Archive for the ‘Television’ Category

Our Trip to Mayberry (Mount Airy, North Carolina)

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

Last week, Jennifer, Jonathan, Carmel, and I visited Mount Airy, North Carolina, the birthplace of Andy Griffith. The fictional town of Mayberry seems to be based on Mount Airy, although there are obvious differences between the two. Mount Airy plays up the connection to Mayberry, and has regular “Mayberry Days” festivals. Many of the businesses are named after Andy Griffith Show characters or places. I thoroughly enjoy the Andy Griffith Show (I own all the DVDs), and I found Mount Airy fascinating because of the connection, although it stands out as a nice, little town in its own right. Many of the locals seem to like the connection to the show, although some prefer to emphasize the historic Mount Airy (home to the first “Siamese” twins, among other things). Here are some photos I took on our trip (with explanations):

Wally's Service Station

This image is a replica of Wally’s Service Station, where Gomer and Goober Pyle (as well as Goober’s gal, Flora) worked.

Mayberry Courthouse

This is a photo of Jennifer and I sitting at Sheriff Taylor’s desk, in the replica of the Mayberry Courthouse.

Blue Bird Diner

This is the Blue Bird Diner, started in the 1990s, and named after the diner mentioned in the show where Barney’s occasional love-interest Juanita works. I asked our waitress how often customers ask for Juanita. She said, “oh, about every other customer” in a wearied voice.

The Snappy Lunch

This is the Snappy Lunch, mentioned in a first season episode on the show. Andy visited this restaurant as a boy. The owner, Charles Dowell, is still around today. We met him when we visited. They are famous for their pork chop sandwich: deep fried pork chop, slaw, chili, onions, mustard, and tomato!

Mount Airy Wall

This wall showcases Mt. Airy attractions.

Mount Airy, North Carolina

This is a view of the outlying, newly-developed, areas of Mount Airy. Perhaps Mayberry would have a modern area like this, if it were a real town.

Shelton Vineyards

North Carolina is seeing many new vineyards and wineries spring up, especially as the importance of tobacco declines. This image is from the Shelton Vineyard, outside of Mount Airy.

Mount Airy Jail

This is a cell in the actual (old) jail of Mount Airy. They no longer use it today. It just isn’t quite the same as Mayberry, and I can’t imagine Otis actually enjoying his stay here!

This Looks Interesting

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

Yes, there is a bed and breakfast that is entirely modeled after the Taylor home in the Andy Griffith Show, just in case you were wondering.

It is the Taylor Home Bed and Breakfast in Wisconsin.

I wonder if I can head down to the Junction Cafe and say a few words to Juanita? Or fill my car up at Wally’s and have a pop? Maybe that is too much to ask.

I Love Lucy

Sunday, September 3rd, 2006

Lucy Ricardo and Ethel MertzI have been getting into “I Love Lucy” lately. I used to kind of like the show, but never watched it much. When we met, Jennifer said she didn’t like it. Then she started watching it during her lunch hour since it comes after “The Andy Griffith Show.” She started liking it, and when I was home during the summer, I watched it with her. I came to really appreciate it.

So before I moved to start my new job I ordered three “I Love Lucy” DVD sets, and I really have been enjoying them (especially before I got net access). I also like it because it is from a time when Hollywood released fairly wholesome stuff. “I Love Lucy” and “The Andy Griffith Show” make people laugh, even modern young people, without resorting to profantity or sexual humor. I am not a puritan or anything, and I enjoy modern shows like the Simpsons (in fact it is near the top of my favorite shows), but can you imagine a primetime show making people laugh without using any crude humor? I don’t think modern TV writers could even do it if they tried.

However, when you like old shows it can be sad when you go and research the actors. Most of them have passed away. Desi Arnaz died from lung cancer, a result of smoking the cigarettes of the show’s sponsor, Philip Morris.

There is not much of a point to this post, just that like many before me, “I Love Lucy.”