ColHarV's Posts (16)

Getting My Dose of Mayberry

I don’t know about you folks, but I go through times where I just need a good dose of Mayberry.  I don’t mean binging on watching the episodes, but interacting with other Mayberryians.

So here’s how I like to do it:

1)  I LOVE going to the www.iMayberryCommunity.com site and reading the discussion forum, adding comments to it and communicating with over 950 members, from all over the country, on Mayberry related trivia and just general conversation.  There is something special about this community of folks.  The page also links you to Weaver’s Department Store, and the “Two Chairs, No Waiting” podcast. Weaver's has some great deals on Mayberry apparel, collectibles and some rare treasures. Anybody that is ANYBODY Mayberry, just has to shop at Weaver's!  The Two Chair No Waiting Podcast is iconic in and of itself.  So much information, and so much fun to listen and participate during the show in the Chat Room!  If you haven't been there, you gotta go!

2)  The Facebook Groups are awesome.  There are several out there:  Mayberry, Our Favorite Hometown, TAGSRWC; Only One Word I Can Think of…Big, Mayberry After Midnight, The Andy Griffith Show, TAGS, and I Miss Mayberry.  All unique, and all run by good folks.  The nice thing about them is that they are ALL Mayberry, ALL the time.  No negative attitudes, no politics, no sales, no criticizing allowed…Just Mayberry Fun!

3)  I have our local TAGS Rerun Watchers Club, Trivial Trivialities, and we love to throw out trivia, quotes and pictures to each other.  It’s hard to even see one of them on Facebook and not find a way to make a Mayberry related comment on their posts.  Getting together with them periodically helps me get my dose of Mayberry.

4)  Since I am fortunate enough to be a part of the Tribute Artists group, I absolutely love these folks and their families.  We all communicate regularly on group messaging and it is very special when we get together at events.  There is a kinship among these folks that is hard to describe, other than respect, admiration and a feeling of family!

5)  Mayberry Events.  I look so forward to attending and participating in the Mayberry events.  There are several super events that are available.  I hope you can go to some.  Starting around April, there’s the Eagle’s Wings Fundraiser (Tuscaloosa, AL), then Mayberry in the Midwest in May (Danville, IN), Mayberry Meet Up in July (Mt. Airy, NC), Mayberry Nights in August (Troy, NC), Annual Mayberry Days in September (Mt. Airy, NC), and the Cruise to Mayberry in October (Out of Charleston, SC) to name a few.  To see a more complete listing of events, click HERE. 

6.  Your local chapter of The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club.  Take a look on the web page to see all the chapters and type in your state, then try to find one near you by clicking HERE  

7.  If you don’t find a Rerun Watchers Clun near you, then start your own.  Click HERE to find out how. 

 See you in Mayberry!

Read more…

A Salute

Whether I go to the grocery store, or to Wal-Mart, or just drive up to the mall…I HATE to be in a long line.  If people were attentive to the task at hand, and moved with due diligence, it would be different, but they don’t! Even waiting at the traffic light, and I am just four cars back…I know that because of drivers not paying attention or just lackadaisically moving along…I may not make the light.  I am especially irked by the “rubber-necking” drivers that just have to slow down and take a good long look at either a stranded motorist, a car pulled over by an officer of the law, or a wreck.  “JUST PRESS THE GAS and MOVE ALONG!”

We hurry up and wait through most of life.  We wait on the TV Repair guy (unless it’s George’s TV Repair”).  We wait on the lady on the phone after she tells us your wait time is 18 minutes.  We wait on the person to get someone on the phone to answer our question about whether or not they have a product on the shelf at one of those big box stores.  We wait on a table when we go out to dinner, even though we made a reservation. (Unless it’s the Bluebird Diner.)
Now, let me back up, and allow my blood pressure to come back down, and talk about the NOT having to wait.

Mayberry fans all over the world have come to know the meaning of “Two chairs.  No waiting.”  It’s the dream of Floyd Lawson, the quirky town barber, to have two barber chairs in his shop so there wouldn’t be any wait time for customers.  Of course he’d have to have two barbers, and that didn’t work out so well in “The Bookie Barber” episode (S2 E28).  Nonetheless, Floyd had to give it a try, and certainly had “the magazines to swing it.”  I know that I can walk right down the street to Floyd’s Barber Shop and NOT have to wait a long time.  Even if I did, it would be a fun wait.

