Mayberry, USA

 

Written by Louise Tucker Jones in the February 2019 Issue

mayberry house

Sometimes I want to live in Mayberry, USA, where nothing really bad happens. Where the only lawmen are a kind sheriff and a crazy deputy who seldom have anything to do because the townspeople always keep the peace. I want to attend that little church where the ladies are excited to perform in new choir robes then experience Aunt Bea’s cooking at supper time. 

I actually remember a time much like that when I grew up in a little farming community. We rode bicycles down dirt roads much like Opie and his friends rode in town. We had community pie suppers, fall festivals and Christmas programs, not to mention all the basketball games throughout the year. It was a quiet, peaceful place where neighbors knew neighbors and helped each other.

One thing for sure, if someone pulled into your driveway, it was never to simply turn their car around because no one ventured that far out in the country without purpose. If they were strangers, my daddy would meet them outside. If they had car trouble, he and my brothers would probably fix the vehicle then invite them to supper. No money exchanged hands. It’s what you did back then. You took care of your family and others, remembering that the Bible says we can entertain angels unaware.

Today, our socialization often takes place on Facebook or in texting or by email. Even phone calls are a rarity. Some of us barely know our neighbors and few families share a meal together unless it is at a restaurant. 

Personally, I want some one-on-one time. I want to sit in my comfy living room and visit face to face. I want to share a meal or dessert with friends and feel as happy and safe as they feel in Mayberry, even if Deputy Barney Fife is in charge.

I realize this sounds like a pipe dream in a day where scammers and predators walk the streets. But maybe we can reinvent Mayberry. Why not start by sharing cookies and conversation on the front porch? Oh, and bring your guitar. That’s what Sheriff Andy would do. 

Louise Tucker Jones

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