Monday, February 27

Goodbye, Mr. Limpet



He wasn’t a blockbuster star, but Don Knotts is arguably one of the most recognizable figures to baby boomers. He was on TV almost every day thanks to “The Andy Griffith Show” syndication, and Saturday afternoon screenings of such classics as “The Reluctant Astronaut“ and “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken.” Even young teens know him from re-runs of “Three’s Company.”

His career spanned over fifty years. During that time, as entertainment grew ever more risqué, daring, and brash, Don kept a sense of kind innocence. His harmless yet hilarious goofball persona was, and still is, a favorite of kids and adults alike. He was the last of a kind: the Jimmy Stewart type of gentleness, self-deprecation, and aw-shucks goodness that has long since departed Hollywood. He was the sad-eyed runt-of-the-litter puppy no one could resist.

For me, however, Don will always be “The Incredible Mr. Limpet.” It’s a boyhood favorite that’s delightful to revisit once in a while. I have wistful memories of the metal-cornered fish tanks, the daydreaming misunderstood man’s wish to be a fish, his friendship with a curmudgeonly tin can-toting hermit crab, and the ridiculous “HAROOM”-ing at Nazi torpedoes. I think I can point to that movie as starting my life-long obsession with aquaria, catch and release fishing, and all things under the ocean. It is a hobby and an interest that has occupied much of my life, even in my dreams.

Goodbye, Mr. Limpet, and thank you. May the great beyond show you safe seas.

2 comments:

Cowboy said...

I can still hear the "HA-ROOM" in my ears...

I think my favorite roles were the Disney movies, where he co-starred with Tim Conway. They had a chemistry like no other.

The Denver Kid has ridden into the sunset...

Mom said...

Thanks for the poignant farewell...he was one of the gentle ones I admired.