Black & White Friends

One of my earliest memories is sitting in front of our black and white television watching The Andy Griffith Show.

It may seem ridiculous, but tears came quickly when I heard Andy Griffith had died this week.  Felt like an old friend of the family had passed.  

Someone I’d known all my life.  

Someone I’d grown up with. 

Someone who helped shape who I am.  How I think. 

I’m part of the first generation to grow up with television.  There’s never been a time in my life when television didn’t exist – never a time when we didn’t own at least one television set. 

And as an only kid growing up in the days before anyone even thought about it not being so good for us, I watched a lot of it. 

For better or worse, those shows taught me a lot about the world and about life.  I spent a good bit of time with the characters on those shows. 

They became friends.  Friends I know well.

So well that I can laugh just thinking about Ernest T. Bass. 





Or the Darling clan.





Or those two silly gals from Mount Pilot – one with the raspy low voice who kept saying, “Hello, Doll,” to Andy.  





Or when Aunt Bea made kerosene pickles. 






Or when Gomer took Mary Grace to the dance.  





Or when Barney and Floyd were held hostage by the three female escaped convicts.




And any time Barney was on the telephone with Juanita down at the diner. 





My all-time favorite scene, though, is from “Opie and the Bully,” where a kid at school has been threatening Opie and taking his milk money.  When Andy discovers it, he tells Opie about a similar situation he was in as a boy and how he handled it, without ever revealing that he knew what was happening to Opie.  The morning that Opie leaves for school, knowing that he, too, must stand up to his bully, he’s afraid and Andy senses it.  Instead of talking Opie out of how he feels, or minimizing those feelings, or taking care of the situation himself, Andy simply picks Opie up, without saying a word, and holds him tight. 

I never knew Andy Griffith as a person in real life.  I don’t know what kind of dad he really was to his own children.  I don’t know what kind of friend he was, or if it’s even possible to be as faithful and patient a friend as Andy Taylor was to Barney Fife.  

But if he was even close to the man he played on television, I would’ve liked him. 


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kelvin says:

    “Look at me! Look at me! Look at me! I’m Ernest T! I loved him too..and Barney, Gomer, Gober, Floyd and the rest of the gang. Of course you already knew I loved Lucy and that bunch. Thanks for taking us down memory lane… It is a wonderful place to go from time to time. Remembering a simplier time when life was so different. Take care old friend. Kelvin

  2. dan gary says:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s