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Ten Years Ago

It has been an entire decade since my father passed away. Seems like a long time. However, for me, the loss remains fresh. When someone so special leaves us, time does soften the blow, but only to some degree.

I have shared various details about Howard in previous posts over the years. I’ve done so not only to provide how wonderful he was, but really, how important he was to those that were close to him, family or otherwise.

In the years prior to his passing, I worked with Howard to educate him about this site. It was like trying to explain directly to Ernest T. what the World Wide Web is, and why web sites exist. Believe me it was not easy! However, once I uploaded our first message from Howard to his fans, a tremendous lightbulb lit up on his face. He realized that the Internet was merely another stage calling upon him to perform.

Dad, this site is an ongoing tribute to all that you were, and still are for so many folks. I love you forever.

Kind regards to all!



{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Welford M. Sims May 21, 2015, 3:02 pm

    I met Howard at Mayberry Days and he noticed the cap I was wearing…NavComU43 Midway Island and he struck up a conversation and told me he was on Midway Island in 1943. Last year we had a reunion of Midway Island Veterans and Former Residents and I took the photo I had of him with his autograph, with the title of Sgt. Howard Morris, Midway Island, 1943 AKA Ernest T. Bass and it drew loads of comments! I think I will take it again this year and hope it doesn’t get taken by a well meaning fan!! It would be so nice if he could have joined with us in celebration! One of the veterans is a survivor of the Battle of Midway and is 94!! 2 more brothers are 92 and 90 respectively, and neither one knew the other one was there!!
    If not familiar with the battle, google Battle of Midway and you’ll get more information than you can fathom!!
    Thanks for sharing your dad with us. He was a real classy guy!!

    • David Morris May 21, 2015, 3:41 pm

      Hi Welford,

      I remember your other posts. That is an amazing story. Yes, Sergeant Howard Morris was with you guys in the Pacific. He was a GI and heavy in entertainment at that time. Thank you for sharing the details on this. It truly is because of you guys that we enjoy freedom. Guard that photo of Howard with your life 🙂


      • Welford M. Sims March 29, 2016, 6:41 am

        I did take the photo again and it drew loads of comments again! We don’t have a reunion planned for this year but since next year commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, we will have a huge Reunion again in Glasgow KY thanks to the hard work of another Midway Veteran, Michael Wilson. And since you are connected to Midway thru your wonderful father, that qualifies you to come join in the fun and fellowship. I had to give up on Mayberry Days due to foot problems and being unable to do all the walking, but we had 18 wonderful years and had the opportunity to meet so many nice people including your dad! If interested in the reunion, or if you know any other Midway veterans of any era, email:
        And he will send you all the information you need, and you will have the best time ever! Thank you again and we miss Mayberry Days!

  • Larry B May 21, 2015, 3:24 pm

    The years go by quickly. My dad’s been gone almost 8 years now. I miss him a lot. We used to talk by telephone every week. My mom is suffering from dementia and had to move her closer to me. After watching her for 3 years I recently had to put her in a nursing home after I said I never would. The good thing is that I visit with her almost daily and also visit with the other residents. I see what a great generation of people they were. I sit with them and watch Andy Griffith reruns. A couple weeks ago they played the Jerry Lewis movies and we saw Howard playing Professor Kelp’s dad. Even with dementia they all laughed. It really brings back good memories for them and makes them happier.

    • David Morris May 21, 2015, 3:49 pm

      The nursing home really is the best thing for your mom. It’s very hard if not impossible to take on that level of responsibility at home. In fact it’s dangerous. So never feel guilty about this. They actually do a great job just because there is always someone watching –something you cannot do.

      I took care of Howard at home and it was a very rough job. Glad we could do it but boy was it hard.

      You are correct, that generation was great. Deeper, more respectful and honest than a lot of what we see today.

      Very best wishes!


