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Sunday, May 6, 2012

TV icon from Andy Griffith Show George Lindsey RIP

George Lindsey, best known as Goober Pyle Dead at 83.

George "Goober" Lindsey, most widely known for playing Goober Pyle on the iconic television series The Andy Griffith Show, died Sunday in Nashville after an extended hospitalization. He was 83.

From USA Today (click here).

As long as his health allowed, he was still making people smile. The Hee Haw star showed up at Ray Stevens' CD release party Feb. 28 at The Rutledge to lend support to his good friend and fellow comedian. Stevens beamed from the stage as he thanked Lindsey for being there.

"He was in a wheelchair that night, and he was really going out of his way to show up for that," says Stevens, who was friends with Lindsey for 35 years. "That's the kind of friend he was."

 Actor Andy Griffith said in a statement that accompanied the family's Sunday morning announcement of Lindsey's death: "George Lindsey was my friend. I had great respect for his talent and his human spirit. In recent years, we spoke often by telephone. Our last conversation was a few days ago. We would talk about our health, how much we missed our friends who passed before us and usually about something funny. I am happy to say that as we found ourselves in our eighties, we were not afraid to say, 'I love you.' That was the last thing George and I had to say to each other. 'I love you.' "

Lindsey's career was much broader than the confines of Mayberry. Lindsey also appeared in M*A*S*M*A*S*H, Gunsmoke, Herbie the Love Bug and C.H.I.P.S. He was in movies including Take This Job and Shove It and Cannonball Run II, was a judge for the Miss USA pageant for years, and lent his voice to an assortment of animated Disney characters in movies including The Aristocats, The Rescuers and Robin Hood. He recorded a comedy album in 1971, Goober Sings!, and was a member of the Hee Haw cast for 20 years.

Lindsey, who lived in Nashville at the time of his death, was born in Fairfield, Ala., Dec. 17, 1928, to parents George Ross Lindsey and Alice Smith Lindsey, and grew up in Jasper, Ala. His mother was disabled, and his father struggled to find work. He was the couple's only child and was primarily raised by his grandparents.

He enjoyed spending time at his Aunt Ethel's gas station where the mechanics wore felt caps to keep the grease and oil from the cars from dripping in their hair. Their caps inspired the beanie Lindsey wore as Goober on the "Andy Griffith Show."

From an early age, Lindsey had a sharp sense of humor and comedic timing and became interested in acting at age 14 after seeing a production of Oklahoma! Also an athlete, he played football in high school and went to college at Florence State Teachers College (now the University of North Alabama) on a football scholarship. While there, he also participated in the school's theatrical productions.

Lindsey graduated in 1952 with a teaching certificate and a degree in biological science and physical education. He joined the Air Force and was stationed at Pinecastle Air Force Base in Orlando, where was recreation director. While in Orlando, he met Joyanne Herbert, who became his wife and the mother of his two children, daughters Camden and George Jr. Lindsey and Herbert were married from 1955 to 1991.

Lindsey was discharged from the military in 1956 and moved back to Alabama, where he was a teacher and a basketball coach at a high school outside Huntsville. From there, he and his wife moved to New York City in the late 1950s, where the teacher and would-be actor enrolled in classes at the American Theater Wing. After graduation, Lindsey found work with small parts in local theaters before launching his professional career with significant roles in Broadway plays All-American and Wonderful Town, which led him to Los Angeles with the dream of being a television actor.

He signed with William Morris Agency and after appearing in small roles on multiple television shows, he landed the part of Goober Pyle on The Andy Griffith Show in 1964 — about two years after he first tried out for the role of Gomer Pyle, which was awarded to Jim Nabors. Lindsey acted on the show until it was canceled in 1968, and from there, he took the Goober character to the spinoff Mayberry R.F.D. The show was canceled in 1971. The comedy album won the attention of executives at country variety show Hee Haw, the actor's professional home for the next 20 years.

