For those of us who love the Andy Griffith Show…and I mean LOVE the Andy Griffith Show…we probably have some sort of Mayberry memorabilia. It might be a Mayberry coffee mug, a keychain, a hat, some of the collectible villages or plates, a book, a car license tag or tag frame, an autograph or two with pictures of the shows stars…or even a picture or autograph from the Tribute Artists. But most likely, the most popular item in the Mayberry Collection is the T-shirt. Most of us have at least one or two. I’ve either shrunk some of mine through repeated wash and dry cycles, or have just plain worn them out.
We have T-shirts for our Official TAGSRWC Chapter, shirts with the different characters and famous character quotes on them, shirts with the iconic places and stores we visit at Mayberry Days, and of course the souvenir shirts from the events we attend. Even if you don’t find yourself at any of the events, you can always visit old Ben Weaver over at Weaver’s Department Store (www.weaversdepartmentstore.com
). Lots of memorabilia, hats and shirts there.
One of the things that is so much fun about being at a Mayberry Event is looking at all of the great T-shirts. Another thing I like about the Mayberry Events is this…as you think of lines from the show and throw them out, you know that everybody there pretty much gets every line you. They know who said it and may even throw a line back at you. For example if you’re walking down the street and somebody says, “Nip it”, everybody there knows what they are talking about. You are sort of “braced” for the quotes and lines. Last year at the Mayberry Days Parade, as I am walking in the parade as my Tribute Artist persona, Col. Harvey…I hear a shout from the sidewalk, “Hey Colonel…What time do the Indians eat?” Of course I had to respond in kind with, “Indians? Oh….well, they eat most anytime…6:35…7:00…7:15.”
Now it’s quite different when you are back home, going about your day to day routines. You, as huge fan, see Mayberry in lots of things and circumstances, but you don’t usually expect to hear a Mayberry line out of the blue…and I didn't...at least not until today.
This morning, as I was filling up the gas tank, I was leaning back on the side of my car, daydreaming about the day to come, waiting on the auto stop of the gas pump handle to click off, letting me know that I now had myself an “F” as opposed to having myself and “E” like when I first pulled up to the station.
Here’s where it gets good. As I finished and was racking the handle, I looked over to a guy that was also finishing his gas purchase, and gave the customary nod, as we guys do. I said something trivial like, “Gas prices were better last week. Hope they stay low.” He replied to me as he was getting in his car and about to close the door, “Yep. Depending on how many times the pump goes ‘ding.’ $2.10 a ding.” By sheer instinct I said, “Water and air is free.” He laughed, closed his car door, and drove away.
I don’t know his name. I’ve never seen him before. I don’t know if I’ll ever see him again. But this I do know…you never know when you’ll meet a Mayberry neighbor. And I wasn’t even wearing a Mayberry T-shirt. “Thanks and happy motoring!”
Have a Mayberry Day,
(aka Col. Harvey)