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13 Years Ago: Right Now

It was just about this time, on May 21, 2005 that we lost one of the greatest people ever, Howard Morris. I think of him constantly. The older I get, I see him looking back at me in the mirror. Sometimes I do what Howard would call “doing a double-take!” Sometimes, I experience what I call the WWHD, or, “what would Howard do” syndrome. Normal for me to feel this multiple times a day. But, the void he left behind is still very hard to fathom. It amazes me as to how raw my emotions still are when May 21, 3pm rolls around each year. I keep it all in check throughout the year. Suddenly, I spot it heading in about a week or so out, and then, Today. It hits the beach like a big wave that stands out from the rest of the waves. Even though Howard passed away peacefully, the event of his passing, at least for me, is kind of like my own internal 9/11. That is how great a father he was to me. As hard as it is without him, we were all extremely blessed to have experienced him. That is a wonderful thing.
This site is built in his memory.
Dad, we will love you forever.
{ 14 comments… add one }
  • ken sweat May 21, 2018, 6:19 pm

    David: I lost my father last year (6-5-17). I didn’t understand all of the emotions that you described until now. Just think your (and mine) dads are in a better place than this earth. Hopefully someday we will all be re-united. May god bless you, your dad and mine. Take care, Ken Sweat

    • David Morris May 21, 2018, 6:27 pm

      For the living, it is a permanent life-long adjustment. As sad as it is, it is also normal. Roll with the waves no matter their size.

  • James Silvester May 21, 2018, 6:57 pm

    David, your Dad gave generations the gift of laughter….My Pops has been gone for 47 years yet I remember his reactions to Ernest T….It filled him with joy at a difficult time in his life…..My Dad was from the deep mountains of West Virginia and he related to Ernest T and so do I coming from the same area….Last week my family was sitting around the dinner table and we always watch Andy Griffith at dinner….I saw my son, well into his 30’s laughing his heart out at Ernest T in the Mountain Wedding episode….Thats three generations and still smiling at the antics of Ernest T….Your father made millions smile at a difficult time in our country’s history. And he is still reaching out….I know your loss….Only a son who has lost their Pops can understand….God Bless David and stay in touch….Jim Silvester

    • David Morris May 21, 2018, 7:22 pm


      Thank you for sharing your very kind thoughts. Just as Ken just shared some very moving thoughts about the recent passing of his great father, it truly is hard. I appreciate hearing about your dad, too. To miss them is to love. Yes, the generations that continue to enjoy this show is remarkable. Regardless of show biz, or how long ago our family members left us, we’re all in this boat together. I’m touched to hear of your family experiences. Thank you for reaching out!

  • Kelly Maloney May 21, 2018, 7:07 pm

    David, I think of your Dad so frequently, I think I’ve posted that every 5/21. Pls know that there are so many nameless/faceless people such as myself that miss him something fierce!

    • David Morris May 21, 2018, 7:27 pm

      I’m very touched by your comments. You are definitely not faceless to me!

      Thank you my friend!

  • Robert bienenfeld May 21, 2018, 7:20 pm

    I could understand too, as I lost my father in a terrible bad house fire, in woodmere, ny, back in 2010 and feel with emptiness never got to say goodbye to him (https://www.newsday.com/long-island/nassau/officials-man-86-dead-in-woodmere-house-fire-1.2408187) at age 86 and luckily my my mom died in a hospital with a painful death with tracheostomy care from the woodmere nursing facility. Both died in terrible circumstances as I feel never really got to tell them how much I loved them. I often ask G-d, me being a good person, why he took both my parents in painful circumstances and I have really no answer on that. And every day since 2010 for my dad and 2012 for my mom and still seeking answers for both my parents terrible deaths. I think this will go on for the rest of my life at age 59. I guess as rabbi’s say it is the quality of life that counts not the quantity and the usual saying at the services ‘man plans, G-d laughs’. As I could understand that expression, all too well..

