On eve of its birthday, America loses an icon

As we slide out of a Tuesday and prepare to celebrate the Fourth of July, that quintessential American holiday, we also say goodbye to a quintessential American in Andy Griffith. The 86-year-old actor and national icon died today at his home in North Carolina, the state of his birth and the inspiration for much of his career.

As Andy Taylor, the wise and kindly sheriff of Mayberry, Griffith and his cast captured something about small-town America that even back in the ’60s had begun to fade, a fact that made audiences treasure it all more. TV at the time was dominated by cornpone comedies such as “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Petticoat Junction,” “Green Acres” and “Hee Haw,” but Griffith’s show treated its characters and the community they shared with a respect that other shows never even tried to attain.

Anybody who ever watched more than two or three episodes, for example, will smile at the following exchange among Sheriff Andy, his hapless and overeager deputy Barney Fife and the town drunk Otis Campbell:

Barney Fife: Andy, I’ve this one dead to rights! Otis was drunk. I even gave him a test. I drew a line on the sidewalk and told him to walk it. You know what he said?
Andy Taylor: What?
images-3Barney Fife: He asked me what line. I’ve got this one right, Andy. Otis was drunk!
Andy Taylor: That right, Otis? Did you ask Deputy Fife what line?
Otis Campbell: Yeah; but I didn’t have my specs on and drunk or sober, I can’t see much without my specs.
Andy Taylor: Otis, three hours ago when Deputy Fife arrested you were you drunk?
Otis Campbell: I don’t know; I wasn’t wearin’ my glasses.

Happy Fourth of July everyone, and to serenade us into the holiday, here’s Andy himself, singing a tune you might recognize:

– Jay Bookman

531 comments Add your comment

G Mare

July 3rd, 2012
5:08 pm

That was a great show!

saywhat?

July 3rd, 2012
5:09 pm

Don’t forget matlock, the 80’s-90’s heart throb of the geriatric set.

getalife

July 3rd, 2012
5:09 pm

A great man and role model.

Normal Free, Human Rights Thug...and liking it.

July 3rd, 2012
5:10 pm

I suppose that Andy Griffin will always be remembered mostly for Mayberry RFD, but I will remember him best for his role in “Onionhead”

http://www.tcm.com/this-month/article/138992|0/Onionhead.html

It gave a pretty good rendition of enlisted life aboard ship and in port. A good movie.

Love ya, Andy!

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

July 3rd, 2012
5:10 pm

“Waiting on a Woman” (Brad Paisley & Andy Griffith)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-C-IbkuNWs

They BOTH suck

July 3rd, 2012
5:12 pm

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

July 3rd, 2012
5:13 pm

Andy Griffith ………. “Football”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNxLxTZHKM8

They BOTH suck

July 3rd, 2012
5:13 pm

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

July 3rd, 2012
5:15 pm

“Latrine ready for inspection sir !”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqg4rJPUxGs

philosopher

July 3rd, 2012
5:16 pm

We’ve lost so many in the recent past…but losing Andy really hurts.

Mr. Snarky

July 3rd, 2012
5:16 pm

Loved those seersucker suits!

barking frog

July 3rd, 2012
5:17 pm

‘Football’ and No Time For
Sergeants were comedic
highlights of my teen years
and a comedian that talked
as slow as I did. Never saw
anything that he did that I
didn’t like. He made the
world a better place.

Don Abernethy

July 3rd, 2012
5:18 pm

One of the very few articles that I agree with. If only life in this country was like it was then.

JamVet

July 3rd, 2012
5:18 pm

I’m glad that I was around to enjoy those shows. I always fancied myself a little Opie Taylor.

But those days of relative innocence are long gone now.

For good and bad…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VjPPuias1k

They BOTH suck

July 3rd, 2012
5:21 pm

TaxPayer

July 3rd, 2012
5:22 pm

I don’t reckon we’ll be seein’ anyone like Andy again ’round these parts.

RIP Sheriff Taylor.

They BOTH suck

July 3rd, 2012
5:23 pm

Fred ™

July 3rd, 2012
5:24 pm

Jay

July 3rd, 2012
5:12 pm

While you folks have been obsessed with trying to count coup on fellow bloggers, I’ve been working away changing the sheets, vacuuming and putting out fresh towels in a new room for y’all upstairs.
++++++++++++++++++++++++

A simple apology would have taken you less time.

