Sisters Who Made Moonshine On Waltons

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Please Note: Helen
Kleeb passed away on 12/28/03 at the age of 96

Sisters Who Made Moonshine On Waltons

She was visiting New York City. It was late as she entered the crowded bus and there
was standing room only. From the back of the bus she noticed two young men looking her way
and whispering. One of them winked at her and she suddenly became apprehensive.

As one of
the young men approached, she tightly clutched the bus rail and expected the worst. Much
to her surprise, the man offered her his seat. She accepted the kind offer, and as she was
sitting down, he leaned over and asked her gently; “I only want to know one
thing….

did Ashley ever come back?” That was a poignant moment in the memory of Mary
Jackson and her sense of “The Waltons” and its impact on the American
conscience.

I was seated in a lovely sun-lit room in the Spanish style Hollywood home of Mary
Jackson. She had kindly consented to meet with me and share some of her reflections on
“The Waltons.

” As we chatted, I couldn’t help but notice her genuine
beauty. She exuded that particular quality of naturally beautiful women.

As we spoke, I
caught myself thinking about Miss Emily Baldwin of Jefferson County, Virginia, one half of
the famous Baldwin sisters created by Earl Hamner.

As explained by Earl Hamner: “Down on Route 6 between Esmont and Scottsville lived
two ladies who made an elixir they referred to as their Papa’s Recipe.

They were
proud of their product, and whenever anyone would sample it, they would lean over, watch
them and wait anxiously for a reaction: Was it smooth enough?, Had it been a good batch?
And was the recipe machine working? I wasn’t old enough to sample the Recipe but my
father and uncles stopped there quite often and they seemed to find the Recipe much to
their satisfaction.” It was from those personal recollections that Earl Hamner
created the characters of Miss Mamie and Miss Emily Baldwin.

Mary Jackson grew up in Michigan during the early Depression years. She attended the
county Normal School which was a training school for prospective teachers in rural
communities. She graduated at age 17.

During her first year in the classroom, she
recalled, she had three students older than she was. Her teaching career lasted but one
year, when she decided to attend Michigan State University to study acting.

She graduated
in 1933 and went to Chicago to begin her acting career.

Almost 40 years later she would capture the hearts of America by her portrayal of Emily
Baldwin. “‘The Waltons’ was a real joy and a magnificent tribute to Earl
Hamner.

Earl gave me two things, don’t you know, that I will always cherish and be
thankful for: Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie) as my older sister and the TV series ‘The
Waltons’……and he gave me Ashley Longworth. I think you ought to know that Ashley
has never come back.

In case you see him out there, please tell him to return. I have some
of the Recipe waiting”, she said with a smile and a wink.

You can catch Mary on The Family Channel reruns of “Christy”, where she guest
starred. She also had an interesting role in “Leap of Faith” with Steve Martin.
Fans of “The Andy Griffith Show” will also remember Mary as Mrs. Parnell Rigsby
and “Twilight Zone” affectionadoes can see Mary in the Episode called, “Of
Late I Think of Cliffordville” written by Rod Serling.

Helen Kleeb also appeared on an episode of “The Twilight Zone” called
“Jess-Belle.” That particular episode was written by Earl Hamner, who would
ultimately write eight stories for the series. Helen was born in 1907 and says that she is
fragile.

“I know I am fragile because everyone is constantly telling me so. They also
frequently warn me not to fall down.” This venerable actress began her career in 1928
in Portland, Oregon. For five years she worked with the Henry Duffy Players on the West
Coast.

Then the Depression hit with a vengeance and she couldn’t get stage work, so
in 1933 she began to work in radio in Portland. In 1937 she was married in San Francisco
and remained there working in radio until the death of her husband in 1950.

Faced with the
full responsibilities of running a home and raising a 10 year old son, she moved to Los
Angeles where she began a film and TV career.

In 1972, she read for the part of Miss Mamie Baldwin and began a wonderful career as
part of “The Waltons” family. Helen can also be seen in reruns of “The Andy
Griffith Show” as Mrs. Morgan, “Dragnet”, “Lou Grant” and the
feature film, “The Manchurian Candidate”, with Frank Sinatra.

