MOUNT AIRY, N.C. – For many, the legacy of Andy Griffith comes through the character he portrayed -- the widow father Sheriff Andy Taylor.
Each episode taught lessons of moral values and character. “It was something that was ubiquitous in our lives, he was always present … he was always on,” said David Bowman of Greensboro who grew up with Sheriff Taylor’s lessons and laughs.
“It was one of the few times you saw Southerners on TV that weren’t being mocked or made fun of. [The Andy Griffith Show] sort of had a silliness to it but it was respectful,” said Bowman who came to visit Mount Airy and pay his respects to one of America’s favorite dads.
“The Andy Griffith Show” is credited with giving Southerners a more wholesome, kind and neighborly image with its main character Andy Taylor, teaching moral lessons in each of the 249 episodes.
“Andy Taylor, the character, was just as great man, just good morals, good person,” said Brian Clay who drove from Beckley, West Virginia to lay flowers at the statue of Andy and Opie Taylor.
All around Griffith’s hometown, from the statue to the Andy Griffith Parkway, his legacy lives on.