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.

Tell Me a Story Tuesday – Mega Millions Edition!

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In case you were sleeping under a rock, the largest jackpot in world history was split three ways on Friday. Lottery fever griped the nation and people everywhere dreamed of what they would do with a spare $500 Million lying around the house. I admit we caught the fever at our house too.

Dollar signs in a smiley face

I'd look like this if I won $150+ million.

I nervously checked the numbers Saturday and discovered that we won! I’m laying low right now because I’m a little worried about the press attention when I go to pick up my $2. No, I didn’t win life changing money. I didn’t even break-even. A girl can dream can’t she?

Which is the source for this week’s challenge: What would you do with a cash payout of in the neighborhood of $158 Million ? Go ahead. Dream big. We all did. Look at this as starting to plan for when you really do hit the big money.

What about me? Well my winnings would look a little like this…..

First calls would be to lawyers and financial planners who would have to sign an non-disclosure agreement. We’d try to carry on like any other day(s) while everything gets put into place. Plans include setting up trusts for various for our daughters and other close family members. A charitable foundation would be established to handle requests for money and to help us raise money for causes close to our hearts. (The goal would be make sure that we don’t just give money away, but ensure that people use the money to establish a better future and then pay it forward by helping others.) There would be a lot of investing because I want winning to be a blessing and not a curse – I want to make sure that we never have to worry about another bill ( and neither do our kids or eventual grand kids).

What about the fun stuff? Oh there would be plenty of that too…a new car (or two), building our dream house, a couple of dream vacations and getaways for the whole family. I’d finally establish the video production company I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid, only now we would focus on making great videos  and PSAs for non-profits that have a hard time paying for videos that would make huge difference in fundraising. Maybe even set-up a video artist retreat somewhere.

Between the foundation and the production company my husband (a 18+ year TV news veteran) would stay as busy as we wanted, without having to stress. We could watch our kids grow. Know that our nieces and nephews were going to be able to get the kind of education they want, and make life easier for a lot of people.  Then we really would be living the dream…

Ok. Your turn. What would you do if they handed you that over-sized check? As always, make sure your story abides by the ground rules. Now…

Tell me a story!