Fielder's Choice

Laughs and good lessons

Occasionally, on a Wednesday or Thursday, after the newspaper is finished for the week, I get to leave the office a little early.

Here lately, if I am able to get home at like 3:30 or 4 p.m., I like to unwind by turning on the TV and watching a show that is as old as I am.

The Andy Griffith Show has long been a favorite.

It aired on CBS from October 3, 1960, to April 1, 1968, with a total of 249 halfhour episodes spanning eight seasons ­ 159 in black and white and 90 in color, according to Wikepedia.

I was born August 25, 1961. Just last week I celebrated by 59th birthday.

I feel certain I have seen very episode of The Andy Griffith Show multiple times, and most of them many, many times.

But, to me, they never get old. They still make me laugh, and most teach some valuable lessons, too. They're a welcome relief versus most of "the junk" on television these days.

In the past few weeks, I've actually seen the episode "Barney's First Car" twice. It's one of my favorites.

Barney saves up $300 to buy a car. Problem is, he makes the decision way too fast after responding to an ad in the newspaper.

Mrs. Lesch, the lady selling the automobile, is a kind, old lady on the outside but conniving on the inside. She's a smooth talker. She quickly talks Barney into buying ­ on the spot.

Andy urges him to wait, take his time, think about it.

Barney is worried that he will lose "the deal" to another buyer. He doesn't even take it for a test drive.

After making the purchase, he carries his friends on a Sunday afternoon drive and it breaks down.

Turns out, Mrs. Lesch is the leader of a crime ring, selling clunkers.

A few years back, Pam ordered me a book, "Messages From Mayberry ­ Spiritual life lessons from my favorite episodes of The Andy Griffith Show." It was written by Dr. Donald "Dee" Vaughan.

His advice from this episode ­ take your time to think choices through; listen to those who'll help you make a better decision; don't let your fears make your choices for you; choose the best.

Another episode that really hits home for me is titled "Man in a Hurry."

Those four words, unfortunately, describe me well. It seems I've been in a hurry for at least 36 years; that's how long I've been in journalism.

In the episode, Malcolm Tucker is traveling on business and his car breaks down. Wally and Goober can't fix his car immediately; they have to order parts.

Malcolm Tucker is not a happy man. He doesn't even want a part of the hospitality offered in Mayberry. He is pacing and pacing, worried about his car, and concerned that he cannot get on the road to complete a business deal. He's panic-driven, and he's missing an opportunity to experience what really matters.

In the end, continuing to be influenced by the caring and loving lifestyle in small town Mayberry, he kind of realizes what he's missing. And then he doesn't want to leave.

As far as TV, even in 2020, there's nothing better than The Andy Griffith Show. At almost age 60, I can't get enough of the laughs and lessons.

Holly Springs South Reporter

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Holly Springs, MS 38635
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