He could do it all.
An all- American on the screen.
A total mushhead leftist in real life.
RIP Sheriff Andy.
Where have you gone, Mayberry USA?
Things changed after Andy and co. left. The local economy faltered badly as a result of the federal government's attacks on the tobacco industry in the 1990s. Small businesses began to leave, storefronts were left dilapidated and broken from disuse, the infrastructure fell into disrepair.
Attempts by the government to replace the once-thriving business base with a "welfare economy," replete with Section 8 public housing and a plethora of other social programs, resulted in drastic demographic and social changes, radically altering the way of life for the erstwhile sleepy little North Carolina town.
Unfortunately, it wasn't exactly what the few remaining residents had hoped for.