I also know that I can tune in on most Monday nights and 8:00 PM (EST) and find a lot of my friends in a Guest Chat Room, because here is the “Two Chairs.  No Waiting” podcast.  The easiest way to find it is to go to www.imayberrycommunity,com and click on the podcast there.  You can listen to the podcast, and enjoy some of the best entertainment news on the planet.  News about cast and crew, tribute artists, upcoming events, trivia, interviews, new books, and more.  You can even join in the Chat Room.  The proprietor of “Two Chairs. No Waiting” is Allan Newsome.  He’s done over 400 podcast episodes to date.  Allan also owns the iMayberryCommunity.com fan page, the WBMUTBB (Who’s Been Messing Up the Bulletin Board) fan page, along with several others, and he and his wife Jan also operate Weaver’s Department Store (even on days when Bert Miller isn’t working his street stand).   Allan is also the tribute artist that portrays Floyd, the Barber, and has ably done so for about 20 years.  Along the parade routes and through the Mayberry crowds, he’s always willing to give you a snip and check the length of your sideburns.  In real life, he’s an engineer and lives in the state of Alabama.  No matter how busy his personal life is, he always finds time to share his love of Mayberry.  Whether you’re a casual fan of the show (and it’s hard to just be a casual fan), or a diehard “trained notice” like Barney Fife, Allan’s podcast will give you that down home good feeling.  It’s light hearted, chocked full of information, and provides insights into the lives of the cast, crew and tribute artists that collectively keep the show’s life blood flowing.

I enjoy all of the pages Allan maintains for our enjoyment, the Facebook posts he makes, the pictures he shares, the podcasts he produces, and most of all, appreciate the energy he puts into making Mayberry fun for all of us.  Not only will you get to know more about Mayberry, but you’ll come to appreciate more of who Allan Newsome is and has been for all of our enjoyment. Like Floyd once said to Andy…we say to Allan…”you’re a prince of a fella.”  So find and join the imayberrycommunity.com page, join the WBMUTBB page and tune into the "Two Chairs.  No Waiting" podcast...you'll be glad you did.

Read more…

I Am Mayberry Fortunate

One often speaks of how fortunate they are to have this or that, or fortunate to have a particular experience...and so on and so forth. 

Mayberry Days 2016 has come and gone...and it was fantastic.  Many of us took souvenirs away from the weekend.  I came away with a new appreciation for these events.  I attend Mayberry events across the Southeast and Midwest, and am lucky enough to participate as a Tribute Artist portraying Col. Harvey, "Aunt Bee's Medicine Man" ...and I count myself fortunate. 
But I want to reflect on what I think it means to appreciate this good fortune. Spending time with my Tribute Artist friends, I appreciate the time spent with them interacting with the many wonderful Mayberry fans. We visit a good bit, eat meals together often, and work on and off the stage to hopefully bring a little joy to folks as we recreate memories from the Andy Griffith Show...and there is an abundance of love and respect for each other.
I appreciate the wonderful people whom I've met at all of the events, as well as the tireless efforts of the organizers. I've been able to forge new friendships that I will cherish forever. I've become friends through social media venues and now have a bond with these folks that comes to life as we get to say hello, shake hands or hug each other's neck when we meet at Mayberry events. 
I appreciate my good fortune when I meet so many of the real stars from the Andy Griffith Show. I think at last count I had met about 25 of the folks that have either appeared on the show or worked on the set as directors, producers and the like. 
I appreciate how fortunate I am to have a wife and family that not only love the show, but put up with my somewhat "elevated enthusiasm" about the whole Mayberry experience. The family, along with some great friends, are either super "supportive" or super "tolerant" (haha)...either way, I am fortunate. 
With none of us being guaranteed tomorrow, I for one want all of us to reflect on how fortunate we are to have experienced watching the Andy Griffith Show; to have encountered Mayberry stars at the events; to have made new long-lasting friendships along the way; to have enjoyed wholesome fun with a right moral compass in the values taught by the show; and to have had a chance to travel and see places with our families. 
In my reflection of how fortunate I have been with my Mayberry ventures, I don't ever want to loose sight of the blessing, and certainly don't want to allow the normalcy of life to make me numb to the wonderful blessings in life. 
No matter if it's Mayberry, or another passion you have...stop and realize your own good fortune. So for the friends, the fun, the laughs and the joy it brings us. I say to you, "I am Mayberry Fortunate."  What about you?
 