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Sisters Who Made Moonshine On Waltons

It was Miss Mamie and Miss Emily who demonstrated that gentility and graciousness abided
on Walton’s Mountain. The past flowing into the present. The present blending with
yesterday. What wonderfully special people, both in the series and in real life.

These two fine ladies continue to live in Los Angeles and would love to hear from you.
Write them in care of the Museum and your letters will be forwarded.

Return to The-Waltons Home
Page

�1998 Blue Ridge Publications. This Web site was designed by the editor of The
Blue Ridge Chronicles.

THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW: SEASON 1/ EPISODE 17: ALCOHOL AND OLD LACE

Sisters Who Made Moonshine On Waltons

The Andy Griffith Show: Season 1/ Episode 17: Alcohol And Old Lace. January 30, 1961. 4 STARS OUT OF 5 STARS.

This is the first but certainly not the last episode in the series that deals with moonshiners- and of course since moonshine and drinking is the subject, Otis has to be front and center.

Andy and Barney are working on breaking up the moonshine business in Mayberry- when they get a tip from the Morrison sisters- Clarabelle and Jennifer about Ben Sewell a potato farmer who is running a still. What the Morrison’s are doing is- cutting down the competition because they are also in the moonshine business.

Andy and Barney go and catch Ben making his shine. When they arrive Ben shoots at them thinking they were government. When he sees its Andy and Barney he sees nothing wrong and is kind of surprised when they arrest him. Andy and Barney think they have stopped the moonshining but the Morrison sisters are back- this time ratting out Rube Sloane.

Sloane wants to know who has been ratting them out- and Barney won’t give it up until he hits on the Morrison sisters- and Barney kind of gives it away by his actions. Andy then flat out tells them its the Morrison’s.

Enter Opie- who goes up to the Morrison’s place to get some flowers- so he can make up to his teacher who is mad at him. He goes into the hot house and gets a jar full of the moonshine to put the flowers in.

When Opie comes in to see his dad he shows them the flowers and as he was leaving he talks about the Morrison’s ‘flower making machine’ -and then describes what he has seen.

Andy and Barney smell the jar of alcohol.

Andy and Barney go up to the Morrison’s and end up destroying their still- but are easy on the sisters who deny they sold the ‘elixer’ for drinking purposes- they sold it only for ‘celebrations’ and ‘special occasions’- of course they mention every holiday or even potential holiday as a ‘special occasion.’

The show ends with the Morrison’s out of the moonshine business- but they are now into making preserves. They see Andy on the street and tell them they left a jar with Barney- and give Andy a jar. When Andy walks into the jail he sees Barney sampling the product- and see that he is gassed. Maybe they aren’t out of the business after all.

  • Jack Prince who plays Ben Sewell- will in future episodes play a character similar to Ben named Rafe Hollister. In real life the actor Jack Prince is also a trained vocalist and they will feature his singing in that future episode.
  • The Morrison sisters- immediately remind me of another sister team who made moonshine- a decade later in the 1970’s on The Walton’s- The Baldwin sisters were also into making their recipe…
  • This will be the only episode where the Morrison sisters appear.
  • This is the first episode in the series where Barney gets drunk.
  • Otis plays a fairly big role in this episode. In one scene he goes to get his moonshine from the Morrison’s and since the competition has been crushed they have raised the price on him. When arrested he also won’t give up where he got this moonshine from citing ‘town drunks have a code they live by.’
  • In this episode Andy mentions that Mayberry is a dry county.
  • When Andy has Ben and Rube in jail he entertains them by playing his guitar and singing Woody Guthrie’s ‘I Ain’t Gonna Be Treated This Way.’
  • Gene Reynolds who directs this episode- also directed a number of television programs over the years-including Hogan’s Heroes and MASH. He died last year at the age of 96.
  • CAST-
  • Andy Griffith- Sheriff Andy Taylor
  • Don Knotts- Deputy Barney Fife
  • Rony Howard- Opie Taylor
  • Howard McNear- Floyd The Barber
  • Hal Smith- Otis Campbell
  • Gladys Hurlbut- Clairabelle Morrison
  • Charity Grace- Jennifer Morrison
  • Jack Prince-Ben Sewell
  • Thom Carney- Rube Sloane
  • Directed by Gene Reynolds
  • Written by Jack Elinson and Charles Stewart
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Alcohol and Old Lace

Season 1 > < Episode 17 >
Jack Elinson Charles Stewart

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The Beauty Contest Andy the Marriage Counselor

Opie mentions a “flower-making machine” owned by sisters Clarabelle and Jennifer Morrison, who run the local flower shop. Andy and Barney do a little investigating and discover the contraption is actually a still and the sisters are in the moonshining business.

