On my way back from my summer retreat to South Carolina, I made a pit stop in northern North Carolina to take a step back in time. Or more to the point, to step down a dirt path and whistle a little tune most everyone knows.
Mount Airy is the birthplace of Andy Griffith, and the town and surrounding areas, were the inspiration for the locales for The Andy Griffith Show.
A quick trip to historic downtown Mount Airy definitely gives you the feeling of being smack dab in the middle of Mayberry. I even had an encounter with Ernest T. Bass and the town drunk Otis Campbell outside the Snappy Lunch.
It's awesome the town doesn't shy away from its comparisons to fictional Mayberry. The name adorns many establishments in the area and even the water tower has the silhouette of Opie and Andy walking in the sunset with their fishing poles thrown over their shoulders.
The trip proved to be shorter than I would have liked due to the fact my daughters were more than ready to get back home. After a fit or two (more like 10 or 12), we decided to make a quick jaunt around town to snap some pictures and get outta dodge.
We visited Wally's Service Station, Floyd's Barber Shop, the Courthouse, Griffith's boyhood home and the Andy Griffith Playhouse, which has a bronze statue of Opie and Andy situated out front. But I was told a trip to Mount Airy wouldn't be complete without a trip to the Snappy Lunch.
The eatery is the only local business mentioned in an episode of The Andy Griffith Show and for good reason. I zipped over to pick up one of their pork chop sandwich and was greeted by Ernest T., rock in hand, staring intently at the front window.
Following a quick nod, I ducked inside to pick up my goodies and then as I pushed open the screen door, I was greeted by Otis coming up the street.
But all good things must come to an end.
After talking to a few people and explaining I hadn't cut in line, but called in my order, I was off up the street to fetch a piece of coconut cream pie for my wife and then to the highway back home.
The town even hosts an annual Mayberry Days festival, and with this being the 50th anniversary for the show, it would be a great time to attend. I'll have to celebrate from a distance, but I can assure you, I'll be making more trips to the fishing hole in the near future.
I'd like to know what your favorite episodes of The Andy Griffith Show are. After hearing from you, I'll let you know mine in an upcoming blog.
Here is a link to some additional photos from my trip to Mayberry. I'll be adding more in days to come.