It was almost 52 years ago, October 3rd, 1960, when right here on KFVS12, Heartland viewers first saw a certain father and son take that now all so familiar stroll down a country lane on the way to a fishing trip with a never known outcome. Opie Taylor skipping that rock across the pond is forever etched in our collective memory, and that whistled tune that accompanied them on that stroll remains a piece of Americana itself.
This nation mourned the passing of Andy Griffith this past week and while we admired the fine actor and his memorable roles, I think we also mourned the loss of the connection to the fictional Mayberry just a little bit, and the simpler times that were portrayed there. As we progress through this time crunched modern world, we still long for that small town where mistakes are forgiven and friendships last forever. The Andy Griffith Show gave us a peak into an idyllic lifestyle that few people enjoyed, but many longed for, even back then.
The show went out on top in 1968; four months before I was born. I only saw it in reruns. But I remember watching each and every one of them on TV when I would come home from school. My father never knew it, but all those times I would bug him to go fishing when he got home from work were inspired by Andy and Opie. There was never an episode with a problem that couldn't be solved with a little common sense, good manners, and decency. Sheriff Taylor, we are all better off for having known you. Rest in peace.
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