Monday, August 11, 2014

Andy Smoking on Tags

 Several folks have asked over the years, how many times and in which episodes was Andy seen smoking  on The episodes of The Andy Griffith Show.  This blog isn't so much a "blog" as it is the findings about this question that is asked so often.

Now the list below is not an "Official" report, yet just the compilation if what I and a few friends from my TAGSRWC Chapter, "Trivial Trivialities" have put together.  So, to my friends in the iMayberryCommunity.com, and my FB friends from the groups,  "I Miss Mayberry"..."Mayberry, Our Favorite Hometown" ... "TAGSRWC. Only one word I can think of...Big".... and "Mayberry after Midnight"... Here you go:

1  Quiet Sam ( after baby)
2  Jailbreak (on bench in front of Courthouse)
3  Wedding Bells for Aunt Bee (on porch)
4  Three's a Crowd (at Mary's house)
5  The Bookie Barber (with Floyd)
6  Mr.  McBeevee ( after talking to Opie up in his room)
7  Opie's Rival (waiting on Peggy)
8  High Noon in Mayberry ( at home after Luke Comstock called.)
9  The Great Filling Station Robbery (When Gomer tells Andy gas is 30 cents a ding)
10 the Cow Thief (While waiting with Fletch for the Mayor, Upchurch and Barney)
11  Prisoner of Love (home on porch)
12  Cousin Virgil - (back room of the jail waiting for Virgil to get Otis out of the cell!)
13  The Clubmen - (At the very beginning, Andy is seen with a cigarette as he and Roger  
              Courtney pull up to the court house after fishing.
14  Gomer the House Guest - (in this one he smokes IN BED - a BIG no-no)
15. Smoking Peace "Pipe" with Barney in The Pageant.

If you know others, please leave it in the comment section at the bottom if this blog.  
Don't forget that two big Mayberry Events are coming up:  
Aug. 22-23...The Cruise-In and Concert...Oakboro and Troy, NC
Sept. 25-27...Mayberry Days...Mt. Airy, NC

Thanks and "Happy Motoring!"

Keith
"Col. Harvey"

Sunday, July 6, 2014

What Are The Good Old Days?

Do you sometimes long for "the good old days?"

Many a day over the years, I have had occasion to feel like I just wanted to be somewhere else besides where I was at the time. I will also find myself wishing I could go back to "the good old days." The truth is, we really just want to experience the peaceful and fun times of years gone by.

The good Lord has a way of letting us remember the good times a lot more clearly than the bad times. Oh, we remember the passing of loved ones, the times where we experienced misfortunate times, but for the most part when folks say they wish they could go back to "the good old days," here's what I think we are doing:
We are longing for a simpler and less complicated life. We want to see old friends, as we remember them. We want to live a more carefree existence. We want to revert back to our fond childhood memories. We want to make people as happy as we once were. We want to belong and to share with others so they will also belong. We want to remember the times when we could walk down the street in the evening a fad feel comfortable and safe. We want to be able to go into our homes without having to lock up our cars. We want to go to the store without having to lock our house up and punch in the Alarm Code. We want to walk down the street or around the block and know all of the neighbors, which house was there's and which kids belonged to them.

My friends, we are looking for Mayberry. I don't want to assume that I am speaking for all, ...but getting to participate in Mayberry Events as a Tribute Artist (Col. Harvey), I get to share a little bit of Mayberry with folks. I get to see folks smile and laugh. People seem to relax, have fun, and for just a little while...are "back in the good old days."

So as much as we Tribute Artists get to do for the Mayberry faithful, know this: I suspect all of the Tribute Artists get as much out of interacting with you as hopefully you get from this group of re-enactors. So feed us lines from the show as we walk by. Make sure you take in one of the Tribute Artist's Shows at the events. Stop us and let's take a picture together. Come shake hands, collect and autograph or two, and revert back to a simpler day and time with us. If you get an opportunity to attend a Mayberry Event, even if you have to drive a little distance to get there, do it. Here's an event calendar- http://tagsrwc.com/the_ebullet/mayberry-event-calendar/

And for just a little while over the weekend events, we get to retreat back into our "child-like" personalities and share Mayberry with you...and we get to remember "back in the good old days."

Have a Mayberry Day,
Keith
(Col. Harvey)

Thursday, May 8, 2014

It's HARD to BEAT a Mayberry Event!


