I would say that's "the actor in the boy"!
Actually, Ronnie Howard was that type of boy and is still that kind of man. You may not know this but kids in the south are STILL (not all of them mind you) told to be respectful to adults. I say "Yes sir" and "No sir" all the time. It's second nature.
I guess the sad part is that MORE people don't behave with manors.
I teach tae know do and we require all our students to show that kind of respect. They answer "yes sir" or "no sir" or they get to do push-ups. I grew up in the in the late 60's and 70's so I can tell you for sure that Opie behaved like a young boy would have in the south.
Now so far as Ron Howard goes, if you listen to interviews with him or his brother Clint, he still says yes sir and no sir so I don't think it was acting. In the book "Mayberry, My Hometown" the author was going to see an adult Ron Howard (big time director) to interview him. Ron was late for the interview so Stephen (the author) waited about 30 minutes or so from the time he was to have started until Mr. Howard was able to see him.
30 minutes isn't that long when waiting on busy man like Ron Howard so the author thought nothing about it. Ron Howard, however, was VERY apologetic for keeping him waiting. This VERY busy and important man in Hollywood was doing a favor by allowing the author to interview him and he apologized for being late.
The reason turned out to be that Ron took his kids to school....something he always tries to do when he isn't shooting a movie somewhere. There was a delay at the school so he was late and still, he apologized. Sounds like "Opie" wasn't faking those good manors nor the value he placed on others.
I've never doubted the sincerity of Opie's character, either his words or his actions. I guess that, even though I'm a lifelong Yankee, I've always known that politeness and respect for their elders are important parts of Southern children's upbringing. I actually remember being rather startled when Opie addressed Floyd by his first name, instead of "Mister Floyd" - another example of charming, old-fashioned politeness.
Yeah I agree about the whole Floyd business. But, he wouldn't have called Floyd Mr. Floyd he would of called him Mr. Lawson, I call my barber my his first name too.So, I'm not surprised about him calling his Barber "Floyd",well "Floyd".
I respectfully disagree about Opie using Floyd's surname. It is, I believe, a common Southern habit for children to add "Mr." or "Miss" or "Miz" to the first name of an adult they know very well. It conveys respectful familiarity. Opie would have called the dress shop owner "Miz Lukens" because she wasn't closely known to him (and he probably wouldn't have known her first name anyway). But he definitely would have called Floyd "Mr. Floyd" in respect for an adult close to him and his family.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule! I think Barney was so much a part of his father that I doubt Opie would ever have called him anything but "Barney". And Gomer & Goober. . .well, both sort of seemed like big kids themselves so just their first names would probably seem appropriate to Opie.
Yes, totally agree here! Many kids (mine included) call adults by Mrs or Mr. followed by their first name- especially people from our church.
In Mayberry, yes...Barney was the exception, since he was so much apart of the family...and Gomer and Goober were indeed overgrown kids. :)
Opie is a good lil' fella. Cute too. Remember when he was stuffing his jibs with all that stick gum he got free from Weaver's, and the big handful of free balloons he showed his pa... Man... that was classic cute!
I don't think he was insincere at all! Children use to be taught to speak to their elders with respect, but with the passage of time that has died and now we hear mouthiness between parents/children with many parents being worse than their kids. I would love to see some politeness again.
Sandra....you are sooooo right. The parents are often worse, and therefore the cause, than their children.
Parents...go out and "act like somebody."
I was brought up to say: yes ma'am, no ma'am, yes sir, no sir, thank you. My brother, sister & I got into trouble for not replying with one of those 'nice phrases'. I've tried to raise Adam the same way and for the most part he does pretty good. When I was in college a lady jumped all over me for saying 'yes ma'am' to her. She was about 15 years older than me. I kindly looked at her and said, 'If my mom or dad were standing here and I didn't say 'yes ma'am' to you I'd get in trouble, it doesn't matter how old I am they'd still get on to me. That's just one of the things that young people don't understand, kindness and respect to our elders. There is so much disrespect today. Parents need to parent. Teach our children to treat others with kindness, show respect and love for one another. Instead of expecting everything to be given to them. Well I was gonna say more but I'd be getting into stuff I shouldn't and not respecting the rules.
Whooie! My squirt was so sweet and polite when she was young, then she got to be a real sass-box by the time she was a high schooler. She still displayed manners, but her salt and lip became a lot more prominent at all the wrong times. Its been a real labor of love to rein her in and have her 'act like somebody'! :D