Q: We’re planning a trip to Mount Airy. Is Betty Lynn, who played Thelma Lou on “The Andy Griffith Show,” still making monthly appearances at the Andy Griffith Museum?
Answer: Yes, she makes monthly appearances at the museum, health permitting, on the third Friday of every month. Her next scheduled appearance will be Oct. 18. You didn’t specify when you were planning your trip, but you can keep track of future dates and details at www.surryarts.org/agmuseum/events/bettylynn.html. The site also includes instructions for people who can’t make it to Mount Airy but want to buy an autographed picture of her by mail.
Lynn turned 93 on Aug. 29, and the Surry Arts Council held its annual party for her at the Loaded Goat restaurant. Tickets for that event sold out in less than an hour, said Craig Distl, a spokesman for Surry County Tourism. Lynn moved to Mount Airy in 2007 and has become a beloved fixture there.
She will also be participating in Mayberry Days, an annual festival celebrating the legacy of “The Andy Griffith Show,” which runs next week in Mount Airy. Other guests who appeared on the show will include Rodney Dillard, Maggie Peterson Mancuso, Keith Thibodeaux, Dennis Rush, LeRoy Mack, Clint Howard, Margaret Kerry, Ronnie Schell and Joy Ellison. Other guests include Bruce Bilson, an assistant director on the show; Gary Nelson, who directed an episode; and Karen Knotts, daughter of Don Knotts.
A new guest this year will be Calvin Peeler, who at age 13 wrote in to the show’s executive producer saying they should have more African-Americans in the cast. He was brought in to appear in an episode of “Mayberry R.F.D.”
The festival runs Monday through Sept. 29, and will include contests, games, concerts, a bake sale and special events, including a screening of the 1983 TV-movie “Murder in Coweta County” with Griffith and Johnny Cash, which Gary Nelson directed. He and producer Dick Atkins will attend a Q&A session. Some events are free, while others are ticketed. For more information, go to www.mayberrydays.org or call 336-786-7998.
Q: I read your response to the question of the Publishers Clearing House Prize Patrol coming to the winner’s house unannounced which said that they don’t call. What happens if the winner is not home? If they’re out of town?
Answer: According to Publishers Clearing House, that is one of the most frequent questions they get. “If the winner isn’t home the Prize Patrol does NOT give the prize to someone else. What they will do is wait for the winner to come home.” There have been situations where that involves a long wait, according to PCH; for instance, they waited a weekend in 2012 to reward a million dollar winner.
In some cases, they said, they have tracked winners down at work or recruited family members to help find the winners. In one case, they said, a newspaper reporter “performed as a Prize Patrol deputy a few weeks later and delivered the Big Check.”
“We haven’t had a situation in over 30 years of awarding prizes where we could not locate our winners,” according to PCH.