Andy Griffith’s Role in the Poconos

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PAUPACK TOWNSHIP -- When the news broke this week that actor Andy Griffith died, it brought back memories of the summer of 1982 for some people in the Poconos.

It was July of 1982 when Griffith came to the Cove Haven Resort near Hawley to film a TV movie.

It was originally called "Honeymoon Hotel." The movie was about a father and daughter who owned a honeymoon couples resort in the Poconos.

The entire movie was shot at Cove Haven and aired under the new title "For Lover's Only" in the fall of 1982.

Newswatch 16 was there when Griffith announced his role in the production.

"Actors tend to fall in love with whatever they are doing anyway, but I got a feeling that it may go through the roof on this one," said Griffith.

Phil Policare, Cove Haven's "Chief Excitement Officer" remembers the day Griffith came to the resort to film the TV movie like it was yesterday.

"Andy Griffith? What a great guy," said Policare.

Just like the scene at the beginning of the Andy Griffith TV series, where Griffith is fishing, Policare actually had the chance to go fishing with the Hollywood actor.

"So I had a little boat down on the dock and we got down on the bass boat I had. He actually caught a tree. He thought it was a fish. He said 'I got a good one, I got a good one,' and when he pulled it in, it was a branch, but that was the biggest thing he caught. The rest of the day, we didn't catch anything, but he relaxed," said Policare.

Policare said while the crew filmed at the resort for three months, he got an inside look at what goes into movie making.

"Like driving up here, into the lobby, right in the front door, they did that like 14 times cause they weren't getting out of the car right or the leg got stuck. Or the door wouldn't open. They'd yell, 'Cut cut cut!' and have to drive around and around," said Policare.

Back in 1982, Policare said Andy handled it all like a gentleman.

"When he worked, he was working. You left him alone like all the other stars, you left them alone. But when they weren`t working, regular people like you and me," said Policare.

Griffith was 86 years old.