Early in the second season of “The Andy Griffith Show,” I ventured a suggestion for a line change to make it sound more “like the way a kid would say it.”
I was just 7 years old. But my idea was accepted and I remember standing frozen, thrilled at what this moment represented to me.
Andy asked me, “What you grinnin’ at, youngin’?” I said it was the first idea of mine they’d ever said yes to. Without a pause, Andy responded for all to hear: “It was the first idea that was any damn good. Now let’s do the scene.”
That inclusiveness that allowed a child to truly be a part of something as unique and memorable as “The Andy Griffith Show” is something I will forever be grateful for.
Andy Griffith entertained us for decades on stage, via our radios, sound systems, TVs and up there on the silver screen. Comedy, drama or music, he brought his love of performing to each creative undertaking.
He was known for ending shows by looking at the audience and saying “I appreciate it, and good night.” Perhaps the greatest enduring lesson I learned from eight seasons playing Andy’s son Opie on the show was that he truly understood the meaning of those words, and he meant them, and there was value in that.