A man of many talents including writing several books about Mayberry with his friend, Ken Beck, writer Jim Clark was one of the founders of “The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club” (TAGSRWC), back in 1979 when the friends were students at Vanderbilt in Nashville.
“MASH” and “The Andy Griffith Show” (TAGS) came on at the same time and two groups of students vied for the TV in the dorm lobby. Jim Clark says the fans of “The Andy GRiffith Show” decided one of them always had to be in the lobby before the ‘MASH’ people. “Then we decided we should have a name for our group so we came up with the tongue-twister: The Andy Griffith Show Rerun Watchers Club.”
By 1990, “The Andy Griffith Show” was celebrating its 30th anniversary in Charlotte, NC. Jim says it made sense to do something the same weekend in Mt. Airy to bring people up, and that weekend became the first Mayberry Days.
Jim Clark is especially pleased to note “The Andy Griffith Show” has spawned a Mayberry-themed Bible study which bears its name. ‘It really is neat to see the Bible study sweeping the nation to see people finding a deeper meaning than just good entertainment in ‘The Andy Griffith Show.’ It is a tribute to the writers that people are finding a spiritual significance in the show.”
Jim stays busy writing Mayberry-themed and other books. “We don’t have any other Mayberry-related projects in the works, but Mayberry is always my favorite topic to write about,” Jim Clark states. We can only hope Jim Clark and Ken Beck find another angle to write about their favorite topic.
To learn more about Jim Clark, read the in-depth interview and article at Jim Clark: Author, Mayberry Authority and “Head Goober.
For a photo of Jim Clark with the author at Mayberry Days 2008, view my Mayberry Days slideshow.