"The more time passes, the more irrelevantly seductive Mayberry becomes." ―Gustavo Pérez Firmat, from A Cuban In Mayberry From
Marianao to Mayberry
The first episode of The Andy Griffith Show premiered today in 1960. Prominent Cuban American writer and scholar, Gustavo Pérez Firmat, reflects on what TAGS means to him as an immigrant:
The Andy Griffith Show (TAGS to aficionados) premiered on CBS on Monday October 3, 1960. Exactly three weeks later, on Monday October 24, I left Cuba with my parents, my two brothers and my sister on an overnight ferry to Key West called, of all things, The City of Havana. I was eleven years old. My parents were in their late thirties. That evening, as the City of Havana was crossing the Florida straits, CBS broadcast the fourth episode of TAGS, which has to do with the arrival in Mayberry of Ellie Walker, the first of Andy’s several girlfriends. As Ellie was beginning a new life in Mayberry, the Pérez family was beginning a new life in America.
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