From Mayberry to YelmI mean no disrespect when I think of them as hillbillies.
An era has passed. Most of us over 40 will remember well the Andy Griffith show with Andy, Barney Fife, Opie, Gomer Pyle, Aunt Bee, Goober and the rest. Actually, the show was so popular in re-runs that many younger TV viewers probably reveled in all of the segments shown.
In 2012 we lost Andy Griffith. Not much was made of it in the media but he was great in the role of Andy Taylor especially with the constant involvement with goofy Don Knotts. We lost Knotts (Barney Fife) 6 years ago.
Aunt Bee (yes ... that's the correct spelling for Frances Bavier's stage name in the show) died in '89 and we lost Goober (George Lindsey) this year.
I don't have a complete list but I miss 'em ... all of 'em from the Andy Griffith show.
Mayberry, the fictitious town where the movie was set was America at its finest. It is the way I remember the world when I was a young scudder. We lived in many different towns and houses but Yelm (between Tacoma and Tenino on the old highway to Portland) made the most lasting impression on me.
We moved there when I was a sophomore in high school and while I was a little cockier than my abilities would support, and as a consequence I got thumped upside the head a few times, I liked that school.
When my folks moved, once again, to a place on top of the old Nisqually hill highway, I made an arrangement to remain in Yelm by working for room and board with some folks who hadn't, yet, been introduced to electricity.
I mean no disrespect when I think of them as hillbillies. Their only transportation was a 1942 Willys jeep, which doubled as a tractor when the season required one.
Another lad worked there too and we enjoyed each other's company. We had several cows to milk by hand early in the morning and later in the day.
Russell, the owner of the place always worked with us. On some occasions, he would instruct us to be silent, open the one and only oiled wooden window in the place, level his octagon barreled 30.06 at the nearby apple orchard, flip on the attached flashlight and, when he saw the glazed eyes looking back, he would fire. He never missed.
When his Indian woman companion heard the sound of the rifle, she would immediately stoke up the fire in the wood burning stove and start water boiling to sterilize the many jars stored nearby for the purpose of canning venison.
Sometimes the venison was a fawn as one can hardly determine age or size from a flashlight reflection.
Life was good on the little farm. But there came a day when I decided to move back home to where my family lived. Soon after, I joined the Navy.