Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sittin' on the porch

Was mulling around in Mayberry earlier tonight (big shock, huh?). Noticed a scene I'd never seen before, which at this stage is a big deal. A priceless, beautiful, wonderful moment.

It's in the classic "Andy Griffith" episode "Man In A Hurry." Actually, it's in the epilogue -- the final "tag" of the episode that is usually cut out of most syndicated versions of the show. Mr. Tucker, the busy man from Charlotte, has finally given in, charmed by Mayberry's "Y'all come back" hospitality.

They are sitting on the porch. Aunt Bee is humming lines from "Church in the Wildwood." Andy says he thinks he'll go uptown and get a bottle of pop. Barney says, half asleep, that it sounds like a good idea.

They want Mr. Tucker to go. But he's sound asleep. They don't disturb him and go on without him. The camera pans in to reveal, clasped in Mr. Tucker's hand, the single peel from an apple.

Tucker had made fun of Andy peeling an apple in one piece earlier in the show. But now he's drawn in, too. He's forgotten about that important meeting in Charlotte. Instead, he's all relaxed on the porch, finally getting a glimpse of what life is all about.

It's a moment. One fan had to wipe back tears. You won't see anything like it on TV today.

I reckon it's a Southern thing to sit out on the porch together. I'm not so sure even many of us here in Dixie do that anymore, though. A lot of modern houses don't even have porches.

What a shame. You know, for all of its "Aw shucks" persona, the "Griffith Show" contains a lot of wisdom. This episode reminds us that, no matter how crazy the world gets, we should always take time to seek out those quiet times. To stop and smell the roses. To simply take a moment and live. To spend time together.

Put off that shopping trip to another day. The yard can get mowed tomorrow. That rug can get vacuumed in the morning.

Fix us a pitcher of iced tea (sweet, of course). I'll grab the guitar. Let's go sit out on the porch awhile together.

You'll be glad you did.

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