Everybody longs to be a part of something.  Everybody wants to contribute to their family or circle of friends.  Everybody wants to be valued. Sheriff Andy Taylor made that happen for the residents of Mayberry.  He did it for Aunt Bee in the very first episode, The New House Keeper. He did it for Opie in Mr. McBeevee.  He did it for Barney over and over; Lawman Barney, Crime Free Mayberry, Barneys Sidecar, on and on, and on. He even did it for old cranky Ben Weaver in The Christmas Story episode. 

 

Three days in Westminster gave me insight to another layer of Mayberry Magic.  My wife was not able to attend the Mayberry Comes to Westminster event with me this year.  She hosted a group of her college friends at our house for the weekend.  They had a great time “catching up” with them. Meanwhile, some 260 miles northwest of my home on the beautiful South Carolina coast, I was also having a great time...at another event celebrating our favorite "Home Town."

 

Most traveled with their spouses and or families to the event.  After all, it is a family event.  Some of us traveled alone to this event.  Now I say this, not to make those who did not travel feel bad in any way.  There were those that had other events, previous commitments, recovering from illnesses or even surgery.  Whatever the reason. I know for a fact it wasn't that those folks didn't want to attend. 

 

While at Mayberry Events, we enjoy parades, pageants, car shows, special breakfast events and dinners, silent auctions and shopping for Mayberry paraphernalia, Tribute Artist Shows, Trivia Contests, special musical guests, and especially those stars from the original Andy Griffith Show cast, and their families.  At the Mayberry Comes to Westminster (MCTW) event on May 2-3, we had the wonderful Karen Knotts, in her one woman show; paying tribute to her dad, the great Don Knotts.  We had Rodney Dillard, of the original Darlings from the show with his lovely wife Beverly and the Dillard Band, entertainment was nothing shy of awesome.

 

Now here's where I talk about the other STARS of the weekend...and to the layer of Mayberry Magic I spoke about earlier.  The merchants and residents in Westminster opened their town to us, just as if they were bringing guest into their homes.  The merchants and sponsors who support this fantastic festival are to be commended and supported.  Local stores and eateries were friendly and accommodating. Organizer Tom Rusk and his wife Kathy welcomed us into their home on Friday morning for a “Brunch” and time of fellowship for the Tribute Artists and the special guests, original cast members and grand marshal of the event.  The Rusk's pour their heart and soul into this event and it's always well planned and runs with efficiency. Mrs. Rusk commented as to the dedication of Tom to make this event great when she said, “Starting around February or March, Tom and I don’t see each other as often…he’s so heavy into the planning of the event.”  I’m sure Mrs. Rusk stays pretty busy herself with the event…we all know that behind every good “Mayberry Man” is a “Mayberry Woman.”

 

The rest of the STARS are here:  Being one of the newer Tribute Artists on the block, (as Col. Harvey) this group has welcomed me in and adopted me as a part of that close knit family.  We spend a good bit of time at the events together, either on stage, in parades, just walking around town, or in the hotel lobby.  We share fun times, meals and stories, like families do. We rehearse so we can bring fun and memories from The Andy Griffith Show to life for everyone.  We support and encourage one another, like a family should.  We engage with the festival attendees and recreate scenes from the show to enhance not only their experience, but ours as well.  And we share the love, compassion, and give personal value to everyone we meet, like a family would.  At any Mayberry event, whether you come alone or with others…what you experience is a step back in time to the wonderful values that make a "Family."  Oh, there are a lot of these values in families today, but it just seems different somehow, when you look back to your childhood.

 

Tribute Artists Barney Fife (David Browning), Floyd Lawson (Allan Newsome), Otis Campbell (Kenneth Junkin), Goober Pyle (Tim Pettigrew), Gomer Pyle (Michael Oliver), Howard Sprague (Jeff Branch), Millie Swanson (Tammy Branch), Andylina (Christie McLendon), Ernest T. Bass (Phil Fox), Salt and Pepper Barney and Thelma Lou (Ronnie and Elease Felker), Mayor Pike (Eric Lowry), Hoggette Winslow (Mike McLendon), Briscoe Darling (Bob Mundy), Col. Harvey (Keith Brown), and others would love to see you at a Mayberry Event near you. 

 

If you haven’t had the opportunity to attend a Mayberry Event, find an event closest to you, and go!  When Barney starts tugging at his collar…when he clears his throat…when he starts hitting his fist on the side of his holster…GO!  Don’t wait, just GO! He might count to three; he might miss you…but just GO!

 

Click HERE for the Mayberry Events Calendar

 

Click HERE to go to and join for FREE, the iMayberry Community….where it’s all Mayberry…all the time.

