I grew up in a small Kansas farming community where everyone knew your name and your business. I guess that’s why I easily related to Andy and the cast of characters in the ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW. Those fine folks on that show made me want to be a better person.
When I learned that the iconic actor who captured the essence of a patient father, faithful friend, and small town sheriff died, it felt like I’d lost a friend.
Wondering about Andy’s path to fame, I poked around on the internet. Interestingly, Andy was an only child raised on the wrong side of the tracks. He discovered he had entertaining talents (music and drama) on a Baptist church stage. A pastor taught Andy to play the trombone and sing. That same pastor told Andy he was good, that he had talent. And Andy believed him, believed his pastor enough to try out for a school production where a teacher saw his potential and encouraged Andy to pursue music … and the rest is showbiz history.
Andy’s journey to stardom made me smile.
I’ve spent years directing church skits, Christmas pageants, and giving private acting lessons. Hundreds of kids have crossed my stage. Did the hours of work make any difference? As far as I know, none of my students are famous … yet. But I pray that when they left Ms. Lynne’s stage, they had more confidence, felt good about themselves, and knew without a doubt that someone believed them to be extremely valuable.
Here’s a thank you to that pastor and teacher who encouraged Andy Griffith. I wonder if they had any idea that the difference they made in a young boy’s life would eventually bless mine?