Nonfiction of Note: Andy and Don by Daniel de Visé
I am a huge fan of the Andy Griffith Show and when I was growing up, and we could only get one or two channels on the television due to living in the mountains of Western N.C., one of the constants on television was the Andy Griffith Show. I remember, one of the joys of my television-watching youth was when a relative in town was able to record eight hours of the show when a marathon was on. Since cable didn’t reach my house until I was in Middle School, having limited access to my favorite show was difficult but I was able to get my fill growing up.
Now, knowing a few fans of the show, when this book came out, there was a divide on who wanted to read it or not. I chose to do so because I wanted to know more about the making of the show and I have to say I really enjoyed the tale this book. The story we get is one of Andy and Don, the people behind the characters, and the world of television in which they found themselves.
While they are far from perfect people, knowing their virtues and flaws was something that I enjoyed because the characters are always going to be separate from the people. Mind you, there’s nothing lascivious or shocking about the lives of these two actors but it was nice to know more about the careers and the years these two spent in the business, the troubles they faced, their family, and just who the people were behind the characters I loved.
Some of my friends were worried that reading this book would warp or influence their view of the show but I didn’t find that to be the case in the least. I learned about people that made a great show, two friends whose comedic timing was a natural fit, and I gained a deeper understanding for two people that devoted their lives to creating a show I loved and, to this day, still brings me back to a simple time in an innocent town with wonderful characters who will endure as long as television lasts.