I was watching The Andy Griffith show just last week on TV Land, and was moved to tears by its simple message. In this particular episode, Barney (the unforgettable deputy played by Don Knotts) gave a slingshot to Opie (child actor turned great Director, Ron Howard). Opie accidentally shoots and kills a mother bird in his front yard. His attempts to make her fly again are so heart rending, I believe that The Andy Griffith show earned its stripes as the first "Dramedy" at that very moment. Opie is miserable until he decides to adopt the orphaned baby birds in order to make things right with nature. He raises them by hand in a cage and wonders if he could keep them as pets, but his wise Dad convinces him that they were meant for the air. Opie sets them free. "That cage sure looks empty now, doesn't it Paw?" he says. "Yeah, but don't the trees look full?", is Andy's lovely reply.
Our lives were full because of Andy Griffith's enduring work. Rest in peace, sir. I picture you at the fishing hole with your dear friend Don Knotts forever.
TV Land has just announced that they will feature a day long Andy Griffith Show marathon tomorrow on July 4th. Let's get it started a bit early on the Nose with this snip from the "Opie the Birdman" episode.