Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


May 22, 2013

Mark Maynard: Now they know about little Opie: 5/23/13

ASHLAND — We became dog owners again on Wednesday, a red-haired little poodle who is supposed to be no bigger than 6 to 8 pounds at full growth.

While that’s big news in our home, I figure it’s not for you (although I have a suspicion you’ll be reading a lot about him in the coming weeks).

We did name him Opie, after the red-haired (although we didn’t find that out until later) little boy on the television classic “Andy Griffith Show.”

My wife told her fifth-grade students at Rose Hill Christian about our new dog and how we named him Opie.

They gave her a puzzled look.

They had never heard of Opie Taylor, Andy’s little boy who starred in so many episodes of the show during its run in the 1960s.

I couldn’t believe it. They really didn’t know Opie? How could that be?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve watched “Andy” and so has my family. We can recite lines, have our favorite characters and episodes and look forward to 30 minutes of one of the most wholesome shows ever produced.

It’s not like it’s in the TV vault never to be seen again, either. It’s still on reruns, although maybe not as many as it used to be (or still should be).

They have written Sunday school literature based on the shows because of the values and morals it taught us.

But my wife’s class of students didn’t know Opie from Ernest T. Bass. Many of them hadn’t been introduced to the world of “Andy.”

Well, they have now.

During some free time at the end of the school year, instead of drawing or extending recess for 30 minutes, she played them some “Andy” episodes off Netflix so they could see why we named our red-haired poodle Opie.

Not surprisingly, they loved them. They were hooked from the beginning.

I feel certain their parents and grandparents know about “Andy,” but maybe didn’t know their kids would like it so much.

The show has stood the test of time and remains iconic for literally millions of followers.

I can remember one summer vacationing in Florida when the cable went out where we were staying, but thankfully my mother had brought along some CDs packed with “Andy” episodes she recorded.

We watched them over and over and laughed every time. Even when you know what’s coming, it was still good.

Next year, when we take Rose Hill’s sixth-graders on the safety patrol trip to Washington, D.C., we’re going to be sure to pack some “Andy” DVDs along with us to show on the bus trip.

If these fifth-graders had never heard of the show, maybe there are others, too.

Everybody should have the opportunity to learn more about Andy, Barney, Aunt Bea and, of course, little Opie.

What we all could use these days is a little more Mayberry.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.


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