I’m watching “The Andy Griffith Show.” It’s late at night, and I am a lifelong fan of this program.
One of my earliest memories is watching this show as an infant, sitting before a console television, and I was gnawing on something. It’s unclear what I was chewing, but I’m pretty sure it was a wooden army-man figurine.
I chewed everything at that age, even coffee tables and the legs of furniture.
And this is probably my earliest memory from toddlerhood, aside from the memory of me peeing in Miss Frankie’s yard when I was three.
I had no idea that it was wrong to pee in public back then. All I knew was that my father always stood on our back porch and announced that he was “watering the old rose bushes.” And I would join him.
Another memory I have is watching Andy Griffith as a guest on the “Tonight Show.” He was elderly, with white hair and a corduroy blazer. He was funny. He was folksy. And I knew on that
very night, sitting in front of the television, I wanted to dedicate the rest of my life to corduroy blazers. Today I own three.
Years ago, I was on my way to play a gig in South Georgia. It was the Fourth of July, a Wednesday. I stopped at a gas station to get a bag of Chili Cheese Fritos and coffee.
The newspaper machine’s headline read: “Goodbye Andy.”
I bought a paper and shook it open. His face was on the third page. His wild hair was parted down the side, looking like an advertisement for Brylcreem. A heart attack at age 86. And I cried. I know, I’m ridiculous.
I don’t know why I’m telling you about this except that lately it’s been hard finding anything on television. The days of lighthearted TV-watching are dead. The tastes of the public have changed. Sex sells.…