Summer Memories of Andy Griffith

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Publicity photo of Andy Griffith.

My earliest memories of Andy Griffith aren’t of the great sheriff and single dad in Mayberry. They aren’t of my grandparent’s favorite attorney. My earliest memories of Andy Griffith are warm summer days and my dad’s 78’s.

When I was a girl my little sister and I would convince our parents to let us drag our little record player outside so we could listen to music during a family get-together. We’d play whatever music we were listening to (Shaun Cassidy was a favorite). Eventually my dad would pull out some of his records. We’d play through a bunch of 45’s and then he’d pull out his Andy Griffith 78’s (yes, real 78’s they were rare and strange even in the 70’s and 80’s).

We’d listen to “What It Was, Was Football” and “Romeo and Juliet” and occasionally the one about a stay in the hospital, but there was something about that one my mom didn’t like so we didn’t hear that one often. Three generations would sit on  the back porch and listen to this man weave stories that would have all of us laughing. We were all football fans (Steelers fans by birth) and would laugh every time we listened to this young man without much world experience talk about watching football. We’d be rolling by the time he started talking about those two kids Romeo and Juliet.

Andy Griffith had a way of telling stories. He saw the humor and a fresh perspective in things we took for granted. He never made you feel that someone was stupid, just inexperienced. The story lines on all of his shows were simple, pure, positive and very entertaining. Best of all, the stories stand the test of time.

This week we say goodbye to another amazing storyteller. Andy may be gone, but his stories live on. Take a little time and listen to one of his recordings. You’ll be glad you did.

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