Summary[]

Opie mentions a “flower-making machine” owned by sisters Clarabelle and Jennifer Morrison, who run the local flower shop. Andy and Barney do a little investigating and discover the contraption is actually a still and the sisters are in the moonshining business.

Plot[]

Andy and Barney believe they have clamped the lid shut on Moonshining after making arrests from tips provided by Mayberry's florists, the Morrison Sisters. An inebriated Otis quickly convinces them otherwise and they set out to find and destroy the still that furnished Otis with his spirits. Despite combing the entire county for the still, it's actually

Flower Making Machine

Opie who makes the big break in the case. While gathering flowers at the Morrison Sister's nursery, he wanders into their hothouse and gets a glimpse of what he called their “flower making machine.” He brings his bouquet of flowers to the courthouse to show Andy and to get a vase that doesn't “smell funny.

” As he's leaving Opie mentions the so-called machine and describes it to Andy and Barney. Andy and Barney realize, much to the chagrin of a sobered up Otis, that what Opie saw was a moonshine still. They close in on the Morrison Sisters and they're still.

Although the Morrison Sisters claim they were selling their “elixer” only for special occasions and celebrations, it's clear they've not only been selling to anyone clever enough to come up with an occasion but were eliminating their competition by turning in other moonshiners.

Despite their lawlessness, Andy only has Barney destroy the still and does not arrest the elderly ladies. Barney takes his trusty ax and “POW POW POW!” – moonshining is dead in Mayberry for the time being.

Notes/Trivia[]

  • Andy and Barney believe that a still may be located at Fancy Gap. Fancy Gap is a real town in Virginia located not far from Mount Airy, NC.
  • Jack Prince makes his first appearance in the series as moonshiner Ben Sewell. He would later play the same basic character under the name Rafe Hollister. Jack Prince was a trained vocalist. Andy Griffith wanted him to have a larger role in the series, but Prince felt it would take away from his successful singing career.
  • The title of the episode was taken from the title of the 1944 Frank Capra film Arsenic and Old Lace which featured two elderly sisters who were homicidal maniacs.
  • This is the only episode in which Otis pays a $2 fine and serves jail time.
  • This is the first episode in which we see Barney drunk.
  • Ben Sewell is a Potato Farmer and lives on Townsil Flat, 1/2 a mile down Ash Road. Clarabelle described Ben as wearing blue overall, brown felt hat, and a red plaid shirt.
  • Opie's teacher's name in this episode is Miss Johnson.
  • Andy considers deputizing Orville Monroe and Reverend Akin to help in the search for stills in the area because they are “non-drinkers”.
  • Mayberrian Lart Hansen pretends to be a Muslim and used the holiday of Muhammad's birthday to get the Morrison sisters to sell him moonshine.
  • The characters of Miss Clarabelle and Miss Jennifer Morrison bear an uncanny resemblance to Miss Mamie and Miss Emily Baldwin of “The Waltons”, including their character profiles, backstory, and sale of an alcoholic “elixir” (referred to as “The Recipe” in “The Waltons”) that they naively believe to be harmless. Earl Hamner, who created “The Waltons”, had worked as a Staff Writer and Production Assistant for a variety of CBS projects in the 1960s including “The Twilight Zone”, but his involvement (or lack thereof) with “The Andy Griffith Show” is uncredited and unknown.

Goofs[]

Music[]

Quotes[]

Otis: “Do you know when National Sir Walter Raleigh Day is? Today is the day!”

Opie: “Well they got a flower makin' machine!”

Andy: “Well, I guess it's alright to have a little taste. After all, it is National Still Smashin' Day!”

Gallery[]

The actors who played the Baldwin sisters on The Waltons both initially auditioned for Miss Mamie

In The Waltons episode “The Typewriter,” John-Boy swears “no typewriter ever came to mean as much to me, as that old machine I borrowed from Miss Mamie and Miss Emily Baldwin.”