    • David Morris May 21, 2018, 7:40 pm

      Hi Robert,

      Thank you for letting us in on your pain. It feels trivial for me to attempt to say anything to you. How very sad. Yes, unfortunately, you already know that this will stay with you for the rest of your life. However, it strikes me that you need to survive it, and shift this over in a positive way. Make it useful. Your story can be used on anyone at anytime to, for lack of a better way to put it, kick the rest of us in the ass who are perhaps not grasping life completely, feeling sorry for ourselves, etc. I ask others to please chime in regarding this post.

      Hang in, and best wishes,

    • Grandma G. March 16, 2019, 9:05 pm

      My heart goes out to you Robert. I can’t begin to comprehend your sense of loss having lost your parents in such circumstances and I hope someday G-d will grant you peace and compassion to end your pain.
      Many years ago when my mother was rushed from her nursing home to the hospital, I raced to get there but arrived a few minutes too late – she was gone. It still hurts today when I think about it, so in a small way I can empathize. Even so, I try to focus on my life now and appreciate my family and the good life we have. I thank G-d for it every day and this helps.
      Please try to live your life with joy, do it for your parents as I’m guessing that’s what they would want you to do.

  • Gail May 23, 2018, 12:05 am

    I remember the bricks and the rocks he threw
    It makes me laughs everytime

  • Grandma G. March 9, 2019, 3:21 pm

    Dear David,
    I just found this website today, saw your dad’s pictures and was blown away by his article on developing Ernest T – it was an insight into a charming and creative man! I wasn’t a big Andy Griffith Show fan but watched when your dad was on because I LOVED Ernest T! Your dad created such an incredibly funny and unique character with impish head, eye, and body motions wrapped in an outrageous personality. Just thinking about Ernest T. makes me chuckle. And the rock throwing – he was hysterical! The best AGS episodes were when Ernest T. showed up.
    I never knew about his many other achievements. Now I know he was a tremendously talented and successful man. He made us laugh with childlike abandon – plus he raised a son who loved him – there is no better legacy.
    I lost my own father 34 years ago when he was only 74. Now at age 68, I still shed tears thinking about him. He was intelligent and gentle, never lost his temper and was patient and loving with his children. He wasn’t big or strong physically but had incredible fortitude. He could handle anything thrown his way. He never earned more than $6,000 or $7,000 a year yet achieved his greatest goal – raising a family – in that he was a very successful man. We both had a dad whose legacy is family who loved him dearly.
    No one can possibly comprehend how you feel about your dad, but I get that you have those feelings. I have them too.

    • David Morris March 12, 2019, 10:22 pm

      Thank you so much for your heartfelt note. I’m touched by it and appreciate hearing from you. Your dad sounds amazing, too. We are extremely fortunate to have been raised by quality human beings. Maybe it’s a generational thing, but having my pop so close for so many years, I wish more people today treated others with the kind of respect they had, for practically everyone. At least if folks could make an attempt at giving as much as they did, instead of always taking. I miss meeting more folks with the common sense and wisdom they had. It seems so rare now, but when we meet them, it is special. Your note strikes me that you are indeed one of the good ones. Hugs and all my best to you, David M.

  • Grandma G. March 16, 2019, 9:11 pm

    Thank you too David, you brought tears to my eyes – the good kind. If I’m half the person my dad was (and my wonderful mother) I just may be be worthy of your kind words.
    Hugs back to you.

  • David Christopherson May 5, 2019, 7:54 pm

    Being a HUGE FAN of the Andy Griffith show, I love the episodes that your Dad was in. I wish I could of met him. His lines were some of the funniest ever! ” I don’t chew my cabbage twice” and “you ain’t heard the last of Ernst T Bass”….. Most funny was him thumping a empty gas can and singing to Charlene in Mountain Wedding! Thank you for this page! and your memories of a most wonderful man.

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