Thursday, May 7, 2009


Welllll-come Sweet Springtime, We greet theeeee in Sonnnnnng!”

I can just hear Barney bleating out the high notes, and Andy’s sure baritone keeping him reasonably on key.

This time of year makes me wish for Mayberry, with the quiet streets and the friendly neighbors, and if crisis has to ripple the waters, then it concerns merely a lost dog happily found, or a misunderstanding remedied in the space of that black-and-white half-hour, with time out for enthusiastic ads for Post Toasties and Sugar Crisp.

I never did get really INTO the color episodes, and they’re not as memorable as the old ones---who really remembers those at the drop of a few words, but just say: Barney thinks Andy proposed to Miss Helen; Opie won’t give to charity; The old lady sells Barney a car----and off we go, our whole family, quoting chapter and verse, knowing the moves, the dialogue, including what Aunt Bee will be putting on the table when all is resolved and they all come home at Suppertime.

We know Barney's silly quips and Andy's solid platitudes and Opie's small realizations as readily as the multiplication table and "Whan that Aprille . . .," and the simple goodness of the lessons is knit into our doings and our manner as deeply as anything we learned on Sunday mornings from Matthew-Mark-Luke-and-John. Though the characters and the dialogue are completely artless and unsophisticated, the kindness of the stories and the values of the people are worth emulating, in any age.

It is a gentle place, a forever-Spring place, where the people say “Hay” and "Ma'am," and everybody knows and helps everybody else---very much like a lot of little towns of those decades ago.

And when the breeze and the leaves and the warm of the sun say SPRING, I can close my eyes and feel the Mayberry Morning. Not a bad place to be, any season.


Southern Lady said...

Oh, what a sweet post, Rachel. Thank you for taking me back in time to the gentler, kinder world of Mayberry. I still love and watch those old reruns and pine for the seemingly simpler days in which we lived then.

Keetha said...

You put it so perfectly - it's spot on.

I think my favorite Mayberry episode is - and I think it's the one where he doesn't want to donate to charity - and Andy is trying to teach him about ratios and he says something about it being a half. (I'm likely getting this all mixed up.) Opie starts asking questions and Andy tells him to forget that. "It's pretty hard to forget about half a boy, Pa. Poor Horatio."

And then the one about Aunt Bea's pickles, remember?