To kick off the 23rd annual Mayberry Days, 22 teams turned out to enjoy meeting the special guests who came out to welcome them and the gorgeous weather on Thursday at Cross Creek Country Club.
David Browning, the Mayberry deputy, who emceed the golf tournament welcome, introduced each special guest.
He introduced Betty Lynn, who played Barney Fife’s girlfriend Thelma Lou on “The Andy Griffith Show,” as the queen of all things Mayberry.
“Remember, we love you a lot,” said Lynn.
Jackie Joseph, who played Sweet Romeena on TAGS, told everyone to look up when they saw her because she forgot to put her shoes on.
“It’s almost tedious to say that I’m so happy to be here, but I don’t care,” said Joseph with a laugh. “I miss my husband, I miss my dog and I miss my water pic.”
Margaret Kerry, who played Bess Muggins and Helen Scoby, said coming to Mayberry Days is the highlight of her life.
“Last year you inspired me to learn how to play golf. I thought I was doing great until I found out my handicap is 175. You inspire me with your love of Andy Griffith and the show,” said Kerry.
George Spence, who played Frank the finance, said when he and his wife Stephanie were driving to Mount Airy on Wednesday, they saw clouds around “Mount Pilot.”
“That’s when I knew I was home again. The air is so clear here,” said Spence.
Browning followed that by saying, “He’ll be giving an agricultural report at 2.”
James Best, who played Jim Lindsey on TAGS, said he has to put up with Browning every time he comes here.
“I stayed in a cheap motel last night. It was so cheap — they mailed me a wake up call,” said Best.
Browning then asked, “Were the mints on your pillow already open?”
Maggie Peterson Mancuso, who played Charlene Darling, told the golfers to “keep their heads down” and to “follow through” on their swings.
George Lindsey Jr., who lost his father, who played Goober Pyle, earlier this year, said it has been a rough year.
“Thanks for the condolences,” he said. “And, don’t forget, Goober says hey.”
Browning introduced Dean Webb, who was one of the Darlings, who is visiting Mayberry Days for the first time this year. He came to pay tribute to the leader of the band, Doug Dillard, who passed away earlier this year.
LeRoy McNees, who was in the TAGS episode “Mayberry on the Record,” said he and his wife Jan celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Sept. 7.
“We haven’t been married that long, but we thought we’d celebrate it while we can,” said McNees.
Before the golfers headed out on the links, Cross Creek’s Assistant Golf Official Brad Edwards explained the rules.
Browning wrapped up the introductions by saying, “We are so glad to be here.”
Reach Mondee Tilley at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1930.