Today, I remember two men whose impact on my childhood was inarguable. First – and most importantly – today would have been my dad’s 78th birthday. But, if the report from North Carolina is correct, today also marks the passing of Andy Griffith.
I’ve written about my dad extensively over the years. Having been gone for almost 14 years now, the memories fade further into the past. Although from time-to-time there’s a flash of him in my son, and in those instances, my heart skips a beat with happiness. I can’t imagine my dad at 78; but I do wish he could have met my family. I’ve missed him more in recent years when his advice and perspective would have been welcomed. But passing wasn’t his choice; it’s just a part of life. We adapt and move on … just as he did. You just keep moving; just keep working.
With Andy Griffith’s passing, America lost a cultural icon. But in the South, he and his TV characters always resonated a little stronger.
As Andy Taylor, Griffith’s character personified the perfect Southern father whose guidance through almost never-ending reruns of the Andy Griffith show impacted generations. (His death has been confirmed as I type this.)
With Ben Matlock, he was a little more wily than Taylor’s character, but still as genuine as a honeysuckle’s smell is sweet.
Griffith was everyone’s uncle/cousin. And I mean that in the best possible way.
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