Recently I noticed that Netflix has the entire television series The Andy Griffith Show, which ran from 1960 to 1968. Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) starred as the folksy, kind hearted and wise fictional sheriff of the fictional small town of Mayberry. It was the feel-good tonic I needed.
Some of the news has been relentlessly distracting of late. The news is beyond watching. It's either mindless happy talk or dreary, gloomy rehashing of sad tales until every bit of angst has been squeezed out of them. I needed something to remind me of that we live in a good country, where good people mostly go about their lives seeking ordinary forms of happiness.
I needed a visit to Andy Taylor's Mayberry.
Come with me back to 1960, to a small rural town where being neighborly was the norm. The night it came on each week saw families gathered around the one television in the house. With only one TV station serving our small city, the entire community would watch the same show each week. It was a shared community experience. Kids and adults alike would be talking about Andy, Barney, Aunt Bee, and Opie the next day.
It was an idyllic burgh, Mayberry, where there were real problems, but not really bad problems. They were typical problems of people interacting, having disappointments and figuring out ways to deal with them.
Sheriff Taylor's homespun wisdoms and good nature led the community in the right direction. In twenty-five minutes of show and five minutes of commercials, we would be taken on a brief journey where some problem arose and was satisfactorily resolved. There was no violence, no coarse language, no over the top social measure, just a soft sell of decent behaviors.
Mayberry wasn't real, but the lives of those living there were really similar to most of the lives we led in our own area. For the most part, problems had to do with school, work, paying bills, dealing with gossip, going about our business, and trying to forge good friendships and maintain happy families. It held up for us an ideal town, where people managed to remain positive and fairly prosperous.
Watching The Andy Griffith Show for a season helped me get my head out of the national news funk and back into the real world where most of us actually live day by day. The news is not the world most of us live in on a daily basis. The news is a distortion, a caricature, of real life. It we let it, the news will trample all the good out there for us in the communities in which we live.
Take a trip to Mayberry, and let it revive your faith in the good that exists in most of our communities. Most people are trying to do right. Most are trying to create good lives for ourselves and our families. Remember that. The good news far outweighs the bad.
Copyright 2018, Jim "Pappy" Moore, all rights reserved.