Have a Mayberry Day, 
Keith (Col. Harvey) Brown
Read more…

How To Connect To and Share Mayberry

I was watching and listening to a recent podcast, Two Chairs, No Waiting, hosted by our friend, Allan Newsome.  The podcast showcased some of the many great books written about The Andy Griffith Show.  An issue came up during the podcast that got me to thinking.  It centered around the different websites, resources and events, as well as what many consider to be common knowledge about the show.  What came from the conversation here, and at a recent "meet up" event in Mt. Airy, was that there are still a large number of folks that don't know about all of the great resources, interactive websites, and events for Mayberry fans to participate in and enjoy.

With that in mind, I have put together a beginners list of ways fans can connect with the show, and other fans.  The list submitted here is certainly not a complete list, but is one that you can share with your friends. All of the listed sites and books are credited to the folks that own or host rights to them as much as I have knowledge of and my intent in sharing them is to be a good neighbor and friend of Mayberry. 


BOOKS
The Andy Griffith Show Book:  by Ken Beck and Jim Clark
Mayberry My Hometown:  by Stephen J. Spignesi
The Official Andy Griffith Show Scrapbook: by Lee Pfeiffer
Mayberry 101:  by Neil Brower
We Have Extra Security Tonight: by David Browning with Thomas D. Perry
The Andy Griffith Show:  by Richard Kelly
Barney Fife and Other Characters I Have Known: by Don Knotts with Robert Metz
Barney Fife's Guide to Life, Love and Self-Defense: by Len and John Oszustowicz
Everybody Back on the Truck: by Lee Grant and the Original Dillards
Goober in a Nutshell: by George Lindsey with Ken Beck and Jim Clark
Aunt Bee's Cookbook:  by Ken Beck and Jim Clark
Aunt Bee's Delightful Desserts: by Ken Beck and Jim Clark
Mayberry Trivia -1500 Questions About A TV Classic: by Scott Hopkins
Andy and Don: by Daniel de Visé

NEWSLETTERS
The E-Bullet: http://www.tagsrwc.com/ebullet/joinebullet.htm  Sent every other month with show highlights, cast news, event schedules, and chapter news.
The WBMUTBB Digest: http://www.tagsrwc.com/wbmutbb/joinwbmutbb.htm sent daily with news and updates.
Weaver's Department Store Newsletter:  http://mail.weaversdepartmentstore.com/mailman/listinfo/newsletter_...  News of sales and new items available at the online store.

WEBSITES
The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club. www.imayberry.com
Weaver's Department Store - www.weaversdepartmentstore.com shop for memorabilia, gift items and collectibles
iMayberry Community - interactive fan page, forums, blogs, etc. www.imayberrycommunity.com
Whose Been Messing Up The Bulletin Board? This is the Original online chapter of the Rerun Watchers Club. http://www.wbmutbb.com
Sarah's Mayberry Directory:  lots of links to further resources and fun from Mayberry. http://www.tagsrwc.com/sarahs/content/Mayberry_Mailing_Lists.html
Mayberry Wikia - hosted by QueenBuffy - interactive fan page. http://mayberry.wikia.com/wiki/The_Andy_Griffith_Show
Postcards from Goober:  fun and free greeting cards you can create and send.  http://www.tagsrwc.com/interactive/wcard
Cast and Crew news and official fan pages - http://www.tagsrwc.com/sarahs/content/Mayberry_Cast_&_Crew.html
Unseen Characters on The Andy Griffith Show - http://www.mayberry.info/history/index.php?title=Unseen_Characters
Mayberry Historical Society -  http://www.mayberry.info/history/index.php?title=Main_Page

PODCASTS
Two Chairs No Waiting: hosted by Allan Newsome.  http://imayberry.com/podcasts/category/two-chairs-no-waiting/. News, perspectives, trivia and interviews.  Watch live by tuning into www.imayberrycommunity.com on Monday nights at 8 pm EST.  Archived editions can be found on You Tube
Burke on Mayberry:  Hosted by Kevin Burke.  http://imayberry.com/podcasts/category/burke-on-mayberry/
Cultural references, show morals and the lighter, fun side of the fictional town of Mayberry.
Mayberry Bible Study:  Hosted by Allan Newsome, and based on the original bible study work of Joey Fann (1998).  http://imayberry.com/podcasts/category/mayberry-bible-study/. A reflection of the lessons taught by the show through a Biblical perspective.

