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It was eight years ago today, almost to the exact minute as I post this message, when my  great father passed away. I’ll never forget that moment. Everything he was, everything he cared for, everything his fans and friends loved, everything we had as friends, everything as father and son, it was all gone. Finality.

Before he died, we spent decades with each other. He would call me numerous times a day. In the years before his passing he even moved just blocks away from my office so we could be closer. He was my rock, my anchor, my buddy. I was his sounding board, and he was mine. We protected each other.
Last week, I was visiting with one of my best friends. He and I grew up together. He mentioned that he was heading out of the country on a trip with his father, for a major event. His father is a well known actor. I’ll leave his name out but you’d know him from television over the years. I said to my friend “become the biggest sponge you can while you can. Once that line is crossed, there’s no going back.”   My friend still has both of his parents, yet he understood my point. As we continued to talk, I flashed back over the years when my father and I would travel to various appearances. He would do shows. I was, for lack of a better term, his tour manager. We really had a blast. Like two kids running loose on an airplane, we played together. These times were great, but for my pop it was more than that, it was also the chance to ignite and let loose his unstoppable talents. This was more fun than anything to him. He was soooo good on stage.
I always thought Ernest T. Bass was a pretty smart guy. Crazy, silly, yes, but smart at his core. Why? Because the lines between Howie Morris and his characters would often blur. This was my pops formula to building solid characters.
Even though we were close and spent a ton of time together, looking back, there was still room for more with him. I would give anything to have another hour or two together. I do get brief moments with him in dreams. Suddenly, he’ll just be there. We’ll talk, or he’ll just smile.
Sometimes it’s as though he never died.
Become a sponge with those you love.
Dad, I’ll always love you.
David
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My father, Howard, was born on this day in 1919.

We’ll never stop thinking about you, Dad.

Happy Birthday!

David

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Ernest T. Bass aside, what would you consider to be your favorite Andy Griffith Show episode, and why?

Please sign-up with us and post your comments below :-)

-David

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The Ultimate WMD

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The only authorized place on the web to purchase is here:  http://ernestt.com/bass/store/

 


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I woke up this morning to learn that Andy had passed away in N.C.  Howard and Andy were close friends. Andy was an amazing person. He always said “Howard was my good luck charm. Everytime Howie was around, something good would happen.”

The world loves you, Andy.

-David

Please feel free to share your thoughts about Andy using the “comment” link below.

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I’m curious to hear your thoughts as to why you think Ernest T. is funny.  What was it about him that keeps you laughing 50 years after the original episodes aired?  Please post your comments below 🙂

-David

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I want to acknowledge the passing of two important friends.  The first was the wonderful Richard Dawson.  As many of you know, my father directed a number of Hogan’s Heroes episodes.  Simply put, Howard loved Richard, and Richard adored Howard.  One great childhood memory I have was from the early 1970s.  It was Christmas eve.  I was five, maybe six.   At about 10 p.m., our doorbell rang.  My mother and father were suspicious of who it could’ve been being that it was late, but Howard opened the door regardless.  In danced Santa Claus and two of his helpers.  I remember Santa having a big bag of gifts over his shoulder.  He ran down a small flight of stairs to our living room, opened the bag and placed a bunch of gifts under our tree. There were gifts for my folks and my sister and me.  Santa let out a number of big jolly laughs.  He then said he had to make more deliveries, and ran out!  Obviously, Santa was Richard.  My folks knew him as “Dickie” until he started up on Family Feud.  Santa’s little helpers were Richard’s two young boys, Gary and Mark. My folks were taken completely by surprise. We had no idea Richard was going to do this.  We’ll never forget.

The second person is Ray Bradbury.  I met Ray a couple of times over the years, although I did not know him well.  He and Howard became close on a film that Ray wrote called “The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit.”  Howard had a few bits in the film with Sid Caesar.  I remember Ray being very kind.  He had a lot of admiration for Howard, and vice versa.  I appreciated the brief but special moments that I had with Ray.  I remember my father had given him a copy of a short film my father and I made in the early 1990s called “The Other Side of Hope.”  Howard starred in it with the amazing Robert Guillaume.  The film was not a comedy.  It touched on some serious end of life issues.  Even though Ray knew my father from comedy, he went out of his way to tell me he had seen the film, and how much he enjoyed it.  Howard already knew Ray’s reaction, but I had no idea that my father had sent Ray a copy.  This was a very special moment, totally unexpected.  Thank you, Ray.

 

As always, feel free to post your thoughts.

-David

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