The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > Cafe Society

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-03-2009, 02:31 AM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 14,962
Was Aunt Bee A Spinster? Widow?

I was watching the first episode of the Andy Griffith Show where Rose leaves and Aunt Bee comes.

Andy tells Opie that Aunt Bee raised him. Then Aunt Bee says after all those years spent raising all those young uns, now she had nothing to do and was grateful when he called.

So were those young uns hers? Or does she "off" the parents so she can raise their kids? Or did she run an orphanage? Maybe took in foster kids, 'cause she couldn't get a job?

Was it said if Aunt Bee was married before?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 01-03-2009, 03:03 AM
TWDuke TWDuke is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
It is claimed by many people who pay more attention than I to such details that Aunt Bee wore a wedding band throughout the series. I don't believe the actress, Frances Bavier, ever married.

The mere fact that Bee's husband was never mentioned on the series cannot be taken as definitive evidence that she wasn't married. We know Opie had a mother, but she is mentioned only a couple of times and there don't seem to be any mementos of her in the house.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-03-2009, 03:25 AM
astro astro is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
See here re Andy's wife
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-03-2009, 12:34 PM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: New England
Posts: 33,269
The definitive word:
Quote:
Aunt Bee is the paternal aunt of Sheriff Andy Taylor and grand-aunt to his son Opie Taylor. In the premier episode of The Andy Griffith Show, "The New Housekeeper", Aunt Bee returns to Mayberry after a five year sojourn in Morgantown, West Virginia, when Andy's housekeeper Rose marries and leaves his house. Aunt Bee thereafter manages Andy's household and becomes Opie's surrogate mother and grandmother. Andy explains to Opie that he was raised by Aunt Bee and Bee later speaks of raising other Taylors.
...
Aunt Bee is not an only child; she speaks of trimming her brother's hair when a girl and, in one episode, her sister Nora visits. She also has a rapscallion cousin called Bradford J. Taylor who features in a color episode.
She dated a lot of guys, but with no mention of a late husband, so the answer is either "spinster" or "slut".
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-03-2009, 12:39 PM
TWDuke TWDuke is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by ElvisL1ves View Post
Quote:
She dated a lot of guys, but with no mention of a late husband, so the answer is either "spinster" or "slut".
With no mention of being a spinster or slut, there must have been a late husband!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-03-2009, 02:54 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Frances Bavier retired to Siler City NC which was mentioned a few times on the show. When she died she left everything to NC public TV which auctioned it off. Fans came from all over the world for the auction. Siler City is a small town about 30 miles west of Raleigh.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-03-2009, 04:45 PM
freckafree freckafree is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Quote:
Aunt Bee returns to Mayberry after a five year sojourn in Morgantown, West Virginia
OMG!!! Morgantown?!?? Do you suppose she and Barney Fife...

Naaaah.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-03-2009, 05:27 PM
descamisado descamisado is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: At a Candlelight Supper
Posts: 6,204
I seem to recall some allusion to the fact that she never married and that she's Andy blood relative. I'll try to find it somewhere; however,

Wouldn't the fact that her name on the show is Bee Taylor and she's Andy Taylor's paternal aunt be a clue that she never married? She still uses that familly name and (once-) married women of that era weren't given to keeping their maiden names.

Last edited by descamisado; 01-03-2009 at 05:30 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-03-2009, 05:29 PM
Cluricaun Cluricaun is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Aunt Bee make extra money on the side as a dominatrix specializing in humilation and genital torture.

What?
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-03-2009, 05:32 PM
descamisado descamisado is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: At a Candlelight Supper
Posts: 6,204
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cluricaun View Post
Aunt Bee make extra money on the side as a dominatrix specializing in humilation and genital torture.

What?
If you've ever watched the episodes where she keeps Otis (and other prisoners later) at the house because of overcrowding and works him to exhaustion, and the one where Briscoe Darling kidnaps her and she convinces him through passive-aggressive torture to let her go, why do you think we'd be surprised by this?

Don't let all that baking and that sing-songey way of talking fool you.

Last edited by descamisado; 01-03-2009 at 05:36 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 01-04-2009, 11:24 AM
bup bup is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWDuke View Post
It is claimed by many people who pay more attention than I to such details that Aunt Bee wore a wedding band throughout the series.
This still from Wikipedia shows a naked left hand. Then again, it is a posed still, and not a frame from an episode, but I'm inclined to believe there's no wedding ring on her finger in the shows.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 01-04-2009, 11:49 AM
Chimera Chimera is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: In the Dreaming
Posts: 15,258
The one question I have is this: If she had previously raised a mess of kids, where the hell are they? I mean, I could ask WHOSE kids they were, but I still have to ask why they never visit, write or have any apparent contact.

Obviously, it's a TV show and they chose to ignore that over the course of the series. But it would have left open a lot of potential show plots.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 01-04-2009, 01:42 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 14,962
Maybe she ran an orphanage.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 01-04-2009, 08:33 PM
rock party rock party is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Quote:
so the answer is either "spinster" or "slut".
Or stap-on wearin' lesbian.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 01-04-2009, 08:47 PM
lobotomyboy63 lobotomyboy63 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock party View Post
Or stap-on wearin' lesbian.
She and Clara seemed awfully chummy, didn't they?

