Wednesday, April 01, 2009

'Mayberry' still alluring

It's very easy to assume that everyone in America has as much of a romantic image of Andy Griffith's "Mayberry" (from The Andy Griffith Show) as us North Carolinians do.

Well, apparently they do.

Enjoy ...

In the classic Andy Griffith Show episode "Stranger in Town," a man moved to Mayberry, N.C., because he had heard so many good things about the town.

And in real life, Darrel and Debbie Miles, big fans of The Andy Griffith Show, made the same decision [writes the Winston-Salem Journal].

They are originally from New Albany, Ind., but just over three years ago they decided to make the move to Mount Airy, the town that inspired Mayberry. They opened Mayberry on Main, a store on Main Street that sells memorabilia related to The Andy Griffith Show as well as hot sauces and salsa.

Debbie recalls the first time she found out that there was a real "Mayberry" back in 1992.

"Reruns of the show were always on during dinner time," she recalled. "Like any other family, we'd be getting dinner ready and The Andy Griffith Show would be on. Then one day when I was at work, my oldest daughter, Natalie, called and said, ‘Mom, there really is a Mayberry and Oprah's there!' I said, ‘Well, find out where it is!'"

When they got home, Natalie had written down the name of "Mount Airy, N.C."

"That minute on, we made arrangements to visit," Debbie said. "And then every year at least once a year we could come down." ...

"We found more and more times when we had a few days off, we'd be driving down to Mount Airy," Darrel said. They visited frequently over the course of about 13 years.

And when Darrel retired from the manufacturing company where he had worked for 32 years, they decided to move to Mount Airy.

So, they made the leap. Was "Mayberry" everything they thought it would be?

Russell Hiatt, who runs Floyd's City Barber Shop on Main Street, said that he wasn't surprised when the Mileses decided to move to Mount Airy.

"They had been coming here every year, and always come in to see me," he said. "Then they came in one time and told me they were wanting to move here and go into business ... I was tickled because they were great folks. I helped them find a building." ...

Some visitors think that The Andy Griffith Show was actually filmed in Mount Airy (it was filmed in California). "We try to break it to them gently, this is really Andy's hometown, this is the real place he lived," Debbie said. "We came for Mayberry, but Mount Airy, you fall in love with it. It's the kind of town everybody would want their hometown to be."
(Screenshot from sitcomsonline)


TSnow said...

In the late 80s there was talk about officially changing the name of Dobson, NC to Mayberry. It's smaller than Mt. Airy but is the county seat of Surry County which they both share so Dobson actually has the sheriff's office and courthouse.

M. Lail said...

Talk about a rivalry!