An ‘Andy Griffith’ lesson

Randy Butler - Contributing columnist

I think most everyone’s grandparents told us, as you get older, time goes faster. That statement seems very true.

When I get home, my wife, Mary Jean, will ask me how my day went. Often, I have to stop and think about what I did that day. It seems like a blur. The weeks and the days seem to fly by. I find myself going about my daily routines, maneuvering from place to place. Attending the obligated meetings or functions can seem to be a heavy load to carry. It makes me stop and think why I feel the need to fill each moment with “stuff.” Even if it may all be good stuff, why do I always feel the need to stay so scheduled?

Any pastor will tell you that our entire week should always be work, reflect and rest, in that order. I must admit the rest part is not always in my schedule. Again, why is that?

Unlike the TV shows we watch today, the sitcoms of the ’60s and ’70s not only made us laugh, but also taught us life lessons. From what my research told me, the “Andy Griffith Show” (rated No. 10 in the top 50 sitcoms of all time) was no exception to that. You can still watch this wonderful show today, some 60 years after it was filmed. When I think I have seen every episode, I run across one that is new to me. A new-to-me episode I watched this week was titled the “Man In A Hurry.”

A big shot businessman, Malcolm Tucker, was coming through Mayberry on a Sunday morning on his way to Charlotte for a very important meeting. His car broke down as he entered the town. He had no time to waste and needed help immediately to stay on schedule. Church was just letting out and Deputy Barney Fife was getting chastised for nodding off in church by the preacher. Sheriff Andy Taylor assured the pastor it was due to an all-night stake out.

Malcom went to Andy and explained his dilemma and his need to hurry. Andy tried to help, explaining how Walley was the owner of the repair shop and he did not work on Sunday, but maybe he would make an exception. Wally decided he will be glad to fix the car, but not until Monday.

The shop was open, and Gomer was working but stated that he only knew how to pump gas, but his cousin Goober could fix it, but he was out on his boat fishing. Malcom was furious with all this wasted time and could not believe no one would help him on a Sunday. The phone lines were all tied up by two sisters just catching up on all the happenings around Mayberry. The entire town was resting. Malcolm tried to steal Walley’s truck to go find Goober. Andy did not arrest him, but felt bad and invited Malcolm to stay at his house. It seemed like the logical thing to do, inviting a car thief that you do not know to stay at your home with your family?

Malcom spent an evening at the Taylor house. He ate a very good meal, listened to Andy sing and play the guitar on the porch. The very important life lesson of how to peel and apple with the peel staying in one piece was taught to him. He was just about to see that this laidback lifestyle might be good until Gomer arrived with his car fixed. He was now ready to hit the road and attend his important meeting.

He shared goodbyes with all, and they invited him back. He started thinking about all he had learned from these country folks. He told Gomer his car was not right and decided to stay another day to get it repaired properly with these slow paced, very trusting, and giving people.

This episode gave me a very good life lesson. Hasn’t the COVID-19 virus shown us all that we were just like the “Man In A Hurry?” I needed to slow down, way down. Life is way too short to go full speed through. We should enjoy every moment we have. Our liberties and freedoms, and even the people close to us, are not guaranteed to be there tomorrow.

Thanks Andy Griffith!

Randy Butler is a lifelong resident of Highland County and a licensed real estate agent for Classic Real Estate in Hillsboro.

Randy Butler

Contributing columnist