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19 Years Ago Today

19 years ago today the great Howard Morris departed this life.

His voice and image crosses my mind each day, and each day I strive to live up to his integrity and legacy that he himself built, from practically nothing. I find myself amazed at how well he did in life considering the tremendous obstacles he encountered along the way. He had to be pretty damn tough to navigate through America during the Great Depression, WWII, and along the way develop his abilities as a performer. He had no governmental or financial help. He was of the greatest American generation that may ever be. Somehow, he took on a ton of stress and hardship, working it around and upside down, eventually into one heck of an amazing career, which included one of the funniest characters to grace The Andy Griffith Show.

This note marks a milestone of sorts being that it is just one year shy of twenty years since Howard’s passing. I remember that day as though it has just happened. On each anniversary I anticipate the exact time he passed, which is as I write this.

This is one of the many ways I pay tribute and honor my father. I have some friends that occasionally ask me to do impressions of ET Bass. I was somewhat uncomfortable at first. But after seeing their reactions, I realized that I do know the lines, and I can recite them pretty well. When I look in the mirror I see hints of my father looking back at me. I can tweak my voice, so what the heck?! What is the harm? There is none because it’s all about having fun. Bringing ET Bass to life still works, gets big laughs, and brings me closer to HM. Even though I am only doing an impersonation, I am a very lucky son to be able to share, as close as humanly possible, how powerful and special Howard was. I am blessed to be in these shoes.

Until next year, I love you, Dad!


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