Amanda Pugh : Take Me Back : Memoir : June 2019

Southern Legitimacy Statement: I am as Southern as grits, biscuits, and gravy, having the double blessing of being brought into this world in the great state of Georgia (Atlanta to be precise) and having my raising in the Volunteer State of Tennessee. I have been educated here and have worked here for all the years I have been able, and even though I have traveled to other places outside the South (aka Heaven) I know in my Georgia Peach heart that there’s no place like home!

Take Me Back

It’s no secret that the world today is a big ol’ glass of crazy juice. You can’t turn on the television or the radio or even hop on social media without seeing murders, shootings, corruption everywhere… its nigh on to impossible to get a bit of relief anywhere. 

But I have found a way.

I moved to Mayberry.

Oh, not for real of course…I mean, I live in a small town but it’s not as small as that fictional town remembered from our own and our parents’ childhoods. I mean, I’ve taken the time to relax and enjoy the finer things-like shows that don’t leave me in tears because of meanness or with an anxiety headache fearing for the state of the free world.

If you have ever watched that iconic show that imprinted the prototypical idyllic small town into the collective consciousness, you know life somehow moved a little slower back then. People seemed nicer, more willing to at least try and get along. People liked helping each other and didn’t mind that the sheriff didn’t even carry a gun. The bygone days when you felt comfortable running next door to borrow a cup of sugar, leaving your doors unlocked.

You can still find the occasional small town in the South that has that similar small-town feel, but they are getting rarer and rarer. Too often it seems that that wholesome demeanor masks some very ugly secrets. It leaves one wondering what happened to our ideal of Mayberry and the downright peaceful feeling you got visiting with the town’s fictional residents.

So how does one get that Mayberry feeling back? Try to get to know your neighbors. Take part in town gatherings when you can (I know my hometown has something at least once a month). Smile and say hello to the person behind you at the store. Leave the cell phone in the house and take yourself or your family to the beach or lake or anywhere you can be together and enjoy each other’s company. Learn to enjoy the world again.

Mayberry may no longer be on our televisions except in reruns, but we can keep it alive in our hearts.

And the world will be a better place for it.