"Hee-Haw was a great place for George to continue doing what he loved to do, and nobody can crawl inside his head, but he seemed to be pretty happy doing what he was doing when I was there," Stevens says. "I know I enjoyed doing the Hee-Haw shows. It was a big happy family. I think he had a pretty full life." 

Lindsey also toured heavily as a comedian, often opening shows in the late '70s for The Oak Ridge Boys. Joe Bonsall remembers the joke Lindsey opened his set with every night.
"He would say, 'I was backstage splashing toilet water on my face and the lid fell on my head,'" Bonsall says. "And of course he wrote it, he was very proud that he wrote all of his own jokes. The first words you heard out of his mouth when you saw him off stage was a joke. It never stopped with George, and I guess that's what you got to be to be a great comic."

In addition to his work on screen, Lindsey was also heavily involved in charity work. He's a recipient of the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award, and he raised more than $1.7 million for the Alabama Special Olympics through his George Lindsey Celebrity Golf Tournament.

"Goober was a very caring man," Bonsall explains. "He just cared about stuff and he cared about people. He cared about what people were going through and he was so good with people. People would come up to him and he would put his arm around them and they would just light up because that was Goober. I always enjoyed our times with him."

Socialist wins French presidency.

Nicolas Sarkozy has conceded defeat in France's presidential elections, saying he called challenger Francois Hollande to wish him "good luck" as the country's new leader.

Sarkozy thanked his supporters Sunday and said he did his best to win a second term, despite widespread anger at his handling of the economy.

He said "I take responsibility ... for the defeat."

A Hollande victory could change how Europe tackles its debt crisis -- with more stimulus and less austerity.
Polling agency projections predict that Socialist Hollande will win the elections. Partial official results also show Hollande in the lead.

Hollande would be France's first Socialist president since Francois Mitterrand, leader from 1981-1995.

Ron Paul 22; Mitt Romney 3

Supporters of Ron Paul's long-shot presidential bid trumped presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney in Nevada's delegate count, taking 22 delegates to the GOP national convention in August. Romney got three.

The National Republican Party has warned that it may mandate a vote for Romney or disallow the Paul delegates based on the Nevada Caucus results from earlier this year.

Record Box Office set by "The Avengers"

The Marvel Comics mash-up "The Avengers" launched the summer movie season with a $200.3 million opening weekend domestically, by far the biggest debut ever.

"The Avengers" shot past the previous record of $169.2 million for the debut of last year's "Harry Potter" finale. With $441.5 million overseas since last week, "The Avengers" worldwide total climbed to $641.8 million.

Will the film out-gross "Avatar" and "Titanic"?

Everyone is giving up on print newspapers? WRONG!

Newspapers are dying, or are they. World wide they are growing at a rate never before seen in history, as literacy is on the rise, the interest of people in their community, city, country, region and the world increases.

The reason we, in the United States, feel that newspapers are dinosaurs comes on three levels. First, despite our crying about the recession we are affluent by overall world standards,so we have greater Internet access and spend more time on-line. Second we are a nation of decreasing literacy.  Americans read less, have decreasing intellectual writing level (now an average of about a 5th grade vocabulary levels with decreasing length and depth).The third is that we spend out leisure time rushing through activities, from site to site online, playing video games and not sitting down for a relaxing and slow read.

Contrary to what most Amercans think, our advertising based media structure if dumbing us down (there have been actual test and FOX news was confirmed as having that effect on its regular viewes), and not providing the very service of the free press pioneered in the US and now being actively fought for in most of the world.

Facebook is used by most of the people in the world or so we have come to believe.. False. One in 12, a very large and impressive number, do at least sign on once, but less than one in 50 use it more than once and even fewer have uncensored access due to the politics of most of the world.

Cell phones that are, well, simply phones still dominate in most of the world and represent more than 80% sold world wide.

Only in 60 Americans regularly reads an on-line only media, such as Huffington Post.

