered in Mayberry as the man who almost convicted Jack Nicholson, except Aunt Bee wouldn't let him.  It's hard to get more momentous than that!


**** 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 NewsletterThe 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 Weaver's Newsletter is scheduled for October (with an eBullet coming out in September).

   That's all for now.  We hope you have fun browsing at Weaver's and visiting http://www.mayberry.com.

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