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15 Years Ago Today

My father passed away 15 years ago today. If you have followed my previous posts marking this significant date, you will see how sad previous years have been, not just for me, but for so many others he touched. Oddly, this is the first time in 15 years that I truly am relieved that he is no longer with us. Howard was a force. A performer. He craved putting it all out there, putting it all on the line pleasing and getting that tremendous feedback wave from his audiences. Covid-19 changed all of that by shutting in so many talented older folks, just like Howard. I have some very talented friends now locked inside, as though in prison. They have been emotionally hobbled and can no longer do what they do. These are funny people that thrive on being funny, now struggling to make it through each day. This virus has been rough on all of us. It is a horrible way to live life. For performers and entertainers it is devastating, akin to the millions of folks who have lost their jobs with no hope in sight.

Howard, had he still been alive, would have lived in Los Angeles, a city in total lockdown with an unknown and unpredictable path towards reopening. I have no doubt Howard would’ve suffered massive depression by this point.

So I say to you, my dear father, as much as I wish you were still here, I am relieved that you do not have to suffer through this. You already dealt with enough good as well as crap in your life.

I love you, dad. Always have, always will.


{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Jim Silvester May 21, 2020, 2:55 pm

    Dear Dave:
    It seems this is the only time we communicate….Lost my Dad 49 years ago April 30, 1971, but I still hear his voice and laugher at the antics of Ernest T on Andy Griffith Show….Even today I watch the show at Dinner Time and love it when Ernest T appears as he did last week…..He stole the show when he appeared and made millions smile….Be proud of his comedic and directorial accomplishments…..He did a few Hogans Heros episodes and I can only smile when I see his name in the credits….God Bless Dave…..Jim Silvester

  • Gail McIntyre May 21, 2020, 4:32 pm

    Hello David,
    I with I were reaching out to you on happier circumstances. While I always knew about the Ernest T. Bass character, I became a huge fan of your dad this past December when I came across the Thriller episode “Lethal Ladies”. I was so stunned by his performance that I went to his IMDB page because I was skeptical that it was the same person. Then I went to his Wikipedia page and two things jumped out at me. One made me sad and the other brought a big smile to my face. The sad thing was the year “2005”. Talk about being late for the party. The other was the word “Bronx”. I’ve gotten a chance to see a lot of your father’s work in the last 6 months. It’s unfortunate that he did not have the chance to do more dramatic roles. People just don’t know the incredible range he had.
    Like your dad, I am also from New York City. I wouldn’t worry about him with regard to this virus. He was tough; New York tough! He was conceived during the last pandemic and born just as the Spanish flu was coming to an end. He survived the Depression, World War II, and some 60 years in in the entertainment industry which I’m sure you know can be a cold, heartbreaking business.
    Obviously, I did not have the joy of being able to really know him the way you did. You certainly had a personal connection to his soul. But when I think of him, I picture him in heaven directing a Zoom call with Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner and Dick Van Dyke. Jerry Stiller is sitting next to him. They’re all brainstorming corona jokes. I hope this visual brings a smile to your face and peace to your heart on this sad anniversary.

    Gail McIntyre

  • Babe Cook May 25, 2020, 4:05 pm

    I live to see anything with Howard Morris in it. He was before my time but my crush Still Remains and my heart beats every time he’s on the screen. I laugh hysterically and have seen the same episodes probably over a hundred times. He is an eternal classic and we’ll never go out of style. How I wish I’d lived to have met him. Resting euphoria and I cannot wait to see you in heaven!
    All of my love your greatest admirer, …
    Mrs. Ernest T . Bass.

  • Terri Solomon McGhee August 3, 2020, 10:38 pm

    I was a huge fan of Howard Morris, through his character Ernest T. Bass on the Andy Griffith Show.
    I loved his character and how wonderful and passionate he was to
    About the character

    “ Charlene.” I was absolutely shocked when I found out recently, that Charlene was Andy Griffith’s biological daughter in real life.

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