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If you watch the episode, you know that the only reason the Baldwin sisters agreed to let John-Boy use the typewriter is because he referenced their famous “recipe” as bootleggers in his story.

For the actors who played the Baldwin sisters, Mary Jackson (Miss Emily) and Helen Kleeb (Miss Mamie), they spent the rest of their life refusing to share “the recipe” with fans who stopped them on the street wherever they went to beg for the ingredients list to make their own Baldwin brand moonshine.

It’s hard to imagine The Waltons without the Baldwins, and it’s obvious that Jackson and Kleeb had their own special recipe for making the sisters so entertaining for fans.

When casting for the Baldwin sisters, Earl Hamner and producer Robert Jacks had absolutely no luck finding the right actors, until Kleeb left town one day and gave her agent a number where she could be reached in case anything good came along.

Of course that’s when her agent saw the part of Miss Mamie and knew Kleeb would be perfect, but when she called the number Kleeb left, she discovered that Kleeb had just left and could no longer be reached there.

Waiting to get back in touch with her client, Kleeb’s agent didn’t want her to miss out on the part, so she was insistent to Hamner and Jacks that they had to wait until Kleeb got back before they made any decisions.

Mary Jackson

Mary Jackson, actress: born Milford, Michigan 22 November 1910; married 1937 Griffin Bancroft Jnr (marriage dissolved); died Los Angeles 10 December 2005.

Misses Emily and Mamie Baldwin were the two genteel sisters in the sentimental television saga The Waltons who concocted a bootleg whiskey they called “the Recipe”, which they offered to neighbours and passers-by – leaning over to watch for a reaction.

They were based on two real women recalled by the father and uncles of Earl Hamner Jnr, whose wholesome children's series about hillfolk in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia during the Depression – following an earlier novel, Spencer's Mountain (1961) – was a fictionalised account of his childhood.

The lovelorn younger sister, Miss Emily, was played by Mary Jackson, who was already in her sixties when she landed the role in The Waltons (1972-81). Helen Kleeb, who died in December 2003, acted Mamie.

The eccentric Baldwins, who lived in a mansion left to them by their father, were two of the satellite characters built around the sawmill-owning Walton family, headed by the strong but quiet father, John (Ralph Waite), and hard-working earth-mother, Olivia (Michael Learned), with events seen through the eyes of their eldest son, John Boy (Richard Thomas, later Robert Wightman), an aspiring novelist. Miss Emily carried with her the memory of her long-lost suitor, Ashley Longworth, from whom she had received her first kiss, on her 19th birthday. Later, his son, Ashley junior, arrived on Walton's Mountain, but she never met his father again.

Jackson was once surprised at the effect of television and, especially, The Waltons, which was screened worldwide, when she was asked by a member of the public on a New York bus: “Did Ashley ever come back?” She recalled of Earl Hamner Jnr's popular creation:

Earl gave me two things that I will always cherish and be thankful for: Helen Kleeb as my older sister and the TV series The Waltons – and he gave me Ashley Longworth. I think you ought

to know that Ashley has never come back. In case you see him out there, please tell him to return. I have some of the Recipe waiting.

Born in Milford, Michigan, in 1910, Jackson worked as a schoolteacher for a year before studying acting at Western Michigan University, then moving to Chicago, where she began her stage career.

After a film début in Friendly Persuasion (1956, the story of a Quaker family in 19th-century Indiana), Jackson's big-screen roles included a nun in Airport (1970) and Jane Fonda's mother in Fun with Dick and Jane (1977).

She took character roles in dozens of American television series, including Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1956), My Three Sons (1961), Barnaby Jones (three roles, 1973-77), Hill Street Blues (1987) and L.A. Law (1989).

Although Dorothy Stickney and Josephine Hutchinson played Misses Emily and Mamie Baldwin in the Waltons pilot television film, The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (1971), Jackson and Kleeb took over the roles for the series and reprised them in the sequels A Wedding on Walton's Mountain (1982), A Day for Thanks on Walton's Mountain (1982), A Walton Thanksgiving Reunion (1993), A Walton Wedding (1995) and A Walton Easter (1997).

Anthony Hayward


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