Don Knotts Club treks east

Alan Smith 

From movies, to music videos, to memorabilia: the Don Knotts Club is comprised of several aspects that balance to create a signature Don Knotts meeting.

The club is set on expansion, however, and has recently extended its reach to Kentucky.

Senior Jackson Hotaling learned that Karen Knotts, daughter of the revered Don Knotts, would be speaking in Elizabethtown, KY. Immediately, the idea for a road trip was suggested to senior co-founders Andrew Gurney and Will Patton.

“He saw online that Karen Knotts was speaking,” said Gurney, “and we all instantly knew we had to take a road trip.”

When the three boys decided it was a go, senior Jordan Conerly – not to be “out-Donned” – also joined in. The four members of what the “National Enquirer” has called a “Crazed Teen Cult” were on their way to meet Karen Knotts.

Knotts, 58, tours the country with her one-woman show, “Tied Up in Knotts.” The show features witty anecdotes regarding life as daughter of Don Knotts and how he was a loving father to her.

On Knotts’ reaction, Patton said she “was glad to know that young people had taken an interest in her dad’s work and life,” but that she might have been put off that “bunch of teenagers are so enthusiastic about him.” The trip was reportedly beneficial for the foursome from Webster Groves High.

“[We] definitely came away … with a much deeper inside knowledge of Don’s personality and what he was like as a father. It was really interesting to hear … his personality described by someone so close to him.”

In meetings, Gurney said the club has “eaten snacks in the past, present and future,” as long as they consist of off-brand soda and treats like Oreos.

“Only double stuff, this is America,” said Gurney during the meeting- and the club takes these guidelines seriously. The Don Knotts club meets on Tuesdays and encourages any who share a passion about the entertainer to attend.

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