I have a good friend who often refers to Worthington as “Mayberry.” You know “Mayberry” as the fictional community that was the setting for the television sitcom, The Andy Griffith Show. When I think of Mayberry my thoughts often go to the country singing group Rascal Flats’ lyrics from their song “Mayberry.”
“Sometimes it feels like this world is spinning faster
Than it did in the old days
So naturally we have more natural disasters
From the strain of a fast pace
Well I miss Mayberry
Sitting on the porch drinking ice cold Cherry — Coke
Where everything is black & white
Picking on a Six String
Where people pass by and you call them by their first name
Watching the clouds roll by
Although Mayberry doesn’t really exist, the idea that we can have a tight community where everyone still knows one another, and is relatively safe, does exist here in Worthington. Friday night was one of those really cool “Mayberry” moments with the Thomas Worthington High School homecoming parade.
The parade begins on Evening Street and winds right through my neighborhood. My family, along with most of my neighbors, lined up to watch the high school students, their floats, the band, and a few dignitaries come by. The kids throw candy to the onlookers, wave for pictures and generally it’s a good time had by all.
What I love is that in the middle of a city (Columbus) that has almost a million people, we have a tight community. Whether we’re at the TWHS Homecoming parade, the Worthington Hills Fourth of July parade or the Memorial Day parade, we know almost everyone who goes by. There is a real sense of community. We may not all sit on our front porch, but knowing one another by name, caring for one another, and watching out for one another has great value.
My kids are a little bit safer because many caring and trusting adults are watching them all over town. All of our kids have a social pressure to make good choices and to know that if they don’t make good choices, in school, or on the street, someone will let mom and dad know.
Worthington Schools are not the Mayberry Schools. But, there is a quality and community feel about Worthington that harkens back to a simpler time. We need to foster that, embrace that, and strive to make a large school district feel small through personal relationships.
P.S. The final picture is my kids candy stash from the parade.