SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 1996
Col. Tim's Talent Time
The final event of the 1996 edition of Mayberry Days was Col. Tim's Talent Time hosted by Mayberry Deputy, David Browning. I've been going to Mayberry Days for the past 4 years and each year David has taken the stage and through his portrayal of "Barney Fife" has been able to set the Mayberry spirit of the talent show. This year was not an exception.
Col. Tim's isn't a contest. It's a time for the residents, and those who feel they're residents, of the town that is Andy Griffith's "hometown" to let their talents shine. While many of the acts don't truly have a Mayberry connection the spirit of Mayberry is there. Jan told me that in the audience she heard things like, "Oh, Sue's granddaughter is going to sing tonight", "Isn't that Mary's preacher's son?", and good wishes for all of the performers. Doesn't that sound like Mayberry? Can't you just hear Clara and Aunt Bee out there saying those things?
The talent was great but the show just wouldn't be Col. Tim's without "Barney" and "Ernest T. Bass". I have the special privilege of joining these guys on stage as "Floyd" and watching backstage as we attempt to think up ways entertain the audience. It's a lot harder than you think. Very little at Col. Tim's is planned. Most things just happen.
At one point, "Ernest T." was out on stage introducing the next act and "Floyd" walked out and whispered something in his ear. Ernest T. just looked at Floyd and said, "He is not, Floyd. Deputy Fife is not hanging himself." With that, Floyd walked over to the curtain and pulled it back to reveal "Barney" standing there reading a newspaper with his head in a traction harness. The crowd erupted into laughter and Barney yelled out, "What's the matter with you boys! Haven't you ever seen a man read a paper before." Floyd let the curtain fall back in place and the laughter continued. It was a sight!
Another highlight was when Floyd walked out on stage and introduced a special singer, Mr. Rafe Holister (Tim Dale). "Rafe" sang "Look Down That Lonesome Road" to the joy of all present. Tim, dressed in overhauls, looked the part of Rafe and even moved his head like Rafe did when he sang the song.
After the song, Floyd thanked Rafe and proceeded to address the real reason for everyone gathering in the playhouse for the evening; the debate between Sheriff Taylor and Barney Fife in their run for Sheriff.
Barney walked on stage with briefcase in hand then re-enacted the entire debate scene with Andy's cousin "Oliver Gossage" (a.k.a. Ernest T.) speaking for him. In the end, Barney announced that he was voting for Andy and the audience erupted in "spontaneous applause."
Half way through the show, Russell Hiatt (owner of Floyd's City Barber Shop) and Charles Dowell (owner of the Snappy Lunch) were asked onstage and presented awards for keeping the spirit of Mayberry alive and well. Both Charles and Russell embody the small town, care about your neighbor attitude that is Mayberry.
Good ole 14A at Col. Tim's
There were so many highlights that I can't report on them all. You'll need to make plans to be at Mayberry Days next year. It's something that I won't be messing and I know you'd enjoy a visit. So, plan to make the last Thursday through Saturday of September 1997 a time to travel to Mayberry.
Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Col. Tim's