I'm a child of the 60s/70s and I love television.
Now I know all the reasons why I probably shouldn't. I know all the arguments I give to my family about ditching cable and protecting my grandchildren from being inundated by all the terrible that is TV in 2012. But still. I love me some television.
I enjoy all manner of TV offerings, but some things never change, like ever.
I imagine if my back were against the wall, so to speak, I would have to say my very favorite television show in the history of ever would be The Andy Griffith Show.
Andy Taylor was one of the kindest, gentlest, most patient dads/friends/nephews/bosses ever portrayed and I might have loved him just a little bit, in spite of the, you know, fictionality of his existence.
Even when I was small I somehow understood AG's genius in making the character so multi-layered and interesting in the face of the never-ending silliness going on around him.
Many years later, when Matlock came along he seemed to slide into that role effortlessly, and if felt as if he had always been Ben Matlock, and I loved his curmudgeonly, cranky-but-lovable Ben nearly as much as Andy! I loved how he would break into hymns on both shows, and in Matlock he would be shown at choir practice and what-have-you. My mom said if he didn't love Jesus he surely was an excellent actor ;)
(I suspect both to be true.)
I'm sure to some of you this might sound lame, but AG really did feel like family in some way. I didn't have grandparents active in my life, but he seemed like he'd be a good one ;) I might have teared up a bit the day he died.
Not because I'm nuts, mind you.
(Although of course I am!)
I suppose it was because we've lost a lovely man who reminded us that there is great beauty to be found in simply loving those around us & living our lives with quiet dignity and contentment.
Or something like that.
It's been a difficult, and arduous, and somewhat difficult process, but I finally have my top five favorite Andy Griffith episodes of all time whittled down...to six.
or actually seven.
It's the best I could do.
And they're in no particular order, because again...the best I could do.
Since we're remembering Andy, I decided to omit the episodes that focused specifically on other cast members because SO MANY. These, of course, would include anything Barney (PERFECTION), and the ever-delightful Ernest T. Bass (OHMYWORD!) and Aunt Bea playing the warden or Goober taking the car apart.
The line had to be drawn somewhere people, and today is all about Andy.
So without further adieu, here are my top favorite memories from The Andy Griffith Show:
The Pickle Story
"I don't know how I can face the future when I know there's eight quarts of these pickles in it." (Barney)
A Feud is a Feud
"Their daddies could have saved themselves the expense of a double funeral if they just would've let them had a cheap wedding." (Andy)
Alcohol and Old Lace
"And this booze you've been sellin' ain't legally recognized either so I've gotta take this ax and pow, pow, pow!" (Barney)
Andy, the Marriage Counselor
"Good mornin' Dear."
"Good mornin' Honey."
The Loaded Goat
"Andy, are you sayin...? "Yep, somewhere wandering around Mayberry is...a loaded goat." (Barney/Andy)
"You would have to show up today Otis; about one loaded goat at a time is all we can handle!" (Andy)
Dinner at Eight
"Yes, I know that already. Now I'm goin' over to Helen's to eat my third supper, and then I'm comin' back...and I'm gonna kill you." (Andy)
And because it's as intertwined with my Christmas memory as the cupcakes we eat, likely because I've seen it every Christmas Eve since, well, birth...my favorite ever episode of The Andy Griffith Show is Christmas Story.
"Do you mean to tell me that you're gonna spend Christmas in jail for two measly dollars?" (Andy)
(As Ben sings along to Away in a Manger while he peeks through the bars of the window at all the happy, I have this powerful urge to go hug a cranky person. True story.)
Thanks for the oh-so-sweet memories, Andy!