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Longing for the Mayberry good life - The Eagle: Opinion

Longing for the Mayberry good life

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Posted: Sunday, July 15, 2012 12:00 am

Well, now, take down your fishin' pole and meet me at the fishin' hole,

We may not get a bite all day, but don't you rush away.

What a great place to rest your bones and mighty fine for skippin' stones,

You'll feel fresh as a lemonade, a-settin' in the shade.

Whether it's hot, whether it's cool, oh what a spot for whistlin' like a fool.

What a fine day to take a stroll and wander by the fishin' hole,

I can't think of a better way to pass the time o' day.

We'll have no need to call the roll when we get to the fishin' hole,

There'll be you, me, and Old Dog Trey, to doodle time away.

If we don't hook a perch or bass, we'll cool our toes in dewy grass,

Or else pull up a weed to chaw, and maybe set and jaw.

Hangin' around, takin' our ease, watchin' that hound a-scratchin' at his fleas.

Come on, take down your fishin' pole and meet me at the fishin' hole,

I can't think of a better way to pass the time o' day.

These are the words to one of the most recognizable theme songs in TV history.

At the start of every Andy Griffith Show, you would hear the whistling of this song as you saw Sheriff Andy Taylor and his young son Opie walking down a country road with fishing poles in hand. If you go to YouTube and type in "Andy Griffith Sings TV Show Theme Song,", you will be in for a delightful treat.

The passing of Andy Griffith recently caused me to reminisce about growing up as a young boy and watching this show every week in black and white. It reminded me of a time when life was more simple, less complicated and surely less stressful.

The characters on the show were fantastic. You had Andy, the sheriff; Barney, his hilarious deputy; Goober; Gomer; Floyd the barber; Helen and Thelma Lou; and little Opie. Of course, you could not leave out the adorable Aunt Bea. What a great cast of people who lived in the fictional town of Mayberry, N.C. My favorites were the Darlings - the hillbilly bluegrass musical group played by the real-life Dillards singing group - and the rock-throwing terror Ernest T. Bass.

When you watched The Andy Griffith Show, you saw people experiencing events and situations that we all could relate too. Values and virtues such as honesty, family, traditions, Sunday worship and friendship were always on display. They are the values and traditions that are also practiced in the Brazos Valley, a big reason why my wife and I decided years ago to move to this area and rear our family.

Whether the scene took place in the sheriff's office with Andy and Barney, at Floyd's barbershop or on the front porch of Andy's home, we all could relate to the drama, humor and, especially, the lessons that were learned by those in Mayberry. There were great performances of love, mistakes, forgiveness, acceptance and humor.

Then there were the hilarious pranks pulled on Barney by Andy and other scenes that gave us so much laughter. Laughter is a good thing - how I wish we had more of it today.

Call me old-fashioned, but I really miss old-fashioned shows and movies such as The Andy Griffith Show.

All of my six children ranging from 5 to 21 have grown up watching Andy Griffith. It started by watching these classic re-runs on cable TV. Then we would pick up Andy Griffith videos and DVDs on sale at stores.

We recently subscribed to Netflix online. Guess what? There are 100 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. It is hard to sit down and watch just one 30 minute show. It is very easy to get hooked.

It is also family friendly. There are no foul words, sex scenes, gory scenes - and the ladies are dressed appropriately.

For those of you who grew up watching The Andy Griffith Show. I know you, too, share great memories. For those children and young adults who have never seen it, please do yourself a favor and try watching a few episodes. When the show is over it, leaves you with a good feeling. You will have watched something wholesome and entertaining. Try watching a few episodes, you won't regret it.

Maybe from watching these episodes, we, too, can hug our family and friends more, become more kind and respectful to others - and even take the time to take someone fishing.

Thanks, Andy Griffith, for all the great memories. And thanks and God Bless you and all the wonderful cast from Mayberry who gave me memories I will forever cherish.

-Rick Starnes is constable of Brazos County Precinct 3.

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