FACEBOOK GROUPS
I Miss Mayberry:  Tiffany Brown / Keith Brown Admins
Mayberry after Midnight:  Multiple Admins
TAGS:  Idelle Bushy Admin
The Andy Griffith Show:  Multiple Admins
TAGSRWC "Only one word I can think of...Big" : Multiple Admins
Mayberry, Our Favorite Hometown:  Multiple Admins


BLOGS
Mayberry Everyday: Hosted and written by Keith Brown www.mayberryeveryday.blogspot.com - thoughts and perspectives
Guest Bloggers at www.iMayberryCommunity.com


Have a Mayberry Day,

Keith
(aka Col. Harvey)

Http://www.mayberryeveryday.blogspot.com

Read more…

You Never Know When You'll Meet a Mayberry Neighbor

For those of us who love the Andy Griffith Show…and I mean LOVE the Andy Griffith Show…we probably have some sort of Mayberry memorabilia. It might be a Mayberry coffee mug, a keychain, a hat, some of the collectible villages or plates, a book, a car license tag or tag frame, an autograph or two with pictures of the shows stars…or even a picture or autograph from the Tribute Artists. But most likely, the most popular item in the Mayberry Collection is the T-shirt. Most of us have at least one or two. I’ve either shrunk some of mine through repeated wash and dry cycles, or have just plain worn them out.We have T-shirts for our Official TAGSRWC Chapter, shirts with the different characters and famous character quotes on them, shirts with the iconic places and stores we visit at Mayberry Days, and of course the souvenir shirts from the events we attend. Even if you don’t find yourself at any of the events, you can always visit old Ben Weaver over at Weaver’s Department Store (www.weaversdepartmentstore.com). Lots of memorabilia, hats and shirts there.One of the things that is so much fun about being at a Mayberry Event is looking at all of the great T-shirts. Another thing I like about the Mayberry Events is this…as you think of lines from the show and throw them out, you know that everybody there pretty much gets every line you. They know who said it and may even throw a line back at you. For example if you’re walking down the street and somebody says, “Nip it”, everybody there knows what they are talking about. You are sort of “braced” for the quotes and lines. Last year at the Mayberry Days Parade, as I am walking in the parade as my Tribute Artist persona, Col. Harvey…I hear a shout from the sidewalk, “Hey Colonel…What time do the Indians eat?” Of course I had to respond in kind with, “Indians? Oh….well, they eat most anytime…6:35…7:00…7:15.”Now it’s quite different when you are back home, going about your day to day routines. You, as huge fan, see Mayberry in lots of things and circumstances, but you don’t usually expect to hear a Mayberry line out of the blue…and I didn't...at least not until today.This morning, as I was filling up the gas tank, I was leaning back on the side of my car, daydreaming about the day to come, waiting on the auto stop of the gas pump handle to click off, letting me know that I now had myself an “F” as opposed to having myself and “E” like when I first pulled up to the station.Here’s where it gets good. As I finished and was racking the handle, I looked over to a guy that was also finishing his gas purchase, and gave the customary nod, as we guys do. I said something trivial like, “Gas prices were better last week. Hope they stay low.” He replied to me as he was getting in his car and about to close the door, “Yep. Depending on how many times the pump goes ‘ding.’ $2.10 a ding.” By sheer instinct I said, “Water and air is free.” He laughed, closed his car door, and drove away.I don’t know his name. I’ve never seen him before. I don’t know if I’ll ever see him again. But this I do know…you never know when you’ll meet a Mayberry neighbor. And I wasn’t even wearing a Mayberry T-shirt. “Thanks and happy motoring!”Have a Mayberry Day,Keith(aka Col. Harvey)
Read more…

