The Mayberry Sun Newspaper

I knew I liked this kid- Opie. He’s an entrepreneur!
I’m following his footsteps…this is how you posted before the internet!
Advice by a wise man…”To increase circulation, we need more than just Karen Faulkner scrapped her knee again, you need to write about the whole town.”
“Cute kids, that should help the circulation!”
“Mayberry After Midnight-that’s the good stuff.”
“We can charge 3 cents for this”…A little bird tells us
“Did I just hear Aunt Bee say Mrs Foster’s chicken tastes like wall paper paste?”
Preacher of the long drawn out sermons…
Burt Mustin agreeing with Andy. His sermons are Dry as Dust
Copy that!
“Don’t look now Aunt Bee but it’s Harold Grisby and that new wife of his”…” He’s old enough to be her father!”
Blonde, right out of a bottle-Copy that!
Edition one- your worst nightmare…Mayberry after Midnight
“Opie, where all have these been delivered?”
” What’s going on, anything I can use in my paper?”
They’re everywhere in this town…
” It’s not real silverware at Ms Fosters”
“I love your chicken and may I have the recipe?”…”That’s why I’m here”
“If I go this way -maybe, shoot!”
“What are you doing here deputy?”
“I got eyes- I can see the two of ya!”
Dry as Dust is worth a month of Sunday sermons as the last copy is recovered. The town is anxious to rid itself of this nusciance.
But, it’s Damm Good Reading for 3 cents!
“She’s Blonde all right- right out of a bottle”…copy that, newspaper talk!
“I got eyes – I can see the two of you”
A whole month of Sundays is all it takes to be forgiven.
“The preachers sermons are Dry as Dust

As a kid we relived all these episodes right exactly where they were filmed. I had a fancy radio that picks up not only Armed Forces Radio, but TV audio. At certain times of day Andy Griffith reruns were broadcast on it’s airwaves. My antenna was set up in Mayberry so I could recieve audio from outer space.

Not having a visual was no problem. I’ve seen them all a million times so it’s already etched in my mind. I can anticipate where I need to be to capture the audioto it’s exact location-a decade later…in living color -no less. It’s how I had fun when I snuck in alone.

Opie’s paper episode is one that I relieved with audio wondering set to set. I stood where Burt Mustin and Andy concluded “Preacher is Dry as dust”…I felt the anger of Harold Grisby once again. Chicken ala King is my mom’s specialty, your at the wrong house Aunt Bee.

Written and lived by Donnie Norden…

Welcome back to Season Two of Phantom of the Backlots

Since our last post, I’m proud to announce I completed writing my first ever book, with the help of some special people whose contributions made this possible. Ever since these early 1970’s backlot experiences, my dream was to capture these lots in pictures and storied adventures. Thanks to my long journey at Universal, over three decades, I continued loading up on studio experiences from the inside out.

Submitted for your approval; Book one, Titled Hole in the Fence, it captures these early adventures of innocence yet intrigue of growing up…all things backlots.

Available now on Amazon…

Do to the depth of my stories and my high number of adventures, it will take a three book trilogy to get to the ending stories and final demolition of the MGM and Desilu. I appreciate all who have been waiting for these true accounts and encouraged me along the way. It’s a book no-one would publish, so we did it ourselves. Consider yourself warned!

A toast to Mike and Christa Escarzaga, Maureen Miller, and Donna Quesada for dealing with me on the front lines and exhibiting wonderful skills, abilities and incredible patience as we labored through with love and affection all these recollections and kid notes I took …50 years ago.

Finally, with deep graciousness I wish to thank friend and author Steven Bingen for his wonderful forward, very touching to me. He has a wonderful book being published next month- so we have plenty to look forward to, we will follow that release on my site, also.

Time to go to work!

The Mayberry Sun Times is back in business, Happy New Year Everybody!

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