I paid homage to Andy hours ago. Welcome to today.

ken

July 3rd, 2012
5:27 pm

Shows were great. Nobody hurt or killed. Good TV GOD bless

They BOTH suck

July 3rd, 2012
5:27 pm

JamVet

July 3rd, 2012
5:28 pm

Rain all around the ATL but even though there is some wind kicking up and some cloudiness, I’m not sure that Doraville is gonna get blessed with any of that precious precipitation that we desperately need.

But please…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yow4Aus8oTo

Normal Free, Human Rights Thug...and liking it.

July 3rd, 2012
5:28 pm

pogo

July 3rd, 2012
5:28 pm

Sadly, in the end Andy was reduced to making adds that were paid for by the taxpayers to promote Obamacare. Something to the tune of $500,000.00. And to those that knew him personally he was not the kind, gentle sheriff from Mayberry. This piece by Jay is exactly how easy it is for the foolish to become enamoured of an image on their television rather than the real person. Just as the foolish were suckered by Obama.

Satisfied geta-thought?

Jay

July 3rd, 2012
5:29 pm

Good for you, Fred.

Fred ™

July 3rd, 2012
5:30 pm

And no apology. Good for You too Jay.

Thomas

July 3rd, 2012
5:30 pm

ow paw-

Otis was a great character- not really tongue and cheek. The community embraces, jails, and releases. They never showed Otis driving. We love to judge and incarcerate now versus enabling for the better like they did in Mayberry.

Floyd the barber a little on the creepy side

Anyways- have a great 4th everyone

They BOTH suck

July 3rd, 2012
5:31 pm

Normal Free, Human Rights Thug...and liking it.

July 3rd, 2012
5:32 pm

Thomas

July 3rd, 2012
5:33 pm

pogo- fade the Baldwins and the Taylors- just an advertisement. You will drive yourself crazy like the libs are driven by Fox News. We have a country full of bright folks that DC and LA will once again have to figure out.

Adam

July 3rd, 2012
5:34 pm

They BOTH suck

July 3rd, 2012
5:36 pm

JamVet

July 3rd, 2012
5:36 pm

Back at ya, Thomas.

After all of these years, still a stunning song…(Co-written by George Harrison.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FT6nUdZNhO4&feature=related

Adam

July 3rd, 2012
5:38 pm

Fred: Bickering on this thread is classless. Stop it.

They BOTH suck

July 3rd, 2012
5:41 pm

They BOTH suck

July 3rd, 2012
5:46 pm

carlosgvv

July 3rd, 2012
5:49 pm

I grew up in two small Southern towns that were, to some extent, like Mayberry. Unfortunately,small towns with mostly decent people seem hader and harder to find in America.

I wonder if anyone here can give a good sociological answer as to why this is?

G Mare

July 3rd, 2012
5:49 pm

A great show!

They BOTH suck

July 3rd, 2012
5:51 pm

getalife

July 3rd, 2012
5:53 pm

Satisfied?

No, we have billionaires united but this is the nation’s birthday so hang up the flag, eat, drink, smoke and show some patriotism.

Our country made it another year after a collapse so yes that is satisfying.

God bless America .

TaxPayer

July 3rd, 2012
5:53 pm

I wonder if anyone here can give a good sociological answer as to why this is?

It was the internet that done it.

Doggone/GA

July 3rd, 2012
5:53 pm

“Unfortunately,small towns with mostly decent people seem hader and harder to find in America”

And I don’t think they are. Have you actually tried looking lately?

Jackie

July 3rd, 2012
5:54 pm

RIP fellow Tar Heel.

barking frog

July 3rd, 2012
6:00 pm

carlosgvv 5:49
it’s bush’s fault.

carlosgvv

July 3rd, 2012
6:00 pm

Doggone/GA

Having recently revisited those two towns, I can assure you such towns as they once were are becoming rare.

JamVet

July 3rd, 2012
6:08 pm

BOTH, back at your 5:51 with some big time rock and roll from Rick Derringer…

Gimme guitars and women
They both need that tender touch

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRu-7IEeUrc

Rest in Peace Andy Griffth

July 3rd, 2012
6:13 pm

I grew up in a small town similar to Mayberry. This was one of my favorite shows that I watched after school! It always kept you laughing!! Rest in peace Andy Griffth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lli9ABUFZCU

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

July 3rd, 2012
6:21 pm

Shorter pogo: But…but…but…OBAMA!