 

 

Have a Mayberry Day,

 

Keith “Col. Harvey” Brown

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mayberry Comes BACK to Westminster


In just a few short weeks, the town of Westminster, nestled neatly into the upper left-hand corner of the state, will come alive with Mayberry.  Oconee County, where Westminster is located, is called the Golden Corner of the State.  Although I love living on the coast of SC, I spent the first four years of my life as a professional out of college in this wonderful place.

Clemson University is just a few miles away, as is the town of Seneca, Walhalla, Oakway and West Union.  I was privileged to call Westminster my home for four years.  I brought my new bride to our first home there and then a couple of years later, my first child.

The mountains in the background touch the sky just at the county line before heading into Georgia.  There are rivers, ponds and lakes all around.  The weather is mild most of the time, but can draw a little snow in winter.  There are miles of rolling hills along the country roads that make you feel right at home.  Apples are a big crop up that way, and a festival is held yearly to celebrate the harvest.

The trees turn colors in the fall, just like they’re supposed to, and create a magnificently painted palette in the tree lines.  The wildlife is abundant, the fishing great, and the recreation relaxing.  But the things I’ve already mentioned aren’t the real treasures in this place…it the people.

Andy once said to the visiting Manicurist that “nature had been real, real good” to her.  Continuing on, he said that he “didn’t remember when he’d seen nature put so much time into one individual.”  I think you’ll find and nature has smiled on this place.

The people here are down-home, genuine and accepting of everyone.  They go about life at a pace that might seem a little slower than what most are used to, but they take advantage of that because they have a genuineness about them that is honest and sincere.  When they speak to you, and ask you “How do you do?”…they really want to know.  When they ask, “Can I help you?” …they really want to help.  When they introduce themselves to you, they really want to get to know you.  When these folks see you again, they remember your name.

On May 2-3, 2014, when Mayberry Comes Back to Westminster, it is a perfect arrangement of spirit and soul.  Not the kind of arrangement that Briscoe Darling made for his granddaughter Andelina and Opie, but the kind that when you see it, you just know it’s right.  It’s a town that values its heritage, and embraces those who come here, to live or just to visit a while. 

My first job was teaching in at Westminster high School, where I was an assistant football coach and the Head basketball coach from 1979-1983…the “Final Four” years of the school before it merged with Oakway to create West-Oak High School.  I made lifelong friends there, and still keep up with many of them today.  As for the ones I don’t really keep in touch with, they’re still there, and when we meet during my visits there, and especially during the Mayberry Comes Back to Westminster Events, we still know one another’s names, we still greet one another as though we were family, and that hug and handshake are just as warm and heartfelt as they were all those years ago.

If you haven’t been to any Mayberry Events, well…this is a great one to attend.  Tom Rusk, the face behind the event is a Mayberry Fan extraordinaire, as you will see when he drives his replica Squad Car around town.  The event is sponsored by some wonderful area businesses, so make sure to patronize them and the town shop keepers as well.  The event is well organized; the street vendors are always helpful, the folks that run the shops and restaurants in town are really happy to see you.  The local papers and media outlets are out in force.  The man who does a lot of the emcee work, Kris Butts, from WGOG, is an enthusiastic Mayberry Fan himself. There are look-a-like contests, pickle eatin’ contests, pies and pageants.   The entertainment is high quality, the Tribute Artists are funny, the parades are festive, and the original characters from the show that are able to attend are wonderful human beings.  No doubt about it, you’ll come away feeling much better than when you first arrived.  Information on the Mayberry Comes to Westminster Event can be found at http://westminstersc.com/mayberry/

 Hope to see you there.  Have a Mayberry Day.

 Keith

Friday, March 21, 2014

Guest of Honor


Not too long ago, I became aware of a wonderful website that I now belong to called the "iMayberry Community."  The site is operated by a great guy named Allan Newsome, also known as the Tribute Artist, "Floyd, the Barber."  The website can be found by going to www.imayberrycommunity.com. It's a little slice of the Internet, just off the beaten path that allows us to go back a little over 50 years to a simpler time.  To a time when life's pace was a little slower...and yet just the right speed for all to take in the lessons the Town of Mayberry taught.  It was a town of character...full of "characters" from every walk of life. It taught us the basic values and morals like "Do unto others"... like "Go out there and act like somebody"...and "When you're dealing with people, you'll do much better if you don't go so much by the book, but by the heart." 


