46. The Andy Griffith Show–Whistle While You Watch

28 Jun

Before “Splash,” before “Apollo 13,” before “Happy Days,” an adorable, six-year-old Ronny Howard charmed Southerners (and Yankees alike) as Opie Taylor on “The Andy Griffith Show.” He’s maybe the first and last non-Southerner to emulate the accent without causing native’s ears to bleed while screaming “The horror! The horror!” Or maybe that’s just me. Even now, I’m nostalgic for his “Awww Paaawww…” I have never actually heard a Southerner refer to their father as “Paw,” but who cares? Opie can do no wrong. (In case you are wondering, I believe fathers in the South are most frequently called “Daddy” pronounced “Dead-E.”)

For some reason, Southerners got into the habit of calling Andy Griffith “Andy Griffin.” (Hey, maybe that explains why I can never remember whether the infamous D-lister is called Kathy “Griffith” or Kathy “Griffin.”) I, for one, always wondered why the show was called “Andy Griffith” rather than “Andy Taylor.” Yes, I have since figured it out.

Growing up in the boondocks, I was always a little jealous of the town folks in Mayberry. Where was our bullet-less deputy? Our lovable drunk? Our chatty barber? Sure, as a teenager I wanted my MTV like a good Gen-Xer should. But when I was little, I wanted my Aunt Bee. (Although I must say my aunt Tommie was infinitely more fun. Especially when she switched the contents of her all-day giant sipping cup from Coke to wine coolers, due to the “New Coke” debacle.)

The most lasting lesson I learned from Andy Griffin was Barney’s motto: “Nip it! Nip it in the bud!” Of course it took more than a few non-nipped situations to make me realize the wisdom. But these days, I am quick to get out the scissors. There’s a reason one of my favorite things to say is “Goodbye.” (However, I should note that this is also one of my least favorite things to say.)

After a decade and a half living as a Southern ex-pat, you will not likely find me whistling “Dixie.” But I still do a mean rendition of the Andy Griffin theme song. It’s almost as good as this parrot’s.

Who’s your favorite Mayberrian?

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5 Responses to “46. The Andy Griffith Show–Whistle While You Watch”

  1. The Florida Blogger June 28, 2010 at 4:01 pm #

    But have you ever been to the real Mayberry? Quite a town!

    • girloutofdixie June 29, 2010 at 12:11 am #

      There’s a real mayberry? I thought it was pure legend in the manner of faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha county.

  2. Todd Pack August 23, 2010 at 3:56 pm #

    Best. Show. Ever. At least, the first 5 seasons, before Barney left. I never much cared for Howard Sprague or Emmet from the Fix-It Shop.

    But when Andy opens the window so Opie can hear those baby birds cryin’ for their mama? Man, if that don’t get you, you can’t be got.

  3. Jbeebus October 26, 2010 at 1:07 am #

    I always liked Gomer until he started singing.

  4. Mallory Pickering June 2, 2011 at 2:25 pm #

    Aunt Bee.

    I’ve been to the real town too!

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