Life#039;s lessons from Andy and Barney

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 28, 2004

I sat down last night to watch an episode of Andy Griffith on T.V. Land and I began to think.

I thought of all the life lessons that the show had given me through the years.

As they began to add up I realized that everything I need to know I learned from Andy Griffith.

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Some of the lessons that I learned will likely never help me that much in life.

I don't think that I will ever be faced with a goat that has eaten dynamite or the need to know how to get a possum from under a rock.

But there are several other areas that I feel the Andy Griffith show was very helpful.

First off I learned the value of a good education.

There was a certain episode where Ernest T. Bass felt that he needed to be an educated man in order to win the hand of one of his many mountain women.

Ernest was dedicated to the cause. He worked tirelessly to get the education for which he had set out

Even though he still thought that the United States was bordered to the East by Old Man Kelsey's Woods when he finished, he was awarded a special diploma.

Then, tough as nails Ernest T. made a tear-jerking speech about how proud he was.

At that point I decided that if a mountain man valued his education that much, I probably should too.

The lessons of Andy Griffith went far deeper.

Andy Griffith also taught me the dangers of drinking and driving.

I learned this lesson from the episode entitled "Otis Buys a Car."

In this episode Otis, the town drunk, buys an automobile. You can imagine the unrest this caused for the people of Mayberry.

But Andy and Barney work up a plan to fool Otis into thinking hat he has been killed in a drunken crash.

Otis wakes up a changed man. As it turns out he had already sold the car, but they got the point across.

The third and final thing that I learned from Mayberry is that fried food and pie are good for you.

The people of Mayberry lived off a steady diet of fried chicken and pies.

The last time I checked there were no episodes that included a funeral.

Also, if you watch T.V. enough you will still catch a glimpse of Andy and Barney making guest appearances on shows.

Dr. Atkins may have done well to use the Mayberry diet.

Spending my summer vacations watching Andy Griffith taught me a lot of things that can never be absorbed in a school.

By the time I reached the age to leave home I felt that I was well armed.

So far things have gone fairly well. Hopefully, as time goes by, Andy and the rest of Mayberry can continue to steer me in the right direction.

Rick Couch may be reached at

383-9302, ext. 132 or

via email at rick.