Remembering George “Goober” Lindsey – Bruce’s Brush With Greatness [Video]
If you are over the age of 30 you know Goober Pyle. He was the mechanic that could fix anything at Wally’s filling station in the mythical town of Mayberry. Goober, who in one episode was identified as Goober Beasley, was the cousin of Gomer Pyle. As I said, Goober’s claim to fame was he could fix anything. In real life Goober was a country boy comedian named George Lindsey.
I had the opportunity to meet Goober and the guy who played Eb from Green Acres. It was one of the surreal moments for anyone who is a fan of TV. I was working at a radio station in Laurel Mississippi and was on my way home to Hattiesburg where I lived. I stopped in the tiny town of Ellisville to grab something to eat at my favorite interstate truck stop. To the folks in Ellisville I was a local celebrity. I don’t know if it was my incredible radio show or the fact that I always tipped the waitresses really big.
On this particular day my friend Roy pulled me aside and told me he had some people he wanted to meet. I walked over to a corner table in the back dining room and there sitting before me were two of my boyhood heroes. Goober from the Andy Griffith Show and Eb from Green Acres. Eb lived in the Ellisville area and he was home visiting family and Goober had gotten to be a friend of his because both TV shows filmed near each other in California.
The two men invited me to sit and chat. I am sure I asked all the annoying questions of a star struck fan but they didn’t seem to mind. In fact they were very interested in me and my radio audience because they had big plans. Eb, Tom Lester was his real name, was attempting to put together a movie based on Arnold Ziffel, the talking pig from Green Acres.
Tom, or Eb,had enlisted his buddy George Lindsey, Goober, to help create the story and add star power to the project. My involvement would be the gathering of extras and help in getting the word out about the production. The movie never came together, at least during my time in South Mississippi but the memory of two fine country gentlemen with big Hollywood ideas never left me.
What I recall about Goober was this. He was genuine, he was kind and he was not stupid by any stretch of the imagination. He could really tell a dirty joke and he loved to laugh. I was sad to hear of his passing this past weekend. I know he will be missed by friends and family but for those of us that grew up in Mayberry we know he will always be there. Ready to fix any problems you might have with your car, fill your tank with gasoline or swap a fishing story or two. Rest in peace Goober, you made us laugh and that made us all better.