Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Remembering Aunt Bee ~ A Guest Post

Special Note: This is a guest post by my dear daughter...

I adore the Andy Griffith Show! Uproarious Deputy Barney “Barn” Fife is the perfect sidekick to friendly “sheriff without a gun” Andy Taylor. His son Opie spices up the show, along with other heartwarming characters such as Floyd Lawson (Mayberry’s inimitable barber), Thelma Lou (Barney’s girl) and many others. But the heart of Mayberry has got to be Aunt Bee, with her warm, bustling everyday baking and housekeeping.

When Andy comes home from a long day at the sheriff’s office (worn out from Barney’s antics), Aunt Bee is waiting to tell him that there is leftover homemade apple pie in the kitchen.

Later, when the family is gathered on the porch – with great nephew Opie building block houses on the floor, Andy playing the guitar, and Aunt Bee knitting, she exclaims – as the clock strikes nine – “bedtime, Opie. I’ll be up in a minute.” Then of course, she hears him say his prayers and tucks him in.

Aunt Bee is an artistically talented woman as well – her side hobbies include crocheting doilies, knitting, painting with watercolors, and singing. She is also a member of the Mayberry Garden Club. 

First thing in the morning, Barney will make his “usual quiet arrival” in the squad car. Of course, Aunt Bee always insists he sit down and have a cup of coffee while she swaps recipes for cherry upside down cake with best friend Clara over the telephone line.

When a traveling handyman fixes the roof, she has cold lemonade, a beautiful lunch, and a guest room all prepared. Aunt Bee’s hospitality extends to many! When various cousins or others pass a few days at the Taylor’s, she is always scrupulous about clean sheets and good dinners, insisting that everyone help make their guests feel welcome.

Any neighbor down on their luck is sure to meet with a warm invitation to come on over if you need a place to stay. 

Bachelor Barney looks forward to Sunday dinners at the Taylor’s – in fact, everybody in Mayberry hopes to be invited, as they know Aunt Bee will have fixed a feast of her famous fried chicken and biscuits, along with homemade pies for dessert. 

Then, too, there are the not so welcome visitors – the infamous Darlings, an army of silent, hungry mountain men. But Aunt Bee just presses her lips together and cheerfully resigns herself to working in the kitchen, cooking enough for all.

She delivers a delicious lunch over to the courthouse for Andy and Barney every single day – but she generally has to hurry back home as she’ll have cakes for the church social in the oven. Somebody sick in Mayberry? Aunt Bee never forgets to send hot soup over. 

Still, no one woman can be good at everything.

Aunt Bee loves to can pickles and jams to keep on hand in the cupboard… But they are usually inedible. Nobody has the heart to tell her so, but Barney privately refers to her pickles as “kerosene cucumbers.”  Her thrifty ways can also get her into trouble – like the time she bought an entire cow for the freezer. Unhappily there was a reason why it was so cheap… 

Aunt Bee’s attempt at playing baseball with Opie was equally unsuccessful, but you have to give it to her – she tried. For all that, Opie’s own words are “she’s the best cook in Mayberry.” And that’s all that really matters to a growing boy... 

Not only does Aunt Bee cook – she keeps the house spic and span, and always keeps the men folk’s shirts clean and mended. Yes, sir, she keeps the world going round for her two nephews. In fact, the few times she’s had to go away for a few days, they’ve had a rough time getting on without her but Aunt Bee enjoys it all heartily, and loves to be needed by her family.

Modern women can say what they like, but the fact is everybody loves the “Aunt Bees” of the world. They are always in demand, always needed, always cherished, and always remembered fondly when they pass on. That's a legacy worth leaving.

I’m proud to say that I want to be just like Aunt Bee when I grow up. Heaven forbid such lovable, necessary ladies become a thing of the past, like calling cards and kid gloves! Let’s create a new generation of aspiring Aunt Bees – one apple pie at a time...

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  1. What a lovely post. I can't say I ever saw the show as we didn't have TV back then but it sounds like Aunt Bee was a loveable character.

    1. Oh Nanna, so sad you're not familiar with this old time favorite. If you have cable tv today they do re-runs a lot on MeTv. I hope you can tune in and enjoy it soon.

    2. You can find the old shows on Hulu. They are still as funny and great as they were back then.

    3. Thank you so much for this post! I have always wanted to be just like Aunt Bea! She had such talent and cared so much for everyone! We need to get back to this time when women were not so focused on making their mark on the world, but making their mark on their loved one's lives. Who remembers the co-worker from 20 years ago? But you can bet we would remember our Aunt Bea who loved us enough to make us her life's work.

  2. Que fotos mas entrañables. Me encantan. Un saludito.

  3. To dear Jes, and to your wonderful daughter!!

    I am really enjoying this guest post!! Aunt Bee puts the life into the town, and this piece acknowledges the beauty that she contributes so abundantly! I love the richness in detail - the meals and baking; the knitting; crochet; watercolour painting; gardening; and housekeeping.
    Yes, our world needs more Aunt Bee protégés, and I admire today's guest writer for taking on this aspiration. I'd like to see more guest posts by this writer!! Thank you to you both!!

