What are YOUR Favorite Memories of the Andy Griffith Show?
As Ramona Wiley once wrote to her Barney Beloved, “the tears on my pillow bespeak the pain that is in my heart.” If you are like me, news of Andy Griffith’s passing left you shedding a few tears.
We camp because we want to simplify, slow down, and enjoy fundamental pleasures. In a way, this is what The Andy Griffith Show was all about. Who wouldn’t want to spend a few days in Mayberry?
We could set up camp out by the lake. (We’d need to watch out for escaped convicts.) If we needed supplies, we might go into town and visit Ben Weaver’s department store. Better watch your speed on Turner’s Grade, because Barney might be writing tickets. We could grab lunch down at the diner (where we’d finally meet Juanita). Our fancy cellphones might not work out at the lake, but in case of emergency we could always get Sarah on the land line.
Along with many of my generation, I discovered The Andy Griffith Show in the 1980s. The Griffith show thrived in reruns. Heck, there was a time when the show was broadcast locally for three hours a day; at noon, at 5:30, and finally at 10:00.
During my college years, watching the show was a daily ritual for me and my friends. Every evening, we’d gather around the TV with our dinners and enjoy an hour of Andy.
What made The Andy Griffith Show so special?
The writing and acting and sets and even the music were phenomenal. But what made the show three dimensional were the characters. Andy, Barney, Aunt Bea, Opie, Helen, Thelma Lou, Otis, Gomer, Goober – and don’t forget Floyd. Some would also add the town of Mayberry as a character, too.
The Andy Griffith Show was a comedy that did not rely on jokes. It relied on characters, and stories that were rooted in love. Sure, there were moments of gut busting humor – but we kept coming back for the love.
I’m not talking about drippy sappy love, but rather the affection and kindness that people, in their best moments of daily life, demonstrate for one another. Andy Taylor treated Barney and Aunt Bea and Opie and his fellow Mayberry residents with love and respect, and they reciprocated.
My favorite episode? It’s always tough choosing favorites, but one of my faves is “Mr. McBeevee.” In this episode, Andy is forced into an uncomfortable parenting predicament. Opie seems to be telling lies about an imaginary friend, and perhaps even using those falsehoods to steal. Andy must decide whether and how to administer discipline. It’s funny, touching, and uplifting. That’s the Griffith show in a nutshell.
Happy birthday, America,
Rest in peace, Andy Griffith.
What are YOUR favorite moments from the Andy Griffith Show? Favorite episodes?