In season six of the Andy Griffith show, episode 7, Sheriff Andy Taylor comes into some money. Andy, his girlfriend Helen Crump, son Opie, and Andy's Aunt Bee, have dinner and discuss what he should do with his newfound riches:
Andy: This has been quite a day.
Helen: How exciting! What are you going to do with the money?
Andy: Put it in the bank.
Helen: Put it in the bank?
Andy: What's wrong with that?
Helen: Why don't you do something fun with it? Splurge. Do something crazy.
Andy: What are you talking about?
Helen: Well, when was the last time you people took a trip?
Andy: We take trips. We go up to Raleigh every now and then. And we drove up to Asheville that time… remember?
Aunt Bee: When your cousin became a Mason.
Opie: "Can we take a trip, Pa? Can we? Can we Aunt Bee?
Aunt Bee: "Well, it's entirely up to your father, dear."
Andy: "Well, I suppose we could take a little of the money and take a little trip. Want to go to Parkinson's Falls? It's nice this time of year and Opie hasn't been there since he was a baby."
Aunt Bee: "Hmmmm…"
Andy: "Well, you wanna drive up to Asheville again and see cousin Evan Moore? He's a Grand Master now.
Well, whadya know? Andy's cousin was Grand Master of North Carolina. How about Sheriff Taylor himself? So, we know he went to see his cousin become a Mason, and you don't get in unless you also are a Brother. Aunt Bee and Opie, however, would have been shut out of the actual ceremony. It wouldn't be the first time that's happened, though. Still, the show doesn't specify. In another episode a few years before, members of a "gentleman's club" recruited Andy. Recruited? Whatever happened to 2B1ASK1? It's a moot point because Andy didn't join, since the members wanted him, but not his deputy Barney Fife. If Sheriff Andy was, in fact, a Freemason, he apparently kept it… dare I say… a secret.
Most viewers may not realize the iconic Andy Griffith Show was a spin-off from the Danny Thomas Show. In an episode of that show, country-bumpkin sheriff Andy stopped Thomas' character for speeding. The plot followed Thomas' trials and tribulations while dealing with the small town sheriff, who was also the town judge and newspaper editor. Thomas, a member of Gothic Lodge 270 in New Jersey, created the Andy Griffith show based on that pilot episode and was executive producer for several programs. He was also a 33° Scottish Rite Mason and a member of Al Malaikha Shrine in Los Angeles.
Andy Griffith himself was not a Freemason, but held the Fraternity in high regard. He actually got his comedic start performing for a few summers at the Dare County Shrine Club in – where else – North Carolina.
So there you have it: the Masonic ties to the Andy Griffith show. To recap:
Sheriff Andy Taylor: Maybe… but probably not a Freemason
Andy's cousin Evan Moore: Grand Master of North Carolina
Show creator and executive producer Danny Thomas: A Freemason
Andy Griffith: Not a Freemason
Who knows, maybe Aunt Bee or Andy's girlfriend Helen Crump were in the Eastern Star.
Six degrees of separation. Who knew?ReplyDelete
FYI - Women's freemasonry doesn't just consist of The Eastern Star. There are numerous Women's Lodges worldwide. ;)