I'm about to cry here. Andy Griffith is dead.
As a son of the South and as someone who grew up loving The Andy Griffith Show, this hits hard and deep. When I heard the news on the radio today, I found myself yelling "Nooooo!" at the thing.
Wouldn't it be grand if awful news could so easily be undone?
BUT IT can't. And all we have now is memories and film and videotape and records.
We also have Mayberry -- the fictional town where we'd all have liked to grow up -- in our hearts. Though this side of Paradise, we'll never find a real place of such charity, humor and gentle eccentricity, Griffith's TV portrayal of such a place stands as a rebuke to -- and a salve for -- the hardness of our postmodern hearts.
OK, now I am crying here. Dammit. Above is one of my very favorite episodes of The Andy Griffith Show, "The Loaded Goat."
Rest in peace, Sheriff Taylor. You, too, counselor Matlock.