G Mare

July 3rd, 2012
6:25 pm

Andy was great!

Doggone/GA

July 3rd, 2012
6:26 pm

“Having recently revisited those two towns, I can assure you such towns as they once were are becoming rare”

Visiting 2 towns is hardly an exhaustive survey

0311/8541/5811/1811/1801

July 3rd, 2012
6:28 pm

Normal Free, Human Rights Thug…and liking it. :

Good one.

godless heathen

July 3rd, 2012
6:32 pm

Fun Girls from Mt. Pilot. ’nuff said, Bernie.

Josef

July 3rd, 2012
6:34 pm

RIP

I spent my early childhood in a place with people that could’ve been the set for Mayberry and Opie and I had a lot in common. It was a pretty accurate picture of the life there at its best. Of course, at the time the show held no charm. TV was a trip to places I had not seen with people I did not know. In retrospect, I now know that for millions, mine was the world the longed to be a part of, if only for a half hour once a week.

godless heathen

July 3rd, 2012
6:34 pm

josef

July 3rd, 2012
6:46 pm

CARLOS

The towns are there. That’s why we took our brood up to Coosa to raise. Best decision we ever made in their upbringing, and they’ll tell you so, too. Commute to Atlanta was rough, but worth every minute of it.

When I was “back home” it was still moving at that pace and with those small town relationships and values, but in touch with the bigger world. Looking at the great nieces and nephews, they were the Opies of today, still going fishing even if with the ipod in hand! :-)

Fred ™

July 3rd, 2012
6:53 pm

josef: I miss “back home’ something fierce. But you know as well as I do that there is no difference between small town South than small town North (or east or west or mid or whatever). We here in the big city sometimes forget and those born and raised in the big city have no clue…….

F. Sinkwich

July 3rd, 2012
6:56 pm

Lib ilks hate Mayberry.

No diversity. No Occutards ruining its parks. Happy people. People doing the right thing without the Feds making them do it. People with southern accents. Sugar-filled apple pies. Lots of gravy. Respect for authority. Fathers, etc.

These people were happy.

Lib ilks hate that.

Erwin's cat

July 3rd, 2012
7:04 pm

I hate these threads…no matter how sincere, they feel so contrived….It’s not you it’s me!

JamVet

July 3rd, 2012
7:05 pm

Frank, are you familiar with the acronym, FOAD?

josef

July 3rd, 2012
7:06 pm

SINKWICH

No diversity??? That wouldn’t be the case in my Mayberry! We had all kinds of folks…even Chinese Jews…say what? For real, one of the Delta Chinese families who had anglicized the spelling of their name to Jew…the Iupes (Ayoubs) were Arabs, the Mariscalcos, Italian. The Papandreas, Greek. The Fernandez, Mexicans. A slough of war brides from just about every place our soldiers had ever set foot…

AND Fred…
You’re right on that one.

TaxPayer

July 3rd, 2012
7:08 pm

Visiting 2 towns is hardly an exhaustive survey

That depends on how far you had to walk to get to them.

Rightwing Troll

July 3rd, 2012
7:10 pm

Economy’s up, gas prices are down, ACA is constitutional…As if this wasn’t enough…This will infuriate you wingnuts
http://www.ajc.com/lifestyle/bosch-net-zero-home-1469033.html

Rightwing Troll

July 3rd, 2012
7:11 pm

There’s only one hater ilk in sight around here…

F. Sinkwich

July 3rd, 2012
7:12 pm

“Frank, are you familiar with the acronym, FOAD?”

Here’s one for you, Jammie: FU.

Got it?

Rightwing Troll

July 3rd, 2012
7:13 pm

Like I said…

JamVet

July 3rd, 2012
7:14 pm

Nope, Sandwich, you’re not my type. But thanks for asking.

Now, FOAD…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYupSHWEJxA&feature=related

F. Sinkwich

July 3rd, 2012
7:14 pm

Oh, one other thing lib ilks hate about small towns?

People there love America.

The way it was.

Before O’bozo.

Rightwing Troll

July 3rd, 2012
7:15 pm

Poor ilk… so full of rage and hate… eats at her like a cancer from the inside…

Rightwing Troll

July 3rd, 2012
7:17 pm

So angry because the ilks that she supported, not once but twice, almost destroyed the country and the economy… and the only way to deal is to lash out on an anonymous blog…such a miserable ilk…

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

July 3rd, 2012
7:18 pm

Respect for authority. Fathers, etc.

