I’ll tell you now that this post has nothing to do with sports, but I hope that everyone takes the time to read it. It may not be the most eloquent or well written piece, but it is from the heart.
I grew up watching Sheriff Andy Taylor with my dad. Sitting in the living at night and playing backgammon with him was the usual scene in my home, Monday through Saturday.(Nothing gets done on Sundays in Mayberry) I feel about as close to the Taylors and Deputy Fife as any real life friends. To this day, every time I go into a barbershop I think of Floyd and how amazed he would be at the barber having more than two chairs. In my opinion, the best person to ever take off on Cary Grant is Gomer Pyle’s cousin Goober.
The fact is that The Andy Griffith Show left an impression on anyone who watched it. I truly believe that you can become a better person by simply watching and taking everything in. It teaches morals without forcing religion or one’s own beliefs on the viewer. It makes you laugh without the use of vulgarity, sexuality or any other types of obscenities. It is, to put it simply, pure.
In early 2004, the show released a selection of the show’s “favorite hits” to DVD and we bought them for my dad the second we saw them. Unfortunately, every single episode (Minus the color episodes. Those do not truly exist.) was a hit and could not fit on that one DVD. Luckily, the very next fall, the show began releasing each season and became one of my dad’s birthday or Christmas presents for the next few years.
To be honest, this article doesn’t have much behind it. It seems empty, without much purpose. That’s because there is no true purpose. When I read this morning that Andy Griffith had died, I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t find the words to accurately describe what the show meant, but I had to say something. I had to share my personal feelings about the show; had to let people know how it has affected me. It is part of who I am as a person and how I act around others. Every character represents something in me, with Sheriff Taylor being the man I would hope to be like. I suppose I just wanted another way to remember just how great a man Andy Griffith was.
So let’s remember. Let’s remember how he taught us about Paul Revere. Let’s remember the songs he played with the Darling family, with Briscoe Darling on his ceramic jug. Remember as Sheriff Taylor saved the town of Mayberry from Jimmy the loaded goat and taught Ernest T. Bass to have manners. We will always remember the convicts he caught and lessons he taught. Perhaps most importantly, he taught us how to slow down.
When I emailed my dad this morning to talk about the passing of one of our favorite people, I didn’t know what to say. A short “Did you hear about Andy?” was all that I wrote. His answer was simple and yet it was all that needed to be said. “Just Heard.” he replied, “Looking forward to the marathon this weekend.”