A Mayberry State Of Mind
The Mayors of Mayberry
During its almost eight-year run on CBS, The Andy Griffith Show featured two mayors, Pike and Stoner, and only mentioned a third, Mayor Jenkins, during the episode titled Opie’s Charity. And while we know nothing of Mayor Jenkins, other than he delivered the eulogy at Tom Silby’s funeral, we know quite a bit about Mayors Pike and Stoner.
Pike and Stoner both place a lot of pride in the town of Mayberry. Be it the town drunk, the town band or someone who may appear a little “seedy”, both are quick to see potential embarrassment and even quicker to lay the problem at the door of Sheriff Andy Taylor. But beyond their love of fishing and pride of Mayberry, Pike and Stoner were two very different men.
Mayor Pike is a man easily swayed by public opinion. Like some small-town politicians, any opinion he has or any decision he makes is generally backed by at least one member of his town council and if it isn’t, his mind is quickly changed. Full of civic pride, Pike often refers to Mayberry as “our fair city”, and he likes nothing better than organizing welcoming ceremonies for visiting dignitaries and celebrations highlighting the accomplishments of a fellow Mayberryite.
In fact, Pike is at his most enthusiastic when finding an occasion to showcase the talents of one or the other of his three daughters. And though we never hear Mayor Pike sing, it must be assumed that he feels his daughters get their talent from his side of the family, as he doesn’t take near as much pride in his wife’s singing, and was once even heard to say “if my wife rides out on that horse and lights into hollering one more time, I’m going to bust a gusset”.
Pike may be full of blustery pride regarding his town and his daughters, and he will never turn down an opportunity to have his picture taken, but he is a modest and self-deprecating man, and has been known to refer to himself as the town’s little fat mayor. He seems rather old-fashioned; he is fond of the plantation tie, a form of necktie adopted by Southern planters in the 1800s, and is almost always seen wearing a suit.
Unlike Mayor Pike, Mayor Roy Stoner is a very stubborn man and once his mind is made up, generally never changes it and it is rare indeed if he reverses himself on a decision. Whereas Pike is an easy-going and relaxed individual, so laid-back he was once arrested for vagrancy and loitering by Deputy Fife, Stoner is a real stickler for playing by the rules and going by the book. Not one for informalities, he even insists on calling Andy by his formalized name of Andrew, which is often said in a very condescending manner.
While Mayor Pike isn’t seen to get involved in the day-to-day business of the sheriff’s office, Mayor Stoner doesn’t seem to be able to keep himself out of it. Appearing to not have much faith in Andy’s detective skills, Stoner calls in an investigator from the state’s special investigative unit to help solve a rash of cattle thefts in Mayberry; Andy later solves the crime on his own. And when doubting Andy’s ability to understand that even those who break the law are basically good and honest citizens who deserve the benefit of a doubt, Stoner finds himself literally up a tree, trapped by a bear.
However, Stoner can’t be singled out as the only one who makes trouble for Andy. Between the time-consuming task of selling the old town cannon and the unsavory chore of evicting a man, Pike causes his share of troublesome situations as well. Suffice to say, both mayors of Mayberry know how to create just enough mayhem to keep Sheriff Taylor on his toes.
Exasperation for Sheriff Andy Taylor is always a half-hour of entertainment for us fans of TAGS. We know that as usual, with the help of Andy, things will always turn out for the best in Mayberry.
Submitted by: KelleyGirl