I had the opportunity to interview author Kenneth G. Anderson for Christian Activities on August 4, 2006, as he was preparing for the publication of his new book, Mayberry Reflections – The Early Years. Here are some of the interesting things I discovered about Ken.
CA: Where were you born?KA: Evanston, Illinois
CA: What is your birthday?KA: September 5, 1946
CA: Would you share some of your career highlights with our readers?KA: I am a Graduate of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, with a degree in Elementary Education; also did Graduate Studies at University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. I spent 36 years as an elementary teacher in Wisconsin and was listed in 1994 Whoï¿½s Who Among Americaï¿½s Teachers. I also received An Outstanding Wisconsin Elementary Teacher Award in 1974
CA: I know you are active in your community. What are some of you civic highlights?KA: I am a former board member for Eau Claire County Humane Association and received their Humane Education Award in 1997. I served on Eau Claire County Selective Service System Board for five years. I am a current member of the board for Sacred Heart Hospital Volunteer Partners in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and am a current member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, where I have served as a youth mentor for confirmation students. I am also one of the lectors for scripture readings on Sunday mornings. I have done individual volunteer student tutoring at an elementary school in Eau Claire, served on numerous church committees and church councils over the years and currently volunteer about 40 hours a month at Sacred Heart Hospital at the Regional Cancer Center as well as in many other areas of the hospital.
CA: I already know you love Mayberry. Other than Mayberry, what are some of your hobbies and interests?KA: I’m an avid reader of English mysteries. I enjoy driving my 1966 restored Chevrolet convertible in area parades, writing poetry, and model trains. I attend many bible studies, listen to Celtic music, attend plays and concerts and, of course, watch Andy Griffith Show Reruns.
CA: Let’s talk about Mayberry. Tell me a little about your Mayberry interests.KA: I collect various Mayberry collectibles. I have the entire Hawthorn Mayberry Village Collection and many other items. I organized a Mayberry Memories Fan Club in Eau Claire. I also teach the “Back to Mayberry Bible Study,” and when I was teaching, each year I would teach a mini class on Mayberry. Recently I visited the Taylor Home Inn at Clear Lake, Wisconsin, with my wife.
CA: Tell me a little bit more about the Mayberry Bible Study.KA: I first taught the Back to Mayberry Bible Study during an adult Sunday school class five years ago. Our pastor was going to be gone and he asked me if I would teach the class for him. Since then I have used it with confirmation students, adult members of our church, members at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Altoona, Wisconsin, and also at a senior citizen apartment complex in Eau Claire. I will be teaching it again at Bethlehem Lutheran and the senior apartments in September.
CA: Since you are an author, it might be interesting to know about your favorite book and favorite author.KA: I have a favorite series by Emily Brightwell, Mrs. Jeffries series. My favorite author is M.C. Beaton
CA: How long have you been a writer?KA: I started writing about twenty years ago, but then I havenï¿½t done any for quite a while. I have had short stories and articles published in the Lutheran Digest and Family Life Today. I have poetry included in an Anthology of Poems named Earthshine which was published by Poetry Press, and a number of my articles have been published in various newspapers. And of course I have a number of poems in the delightful book, The Mayberry Poem: A Tribute to Mayberry.
CA: What was your inspiration for writing “Mayberry Reflections?”KA: I think it is important for todayï¿½s readers to understand that the values that were found in Mayberry are as important today as they were back when Mayberry first aired. I want to give readers some things to reflect upon as they watch the wonderful episodes that show life as it was in Mayberry.
CA: What is your present occupation?KA: I am retired.
CA: What else should we know about Ken Anderson?KA: In my former church at Fall Creek, Wisconsin, of almost thirty years, I often filled in for our pastors when they were gone. Quite often I conducted the entire worship service. I preached the annual Good Friday sermon for over twenty years. I also did lay preaching at another church in Fall Creek when their pastor was gone. I was a member of the church choir for over twenty years. While teaching I was a sports reporter for the Tri-County News from Osseo, Wisconsin, and I covered events for girlsï¿½ sports in basketball, volleyball, and softball.
More about Ken’s book at Wisconsin Man Reflects Upon Mayberry
Articles by Ken AndersonReturn to MayberryThoughts on GooberIt Seems to MeA Tribute to Don KnottsThe Sites of Mayberry
Other Mayberry Links:
The Andy Griffith Show on MySpace
Flora Malherbe on MySpace
Andy Griffith CD’s can be found at the Christian Activities Music & Books Store
Find out more about “The Mayberry Poem: A Tribute to Mayberry” at:The Mayberry Poem: A Tribute to Mayberry
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