08/12/09 — 'Barney' and 'Ernest T. Bass' unveil new stamps in Fremont

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'Barney' and 'Ernest T. Bass' unveil new stamps in Fremont

By Laura Collins
Published in News on August 12, 2009 1:46 PM

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Barney Fife, played by Scott Epperson, left, and Ernest T. Bass, played by Tony Davis, are seen Tuesday at the Fremont Post Office for the unveiling of the "Early TV Memories Stamp."

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The Early TV Memories Stamp was unveiled during a Tuesday ceremony at the Fremont Post Office.

FREMONT -- Fremont residents welcomed visitors from one of the state's most famous "towns" Tuesday afternoon as actors posing as members of the cast of "The Andy Griffith Show" entertained at the post office.

About 2 p.m., Officer Barney Fife and friend Ernest T. Bass rolled up to the town's post office, siren blaring, in the Mayberry squad car.

The two had stopped to help commemorate the Postal Service's unveiling of the "Early TV Memories" commemorative stamps.

The stamps, which are now available nationwide, feature 20 TV shows from the 1950s including "The Andy Griffith Show," "The Ed Sullivan Show," "Howdy Doody," "I Love Lucy," "Lassie" and more.

"Fremont of course is, I think, the epitome of small town living," said Keith Stewart, who was emcee for the event. "We tried to invite everyone we could to come join us here and it hadn't really grown and that's OK too. And one of the cool things about it, it's often been compared to Mayberry."

More than 60 residents attended the celebration, despite the heat.

"It is so hot out here I just saw the trees whistling, calling the dogs to them," Stewart said.

Bobbi Ann Crawford, who lives in Saulston. but is originally from Fremont, brought her children and niece to enjoy the festivities.

"My mom told me about it, she still lives here in Fremont, and we just thought it'd be a lot of fun. The 'Andy Griffith Show' is probably our favorite show," she said. "We knew so many people still in town and we wanted to come out and support the Post Office."

Crawford added that she can definitely see comparisons between Fremont and Mayberry.

"Real small town, everybody knows everybody, for the most part. Fremont is very unique, there are only two stop lights and everyone's very friendly. It still has that small town feel," she said.

While in town, Barney Fife, impersonated by Scott Epperson of Benson, and Ernest T. Bass, impersonated by Tony Davis of Fremont, posed for pictures, signed autographs and recited memorable sayings from the show, much to the crowd's delight.