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Andy Griffith dies: The last Great American Dad who knew best

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(Read caption) Andy Griffith dies: He was the last Great American Dad for a city girl.

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“Paw is dead.” Despite the fact that I learned of the passing of Andy Griffith on my impersonal, smartphone’s news alert, my internal self heard a seven-year-old Ron Howard tearfully delivering the news to my city girl heart.

To me – a kid growing up in a broken home in the mid-1960s, raised by a single mother in New York City – watching "The Andy Griffith Show" in black and white re-runs was my version of The Fresh Air Fund.

Opie (Ron Howard) was my pal and Sheriff Andy and Aunt Bea were my role models in a world that came without aprons, apple pie, or emotional stability. That was Mayberry and a tune I still whistle as my own blue heaven in every place I have been – from reporting in Tel Aviv during a SCUD missile attack to living on a sailboat.

It hurts me to hear him eulogized as “folksy” because folks just don’t really see that as a good thing these days but more as something to be dismissed as cute.


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