We Will Miss You, Andy

The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

We Will Miss You, Andy

Posted 2012-07-05T09:07:00Z  by  Stephanie

We Will Miss You, Andy

If you're like me, your heart sank when you heard of the passing of iconic actor Andy Griffith on Tuesday. Griffith died in his home in Dare County, N.C., at the age of 86. Griffith was a renowned actor, director, producer and Grammy Award winning gospel artist, but we all know him best for his role as Andy Taylor, the laid-back sheriff of Mayberry in The Andy Griffith Show. The show aired from 1960 to 1968, which was before I was born. But, like many, I grew up watching Andy Griffith reruns, developing an admiration for his character and nostalgia for the small-town life of Mayberry. Few television characters personify true decency, compassion and wisdom like Andy, and that's why we love him.

In one of the most memorable episodes Opie the Birdman, Andy's son, Opie (Ron Howard), accidentally kills a mother bird with his slingshot. After Andy realizes what happened, he tries to teach Opie a valuable lesson by opening Opie's bedroom window so that Opie can hear the baby birds chirping for their mother, who would never return. Opie not only learns the lesson Andy was trying to teach, but he takes it upon himself to personally care for the baby birds. Opie becomes attached to the birds, but sets them free when the time comes with his father's encouragement.

In the pinnacle scene, Opie releases the birds saying, The cage sure looks awful empty, doesn't it, Pa? Andy replies, Yes son, it sure does. But don't the trees seem nice and full?

Andy was a devoted single father who often used the lessons of the great outdoors to teach his son right from wrong. The outdoors played a strong role throughout the show as demonstrated by the show's whistled theme song titled The Fishin' Hole, accompanied by an opening sequence of Andy and Opie walking down a dirt road with fishing poles slung over their shoulders.

Many people have no idea that the whistled tune actually has lyrics. I read the lyrics for the first time today and think they perfectly capture the feel of the show and the longing we all have for a simpler life filled with loved ones and days spent outdoors, perhaps on the banks of our favorite fishing holes.

It's that appreciation for community, the outdoors and simple truths that make The Andy Griffith Show so popular even today and the reason both Andy the character and Andy the man will live on in our hearts. Thanks for keeping it real, Andy. Rest in peace.

The Fishin' Hole

Music by Earle Hagen & Herbert W. Spencer
Words by Everett Sloane

Well, now, take down your fishin' pole
And meet me at The Fishin' Hole,
We may not get a bite all day,
But don't you rush away.

What a great place to rest your bones
And mighty fine for skippin' stones,
You'll feel fresh as a lemonade,
A-settin' in the shade.

Whether it's hot, whether it's cool,
Oh what a spot for whistlin' like a fool.

What a fine day to take a stroll
And wander by The Fishin' Hole,
I can't think of a better way
To pass the time o' day.

We'll have no need to call the roll
When we get to The Fishin' Hole,
There'll be you, me, and Old Dog Trey,
To doodle time away.

If we don't hook a perch or bass,
We'll cool our toes in dewy grass,
Or else pull up a weed to chaw,
And maybe set and jaw.

Hangin' around, takin' our ease,
Watchin' that hound a-scratchin' at his fleas.

Come on, take down your fishin' pole
And meet me at The Fishin' Hole,
I can't think of a better way
To pass the time o' day.