Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My mother, Andy Griffith and the 4th of July

When you think about the 4th of July and what it represents besides hotdogs and parades I think it is rather ironic that we just lost a man who represented the values and goodness in an endearing little place called Mayberry. Mayberry could have been any small town in the U.S.A..

Years back when the Andy Griffith Show came on the air every week, we as a family would sit down and watch the show together. There was no worry about the content. It was all apple pie and family while still dealing with real issues. It was TV in its peak of quality programming and that had a lot to do with the man himself and a cast of supporting characters we all considered part of our family too.

While we all loved the show, my mother really loved the show especially when Andy and Barney would get going which usually led to some really funny situations. When Barney twitched about with his eyes bulging and his tone trying to be in charge as only a Barney Fife could my mother would start laughing. She'd laugh so hard that she'd have to take her glasses off and try to catch her breath. It was so contagious that we all started laughing right along with her. We couldn't stop laughing-roll over, belly laughing!

One particular episode stands out as I think about her sitting on the sofa in her nightgown exploding in laughter. Barney was somewhere in their patrol car-off on his own. He was outside of the vehicle and suddenly came face to face with a bear. I remember his scurrying all over the place-his thin little legs going at top speed. He ended up on top of the squad car and went for his gun. That's when my mother started. He couldn't get the gun out of his holster. His eyes were really bulging and when he did take hold of his gun he couldn't find the one bullet he always carried with him in a pocket-but which pocket was the problem!.My mother couldn't stop roaring as he stood on top of that car and tried to locate his only bullet. How that episode ended I'll never know because we had another show to watch-my mother! She was ripping it up so hard that she couldn't breathe-and neither could we!

Thank you Sheriff Andy Taylor, Opie, Aunt Bee, Barney and all those other supporting characters who remain a shining example of what TV can be. You all add meaning to this day in which we celebrate America in hometowns just like Mayberry.

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