Thursday, July 5, 2012

Good-bye Gentleman Andy Griffith

Going a little off topic, I want to mention the life and work of beloved actor and gentleman, Andy Griffith who passed away just days ago.

Mr. Griffith was best known for two roles that gave immense pleasure to people all over the world.  Although I enjoyed his character Ben Matlock in the 1980's, my favorite of the two will forever be his role as Andy Taylor.

Andy Taylor actually helped shape who I am as a person and how I try to treat people.  I didn't have any good role models while growing up... nobody that made me stop and think "This is the kind of person I want to try to be like."  But there was Andy on TV every day when I came home from school.  I saw his gentleness and good humor and the way he valued everyone around him and I did think "This is how I want to be."  It was impossible not to like him. 

It's true that the words he spoke were written for him by the hand of someone else, but it was the way he said those words that made the difference.  Andy Griffith said Andy Taylor was nicer than he was, but he made the role of Andy Taylor that of a gentleman whom everyone wanted for a father, friend and neighbor.  Myself included.

Mr. Griffith, you are sure gonna be missed. 

I never got the opportunity to meet you, but like millions of your fans throughout the world, I adopted you as a "friend" just the same.  Your caring heart and cheerful relaxed attitude will not be forgotten by this devoted fan. 

Thank you so much for your gifts to the world.  For although you saw what you did as entertainment, there were some of us growing up in difficult lives that looked at the way you did your job with smiles of admiration and appreciation.  You showed us that the country charm that was so much a part of who you were, was something to be valued.  That being rough and jaded in an industry that typically produces narcissism as freely as water flows, was not a given.   

The fact that you were buried on your beloved North Carolina farm makes perfect sense to me.  I understand how a piece of land can become so much a part of a person that it seems the natural place to want to be placed.  I hope I am someday similarly blessed.  

Thank you for the smiles you gave my family.  You will certainly never be forgotten...

Here is a Rascal Flatts song about Mayberry that somehow helps to sum up what so many of us from that era remember and think about The Andy Griffith Show.  Enjoy a taste of the past....


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