    Warm regards,
    Rachel Holt

  4. What a wonderful post! I love Aunt Bee, too! Thanks for sharing this -- very inspiring.

  5. I truly enjoyed this post! We watch "The Andy Griffith Show" all the time! The pickle episode is one of our favorites. Aunt Bee is a great example of a loving and hospitable woman, definitely worth emulating!

  6. I love the character of Aunt Bee too! We all need a real life Aunt Bee. (have you ever read about the true personality of Aunt Bee in real life? The actress wasn't so nice)

  7. I remember Aunt Bea well....I named my gray cochin chicken after her!

  8. Love, love this fun walk down memory lane with Aunt Bee. I always appreciated her home-making ways and enjoyed the show so much. The one about the kerosene pickles was a favorite episode. Looks to me like your daughter has inherited her mother's gracious writing style.

  9. I fondly recall Aunt Bea. She was the glue that kept that family together. She was a valuable member of the family. Her skills will never go out of style! (I think she would also have pity on Otis the town drunk when he spent the night in jail--she would also bring him food.)

  10. I loved this post because I watch the re-runs a lot. It was such a simple time with so much "clean" comedy. It's getting harder for me to find shows I enjoy so I watch many of the old ones. The so called reality shows are all fake, except maybe hoarders. Many shows have to throw in vulgar words, explicit bedroom scenes and mean spirited people because they have nothing else going for them. As I get older, the more sentimental I become. I would love to visit my Aunts and Uncles that lived in the country and hear their screen doors and creaky wood floors again. We would make fresh peach ice cream and enjoy the family stories. They have all passed now but they live on in my memories and old photos. Thanks for taking us back in time today.

  11. I always loved Aunt Bea. She seemed to be the (almost) perfect homemaker.
    I enjoyed this post so much.

  12. What a delightful post this was! How well I remember this show, and it was sweet to remember it again with this affectionate tribute to Aunt Bee. How encouraging, too, that there are still girls and young ladies who aspire to be an "Aunt Bee." But this particular young author has a wonderful example in her own home to model. :) I'm afraid, JES's daughter, that this dear and well-written post means that we will want to hear more from you! Blessings to you and your family as you enjoy precious time away. Nancy D.

  13. Add me to the Aunt Bee fan club! We always watched the Andy Griffith Show. This was coincidental because we've been watching Mayberry RFD nightly on ME TV. Aunt Bee is on there, too. The Mayberry gang just spent 2 weeks in Palm Springs. I've thoroughly enjoyed watching these old episodes. They certainly are a bright spot in today's tv garbage can!

  14. I so enjoyed reading this post written by your daughter ~ thank you for sharing it, JES! It actually brought a few tears to my eyes. I have a long way to go to be like Aunt Bee, but I want to be more like her, and would love to meet someone like her, too. I will have to watch these shows to see Aunt Bee in action. :-) Please thank your dd for writing this and including the sweet pictures, too. ~Lynne

  15. I want to be like Aunt Bea, too!

  16. A new subscriber to your blog and I truly enjoyed "Remembering Aunt Bea". A wonderful look at what a difference one loving, energetic woman can make in the lives of many!!!!

  17. What a sweet post. We just watched the pickle episode. It's so funny and I love Aunt Bee.

  18. Lovely post. She also is one of my favorite characters.

  19. Oh I just love Aunt Bee! I've always wanted her to come and live with me, especially when my children were small. What a delightful post! And I agree, we need more Aunt Bees in this world.

  20. We love Andy Griffith!! I dare say...I am getting quite excited as I am seeing a definite push out there encouraging young ladies in traditional roles!!
    So nice to read!! I shared with my daughters!
    Let's keep it up ladies...young and old!
    God bless

  21. I so enjoyed this post! Yes, more Aunt Bea's is just what America needs today. What a wonderful aspiration to have.

  22. Hi daughter of JES- lovely post about Aunt Bea. It was such a simple life in Mayberry of yesterday. We would all benefit if we had our own Aunt Bea in our lives or aspire to have her good values today. It's wonderful to hear young ladies wanting to be homemakers just like this America's favorite aunt!
    Barney was hilarious too!! ~ T

  23. What a lovely post! I enjoyed it so much. I also wish there were more Aunt Bee's, and a desire for women to be in the home.

  24. Well....
    I certainly love Aunt Bee, but...
    the Columbia-graduated actress who played her was NOT Aunt Bee in real life. This makes me sad. Here are some quotes from IMDB:

    Despite her good-hearted image on screen, cast members of The Andy Griffith Show (1960) often remember her as difficult, temperamental and somewhat cold. Griffith himself said "There was just something about me she did not like.".

    Sad, when Bavier retired in 1972, she quickly became a recluse in her two-story Siler City, North Carolina home. She rarely left the house. She left most of her $700,000 estate to a hospital foundation. The home in which she lived in for 17 years was poorly upheld upon her death, nearly irreparable from the damage caused by her 14 house cats.

    In an interview, when director Ron Howard was pressed as to the stories of discord with her on the set of The Andy Griffith Show (1960) all he would say was "I just don't think she enjoyed being around children that much.".

  25. p.s. I assumed that it is spelled Aunt Bea, as in Beatrice, but IMDB did have it listed as Bee...your daughter had it right.

  26. I featured this post on my Happy Homemaker Monday post this week.

    God bless!

  27. What a fun post! My mum used to watch this show every day!


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