Thursday, October 13, 2016


Millie Hutchens was a young woman from Wheeling, West Virginia, who moved to Mayberry and found a job as the counter girl at Boysinger's Bakery. 

In two episodes of 'The Andy Griffith Show', Millie quickly entered into a relationship with county clerk Howard Sprague. But after they decided to get married, they discovered how incompatible they were during the train trip to Wheeling where they were to meet her parents.  

Howard went back to Mayberry with Sheriff Andy Taylor and his girlfriend Helen Crump.  Millie didn't go back with them, but she didn't stay long in Wheeling either.  

In order to put her heartache behind her, Millie went to New York City.  It was a heady time in the Big Apple during the Summer of Love and Millie was quickly swept up in its maelstrom.   She met a handsome businessman named Rick Swanson and their whirlwind romance led them to driving down to Maryland for a quickie marriage. 

Rick and Millie might have been able to live happily ever after as a married couple, despite differences between them which created a greater gulf than that between her and Howard. 

Unfortunately, Rick Swanson was killed while test-driving a Jaguar after only a few months of wedded bliss. Now a distraught widow, Millie faced her bleak future and made the decision to return to Mayberry rather than to Wheeling. Not only did she have no desire to go running home to her parents, but she didn't want to risk getting involved again with an old boyfriend named Clyde Plaut. 

But Millie had been happy in Mayberry and she felt confident that she and Howard Sprague could co-exist there without their past coming between them. 

Such fears proved to be unwarranted, even after Millie began dating farmer and town councilman Sam Jones. 

So actress Arlene Golonka was not playing two characters named Millie in Mayberry.  Instead she was playing one role but with two different surnames. 

And that's how Millie Hutchens became Millie Swanson. 

I had written this years before, but that was before 'Mad Men' premiered. That's where I found an actual Swanson to be Millie's husband between the two Mayberry shows. 

Rick Swanson
"Mad Men" 
    - The Other Woman (2012) 
Played by Jordan Feldman
    - Lady Lazarus (2012)
Played by Jordan Feldman

Originally I had Millie as a divorcee but that didn't play well with the late 60s wholesome image of the town.  But killing off Rick Edwards - only seen in those two episodes of 'Mad Men' - was too tempting to resist. Especially in a Jaguar crash since that was the subplot for those two episodes of 'Mad Men'.

After all, widows and widowers are a time-honored tradition in Toobworld. 


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