In this particular small hamlet in the N.C. Mtns, the local paper devotes two pages to the crime report and the arrest record.

The arrest record is the equivalent of a public perp walk.

Respect for authority?

Witchie-poo made a funny!

F. Sinkwich

July 3rd, 2012
7:21 pm

Lib ilks hate America:

“An Oregon town has reportedly canceled its annual fireworks show out of concern the Fourth of July pyrotechnics will scare sea birds roosting nearby. Town officials in Depoe Bay have announced the cancellation of the annual pre-Independence Day fireworks show on July 3 following pressure from federal wildlife managers who said the noise disrupts sea birds in the area, the Oregonian reports.”

G Mare

July 3rd, 2012
7:21 pm

Okay, still trying’ to check in here.

F. Sinkwich

July 3rd, 2012
7:23 pm

“In this particular small hamlet in the N.C. Mtns, the local paper devotes two pages to the crime report and the arrest record.”

So does my freebie weekly.

So what?

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

July 3rd, 2012
7:27 pm

So does my freebie weekly.

Three times a week, sport.

Best quit now while you’re not too far behind.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

July 3rd, 2012
7:31 pm

“An Oregon town has reportedly canceled its annual fireworks show…

See witchie-poo copy/paste from Drudge.

Copy/paste witchie-poo, copy/paste.

JamVet

July 3rd, 2012
7:32 pm

Allah, Yahweh, Zeus and Shiva be praised! It rained for a solid thirty minutes and dropped the temperature by 20 degrees.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGdyVnW86SY

godless heathen

July 3rd, 2012
7:34 pm

Now RW Troll why would that experiment infuriate wingnuts? (I assume you are referring to those of the non-liberal persuasion.) That’s a nice little 1/2 $million home. And our Governor, The Real Deal, invited them here. Innovation is great. But try selling a house that goes for $295/ft2. And if your power bill runs $6,000 per month, it will pay for itself in 7 years.

F. Sinkwich

July 3rd, 2012
7:36 pm

“Copy/paste witchie-poo, copy/paste.”

Nope.

Granny is the queen of the ol’ C&P two-step.

I get mine from the news.

She gets hers from the DNC.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

July 3rd, 2012
7:37 pm

Well, everybody has their favorite Andy actor. My favorite was Ernest T. Bass (”It’s me, it’s me, it’s Ernest T”). And the show I’ll always remember till they put me under is the one where Ernest T. was hired to direct traffic during some road work outside of town. With his antics, pretty soon drivers stopped paying any attention to Ernest T. and just started blowing past the Stop sign. Finally, Ernest T. threw a rock thru the back window of one of the cars. The driver reported it to Andy, and he went out to warn Ernest T. “Ernest T., if I hear of one more rock going thru a window I’m going to have to come out here and take you to jail.” Sure enough, half an hour later some driver showed up at the sheriff’s office with his rear window knocked out. Andy heads out to the construction site and says to Ernest T., “Now Ernest T., I warned you that if one more rock went thru a car window I was going to take you to jail.” Ernest T. replied, “I know, sheriff. You didn’t say nothin’ about no bricks.”

Ever since that time, I’ve used the expression about anybody that wants to get technical about breaking the law.

RIP, Andy. You made alot of folks forget their cares and just enjoy watching you and that wonderful supporting cast.

godless heathen

July 3rd, 2012
7:40 pm

freebie weekly

I once commented to my grandmother about an article about her in the newspaper. She said it was just in “the ditch paper”. The one they throw into the ditch in front of everyone’s house.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

July 3rd, 2012
7:42 pm

Nope.

First link on the right hand column.

http://www.drudgereport.com/

See wichie-poo’s face get tight.

Get tight witchie-poo’s face, get tight.

godless heathen

July 3rd, 2012
7:43 pm

It rained for a solid thirty minutes and dropped the temperature by 20 degrees.

Jam it come up a storm like I have never seen before here at Tirebiter Estates. It just formed right on top of us, 2 inches in an hour.

godless heathen

July 3rd, 2012
7:50 pm

Janet Crowder

July 3rd, 2012
7:52 pm

I enjoyed watching him on the TV shows that he was in, but he was a wonderful singer. I have three of his CD of gospel music that I listen too. He will be missed

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

July 3rd, 2012
7:55 pm

Kam, so if Drudge shares a news report off the wire, it’s not true?

