The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

July 5, 2012

Our View: Hail to thee, Mayberry

Stories running in the wake of the Tuesday death of Andy Griffith quote the TV icon as saying he wasn’t as wise as Sheriff Andy Taylor or near as nice.

“But, I guess you could say I created Andy Taylor,” he said.

“Andy Taylor’s the best part of my mind. The best part of me,” he said in the interview in 2007.

Today, we thank the sheriff of the fictional Mayberry, a small town where rules could be broken for the greater good, where neighbors forgave each other and where doors didn’t have to be locked.

Said to be modeled on Griffith’s own hometown of Mount Airy, Mayberry remains synonymous with the best parts of living in a small town. And while we realize that Mayberry was never real, we all know an Aunt Bee or a Floyd the barber. Griffith’s popular TV show, which aired from 1960 to 1968, never actually went away. It continues on in reruns  to this day.

And, bits of Mayberry exist today because we are fortunate enough to live in an area where there are still fishin’ holes, Saturday night sings, front porches and occasionally, the forgiving lawman.

Should we daydream about a place that Hollywood concocted?

Absolutely.

Let’s not forget the best parts of the place we came from or ever forsake the notion that there are still good, decent folks who live next door.

We say goodbye to Griffith, but hang on a little longer to the place called Mayberry.

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