George Lindsey, know best for his role as Goober Pyle, passed away, this week. The simple and humorous antics of Television's Mayberry form a soft spot in many of us.
This weekend, my wife's family gathered from many parts of the State to celebrate her Grandmother's 84th birthday, a simple family affair that brought great joy to a matriarch's heart. I have one more observation for you: during antique shopping with my wife, I noticed so many old knick-knacks from decades ago, that so charmingly express a more carefree time and a nation that faced life with humor and charm.
These everyday reminders express to us the things we find important: faith, home, family, and good feelings. I don't know about you, but dwelling too long on the negatives in life, can become wearisome, sometimes. It's good to reflect upon occasion on those things that we find important and that are worth fighting for.
I am too young to have been a part of "The Greatest Generation," but I do love to hear their stories. I recall working in the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina and seeing World War II icon, 'Rosie-the-Riveter' pictures all over giving folks who had come upon very hard times, courage to rebuild their lives.
Along with public display of Bible Scriptures, these pictures of the past helped these folks to push past the pain and difficulty to do things that were seemingly impossible. These people gave so much more to me than I had to offer them. We all grow stronger drawing courage from one another. I recall that it was a big part of the publishing industry once-upon-a-time to publish many books, articles and cartoons regarding common people succeeding against all odds. Where have all those stories gone? I know that the people still exist!
When I think about the good things in life: faith, family, favorite anything and the people that have touched our lives, it has a singular affect upon me. It can turn a frown upside down, it turns my thoughts outward and makes any difficulty seem a great deal lighter. Perhaps this is a lesson that we all could benefit from.
In the current contest for our nation, it seems that the Liberal forces would have us forget all those things. According to them, our Founding Fathers were all wrong, our heroes were bad men and women, the motivations that stirred us were somehow unworthy and every difficulty in our lives should be stirred up and blamed on somebody else. That's not the America of yesteryear; it could never have overcome the enormous odds that it did or have produced such warm and wonderful ... Well, Americana. I had an old booklet passed on to me that included wonderful stories about this country, a country that everybody agreed that they loved.
Sadly, I'm seeing a different direction showing up on old brick walls: a hand painted sign that said, "I can love my country without loving my government." I get what the painter had to say, and agree with the sentiment more than I disagree, but it still leaves a lump in my stomach.
You don't have to look far to find a time when the people of America loved BOTH their country and their government. We always squabble about what's the best thing to do, particularly around Election time, but we were always Americans during the process.
The space between us is being exploited, these days, to where it seems like there is a country mile between us. At heart, I doubt that the distance is quite so great. We all have children and grandchildren that we love. We still like to think of our home as our castle and refuge. We'd like to think that we could go to our neighbors or friends if we needed to talk or could use a hand. Am I wrong?
This isn't a pitch for, "Can't we all just get along," but despite the rhetoric, I believe that what our Creator and our Founding Fathers endowed us with is greater than partisanship. I believe that especially when this country is threatened, we need to pull together and do what's necessary to get us back on track.
I believe that there are some things that are worth fighting for. What if we got carried away with this "War on Terror," and we lost the beautiful America that existed before the cowardly strike on 9/11?
What if we got so used to bullying people around in Airports, Train Stations and Bus Depots that nobody wanted to put up with the hassle anymore and just let the distance between us grow?
What if we were so focused on the "War on Drugs," that no one could engage in profitable business, cash a check or turn around without being accosted concerning their intentions?
I like an old quote from former President of France, Charles De Gaulle, "I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians."
I miss the old cast members of The Andy Griffith Show, the fine citizens of Mayberry. Despite our many wonderful advances, I miss the world that I grew up in. I still love the good old stories of growing up and just getting along in simpler times. I enjoyed the pictures that were passed around at Grandma Lucy's Birthday Party.
And, yes, my wife and I do pick up some of those cute knick-knacks at the Antique Malls. I'm hoping that I can convince enough others to want that, too, so that we can do some of those crazy, impossible things that we as Americans are known for -- Who would have ever believed that we could've made it to the moon?
Jim Steed ... taking "The Right Angle"