The model of free online content for newspaper and media affiliated Internet sites still dominates the world, representing over 98% of media access.

Sunday Morning News and Views

A Jurassic Park Flea. When did politics become  sport? A war? Election week around the world.  The Murder Capital of the world. AND a Birdseye View of innovation and food.

Archaeologists in China have uncovered a giant Jurassic flea-like creature. It was several times the size of a modern flea, and  mean and bold. The discovery of Pseudopulex jurassicus and Pseudopulex magnus is written up in the journal Current Biology. 
"We are not leaving any yard of this football field undefended" swears a leading Republican strategist. When did politics become sport? My team vs. your team. Tossing a football. What happened to issues, real impact on consumers and voters, truth, real people and civic responsibility? Why are Americans lowering out most sacred trust and responsibility to a sporting event?  Who benefits?

Another Republican strategist equated the presidential race as "a war" . Are we really in such a violent society where we think  of our civic discourse and responsibility

Gary Johnson was chosen the Libertarian Candidate for President, with 70% of the votes at the Party's nominating commission in Las Vegas . Johnson is the former two times governor of New Mexico. He needs a minimum of 15% in national polls to get on the ballot in most states in the fall.

Voters in North Carolina are getting robo-calls from former President Bill Clinton warning of the consequences if a voter intuitive this week were to pass. Voters will decide on Tuesday whether to add an amendment to the state's constitution that would ban same-sex marriage and civil unions, as well as domestic partnerships. State law already prohibits same-sex marriage, but this measure would have broader consequences.

African American voters could be crucial in the vote over the North Carolina marriage amendment. Blacks make up just over 20-percent of the state's population, and some polls show they strongly favor a ban on same-sex marriage. While activists on both sides make phone calls and put up yard signs, many African Americans are struggling with the issue inside their churches and homes.  

Ron Paul spoke to the GOP State Convention in Sparks Nevada (next to Reno), which was packed with Ron Paul supporters who have vowed to vote for Paul at the national convention despite a warning by the national party that anyone choosing to do so will see their votes not count, and any disruption of crowing Mitt Romney will lead to eviction from the convention.

Vladimir Putin will be inaugurated president for a third term tomorrow, his third four-year term. This time though Putin is facing some tough challenges - demands to fight corruption, reform the judiciary and military, improve the economy, and end human rights violations. Those voices have gotten louder, as more protesters have taken to the streets. Still many doubt Putin will make any changes in the way he governed Russia during his earlier terms in office. 

French voters go to the polls today to choose between incumbent President Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist contender Francois Hollande.  Polls show Hollande ahead, but most believe the race may be much closer and could go either way. The results of the race are likely to have an impact in Washington DC and international affairs, shifting the US position in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Greece is also voting for a president, under the nations greatest financial crisis since World War II.

Spain has Europe's highest jobless rate, but one organization there is still recruiting labor: The Catholic Church. A group of Spanish bishops have produced a recruitment video telling job-seekers, "I do not offer you a great salary, but I promise you a permanent job." The Church is hoping to capitalize on Spain's poor economy, to boost its otherwise dwindling numbers. And it appears it's had some initial success: The number of Spanish priests rose 4 percent last year, compared to falling 25 percent over the past decade

What is the murder capital of the world? Honduras. The murder rate in Honduras is 69 times the level of Great Brittan and 67 times the rate of the US, and growing. It is more than three and a half  times that of Mexico.Acts of terror by drug cartels, by political groups, by rogue military and by the police themselves have turned the country into a "murder zone."

Mark Kurlansky, is the author of "Clarence Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man." In addition to the history of a company that launched the frozen food industry we all take for granted, he invested in inventing or purchasing machinery that makes many of the food products we enjoy each day. Flash freezing allowed food to remain "fresh"and "retain" its nutrients. It also lowered the price and increased availability on a year round basis that were once seasonal or regional.What Birdseye believed is that possibilities are limited if you have the brains, willingness to experiment and drive to go for it!