Thursday, July 5, 2012

No More Mayberry

Andy in front of our little Pioneer Theater
in downtown Manteo
     So as everyone may know, at least I hope they do, the legendary Andy Griffith passed away on Tuesday. He was 86 and went peacefully in his sleep. Okay..."Why do I even care?", you ask? Well, because he was my neighbor...sort of. He lived on my tiny southern island about a quarter mile from my home in Manteo, North Carolina. I drove past his driveway every day of my life when I lived there. What was he like? Well, I am not sure exactly, you see I never actually met him. (Although my Aunt worked for him and said he was a super nice guy) Andy was a private man, he kept to himself when he was home. Can you blame him? I guess after being in the spotlight for so many years he probably came to a point where when he was in his home town he just wanted to be a normal nobody. I actually did see him a few times, whether pulling out of his driveway, in a store parking lot or out to a restaurant, but most locals knew to just let him be. When I was a teenager, I worked at a the Weeping Radish, a german restaurant on Roanoke Island, and there was a booth that was tucked in a corner in which nobody wanted to sit in, unless they were a lovey dovey couple. Well, according to some of the older wait staff, it was where Andy liked to sit, so that he would not be noticeable. Although in the seven years I worked there he never came in once...we still told the tourists that it was "Andy Griffith's booth" in order to get them to stay put...ha ha..I know, it's not nice to tell fibs, but c'mon, you gotta do what you gotta do to get butts in the seat right? 
     Well anyway, one thing about the town I call home, it definitely IS Mayberry. Coming from a family where my dad was one of eight siblings we had a pretty big family when you count all the cousins. It's a place where when I went back to visit and was in town 15 minutes I ran into three people I knew in the tiny grocery of them being my uncle! My husband always teases me that I'm from Mayberry because in the town limits (before I left) there were only about 4 stop lights on the one main road...OH, and of course, Andy Griffith lived down the street...ha ha. My little town was a great place to grow up. It was quiet and definitely moved at a southern pace...something I miss terribly. When I got married I was so ready to get away from the small town drama, but what I didn't know is that there is always 'small town drama' no matter where you live...Only, here in Philly, it's easier to get lost from the drama if you want to. 
    So anyway, just thinking about our dear Andy Griffith I am reminded of a sweet small town way of life. Where people say hello and lend a helping hand with a smile on their face. Maybe I'm remembering an idealistic small town, maybe it still exists, but either way it is going to move on without Andy. He will be remembered, though. And maybe we would all do well to think about Mayberry and let it continue in our hearts and actions. Treat others with respect and kindness and follow the golden rule "Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you". This picture I found on Facebook says it all..."The world needs more 'Mayberry' and a little less 'Jersey Shore'. Amen! Thanks for listening!


  1. Jessie, That is a beautiful tribute to Andy and our little town of Manteo. I am truly thankful that we got to grow up and live in Mayberry where EVERYONE would help a neighbor out and share a smile while you walked down the road. Andy was a great man and he helped the community out on many levels but because of him Manteo High School was able to have a band department. Some would say that he was grouchy, Yes at times, Andy just wanted his privacy but when down to it he was a very nice man. I will miss him.
    Love you always,
    Tina H.

  2. What a beautiful post!

    Following you back. Have a good weekend!


  3. Thanks, Tina! love you too! :)

  4. We've lost another one. RA Creef died today. :(

  5. I Know, so sad :( I remember him walking the aisles making sure no one had their feet up and weren't making

  6. His passing was sad. We loved the older shows.
    I have enjoyed blog hopping today. I have joined your site and hope you visit and join mine. Thank you so much, Katie

  7. What a sweet tribute! How lucky you were to grow up in such an environment.

  8. Thanks, Melanie! I was definitely lucky :)

  9. Great post! I love that image "More Mayberry, Less Jersey Shore"!! Stopping by from the blog hop! Am now a new follower:) Would love if you could follow me back!

  10. Hi from Friday Blog Hop, Love ur site! Come & say hello when you get a chance.


  11. I was so sad to hear of Andy Griffith's passing. I still remember my dad whistling the theme song to his show all the time. Great tribute.

    I discovered your blog via the Aloha Blog Hop and am a new follower! Come check me out at Thanks :)


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