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Sale of Aunt Bee Belongings Benefits Public TV

June 1, 1990

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ Mayberry fans can check out velvet hats with white gloves, just like Aunt Bee would wear, a 1966 Studebaker and many other items Saturday when they gather for a sale of the late Frances Bavier’s belongings.

″They’re going to get a little bit of melancholy - a little bit of Aunt Bee, a little bit of Mayberry and a lot of memories,″ Sam Williams, her attorney and close friend from Siler City, said Friday.

Miss Bavier, who died in December at age 86, willed the contents of her 22- room Siler City home to the UNC Center for Public Television. More than 800 items will be offered during the sale.

It’s hard to tell how much money the sale at North Carolina State University’s McKimmon Center will generate, say public television officials. The only financial estimate available is that 1,000 tickets to Friday’s preview party were sold for $10 each.

Some of the items - such as Miss Bavier’s contracts from ″The Andy Griffith Show″ and episodes of ″Mayberry RFD″ - have value to collectors of vintage television memorabilia.

Other items include funny little velvet hats with feathers and pristine white gloves - just like Aunt Bee might have worn.

But others have a more tenuous connection, such as the 24-year-old Studebaker. Miss Bavier drove it for the last time in 1983 on a trip to the grocery store.

″Frances was like every other person in the world,″ says Durham antique dealer Chris Allen, who is coordinating the sale. ″She had wonderful things, and she had junky things.″

Also being offered are Miss Bavier’s personal belongings, including bits of lace she collected on her travels around the world, 1930s Queen Anne style furniture, Victorian antiques, leather-bound books and original oil paintings.

″This is what she lived with and what she sat on and what she ate, held and touched,″ says Priscilla Bratcher, director of development and community relations for the UNC Center for Public Television.

Miss Bavier, born in New York, retired to Siler City in 1972.

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