Today I was at the gym, hoofing it on one of the eliptical machines, when on one of the giant tv screens hanging over my head I see Andy Griffith singing a song with Brad Paisley. Well…he wasn’t really singing, just making a guest appearance in the video, I suppose, and I realize how much I have missed him. I flipped over to that channel in my earphones and it’s an okay song, nothing special, typical Paisley (the track exists on his last album as a bonus track on ITunes. I happen to have a copy of the album without the song “Waitin’ On A Woman”), but I couldn’t stop watching Andy Griffith through the whole thing. I really miss Andy Griffith. In the same way that I miss being 10 again or the way I miss my old hometown of McConnelsville. He is comforting. He is the old days. He’s the way it used to be. And I think most of us kind of miss those days.
I remember when I was a kid watching “The Andy Griffith Show” (IN RERUNS people…I’m not that old!) and enjoying the comedy of Don Knotts (Barney Fife is one of the greatest characters in the history of television), the townsfolk of Mayberry and the subtle strength of Sheriff Andy. As a young boy, I could always identify with Ron Howard’s Opie and the questions he had about life. How “The Andy Griffith Show” handled such important issues of a 10-year old boy is still one of the mysteries of great writing; but that show did it, week in and week out.
Seeing Mr. Griffith today was a cool blast of nostalgia. I haven’t seen him in some time and it was great seeing his warm smile and that twinkle in his eye. He’s like a grandfather to me, and I’ve missed him and what he stood for. Maybe he’ll be making some more guest appearances somewhere, but for today that video was enough for me.
Welcome back Mr. Griffith. I’ve missed you! And now I gotta go flip around on the dial. I’m sure someone has some “Andy Griffith” reruns on this afternoon. And I can’t think of a better place to be than hanging out with the Mayberry gang and revisiting a time when life was a lot easier and moved at a slower pace.
P.S. If you want to see the video, you can go here.