There is a new book related to The Andy Griffith Show now available. Gomer Says Hey!: Inside the Manic and Much-Loved Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. is the first book devoted to the Mayberry spin-off, Gomer Pyle-USMC.
Gomer Says Hey! was written by my buddy, Denny Reese. Denny started the Facebook group of the same name as his new book before he ever decided to write an overview of the classic series.
The book kicks off with a foreword by the irrepressible Ronnie Schell who played Gomer’s buddy, Duke Slater, in Gomer Pyle-USMC. After a look at the spin-off’s origins, the text then alternates between overviews of the cast members and overviews of each of the five seasons. The book is filled with lots of wonderful photos from the series.
I was honored to be asked by Denny to submit a 1000-word essay on one of my favorite Mayberry episodes that featured Gomer before he enlisted. I decided to write about “A Date for Gomer.” I do want to make two small corrections to the essay as it appears in Gomer Says Hey!
Literally the first words of the essay are: “Filling station mechanic Gomer Pyle…” Throughout the book, Denny chose to use the informal “fillin’ station” and that was applied to my essay as well.
Second, part of the text is missing in the book in the second paragraph which unfortunately makes it sound incomplete. Here is how the paragraph was submitted with the sentence fragment that is missing in the book in bold:
“By the time the episode ‘A Date for Gomer’ was filmed, the spinoff series was already planned. The episode was the tenth filmed during the fourth season of The Andy Griffith Show though it was the ninth aired. The pilot episode “Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.” was filmed just two weeks after “A Date for Gomer” was filmed but was not aired until the final episode of the season.”
If you are a fan of The Andy Griffith Show, then you are probably a fan of Gomer Pyle-USMC. If so, this book is a must that belongs on your bookshelf!