I suspect I am not alone in saying that for me, Andy Griffith was like family. It’s not just that he was from North Carolina, my native state, or that Mayberry was based on his hometown of Mt. Airy, maybe an hour up the road from my little burg. It’s not just that he wove an idyllic little haven off the highway, secure from the encroachments of an dangerously accelerating world, and brought it into our homes each week.
I guess it has more to do with the fact that he never once seemed to lose sight of his moral compass. He went to Hollywood and it didn’t seem to change him. The result was a show that had more pure heart than just about anything in television history, and I have through the years suggested that The Andy Griffith Show might be the greatest sitcom ever produced.
At some point, when I have had more time to reflect, I’ll revisit his life and times, and hopefully I can find something to say that’s worthy of his legacy. Today, though, I’m mourning an icon of my childhood.
Andy Griffith is dead at 86.