Tuesday, July 3, 2012

FFA: RIP Andy Griffith

Mac Powell of Third Day put it this way:
Andy Griffith passed on? Man! Did anybody NOT love him? You never know how a person is in real life, but he seemed like a great man.
 I share that sentiment, but Mac said it much better than I may have.  As for someone who did know Mr. Griffith, Ron "Opie Cunningham" Howard had this to say:
 Andy Griffith His pursuit of excellence and the joy he took in creating served generations & shaped my life I'm forever grateful RIP Andy
It's morbid, but my Dad (GW of GW's Flashbacks here on SAW) had often said, "It's going to be a sad day when Andy Griffith passes."  I always agreed with that sentiment as Andy was such a beloved figure in entertainment.  Now here we are and Dad was completely right.

You know why Andy Griffith is a big deal especially to us Southerners.  What I have not adequately explained is why he was such a big deal to me.  Well, here goes...The Andy Griffith Show (TAGS for short) was a staple of our television watching when I was a kid.  It was one of Dad's favorite shows so we watched it all the time on Ted Turner's SuperStation Channel 17.  As a child I did not appreciate the show as much as I grew to so I often asked if we could watch Diff'rent Strokes.  Luckily for me Dad typically refused and we watched TAGS.  As I grew older I started to "get" The Andy Griffith Show and it became one of my favorite things to watch.

That was my main enjoyment of Andy Griffith's work, but I also found myself often watching Matlock with Gramma.  That show was also fun to watch almost totally due to Andy Griffith as the title character.  Don Knotts even stopped by as his old friend from time-to-time and it was great to see two comedy legends on the screen together again.

For years I heard Dad say that A Face in the Crowd was another brilliant Andy Griffith performance.  While the role was completely different than the kindly Sheriff Andy Taylor and Attorney Benjamin Matlock roles, Andy really did excel in it.  If you have not seen it and are interested in checking out Andy Griffith playing a different kind of character, I strongly recommend that you take a look at it.

At this point I hope two things are clear.  One is that I am rambling and two is that I really respected Andy Griffith and his talents.  I said the following on Facebook when I read the news this morning:
Always knew it would be a sad day when Andy Griffith passed away. Oddly enough, I sat and watched a full episode of The Andy Griffith Show for the first time in a while yesterday. That man was a national treasure if you ask me.
 For the record, I 100% meant the "national treasure" line.  I think Mr. Griffith was a special talent. From everything I have seen and read from men like Ron Howard it would seem he was a special man as well.

RIP Andy Griffith, you will be missed.