"Sometimes I dream I'm driving down an old dirt road, not even listed on a map. I pass a dad and son carrying a fishing pole..." ~Rascal Flatts, Mayberry
If you asked me to picture an idealistic small town, I'd picture Mayberry. And I'd bet it's the same for a lot of other people. They'd start to whistle. They'd think back to Sheriff Taylor and Aunt Bee and Barney Fife. Those of us who were especially hard core remember Gomer and Goober Plye, Helen, and Thelma Lou.
Even today, anytime that I'm flipping though the channels, if I see Mayberry on tv, I've got to stop and watch. I love finding Mayberry. Why, you ask?
Mayberry takes us back to a simpler time. When kids rode their bikes and went to the fishing hole. When doors were not locked, neighbors knew each other, and women got dressed up in their Sunday best to go to the grocery store. When the town drunk could sleep it off in the jail cell decorated like a living room, fresh baked treats were always hot out of the oven in the kitchen, and the good guy always won.
I feel bad for kids today. Instead of Mayberry, they get Jersey Shore. Instead of learning how to be a lady from Aunt Bee, they learn from the latest Bachlorette making out with 5 guys in one night. Instead of helping each other out, they see neighbors suing each other on Judge Judy.
If you ask me, the world would do well to find some more Mayberry. We're so busy trying to make things bigger and faster and fancier, that I fear we're losing the good things that are smaller and slower and more simple. Things like walking down an old dirt road, carrying a fishing pole, and whistling a tune. I fear we may have worked so hard to make things better, that we've actually only made them worse.
Yesterday, Andy Griffith (aka Sheriff Taylor) died at the age of 86. I know that some people will remember him from Brad Paisley's video about waiting on a woman, or as Matlock, or from his Christmas Special in the 1980's (that my grandma loved and made us watch over and over).
But to me, he'll always be Sheriff Taylor. And he left behind a gift: The idea that Mayberry might still exist afterall. And that maybe, just maybe, we'll be able to find our own Mayberry someday.
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