A Baby Boomer Recalls the Andy Griffith Show

Barney, Andy, Aunt Bee, and Opie in "The ...

Barney, Andy, Aunt Bee, and Opie in “The Pickle Story” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am sad to find out Andy Griffith passed away. Although, he starred in another TV series, Matlock, and did several movies (No Time for Sergeants, A Face in the Crowd), I will always think about him as Sheriff Andy Taylor on the Andy Griffith show. How many of us grew up with that show, and feel like it was really a part of our lives? (Boomers do feel attached to some of those shows.)

I enjoyed watching Opie,(Ron Howard)  although he was  much younger than me. After looking him up, I realized he was only 4 years younger. I guess 4 years is a lot more meaningful when you’re 10. (We’re all proud of how successful the real Ron Howard became as a director and producer.)

It was a show about a small town somewhere in the South, Mayberry. I’ve always thought it might be fun to live in a friendly small town, a place where everyone looked out for everyone else.  I’ve never really felt that way in places I’ve lived. Although I’ve always lived in the suburbs, everyone keeps a polite distance.

Too bad I’ve never had an Aunt Bee, (Frances Bavier) an outside relative, who was especially devoted to the family.  She was another one of my favorite characters. My favorite episode was when Aunt Bee went out-of-town, and Opie, Barney, and Andy cleaned up the house.  When she came home she didn’t feel like she was needed anymore.  So, they reverted to being slobs again, and Aunt Bee was  happy she was needed again. Message: Everyone needs to feel important.

There was always Don Knotts who played  the inept Barney Fife. Aren’t there times when we  want to feel important, but we really aren’t? Andy didn’t just put up with Barney, he seemed genuinely fond of him.

And there was Andy Taylor  the real hero. Competent, quiet, and solving everyone’s problems.  Do we all have an Andy in our lives somewhere?

With  Griffith’s death, most of the family (including Knotts)

with the exception of Opie, are gone now. I hope they’re having a good reunion.

Rip Andy Griffith.


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