When you think heroes of the last American century, who do you think? Sure some might come up with Martin Luther King, Franklin Roosevelt, JFK or even Elvis Presley. But how many of you, besides our football guru Duncan Cavanah, would come up with Barney Fife? Well the good people of Mount Airy, NC (home to a stellar Waffle House), apparently would no longer put Barney in that group. Apparently the long rumored project to make a Barney Fife statute for the town has just been abandoned.
As many of you may know, Mount Airy was the town where Andy Griffith was raised and became the model upon which the iconic Mayberry was created. Having visited Mount Airy a number of times, I have eaten a pork chop at Aunt Bee’s restaurant and driven by the barbershop where Floyd used to show off his haircutting skills. There is of course an Andy Griffith highway, but there is a surprising lack of Barney Fife memorabilia. When local citizen Tom Hellenbrand tried to fix that problem, the folks at CBS and members of the Fife family stepped in and vetoed the proposition. IT now looks like Barney Fife will never be memorialized.
This would have been a nice honor to bestow on Fife. Andy Griffith show legends are rarely appreciated (with the exception of when Duncan saw the man who played Ernest T Bass once throw out the honorary “first rock” at a minor league baseball game), and Fife is the king of kings of the Andy crew. Hopefully time will change CBS and the Fife family’s mind….but until then, my focus will be on the creation of the talking Goober doll (and the continued fight to relieve the reruns of all things “Howard”).