Maybe you can show me where I asserted exactly that?

Thanks in advance.

If unicorns crapped Skittles, would that bankrupt the Mars corp.?

JamVet

July 3rd, 2012
7:55 pm

I saw a bunch of red blobs on the radar map, heathen. You musta been under one of them!

I can hear the fireworks
Up and down the, up and down the San Francisco bay

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxyIdiKj8bM

godless heathen

July 3rd, 2012
7:59 pm

Kam, I just don’t understand what your beef with Sink’s report was. You seemed to imply that because the story was on Drudge it wasn’t credible. Fact is it’s on the wire and reported many places. Sink could have gotten the story in any number of places.

G Mare

July 3rd, 2012
8:04 pm

Happy 4th everyone.

godless heathen

July 3rd, 2012
8:05 pm

Sweet tune, jam.

Back at you.

http://youtu.be/cM7KhW3iHuM

Soothsayer

July 3rd, 2012
8:05 pm

Thomas Heyward Jr.

July 3rd, 2012
8:06 pm

Its a shame that Obama and crew took advantage of Andy after he started getting senile.
.
He didn’t know what he was saying.
.
Anyhow……….RIP Andy.
We already miss you.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

July 3rd, 2012
8:10 pm

wow, them cons are great at medical diagnoses without actually seeing the patient and doing the medical tests. A comatose woman and now an elderly man.

josef

July 3rd, 2012
8:11 pm

K’chak

Was reading over the “headlines” from my hometown paper…

A combine caught fire and burned at Chickenbone…it’s being investigated
Civil War monument dedicated to native of Driver’s Flat
A truck carrying sweet potatoes ran into a ditch near Vardaman
Miss Eunice Melton passed away in her home near Mr. Moriah
Trojans (the local team mascot) adopt the “abstinence plus” sex education curriculum
Raper’s Chapel (for real!) Methodist Church will be hosting homecoming
Two eleven-year =old girls hold intruder until police arrive
:-)

weetamoe

July 3rd, 2012
8:11 pm

The problem is confusing the real people with the fictional characters they portray. I am longing to attend the 222nd Fourth of July parade in Bristol RI. That is a town more diverse than the Mayberry creators ever imagined. Hope to make the 223rd next year.

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

July 3rd, 2012
8:14 pm

Shorter Thomas Heyward Jr.: But…but…but…OBAMA!

and

RON PAUL RULZ!

Kamchak ~ Thug from the Steppes

July 3rd, 2012
8:16 pm

josef

Much of the arrest report here is meth/oxy related.

Soothsayer

July 3rd, 2012
8:18 pm

I sincerely hope that each every single one of you is getting some of this wonderful rain this evening. I personally believe that rain is God’s way of saying he still loves us. For, without rain, life would cease to exist.

Anyhow, I knew that I wasn’t wasting my time putting out fertilizer this afternoon. Talk about timing. Hallelujah!

Bud Wiser

July 3rd, 2012
8:19 pm

Don Knotts made that show, admit it.

Andy’s lines were just too stereotypically predictable, but when off-setting Knotts’ slapstick ignorance, they made a perfect pair for their times.

Otis was the classic town drunk, had one similar to him in my grandfather’s town when I was a kid, except that he mostly got drunk on his own moonshine. That, and he was also my uncle, but I loved him; first one that ever trusted me with the kill rifle when we slaughtered the hogs in the fall.

But I digress.

RIP Andy, said ‘hey’ to all your friends there when you arrived, I suspect.

josef

July 3rd, 2012
8:20 pm

K’chak

I was surprised to find that not so much the case back home…still mostly marijuana…one report was about a couple “up from Florida” arrested for possession when they came to visit a friend in the local jail…another was when the “alledged” fekk out of a truck on Hwy 314… :-)

josef

July 3rd, 2012
8:22 pm

oops

FELL out of a truck… the G&T, good thing I’m NOT back home, I might be spending the 4th in the pokey after that, since it’s a “dry county.”

Jackie

July 3rd, 2012
8:38 pm

Wonder how all these folks know so much about Andy Griffin’s politics?
He was a liberal Dem that was a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill.
Where did you find out about Obama and the Dems taking advantage of him when he volunteered to help?