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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Song brings back memories

Sunday, June 1, 2008

On May 28, Earle H. Hagen, 88, the Emmy Award-winning television composer who wrote the memorable theme songs for more than 2,500 classic television shows, including some of my favorites like "The Andy Griffith Show," "The Dick Van Dyke Show," "I Spy" and many others, died.

The news got me to thinking, well, remembering.

While I was growing up, my grandparents loved to watch one show, a particular classic comedy about a rural "Eden-like" town many people would have loved to call home.

The happy-go-lucky theme song, the whistling version of Earle H. Hagen's "The Fishin' Hole," meant the characters from the small town of Mayberry, N.C., would be a part of our family for the next 30 minutes.

Mondays, the night that show was broadcast for eight years in the 1960s, was Papo and Grandma Iva Lashbrook's favorite night of television.

It was so important to them, they bought TV trays so they could sit in the living room and watch it while eating dinner.

While they enjoyed the antics of Andy, Barney, Aunt Bee, Opie, Otis Tee and all the others, I cringed every time it came on.

Looking back to all those years ago, when I was sprawled across my black beanbag chair in front of the television on the living room floor, I don't know why I hated that show -- it was and still remains incredibly funny.

I think it was because I was forced to watch it instead of some other program (which I don't remember now, but it was crucial to me at the time because my friends were watching it and I wasn't) on another channel.

As my grandmother would say, "A lot of water has run under the bridge since then, and life is different now."

Both of my grandparents have passed away and life isn't so simple anymore.

I have to say "thank God for cable" because now I can watch the episodes and remember a simpler time of my life when every Monday at 9 p.m., I spent a half-hour with my grandparents.