A Mayberry Cure for the Holiday Blues

I look so forward to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons. All they hype, the excitement of children, the tree and house decorations, the nativity, the services at church, family and the giving. I pour a lot of my efforts into giving. I don’t necessarily focus on the monetary values in the gifts I give, but try to focus on people. How can I serve my family and friends? What acts of kindness can I do for them? How can I serve or give to total strangers or to organizations that benefit those less fortunate. How can I spread joy of the season?In doing so, as previously mentioned, I really pour myself into projects and making others happy during this time. And after the holidays are over and we ring in a New Year…what happens? A lot of people get a little depressed…they get down on themselves and life...they get the holiday blues. And then it hit me. Why do I just have to practice giving and sacrificing myself for the good of others just during the holidays?For me, and I bet for a good number of you, the giving is the best part of the holidays. It just makes you feel good. Remember old Ben Weaver in The Christmas Story from The Andy Griffith Show? Everybody else in town was so cheerful and happy…but not old Ben. He was determined that he was going to remain miserable, and worked hard at trying to bring others down to his level of unhappiness. On one or two occasions, Andy almost went over to the “dark side”, but fortunately, Ellie Walker was there to steer him back to a cheerful heart.By not giving in to the negative attitude that Ben Weaver was putting out there, Andy and the crew eventually managed to force Ben into letting down his guard and “allowing” himself to be happy. The turning point was when Ben fell off the crates in the alley, and Andy went to investigate. Seeing Ben on the ground and asking him, “Ben, what in the world are you a’doin?” Then glancing over to see the overturned crates stacked up as a step up against the jail cell window, as Ben lashed back, “Aww you’re crazy. Why would I want to…?” Then Andy interrupts and asks, “Yeah…Why would you, Ben?”In the scene that follows, Ben brings his suitcases into the jail as Andy brings him in for Disturbing the Peace. Barney is asked to inspect the contents to be sure the prisoner didn’t bring in anything illegal. When the suitcases are opened, all of the gifts he brought from his store were revealed and passed out. Although Ben gave out his gifts with a little gruff, he still did it with a cheerful heart.What can we take from this blog and this episode? How can we fix it so we don’t feel so down after the holidays? One: be a cheerful giver all year long. Find ways to devote your time and talents to those who will not only appreciate it, but will benefit from your efforts as well. Two: Be appreciative of those in your life that “steer” you back to a cheerful heart. Three: Stay persistent in your quest to be happy. The negative people want others to be negative with them. Stay strong. Four: Be a cheerful giver all year long. Do things for people all throughout the year. Don’t be afraid to let your guard down, so others can see you for the nice person you are under your exterior persona. Giving all year will make you happier. Five: Learn to associate with positive, uplifting and fun people. Ben Weaver finally did, and it brought him a great deal of joy. You can easily associate with this kind of person if you spend any time in “Mayberry.”So this year, decide to be happy. Decide to share your talents and time with others. Decide to finally make one of the Mayberry Events. Decide to join one of the Mayberry related Facebook Pages…there are several out there: I Miss Mayberry; Mayberry After Midnight; Mayberry, Our Favorite Hometown; and TAGSRWC “Only one word I can think of…Big” to name a few. Join some of the Mayberry websites like the iMayberry Community at www.imayberrycommunity.com I don’t have time for all that social media stuff you say. It doesn’t take that much of your time, and it’s certainly more uplifting that many of the social media sites out there. Go visit the Events Calendar and find a Mayberry Event near you. “Thanks, and Happy Motoring!”Have a Mayberry Day,KeithAKA: Col. Harvey
Read more…

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)
Read more…

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 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 http://tagsrwc.com/the_ebullet/mayberry-event-calendar/Click HERE to go to and join for FREE, the iMayberry Community….where it's all Mayberry…all the time. www.iMayberryCommunity.comHave a Mayberry Day,Keith “Col. Harvey” Brown
Read more…

Mayberry Comes BACK to Westminster 2014

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
Read more…

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 WasCan 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
Read more…

ACT LIKE SOMEBODY

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!"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..."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."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!"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,Keitha.k.a. - Col. Harvey
Read more…

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?"-Keitha.k.a Col. Harvey
Read more…

Passing Along "The Friendly Town"

