During our many years of workamping, Bill and I would begin an adventure and travel in our motor home from point A to point B, only stopping for food, sleep and gas. When we would arrive at our seasonal destination we would spend our time off exploring everything within the geographical area – attractions, scenery, food and more.
Today we began an adventure in our vehicle – not an RV – as we traveled from South Carolina toward Indianapolis to spend a week with my daughter, Kelsey, and her husband and children. About 4 hours into our journey, we happened upon Mt. Airy, the birthplace of Andy Griffith, so we stopped to experience the town that has been transformed into a mythical Mayberry, in honor of the accomplished actor, singer, producer and writer.
Our first stop was the Andy Griffith Museum, which included exhibits, memorabilia, recordings, and videos about all aspects of his life and career, as well as a beautiful statue of Andy and his son, Opie, played by Ron Howard. We discovered interesting facts such as…
- Andy Griffith toured with Elvis during the 1950’s.
- He often went duck hunting with famous golfer Sam Snead in the Outer Banks.
- Griffith suffered from Guillain-Barre syndrome which caused him to pause his career for seven months in the early 80’s.
- Andy Griffith appeared in Brad Paisley’s music video “Waiting on a Woman” in 2008
- Griffith received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from president George Bush in 2005
From the museum, we ventured to Main Street where every other store was a Mayberry souvenir shop dedicated to all of the characters in the Andy Griffith Show as well as all of Andy’s other endeavors. Until his death in 2012, Andy often visited Mt. Airy (a.k.a. Mayberry) including the annual festival – Mayberry Days – celebrated in his honor. Along Main Street we also found Barney’s Cafe, and The Snappy Lunch – home of the World’s Famous Pork Chop Sandwich! Look at the menu! Not the most healthy lunch, but extremely reasonable and part of the total mystique!
For those of you who watched The Andy Griffith Show, or Matlock, or any of his movies or TV shows, Mt, Airy, North Carolina is a must stop. You can even take a tour of the town and area in a squad car – straight outta Mayberry! What a great stop! Next stop… Indiana… can’t wait to hug those grandkids!
Stay Calm and Travel On…