In trying to put my finger on what makes "The Andy Griffith Show" and Mayberry so appealing, I remember the lines at the end of the episode, “Opie the Birdman” when Opie asked, “The cage looks awful empty, huh Pa?”  Andy answers him back with a question to ponder, “It sure does son…but don’t the trees seem nice and full?”  It’s this kind of mentality and simply choosing to look at life through optimistic lenses that make Mayberry so appealing. A life lesson was found in every episode.  Then it hit me...I am so drawn into the simple life...with truth, morals, and dignity for all, that I truly feel like a real "Guest of Honor" every time I watch the show. 

Not too long after,   I ran across this neat perspective from a fellow member of the website. His name is Mitch Hyre.  We know him in the iMayberry Community as "Dud."  Below is his entry as my Guest Blogger:


The Perfect Town That Never Was


Can someone be influenced by a place?  How about a fictional place?  I’m going to go out on a limb and say not only yes, but emphatically yes.  Think of a town that never existed.  The influencing factors of the town are not limited by its geographic features but in a larger sense, extend to the people who live there, or never lived there I should say.  It might sound strange but the place and the people are as real as your next door neighbor, at least they are to tens of millions Americans.  They are avid fans of ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ and the place is the town of Mayberry.  Idyllically set in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, just a ‘whiff and a whisker’ south of the Virginia/North Carolina State line, Mayberry is the home of about 2,000 fictional characters, and do they have their quirks.  Some couldn't boast an IQ much above 85; others might laugh out loud at the corniest of jokes or become so enthralled with something as simple as an electric pencil sharpener that they were sure the world had entered a new space age.  Wealthy?  Not really.  Beautiful?  Not so much.  Having trouble putting your finger on it?  Me too.  But I am absolutely in love with Mayberry and every corny, half-witted, quirky citizen that idly walked its fictional streets.


In trying to figure out why so many people are so taken by this town, I had to dive deep inside my inner psyche (A place I rarely like to go; some scary things in there) and I may have happened upon a couple nuggets of insight.  First, the most endearing episodes of the series were set in the early to mid-1960s. If one were to try you could not pick a better time to be alive.  Conveniently wedged between the Post War industrial boom and the radical social unrest ushered in by Hollywood, Rock and Roll and recreational drug use, the early 60s offered the absolute best of modernism mixed with sustained, shared and cherished moral values.  More simply put, they had stuff and still knew how to treat their neighbor.  This is a segway into the second thing I discovered.  Their system of values wasn’t a system at all.  It was a simple rule.  Put people first.  Above pride, gluttony, anger, greed, lust, and envy, people come first.   Oh, there were those who came through Mayberry who lived by other, more nefarious and self-serving ideals.  But by the end of the episode, they were either converted or were so uncomfortable, they just moved on.  In Mayberry, if you were obese or not so good looking or not so smart or couldn’t hold a job or had a drinking problem (Otis) there was still room for you at the table and you were treated with the same dignity as its most respected citizen, the Sheriff himself.  If you weren’t, it was an anomaly and the whole town was uneasy until harmony could be restored.


Strange how today, a scant 50 years later, we boast of modern technology, intelligence, and capability to use the threat of war to keep pseudo peace, but what so many truly long for is to return to the simplest place filled with the simplest people who live by the simplest rule.  I watch reruns of the show on a daily basis.  It continues reinforce that simple rule while providing wholesome entertainment.  I’ve watched the scene a hundred times or more but I still laugh when Otis drunkenly stumbles into the courthouse and locks himself up.  I think heaven must be a lot like Mayberry.  I certainly hope it is.



Have a Mayberry day,


Keith

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Act Like Somebody

"Act Like Somebody" was a phrase Andy used a lot on The Andy Griffith Show...especially when talking to Opie. What does that mean, exactly?  I think it means show who and what you are made of by your actions.
 


As of late in the Deep South, and more specifically, on the South Carolina coast, we have experienced weather that is somewhat foreign to us.  Over the last three weeks, we have experienced below freezing temperatures along with rain, sleet and snow.  That's right, snow...at the beach.  I know it's not that big of a deal for those of you who live in parts of the US where you regularly see this kind of weather.  Oh, we have short snaps of cold weather, although it not as often as others, however it's the precipitation that messes with us.     

When we see a snowflake...do you hear me..."A" snowflake, we tend to lose our minds.  But when it comes down heavy for an extended period of time...we are almost crippled.  As an Educator, I understand the necessary precautions when it comes to putting children on buses and parents driving on icy roads...and I am okay with the inconvenience of having to make up the school days.  What I do not like is the way the ice causes limbs and trees to fall in the yards, on houses,  on cars and across roads.  I also don't like the power outages.  Personally, we were spared the power failure, but many of my friends were not.  Some of the friends and colleagues from work lost power and went 5-6 full days without power.