I am a guy who does coupons. Yeah, that's right, coupons. I cut them out, look for them online, redeem what the stores give me on the back of receipts and collect rewards points back on my gasoline. I'm not fanatical, nor am I an expert, but I do pretty well. Once at CVS I had a $46.59 bill and only paid $7.19. At the local Sunoco gas station, I have filled up my car (up to 20 gallons) many times for as little as 38 cents.That brings me to the point of this blog entry. Just after the new year, I was filling up using my Sunoco Rewards Card for 85 cents per gallon. On this occasion, the pump shut off after 16 gallons. Of course I squeezed another gallon in there but still had 3 gallons left to redeem. At that moment, I noticed an elderly gentleman that pulled up next to me and got out to fill his tank. He reached for his wallet and did not have it. I saw the disgust on his face which quickly turned to dispair. I read that look as "Oh, no. No wallet and no gas." So I said "excuse me, sir..." And began to explain to him how I had these three extra gallons of gas and nowhere to pump it...and could he use it. He said, "Wow. And yes." He tanked me over and over. Even though it was only 3 gallons, it made his day. It was when he said, "That was mighty friendly of you! I appreciate it."...that I thought about Mayberry...The Friendly Town.I share this not to shine a light on what I did, but that the situation shines a light on something for us all. That a friendly face and a friendly gesture is still appreciated. That charitable giving is OK. That seeing the need of another human being and acting on it is valued. That "doing for others" without expecting reward or recognition still makes you feel good.I think Andy would have been proud to know that Mayberry values are alive and well in 2014.-Keitha.k.a - Col. Harvey
Read more…

Lessons from the Mayberry Christmas Story

I love the "Christmas Story"episode of The Andy Griffith Show...and until recently, always wondered why they didn't do another Christmas episode in the seasons that followed. Then it hit me.If you watch a lot of the other Sitcoms, they will have Christmas shows every season. And when you talk to friends and refer to those other shows' Christmas Specials, someone would always ask: Which season...1 or 2 or 3. It gets confusing.But NOT SO with the Andy Griffith "Christmas Story" episode. I believe it to be the Christmas show standard for other shows to imitate. In this particular episode, Season 1 Episode 11, there is a mixture of comedy and spirituality, love and kindness. Here are some lessons we can learn from this episode:CHEER: Spread Christmas Cheer like the Christmas Cards the boys got from the likes of the Hubacher Brothers, and Hilda May. GRACE: Andy let's the prisoners go home for Christmas to return after to finish out their sentence...an element of TRUST we don't often see nowadays. A little COMMERCIALIZATION: with "Sanny Claus" and decorating the tree, and exchanging gifts. EMPATHY: When they have to jail Sam...and then bring in his family, so they can have FAMILY TIME.The loving SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS is shared among friends and family, with good food and with Miss Ellie singing "Away in a Manger" accompanied by Andy on the guitar. At the 2013 Mayberry Days, Margaret Kerry (Bess Muggins in this episode) shared with my wife, that Elinor Donahue was uneasy about singing on camera, although she could and did actually sing the song. Trying to convince her that it would be fine, Andy talked her into practicing it once just to see how it would go. She did the song and afterwards told Andy that she thought she could do it...and asked when he wanted to film it? With his patented ear-to-ear smile, Andy told her, "We just did."We also see a "SCROOGE" character in old Ben Weaver...pretending he is "Bah Humbug" about Christmas, when all he really wants is to not be alone. He desires, like all of us, to be needed, loved and appreciated, and eventually manages to get himself arrested so he can be a part of their Christmas.All of the elements in this episode remind me that the Christmas season is about all the things they are supposed to be...and that we should share the love that was originally given to us at the birth of the baby Jesus. So in this busy season, take time to notice those that are alone...those without food or shelter...those who've run across hard times and hard luck. Show compassion, love and grace where ever you see an opportunity.Only one Christmas Story in all of the seasons of the Andy Griffith Show was needed to create "Christmas Magic", and it's just as relevant today as it was when it was shown back on December 19, 1960.Have a very Mayberry Christmas...all year long.- Keitha.k.a. Col Harvey
Read more…

