ANDY: Wes? Are you there? Wes?
WES: I’m here. Good grief.
ANDY: Are you OK? Did something explode when you answered the phone?
WES: I’m OK. Andrea is out. I have all four boys by myself.
ANDY: Ahh … say no more. Well, let’s talk quickly and allow you to get back to herding cats and the chemistry set or whatever that was. Basics first: Alabama or Auburn?
WES: Definitely the Crimson Tide. I grew up in Tennessee around orange and white, but the majority of my friends are Alabama fans, so … Alabama.
ANDY: Very nice. Roll Tide. This would have been the shortest interview in this series if you had gone the other way! Beach or mountains?
WES: I’m going to have to go “mountains.”
WES: Yeah … we love the beach, but there is just something about the beauty of the mountains … and I’m really a cold-weather person.
ANDY: Hmm…if you say so. But you didn’t look like a “cold-weather person” in the Majesty video you guys did — three hours outdoors in Alaska. I’m just sayin… OK, next question: Other than your voice, what talent would you love to have?
WES: I would love to play the piano like Gordon (Mote) or Matthew (Holt). I’ve always regretted not learning.
ANDY: Wow. So when our parents all said, “One day you’ll regret not taking these piano lessons more seriously,” you really did!
WES: Yes, I did.
ANDY: Well … maybe everyone will cut this interview out of the magazine and use you as an example for the kids of today. They’ll say, “Children? Do you want to ruin your life like Mr. Wes? Just read this— the buffoon can’t even play the piano!”
WES: Did you take piano lessons?
ANDY: My dad was a minister of music. Of course I took piano lessons.
WES: Can you play?
ANDY: No. And I’m a bigger buffoon than you are … I don’t even regret it! (Both laughing hard) OK, let’s be serious or Bill and Gloria will fire us. What person would you love to be for a day? Anyone, past or present …
WES: Andy Griffith.
ANDY: Excellent answer. Excellent. But you had me running up the “flattery scale” until you said his last name. (The interview is beginning to dissolve into more laughing than talking)What character trait do you most admire in a friend?
ANDY: That’s a lie.
(At this point, laughter attracts the attention of Polly Andrews, who enters the room to ask her husband, “Who is the other 8-year-old you have on the phone?” Her question is repeated to Wes, causing laughter to continue until Polly escapes to the more mature company of sons Austin (12) and Adam (10), who are in another room.)
She’s gone. Hey, what are your boys doing?
WES: It’s very quiet. I have no idea.
ANDY: Well, if the house isn’t on fire, I think you’re good. Does your family open presents on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve?
WES: Christmas Day.
ANDY: As it should be done. Perfect. Favorite Christmas song?
WES: “Silent Night.”
ANDY: I’ll write it down, but are you sure you wouldn’t rather go with “Mary, Did You Know?” I’m thinking Buddy and Mark will read this…
WES: Yeah, you’re probably right. Go ahead and write that I said, “Mary.” But between you and me?
BOTH: “Silent Night.”
ANDY: Favorite Christmas memory?
WES: We had done a candlelight service at the church one Christmas Eve and when we came out afterward, it was snowing! It snowed all night and we had a white Christmas in Birmingham, Alabama.
ANDY: Wow! Perfect. Love to Andrea and the boys. Merry Christmas, Wes.
WES: To your family, too, Andy. Merry Christmas!