Andy Griffith, one of America's most beloved actors passed away today. Those who are my age and older remember The Andy Griffith Show, Gomer Pyle, and Mayberry RFD. My generation had just a couple of televeision channels to watch, and Griffith's shows ran in continuous reruns so even those who missed the shows in prime time were even more familiar with the series than those who worked for a living and didn't have time to watch reruns every day after school.
The New York Times Editorial Page blog features a clip from the last episode of the Andy Griffith Show in 1968 that featured Mayberry moving with the times and welcoming its first immigrant, Mario, a migrant worker from Italy. Sounds like Mario was probably coming illegally given that the brazero guest worker program had ended four years earlier in 1964. But Andy wasn't out to run the stranger out of town. Instead, he welcomed the new Mayberry resident with open arms - typical for Sheriff Taylor. Andy immediately picked up on how tough it is to pick up and come to a new country, particularly when loved ones are left at home. We can use more sheriffs like Andy Taylor and less like Joe Arpaio. Rest in peace, Andy.