Andy Griffith

 

I was watching The Andy Griffith Show on TV Land an hour or so ago when I saw headlines on my computer that “Actor Andy Griffith is Dead”.

That moment froze me in time. Moments before I was just enjoying the show and thinking of my childhood days when I first started watching this beloved idyllic sitcom. I also was thinking that “Deputy Barney Fife” played by Don Knots died a few years ago; sadly, too, the episode I was watching had “Goober” in it. Goober died just a month or so ago back in May of this year.

But maybe it is fate and destiny that I should learn of the death of one of my favourite television personalities while watching his show. It is the first time in my life I recall something like this happening.

But I am glad it happened this way.

I first started watching the Andy Griffith Show back in the 1980s. I was in primary school at the time. I can still vividly remember that it would be showed at 3:30 PM  each weekday afternoon. In those days my classmates and I would gather in the hour before the 3 o’ clock dismissal bell and we would rehearse with gravitational excitement all the plots of our TV shows the previous afternoon.

I can still hear the voice of my best friend telling me how he prefer to watch cartoons instead of real people, but nonetheless The Andy Griffith Show (T.A.G.S.) made an impact on our entertainment appetite.

TAGS has been one of the shows that has remained on television line up for broadcasting over the many years since  my golden childhood decade of the 1980s. I always enjoyed the simple lifestyle and powerful life lessons the characters would portray in the episodes. There didn’t have to be a lot of action or physical movement in place or time for the pleasurable entertainment value to be enjoyed by the audience.

This show was also one of the shows that my mother and I  often watched together, particularly when school was closed and I was at home on vacation. My mother’s favourite episode was the one when “Aunt Bea” bought an excessive amount of beef and was literally dragging her meat home through the streets of Mayberry and the town’s dogs were having a feast as she went along.

Andy, I hope you do say hello to my mother for me as you enter your eternal home in heaven.

I bet I can easily make this post my longest ever as a blogger: there is just so much to remember and to tell!

I have always felt a sense of comfort in that I knew Andy Griffith was still alive. It was like I had a particular handle on the 1960s, a time before my birth, when The Andy Griffith Show was being produced and aired for the first time.

I believe I speak for every single one of  TAGS fans when I say that the theme song—a beautifully whistled tune—is another simple reason the show has been immortalized in our minds and memories. At some point and time I am sure we all have whistled that tune.

The deaths of the majority of the cast members from The Andy Griffith Show indicates that a television era in wholesome entertainment has really ended. As far as I know these characters from the show are now all dead: Aunt Bea, Goober, Barney, Floyd, Clara, and now Andy Griffith.

I give thanks to the Lord for giving the world Andy Griffith and I thank Him for allowing Andy to have a long life—86 years—on the earth. I have learned from Andy’s life that it is important to enjoy your years, whether young or old. Andy brought his highly demanded show to an end in 1968 to follow his other dreams of life outside of the sitcom world.

It was not an easy road for him; he didn’t make the immediate hit with movie audiences as he did with TAGS, and he even lost his wife in the process; however, Andy Griffith kept persevering on.

His nine year run as Matlock made his name a household phrase again with a younger television audience in the 1990s.

Andy Griffith is finally dead after being here many decades. The great news is that he has left his life’s work in television and music for us to enjoy. Let us do so, celebrating Andy Griffith our forever television friend.

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