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Richard Crowson Commentary

Richard Crowson: The Mayberry Town Band Bandwagon

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There’s a bandwagon making the rounds these days that I pretty much have to jump on. I just can’t resist. The band that’s playing on this wagon is pretty rag-tag. They do have band uniforms so give them a few points for that. But none of them are very proficient on their instruments and the sound of them all trying to play “Stars and Stripes Forever” is nothing short of calamitous. Still, me and millions of other people are happy to count ourselves among the fans of this band.

It is, of course, the Mayberry Town Band, disastrously reunited by Andy and Barney on one of the countless classic episodes of “The Andy Griffith Show.” The band was performing for the mayor of Mayberry, Mayor Stoner. I know, I know. There’s no way a name like “Stoner” could be used on a t.v. show today without dozens of lame drug jokes being laugh-tracked ad nauseam at the viewer.

But they didn’t do drug jokes on Mayberry. They didn’t do sex jokes either. (Not even when Skippy and Daphne, the “fun” girls flirted with Andy and Barney.) They didn’t blow things up with lots of computer-generated explosions. Although there was that one time the goat ate a stick of dynamite and unsettled folks for a short while.

Still, America loved and continues to love “The Andy Griffith Show.” This week, on the day before we all went explosion-crazy with our Fourth of July fireworks, Andy Griffith quietly slipped away from us. Sheriff Taylor wasn’t much for shooting things. After all, he didn’t even carry a gun. Apparently he was much braver than so many of us today who think we need to pack heat everywhere we go.

The laid back world of Andy’s Mayberry is the world so many of us long for. That place where people cared for each other and fished with cane poles and worms.

Like that poster on Facebook says: We need more Mayberry and less Jersey Shore. That’s why I’m on Mayberry Town Band’s bandwagon.