Roanoke Event a Mixed Blessing

Mayberry Memories in Word and Song was held this past weekend in Roanoke, Virginia. Surrounded by verdant mountains, Roanoke was a picture perfect setting for a Mayberry event, and the celebrity turnout was good, although the Dillards were missed. With George Lindsey, Betty Lynn, Magggie Peterson Mancuso, James Best and George Spence all present and accounted for, the event could not fail to please.
However, problems in planning resulted in the event’s informal motto: “Making the Most of What We Have” – a phrase heard too many times over the weekend. Confusion over times for autograph sessions resulted in a poor turnout, but the plus side of this was that those of us present got to spend some wonderful quality time with the cast members. What a treat it was to “hang out” with the Mayberry cast and TAGSRWC veterans over the weekend!
Friday’s big event was the Aunt Bee’s Picnic/autograph session/silent auction. About six venders lined the halls of the Clarion Hotel to sell Mayberry products and assorted knick knacks. Tribute artists Floyd, Barney, Otis, Wally and Flora were on hand to greet the 100 or so people who showed up for hot dogs, hamburgers and autographs.
Saturday night’s show was at the Jefferson Center, a beautiful restored high school with an impressive auditorium. The setting was fitting for the stellar show, but a downpour right before the doors opened resulted in a disappointing turnout. Nevertheless, the show was very entertaining. If you read my review of the New Castle show last year, you might guess my favorite part was once again the “duel” between “Barney” (David Browning) and “Roscoe P. Coltrane” (James Best). Those two comedians crack me up every time!
Betty Lynn was a real trooper; recovering from pneumonia, she still found the energy to attend all events and to sing at the show, and her smile still sparkled although she missed her high school reunion to be with us. Maggie Peterson Mancuso was full of spunk and vitality, belting out tunes and making all the events delightful. George Spence told some personal tales about Andy Griffith that were of real interest to Andy’s fans, and George Lindsey provided a professional stand up comedy routine that made us all laugh.
The cast members certainly made the most of what they had and provided the love and laughter we have come to expect from Mayberry events.
Mayberry Memories In Word & Song
Mayberry in the Midwest 2003
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