Much has been written about Sheriff Andy Taylor and Deputy Barney Fife. This is as it should be for they were indeed the stars of The Andy Griffith
Show. However, I have a very special place in my heart for Goober Pyle. For Goober Pyle is a personification of so many people who live among us.
There are many Goober Pyles in the world today and through no fault of their own they were born into conditions which limited their experiences and successes in life.
Goober was not blessed with a great aptitude for learning. Neither did he have many of the social skills needed for success in life. He came from a
poor family who could only provide him with the basic needs during his young life. Yet his family gave him love and instilled in him the importance of
pride in one’s work. It was these two characteristics which helped Goober to become the wonderful person he was.
Despite his economic, intellectual, and social limitations, Goober Pyle had the same hopes and dreams as we all do. Goober wanted acceptance,
friendship, love, and respect from others.
As we came to know Goober Pyle, we found a very simple child-like man who found enjoyment in reading comic books and watching monster movies. He loved to hang around with his friends and he delighted in spending time with the children of Mayberry.
Yet, somehow Goober just did not fit it. While his friends read novels and discussed world events, Goober read about Crab Monster and fixed flat tires
and pumped gas. When Andy and Barney always had dates for the Harvest Ball, Goober sat alone in his rented room dreaming that somewhere there was a girl just for him.
The wonderful thing about the people of Mayberry was that they accepted Goober for who he was. He was a hard worker who took a great deal of pride in his work. They didn’t care about his education or his double breasted suit with the out of style tie. Goober was Goober. He was always willing
to help a friend in need. He was very honest with his customers and he treated everyone with kindness. He loved going to work each day and he
looked forward to greeting everyone with a smile and a yarn even if they just stopped in for a bottle of pop.
We can learn a lot from Goober. We can learn that it doesn’t take a college education or a high paying job to make one happy. We can learn that our
friends will judge us by our actions and by our words – not by the cut of our clothes. But most of all we can learn that the meaning of success is
relevant. Goober was indeed a successful man. He knew the meaning of love, honesty, pride, hard work, and friendship. And I am sure his parents would have been proud to see what a fine man he grew up to become.
Kenneth Anderson is a regular contributer and has oublished a book of Mayberry reflections.
The Mayberry Poem: A Tribute to Mayberry