Seriously, I think she was a spinster. When men courted her she was pretty skittish.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 01-04-2009, 09:00 PM
thirdwarning thirdwarning is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
I'd guess she was the family's "maiden aunt" AKA "poor relation" so the mess of kids she raised belonged to the various family members she lived with over the years. She probably went where she was needed or where there was room for her and made herself useful by taking care of the kids and helping with the housekeeping, just like she was doing for Andy and Opie. She probably agreed to take Rose's place so she could have the house under her own control, instead of having to be the second female where she was.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 01-04-2009, 09:11 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 14,962
Quote:
Originally Posted by lobotomyboy63 View Post
She and Clara seemed awfully chummy, didn't they?
Actually Clara and Bee were mostly rivals and pretty catty toward each other.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 01-04-2009, 09:16 PM
lobotomyboy63 lobotomyboy63 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
Actually Clara and Bee were mostly rivals and pretty catty toward each other.
The ladies doth protest...oh, never mind
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 01-04-2009, 11:25 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Quote:
Aunt Bee returns to Mayberry after a five year sojourn in Morgantown
I wonder if she had an onion on her belt.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 01-05-2009, 10:55 AM
usar_jag usar_jag is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
I wonder if she had an onion on her belt.
Well, that was the fashion at the time...
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 01-05-2009, 11:02 AM
Amp Amp is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
But not a white onion. They didnít have any white onions, because of the war; the only thing you can get was those big yellow ones.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 01-05-2009, 11:03 AM
Beware of Doug Beware of Doug is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
(Sing to tune of "Windy")

Who's walkin' 'round the streets of May-ber-ry
Smilin' at everybody she sees
Who's takin' care of Andy and Opie
Everyone knows it's Aunt Bee

And Aunt Bee has thun-der thighs
Her aprons are all king size
She gives Gomer's jeans a rise
When she walks by
When she walks byyyy...


This was taught me by a classmate in the mid 80s. He is now an economist at Oxford. Yes, that Oxford.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 01-05-2009, 11:33 AM
singular1 singular1 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Pacific NorthWet
Posts: 2,751
I love it!
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 01-05-2009, 01:26 PM
Enright3 Enright3 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 5,588
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beware of Doug View Post
(Sing to tune of "Windy")
This was taught me by a classmate in the mid 80s. He is now an economist at Oxford. Yes, that Oxford.
I guess it's a good thing he's not teaching poetry at Oxford.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 01-05-2009, 01:37 PM
Scumpup Scumpup is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
I don't think it's fair to characterize Aunt Bee as a "slut." She was a woman of appetites, is all.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 01-05-2009, 01:48 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Chicago,IL
Posts: 14,962
We all know Aunt Bee was a FAFL. (Fat Ass Free Loader).

But she wasn't a lesbian. Anytime any many over 50 came into town she was all over him ASAP. (And so was Clara who usually lost out to Bee, thus proving weight isn't that much of an issue to guys over 50)

I noticed Millie was also from West Virigina (Wheeling)
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 01-05-2009, 03:48 PM
TWDuke TWDuke is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by bup View Post
This still from Wikipedia shows a naked left hand. Then again, it is a posed still, and not a frame from an episode, but I'm inclined to believe there's no wedding ring on her finger in the shows.
In light of this photographic evidence, I must admit there is little to support the notion that Aunt Bee was a widow, although...
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5-4-Fighting
Wouldn't the fact that her name on the show is Bee Taylor and she's Andy Taylor's paternal aunt be a clue that she never married?
If she had been married to Andy's paternal uncle, she would have his last name.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chimera
The one question I have is this: If she had previously raised a mess of kids, where the hell are they? I mean, I could ask WHOSE kids they were, but I still have to ask why they never visit, write or have any apparent contact.
That was pretty much standard for the show. Why does Opie have no grandparents, aunts, uncles, or first cousins? (Bee is of course his great-aunt.) His deceased mother is barely mentioned at all in the show and there's no evidence, other than Opie himself, of her ever having lived in the house. Barney was once established as Andy's cousin, but that notion was quietly dropped.

On the other hand, we do see one of Aunt Bee's sisters (does Andy ever call her Aunt Nora?) and a cousin, and a cousin (named Bradford T. Taylor, which, incidentally supports the idea that she wa born a Taylor).
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 01-05-2009, 05:10 PM
descamisado descamisado is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: At a Candlelight Supper
Posts: 6,204
Quote:
Originally Posted by TWDuke View Post
On the other hand, we do see one of Aunt Bee's sisters (does Andy ever call her Aunt Nora?) and a cousin, and a cousin (named Bradford T. Taylor, which, incidentally supports the idea that she wa born a Taylor).
This, along with the belief I posted in my first paragraph (not included) that she was a blood relative of Andy's supports my contention that she was a spinster.

I watch the show quite a lot and I kind of remember something being said about the blood relationship between her and Andy, but haven't been storing such information exactly. I will still try to find something that supports (or not) what I've posted though.

Last edited by descamisado; 01-05-2009 at 05:11 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 01-05-2009, 05:20 PM
Gala Matrix Fire Gala Matrix Fire is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Widows aren't required to wear their wedding rings. Since Aunt Bea was looking for some action, it wouldn't be surprising for her to stop wearing hers.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 01-05-2009, 10:47 PM
Lynn Bodoni Lynn Bodoni is offline
Creature of the Night
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
Posts: 20,803
Quote:
Originally Posted by Markxxx View Post
We all know Aunt Bee was a FAFL. (Fat Ass Free Loader).

But she wasn't a lesbian. Anytime any many over 50 came into town she was all over him ASAP. (And so was Clara who usually lost out to Bee, thus proving weight isn't that much of an issue to guys over 50)

I noticed Millie was also from West Virigina (Wheeling)
After a certain age, a man comes to appreciate good nature and good cooking skills in a woman.

In my family, widows continue to wear their rings. If their husbands had a ring, generally they wear that ring on a necklace.
Reply With Quote
Reply



Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:45 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright © 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.