Actress Betty Lynn, beloved as Barney Fife’s girlfriend Thelma Lou on “The Andy Griffith Show, ” is the
Guest of Honor for the Second Annual Mayberry Squad Car Nationals, to be held from 1:30 to 3 p.m., in conjunction with the Brent
Mule Days and PCA Rodeo, on Saturday, June 22, 2002, at Heritage Park in Brent, Ala.
The event is exactly what it sounds like: folks racing their replicas of the Mayberry squad car.
“A lot of folks were surprised that
there was a first Mayberry Squad Car Nationals,” says event organizer Kenneth Junkin, who is also a leader of the “Hearty Eatin’ Men
and Beautiful, Delicate Women” chapter (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) of “The Andy Griffith Show” Rerun Watchers Club (TAGSRWC). “They’ll
need some heavy-duty shocks to absorb their surprise that this year the event is back even bigger and better than the first year.”
Junkin adds, “We’re delighted to be associated with Brent Mule Days, and we’re especially pleased that Betty Lynn will be able to
attend as our very special featured guest. She’s a truly wonderful person and obviously a good sport.”
In addition to participating in the Mayberry Squad Car Nationals, Betty Lynn will also be Grand Marshal of the Brent Mule Days Parade,
which starts in Brent at 9 a.m. on June 22. She will also be signing autographs and participate in a question-and-answer session, as
well as greet fans at the rodeo itself.
Mayberry Squad Car replicas from Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and as far away as Illinois, and Ohio are
expected to be racing in this year’s Nationals. Among the nine squad cars already committed to attend are the following
* Kevin “Speed, Speed, Speed” Snead, the defending champion from Tuscaloosa, Ala., representing TAGSRWC’s host “Hearty Eatin’
Men and Beautiful, Delicate Women” chapter
* “Tricky” Ricky Carnes of Mayberry Squad Car chapter in Canton, Ga.
* “Flat-Out” Pat Coleman of Remembering Mayberry chapter in Chillicothe, Ohio
* Terry “Mississippi Mudflaps” Duke of Amory, Miss.
* Woody “No Brakes” Jacobs of Esquire Club chapter in Cullman, Ala.
* Joel “Mayberry Judge” Laird of Aunt Bee Haven chapter in Anniston, Ala.
* Bob “Pedal Masher” Matthews of Gadsden, Ala.
* Jan “Checkpoint Chickie” Newsome of Mother Figure chapter in Huntsville, Ala.:
* Robert “The Dismantler” Shelby of Goober’s Auto Dismantling chapter in West
Any other individuals who have Mayberry Squad Car replicas that they would like to race (it’ll be in a controlled way that won’t
endanger the engines and other parts of the cars) or bring for display are invited to contact Kenneth Junkin at (205) 364-7727 for
more information or to reserve a racing spot. (Note to NASCAR officials: Two of the Mayberry daredevils in the field so far, Coleman
and Newsome, are women.) In addition to drag racing, there will also be an obstacle course event and other competitions.
Other personalities on hand will be renowned impersonator David “Barney” Browning, Allan “Floyd” Newsome and
Kenneth “Otis” Junkin.
In addition, the event will feature all sorts of other goings-on, including Mayberry trivia and theme-song whistling contests.
Mayberry and racing fans (or anybody else who’s just curious) can simply show up on June 22. Admission to the Mayberry Squad Car
Nationals is free. Admission to the Brent Mule Days and Rodeo is only $8.00 per adult and just $5.00 for kids 6-12 (kids under 6 get in
free with a paying adult).
Heritage Park is located on Prison Road (wouldn’t Barney just love that!) in Brent.
For anyone who is attending from fairly far away and needs overnight lodging, Tuscaloosa to the northwest will be the biggest town
fairly nearby with the most hotel accommodations. (The University Days Inn in Tuscaloosa is the official host hotel.)
The organizing sponsor of the Mayberry Squad Car Nationals is the “Hearty Eatin’ Men and Beautiful, Delicate Women” chapter of
TAGSRWC. Other sponsors this year include the Town of Brent and the world-wide organization of TAGSRWC.
Mark your calendar and get revved up as the Second Annual Mayberry Squad Car Nationals, with its lights flashing and sirens blaring,
rolls into Brent in June.
Photos by Kathryn E. Darden for ChristianActivities.com.
Related Stories & Links:
Mule Days Is a Kick!
Mayberry Days 2002 To Be Held September 26-28
Andy Griffith Tells His Story
Christian Activities Mayberry Forum
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