Now that I have set the stage, you might find yourself asking, "Why is all of this on a Mayberry Blog?"  As Ernest T. Bass says, "I'm getting to that!  I'm getting to that!"

Act Like Somebody.  What happened during this time was a great example of Mayberry's hospitality come to town. I saw friends and neighbors working together to remove debris.  Young guys helping older folks cut limbs and haul them away.  I jumped the fence at my house to help my elder neighbors drag away some heavy limbs.  We invited friends to our home who were without power.  We met friends out for meals when the roads allowed.

Aunt Bee:  "Do unto others..."

Act Like Somebody.  We saw families gathering together the homes of those with power.  We saw friends staying with friends so they had a place to keep warm.  We saw people sharing the food in their freezers, instead of waiting for it to go bad (and not that tough beef like Aunt Bee got from Diamond Jim's). Friends asking other friends over for a hot meal while they waited for the power company.

Andy Taylor:  "Why don't you come over to the house and eat with us.  Aunt Bee would love to have you."

Act Like Somebody.  I heard of one co-worker tell of their family cooking meals together on their gas grill.  One told me that they got out the old fashion ice cream churn, and hand-churned a gallon of creamy dessert.  (There was plenty of ice for the churning).  They played cards by candlelight, read by glow of lanterns, and kept warm by fireplaces. They talked and shared stories...some were the  same old tales told many, many times..and there was an occasional new one.  They laughed and enjoyed each other's company. We didn't see this as an inconvenience, but as an adventure.

Opie Taylor:  "Oh boy!  If you stay over, you'll be in my room...and I'll get to sleep on the Ironing Board between two chairs.  That's adventure sleeping!"

Act Like Somebody.  We stayed in touch with one another, and checked on our family and friends often.  We made do with what we had, and those who were more fortunate gave freely to help others.  It was a time to reflect on what was important.  We did what the good people of Mayberry would have done had they been in the same situation.  The situation impacted us all...in many different ways...we gained renewed perspectives...and just like in Mayberry, we learned an important lesson...I'll let Barney tell you about that...

Barney Fife:  "Andy's been trying to teach me something every since I've been working for him, and it's this:  when you're dealing with people, you'll do much better If you don't go so much by the book, but by the heart."


Have a Mayberry Day,

Keith

a.k.a. - Col. Harvey

Saturday, February 1, 2014

What's Your Hurry?


As Andy, Opie, and Aunt Bee sit on their front porch on a Sunday morning, they speak to and about the different folks passing by on their way to church.  Andy pops off a line as he waves saying, "Mornin' Eli.  Good service, we went to the early one."  

As another family passes,  Aunt Bee remarks, "Look there Andy. Four generations...all going to church together.  There's Claude Sr., Claude Jr, Plain Claude Beamon and Claudette...."

Point being... When is the last time you took the time to just relax on the porch, or on your deck, or out in your yard?  When is the last time you can remember speaking to your neighbors by name as they walked past your house?  Most would probably have to admit that it's been a while...and probably a long while.  I know as I am out in my yard, walking the block or riding bikes around the neighborhood with my wife, or even if I see folks walking or jogging as I walk out to the street to check the mail, I now make it a mission to speak to folks in a personable way. I try to shake their hand if I can.  If nothing else, I will resort to making a comment about the weather (as corny as that sounds).  

Why...when we were kids, we knew all the folks in the neighborhood...and they all knew us.  We had old fashion "Block Parties" and all the kids went to the same public school.  We'd make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, pack it in a paper bag with a can of sardines and head off on our bikes to play all day.  We swam, fished and caught frogs, snakes and turtles in the creek.  We climbed trees and made forts in the woods.  We even hunted small game with our BB, Pellet or even .22 caliber single shot rifles.  And heaven forbid, we even drank water from the garden hose in the back yard...and it was all okay. 

Life seemed a little slower paced back then.  People looked out for one another, and their children.  People spoke to one another and knew each other's families.  I think it's a shame that we've allowed life to get so hectic...and so my challenge to myself and to you is to do exactly as our friends in Mayberry did in those episodes...relax and enjoy just doing nothing.  Speak to your neighbors.  
Go and sit on the porch with a friend or relative and count cars like Barney and Miss Mendlebright did.   Try to peel and apple without breaking the peeling like Andy did for Mr. Tucker.  And take the advice of Dr. Harrison Everett Breen, "Slow down.  Take it easy.  WHAT'S your hurry?  What indeed friends, is your hurry?"

-Keith
a.k.a Col. Harvey