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Saturday, February 25, 2006

I just read that Don Knotts passed away this past Friday. Another piece of Americana has come and gone. No one who has any sense of American culture will soon forget the lovable ineptitude of Knotts as Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith Show. I don't normally blog about celebrity deaths, but I met Knotts once in the Hilton in Knoxville. He and I shared an elevator. I didn't know he was even in town and somehow he mentioned that he was there doing "The Last of the Red Hot Lovers", I believe. If I'm not mistaken, he was starring with Barbara Eden. He was soft-spoken, friendly, and downright antithetical to the character he made famous.

At the time, I was in the pizza business. I worked the downtown area, and they had many celebrities in town on any number of occasions. Off the top of my head, I recall delivering to Florence Griffith-Joyner, Guns 'N' Roses, Tommy Morrison, Evander Holyfield, and Carl Pickens. None of these were as cordial, friendly, and pleasant as Mr. Knotts was. He wasn't even a customer, but he certainly made an impression.

To most everyone, Don Knotts will always be Barney Fife, but to me, he was a genuinely nice person who happened to be a celebrity. Sure, my exposure to him was short (only 45 seconds, if that). But the image I carry with me still sticks. We could only be so fortunate as to have more celebrities treat the public in the same manner.

Rest in peace, Mr. Knotts.


.: posted by Dave 7:44 PM

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