This is by far the most mysterious shop in all of Mayberry
Who the heck is Hajwzk?
Fans of The Andy Griffith Show can fondly recall the names of many shops and businesses in Mayberry.
There's Floyd's Barbershop, where all the boys get their hair cut. There's Walker's Drugstore, where Andy met Ellie. There's the Fix-It Shop, where you can find handyman Emmett Clark. Goober or Gomer Pyle can take care of your car at Wally's Service Station.
But there are many other more obscure businesses whose names can only be gleaned any time an episode takes you walking down Mayberry's streets, like Lukin's Store that carries "The Bed Jacket" for which Aunt Bee pines.
It's a thriving small-town business community, but out of all the shops that we never got to go inside, there is perhaps one storefront that The Andy Griffith Show fans have been puzzling over for decades.
Glimpsed during the first season episode "The Inspector," a shop across from the jail has a name that reads like nonsense.
ER HAJWZK B, the sign says. You can catch it about 13 minutes into the episode, as state inspector Ralph Case (Tod Andrews) storms out on Andy and Barney. Case has found many violations inspecting Mayberry's jailhouse and leaves in a frazzled hurry to report the infractions.
When the door opens, you'll spot this curious shop name, and if you do, you'll wonder what on earth could this odd string of letters refer to?
One fan of The Andy Griffith Show, Paul Mulik — who's named as a trivia expert in The Andy Griffith Show Book — is credited as finding the answer.
He said that in this early episode (it aired 26th overall), the production did not yet have the Mayberry backdrops established. What we're seeing in this scene is an old backdrop borrowed to cut costs when filming "The Inspector" episode.
He said he recalled the full name on the shop sign was the Peter Hajwzk Building. "The PETER HAJWZK backdrop must have been created for some long-forgotten old movie," Mulik wrote.
Perhaps. Some have speculated that the "old movie" might just be the 1959 Samuel Fuller World War II film Verboten! — which was filmed on the familiar RKO 40 Acres backlot that became Desilu Studios, a.k.a. the Mayberry set. Well, alas, we looked through that movie and could not find a sign reading "Hajwzk."
Nor could we spot it in Attack!, a great, gritty 1956 war flick with Eddie Albert, Buddy Ebsen and Jack Palance, which also filmed on the lot.
To be honest, "Hajwzk" does not seem like the typical name you'd find in Belgium or Bavaria. It could just as well be from other productions at RKO 40 Acres / Desilu lot, such as Man with a Camera, the 1958 noir series starring Charles Bronson.
So, mystery somewhat solved. Does anyone have a lead to finally answer this 60-year-old question?
Watch The Andy Griffith Show on MeTV!
Weeknights at 8 & 8:30, Sundays at 6 & 6:30 PM*available in most MeTV markets
town tellin' everyone that the state inspector was coming. Mr. Scwamp
noticed an old abandoned bird's nest in the sign across the street. He
borree'ed a ladder to go up and clear it out. When he was up there
doing that, he accidently knocked all the letters off the sign, and
dropped his reading glasses out of his pocket. (there's a rule in
Mayberry that you only put on glasses when you really need them so's the
town don't look too nerdy, right Ken? ).
Well, he got the letters picked up (most of them) and went back up the
ladder. When he got up there he noticed that one of the R's broke and
looked like a "K", and the D still had birds nest stuff in it and looked
like a "B". He started to arrange the letters when Barney cam running
down the street again yelling "He's comin'! the Inspector's comin'!"
He was supposed to spell out "J & Z HARDWARE" (Jimmy and Zack's) but
he left the H, A, and & on the street and the rest he threw up there as
ER AJWZK B as fast has he could.
That crazy inspector didn't even notice the weird sign, but he did right
on his little notepad. "ladder left over sidewalk" "HA" in the street"
Russell Hiatt interview by Tribute artist "Floyd" Allan Newsome, and posted on a Podcast called "Two Chair No Waiting". This is an interview of Russell Hiatt who was there.