My Trip to the BIG City

I recently returned from a trip to the big city…the REAL Big CITY…New York, NY. As I stepped into thecrowded lobby of our hotel, a broad smile broke out on my face. My wife asked me what I was smiling about. I turned around, leaned back on the bar with my elbows and said, “Boy, you sure wouldn’t have to look hard around here to find some good felonies.” (Andy and Barney in the Big City). We both laughed out loud. And it was hard to believe what they were asking for rooms, more than $7.00...a lot more.Truthfully…it was a nice place in a nice location. It was a little different than my hometown, Pawleys Island, SC…and quite a bit different from Mayberry. However, I took a few small town behaviors to the big city and left if nothing else…a lasting impression on a few folks.One of the things I like to do is interact with people. Strangers in the big city don’t do that a lot…and in the world we live in today…you really can’t blame them. However, I coined a phrase some years back about those folks that won’t look at you as they approach you in the hall or on the street until they are right beside you. I call this phenomenon “Passive Avoidance.” I wait for the right moment…then I engage folks.One example: Often you find yourself among a group of complete strangers that ride the elevators together. You look up, down, at your watch and more often than not, at your Smartphone to avoid having to talk to the others. On my NY trip, as the elevator begin to populate and people started looking everywhere else, I said out loud, “Hello new riders. Welcome to the area!” It broke the ice. We started laughing and asking one another where they were from, how long they’ve been here, have you been to any good tourist attractions, and what restaurants they had visited so far. As I saw them the remainder of the trip, there was no “Passive Avoidance.” Instead, I got several “Hellos”, many nods of the head, and even one “Howdy!”One of the folks even told us about a restaurant they liked, adding that it was a bit pricey, and sort of fancy. We did not go there…I was worried that I might accidently order “Snails and Brains.”I took some of my quiet time in the evenings as I rested from site-seeing to read the news, a book and even check mail on my iPad. The place I go to get a little perspective on life, enjoy a few laughs, and have loads of fun is a place that you can all enjoy. It’s located at www.iMayberryCommunity.com. Look me up when you get there. Send me a Friend Request (ColHarV), read the posts, get into the Discussion Forums…in other words, “Jump in there and hang on!”Most importantly, look for Mayberry Moments, and make the effort to spread a little Mayberry every day.Keitha.k.a. - Col. Harvey
Read more…

Mayberry and Technology

Mayberry, NC is the home of one of the most beloved television programs of all time, The Andy Griffith Show. But as far as technology, there really wasn’t a lot by today’s standards. In one episode in particular, “Crime Free Mayberry”, Barney Fife is upset at the modern marvels of the neighboring Mt. Pilot police department and jealous because Mayberry was so far behind the times. He told Andy, “We don’t have any submachine guns, no tear gas, and we don’t even have a “hee-lio-copter.” Barney decries to the fake FBI agent that “Sir, we’re working under very primitive conditions here.”What would Barney have been able to do had they had a radio dispatch operator other than Sarah, the town phone operator, a computer mounted in the Ford Galaxy patrol car for access to outstanding Warrant records, an Eye-in-the-Sky heat camera for tracking escaped criminals on the run, or even an iPhone?The technology wasn’t prevalent in Mayberry, but some of the Technology that we have today has replaced what the folks in Mayberry used to communicate.So often, Mayberry folks had heart-warming interactions, which were lessons for us, by way of face-to-face interactions. You might see two friends, sitting down to talk with one another about a situation...a nephew sharing feelings with his Aunt…or a father having a heart-to-heart with his son. Today we could do the same thing, but it might be via an email, a text, a Tweet, or a Snap Chat. We share what’s going on in our lives with a Facebook message or with an Instagram photo and comment. And as you know, people tend to share more boldly via Social Media without having to look the other person(s) in the eye. We can share thoughts or pictures, but it’s hard to read the voice inflection, the excitement, the sadness, the concerns, and joy that we get with face-to-face interaction. So although technology and connecting with friends using the many tools that are available is great…it is wonderful to spend time talking with friends over a meal or a cup of coffee, with our phones in our pockets or out of reach.It wasn't that long ago that we didn't have email, text messages or cell phones. We did our banking in the bank with a Teller. We did our shopping by going to the store. We checked in at the airport with a flight assistant instead of an App on our mobile devices.Whether we will admit it or not, we all have a strong primal need to be remembered, to connect, and to belong to something outside of ourselves and our immediate environment. Technology can certainly put us in touch, but don't forget to connect as human beings. Reach out to others; share your lives with friends and family...with a handshake, a hug, and face-to-face communication...just like we used to do.Next time you are out at a restaurant; take an informal poll of the lost art of talking and sharing face-to-face. Look around and see how many folks are on their phones while sitting across the table from friends and family members…not talking. Technology is great, but I still think the world needs a little more Mayberry.-Keith(From the www.techngrits.blogspot.com - by Keith Brown)
Read more…