  • Gary May 22, 2015, 7:45 am

    Hey David,
    It is so hard to believe he’s been gone for 10 years. Time does fly. I have so many fond memories of your dad. When I first met him he was Ernest T. Then as the years went by I got to know Howard Morris. As much as I loved Ernest T. I loved Howie so much more. He always brought a smile to my face and had a kind word – sometimes colorful kind words 🙂 but that was Howie. I usually had my mother with me and he was so kind to her as well. We lost her back in 2009. Time does help the hurt and the tears turn to smiles but there will always be that empty spot that no one can fill. Your dad was a special man put here on earth to make us smile – and he did a wonderful job. Thank you for being there for him so he could be with us.

    • David Morris May 22, 2015, 12:05 pm

      Hi Gary,

      I remember meeting you at various events years ago. Thank you for the very kind note! Yeah, my pop was a one of a kind with many colors!

      Very best!

  • john August 30, 2015, 3:56 pm

    I grew up watching your dad, I just found out that he was only in five episodes, if I had known that back when it was on for the first time I would have been writing to to the guys in charge and let them know what an injustice it is, now don’t get me wrong I love every character on that show, but your dad made it explode in to my world, I thought he was the funniest guy on the show hands down, and now I can never get enough of seeing him as ernest t., I also just found out that the mountain wedding episode was the birth of the character ernest t. , I already knew he was an extremely funny man but that one fact hammers it home for me that he was an absolute genius in creativity, may I download some pics of this genius you had the pleasure of calling dad ?

    • David Morris September 15, 2015, 5:39 pm

      Hi John,

      This is a very thoughtful post (all of them are, actually!) Thanks for taking time out to share the impact HM had on you.

      Yeah, as long as you’re not making any products, or selling the images of my father, you can download them.

      Thank you!

  • Karen September 8, 2015, 10:18 pm

    Funny. My husband and I were chatting while watching TV when we started talking about Earnest T. Did a web search and ended up here. What an amazing and remarkable story of your father. Goes to show you how much the greatest generation has contributed so silently. God bless him, his legacy and his family.

  • Jikkiyu November 27, 2015, 7:35 pm

    Ernest T is amazing. I am watching him right now, just like my mother did back in Vietnam….

  • steve December 20, 2015, 6:16 pm

    Your dad was great, i know he had a great body of work but due to my age i didnt know most of it but Ernest T Bass was the best thing ever on TAGS, and thats saying something!

  • Jacob Accurso January 29, 2016, 10:28 pm

    Watching an episode of The Andy Griffith show. “A mountain man is upset after the army rejects him.” Your dad was SO great. My family’s favorite role is Dr. Little Old Man. We speak High Anxiety all the time in our family. He was a great man.

  • JOAN DUGGAN February 23, 2016, 11:11 am


  • Denise March 3, 2016, 5:35 pm

    I just finished watching the “Boris Karloff’s Thriller” episode titled, “The Lethal Ladies.” Howard Morris was a versatile actor and this episode showcases his talent. I’m glad this site exists for his fans. He will always be “Ernest T. Bass” and he was so much more.


  • Daniel Watkins August 20, 2016, 11:13 am

    Nice site. A great way to honor your father.

  • Maura Lynch September 23, 2016, 7:56 pm

    I had Andy Griffith on and was treated to an Ernest T. Bass episode (the one where he keeps escaping the jail!)
    When I was a kid and always enjoyed A.G. Show, especially the rare sightings of Ernest T, my father came in once and exclaimed, “That’s Howie Morris!” He told us how your father was in his barracks during WWII and remembered him fondly. I thought that was so cool and never forgot it. My father has been gone for some years, and I’m at our family cottage having discovered his letters to my mom from overseas. Reading them gives me a new appreciation for who he was–especially before having seven kids!
    Your father was one of my favorites!

  • Gloria Burnell October 4, 2016, 7:40 pm

    Just watched Ernest T. get his diploma for “learning” on the Andy Griffith Show again. Your father was truly one of a kind—so creative and hilarious, and very endearing as Ernest T. Glad to find this site.

  • Kevin Saddler November 6, 2016, 5:48 pm

    Thanks to your father for the joy he brought to the screen as ETB. I’ve always thought that this show and in particular this character was a connection to our culture. All of us (regardless of race) are not too many steps away from Mayberry.
    Question- was the lost episode ever filmed? I swear I saw the “Im going to hermitize myself line” on TV. Thanks

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