I knew it was coming, was even “sort of” prepared for it, but when the news broke that Andy Griffith had died, I couldn’t help but feel as if something special had left this old world. I realize Andy was not a Texan, but I’m betting that he touched about as many lives in Texas as he did anywhere else, and that was a lot.
Those of us who knew him in Mayberry might have laughed at the 1960s town that time forgot…I mean…how many of you were still clicking in for “Sarah” to connect you in the 1960s…but we watched, didn’t we? And you know why we watched? We watched because The Andy Griffith Show was a sitcom that left us feeling a little better about life when it was over, something that few television shows do today.
Yes, the town of Mayberry became a state of mind for many of us, a place that continues to live on, a place to which we can retreat when the everyday cares of life become a little overwhelming, for it is in Mayberry that nothing changes, where if we but close our eyes we will find our own special Aunt Bee as she bends to take a pie from the oven.
Mayberry is also that place where men still sit on benches and spit, and whittle, and tell their stories to all who will listen while children run and play with no thought of the dangers that we fear today. And it is Mayberry that most of us are searching to find today, whether we know it or not.
Yes, Andy, you never knew it, but we were great friends. I will miss you.