Cathy Chats

Rubbing elbows with #Mayberry_Days stars, Part 1

Good-afternoon, kittens & dawgs! I have the most amazing mews to share with you. Last Friday, we went to the 26th Mayberry Days in Andy Griffith’s real hometown of Mount Airy, North Carolina.

We arrived at the Andy Griffith Playhouse and Museum shortly after 9:30am. The proclamation ceremony was underway somewhere else, which gave us an edge, but still here were 100 people or less waiting when we got in line. Rain clouds loomed over our heads all day and occasionally light sprinkles fell on us, but the good mews is that was about it.

Anywho, first-time celebrities and biggest names to take part in the annual event were Clint Howard (Leon), Barbara Eden (Ellen Brown – Manicurist), and Bruce Bilson (TAGS Asst. Director). We wanted to see everyone, but it was the announcement that Barbara would be there that made us decide to make the three and half hour trip.

Once we got to the entrance, we immediately noticed Bruce Bilson and Clint Howard seated. Unfortunately, soon after someone whisked Mr. Bilson from the room.

Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect from these celebrities. Would they be grumpy and short-tempered? You know, doing this whole thing out of obligation. Imagine my surprise when I saw Clint’s magnet personality in action. He talked with each person streaming by as if he knew that person all of his life.

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As if on cue, Clint turned at the right instant for me to get this shot while he chatted with DH.

Clint is a great conversationalist and super easy to talk to.  I didn’t know he was part of the Mayberry Family, but I do recognize the cute little kid that he was from those days after searching the web. I remember him mostly from Apollo 13. He has done a host of TV series, animations, and big screen productions over the years. I thought it was interesting to learn that he was the voice of Roo in 1977 The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.



Mayberry had one manicurist, Ellen Brown, the lovely Barbara Eden. I had all but forgotten that she was a part of American’s favorite hometown. I’m sure like most of you, I know Barbara best as the enchantress from I Dream of Jeannie.

I vividly remember wanting to live in that bottle or better still polishing it between my hands so I could ask her for a wish. Boy, that sounds like a good idea about now! Barbara Eden’s character mesmerized me. I mean, what kid isn’t with magic involved, right? Oh yeah and she’s gorgeous! 😀


It was a wholesome, fun show for the entire family despite her controversial attire. That’s kinda funny to think about today, but in the mid-60s this sorta thing got frowned on. lol

The long wait was nearing an end. Enthusiastically, I stood on the other side of the table facing Barbara Eden. No doubt with a star gazed look in my eyes. With my hand outstretched, she took it (Oh, my Cathy!!) as I introduced myself, then DH to her.  I was wearing a t-shirt that she read aloud, “Everyone loves a Tennessee Girl,” and without missing a beat continued with, “Yes, everyone sure does!

At 84 years young, Miss Eden is ever bit as beautiful as when I first met her on my parents’ TV set in the late 60s.

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A flattered Barbara. DH said, “We still dream of Jeannie.”

All I can say is this gal’s dream finally came true!

I’m joining Les from Time Out For Mom for Tuesday Coffee Chat and Stacy for Random Tuesday Thoughts. We met more celebrities, but at the risk of making this post any longer, I decided to break it up. So, I invite you to join me on Friday for Rubbing elbows with #Mayberry_Days stars, Part 2!

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I born and raised in the Appalachian mountains of southern WV. I was a child bride when I married my high school sweetheart in 1979. We moved to Knoxville, TN to begin our life. Determined to prove nay-Sayers from our community wrong, I completed my education and went on to earn an A.S. in computer programming. From 1983-1987, I worked as a computer system’s manager. That’s a glorified title for someone who trouble shoots and maintains system back-ups. After the birth of our first child in 1988, I took early retirement. What have I been doing for the last 25+ years? I am proud to say, I am a SAHM and for most of those years I home-schooled our three children from K-12. Now, the nest is empty.


  • Stephen T. McCarthy

    CATHY ~
    ‘THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW’ is my favorite TV series of all time, and I own the first 6 seasons on DVD. Also, my Brother and I made a special trip to visit Mount Airy some years ago. We weren’t there during ‘Mayberry Days’ though.

    That episode where Barbara Eden played the manicurist was a good one. It cracks me up when all those men scatter in every direction and Barney almost gets hit by the car, dashing across the street without looking first!

    In fact, I have Floyd the barber (and a poem I wrote about him) posted front and center on my own blog RIGHT NOW! Ha! Coincidence.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    • Cathy Kennedy

      Stephen, I do remember the episode you’re referring to and it’s hilarious. Don Knotts a.k.a Barney Fife was perfect in his role, as all the characters on the show. Barbara Eden was a knock out in her day and still looks fabulous for her age. I can only dream of being as stunning as she is at 84. Thanks for sharing with me about your poem. I will include a link back to your site in tomorrow’s Part 2 post for folks to check it out. Thanks for stopping by, my friend! BTW, due to problems recently with my blog comments for Oct. 1st disappeared. If you can, please come back to recast your vote. I’m sorry for the inconvenience!

  • Rorybore

    so very cool!!! This IS good news. Clint is always fantastic in his roles. And Eden does look wonderful — I saw reruns of Jeannie and it was one of our favourite shows. We all wanted to be Jeannie for dress up! ha. What a really nice tradition they have to honour him.

  • Shady Del Knight

    Hi, dear Cathy! I enjoyed reading about your trip to the annual Mayberry Days in Mount Airy. I know where the town is located because Mrs. Shady and I traveled through North Carolina last fall and I saw it on the map. I would be star struck to see and meet Barbara Eden and the other actors from the series. I had actually forgotten that Barbara had a recurring role as the town’s manicurist. It’s a shame so many of the regular cast members have passed away including Andy, Don Knotts, Frances Bavier, Howard McNear, George Lindsey, Hal Smith, Aneta Corsaut and Howard Morris.

    Thanks again, dear friend Cathy, for sharing highlights Mayberry Days!

  • Janie Junebug

    That’s great! I wonder if it’s difficult to be Ron Howard’s brother, or if it’s super cool. Ron seems like a good guy who never forgot where he got his start. I remember when they made that Return to Mayberry reunion movie that Ron joined them although he was already a famous director. I knew that Clint played the little kid on the show. Then he starred on Gentle Ben, so he and his brother were in two of the top-rated shows in the country.


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