By Gustavo Pérez Firmat
Half a century after audience first watched a father and son jogging to the neighborhood fishing gap, whistling an easy, but unforgettable, track, The Andy Griffith Show is still essentially the most renowned sitcoms within the background of yank tv. hundreds of thousands of audience have noticeable the convey both in its unique run, its ongoing reruns, on DVD, or on the net. web pages dedicated to the convey abound, 1000s of fan golf equipment deliver fanatics jointly, and a plethora of books and Mayberry-themed item have celebrated all issues Mayberry. A small cottage has even built round the teachings of the show's episodes. yet why does a sitcom from the Sixties set within the rural South nonetheless evoke such devotion in humans today?
In A Cuban in Mayberry, acclaimed writer Gustavo Pérez Firmat revisits America's place of origin to find the resource of its enduring attraction. He ways the express from a distinct perspective—that of an exile who hasn't ever skilled the rootedness that Andy and his fellow Mayberrians take without any consideration, as folks that have by no means strayed from domestic or lived between strangers. As Pérez Firmat weaves his own memories of exile from Cuba with an research of the exhibit, he makes a resounding case that the intimacy among individual and position depicted in TAGS is the key of its lasting relevance, whilst he finds the extraordinary ways that the sequence additionally displays the racial, generational, and political turbulence of the 1960s.
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Additional info for A Cuban in Mayberry: Looking Back at America's Hometown
Size matters, inversely. Millions call New York City their hometown without a trace of quaintness. That they do so is a compensatory fantasy that allows them to imagine a degree of intimacy with their birthplace that one can truly have only with a town. ” A city is too large to be a home, and to refer to a city’s “downtown” is simply to archaize. In a real town you can’t go uptown or downtown because you are already there. Mayberrians never spoke about “downtown” Mayberry. The town was all one, indivisible and whole.
The question: will Hollywood change them as Chicago changed Sharon DeSpain? When they come back from California, three episodes later, the repetition of the same scene as they get off the bus indicates that nothing has changed. The second of Mayberry’s mayors, Mayor Stoner, wants to construct an underpass to connect Mayberry to the outside world, a plot idea probably inspired by the building of the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s. 18). But the underpass is the bus stop writ large, which is why Andy and the others object to it.
Even Andy suffers from this chronic nearsightedness. 23). Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Helen hails from Kansas, the heart of the heart of the country; but for Andy, getting to know Helen amounts to discovering a new world, which makes it appropriate that Helen is Opie’s history teacher. History is a subject that, Andy says, he was never much good at. ” Far be it from Andy to “man” Miss Crump or anyone else, but the episode’s title does suggest that Mayberry is apart from America, or rather—what amounts to the same thing—that Mayberry is all of America.
A Cuban in Mayberry: Looking Back at America's Hometown by Gustavo Pérez Firmat