Saturday, June 19, 2010
A Bit of Nostalgia in Mt Airy, NC
Mt Airy is the birthplace of Andy Griffith -- everyone knows Andy Griffith. Alan LOVES watching the Andy Griffith Show and knows a lot the episodes by heart, so Mt Airy was a place he would enjoy.
We drove to Main Street -- the older part of Mt Airy where one will find quite a bit of Andy Griffith memorabilia in the shops. We were welcomed by a Veterans Memorial.
We parked on Main Street and strolled through the shops. We saw "Floyd's Barber Shop" -- now "Floyd's CITY Barber Shop." It is still an operating shop and you can get a haircut for $8. We were told by our little neighbor at the campground that the original Floyd was actually the barber, but we didn't think that was possible -- due to his age. I attempted to get Alan to go inside, but he wouldn't, but of course I did. I walked in and there were two men and a woman cutting hair, but neither was the actual Floyd, although one claimed to be Floyd.
We were advised by several to be sure and have a pork chop sandwich at "Snappy Lunch." "The" Snappy Lunch was opened in 1923 and is in the same location today -- next door to Floyd's City Barber Shop.
In 1943, a young man named Charles Dowell began working at The Snappy Lunch doing odd jobs and learning the business. He was compensated a whopping sum of $10 per week. Eight years later, he purchased a share of The Snappy Lunch and began his career as a local business owner. During those days, The Snappy Lunch catered to local workers and students who enjoyed bologna sandwiches for a nickel and ten cent hot dogs...oh, the good 'ole days! Students -- including Andy Griffith -- would visit The Snappy Lunch for a quick lunch because the local schools had yet to add cafeterias. In an early episode of the Andy Griffth Show, entitled "Andy the Matchmaker," Andy suggests to Barney that they go down to The Snappy Lunch to get a bite to eat. Andy also mentioned The Snappy Lunch in his version of the song "Silhouettes." During a televised interview, Andy talked about getting a hot dog and a bottle of pop at The Snappy Lunch when he was a young boy.
In 1960, Charles Dowell became the sole proprietor of The Snappy Lunch and began to perfect his unique creation of the pork chop sandwich that has become the trademark meal of choice for locals and visitors. I was a little leery about eating a pork chop sandwich with chili, cole slaw, mustard, onion and tomato but did decide to try it. And I have to admit it was not bad, but it was hard to keep the sandwich all together.
This is for you, Bro Bob.
The Snappy Lunch opens at 5:45 a.m. and closes at 2:00 p.m. They serve breakfast from 5:45-10:30. There's not a big menu -- egg with bacon or sausage, tenderloin or country ham, as well as biscuits. They still offer bologna sandwiches and hot dogs, as well as hamburgers, grilled cheese, etc, for lunch. We enjoyed the nostalgic atmosphere at The Snappy Lunch. The walls were lined with various photographs.
As we left The Snappy Lunch and strolled down the street, we came across one of the original patrol cars from the Andy Griffith Show. For a price, you can be driven around town in it, but I couldn't talk Alan into that either, but he did allow me to take his picture -- Andy is sitting in the passenger seat:)
We also toured the Andy Griffith Museum.
We were not allowed to take pictures on the inside, but I can tell you they have the original doors leading into the sheriff's office from the Andy Griffith Show, as well as the furniture. When Barney left the show, the cast and producers all signed the chair he sat in and it is on display in the museum, along with the tweed suit he wore on special occasions.
There's also an Andy Griffith Playhouse. The doors were locked, but we learned that the playhouse has a long and proud record of service to the community of Mt Airy. It contains the original floor from the stage where Andy Griffith first performed. It offers a variety of programs for children and adults, such as children 's theater, dance classes, bluegrass concerts, art shows, etc. One thing is for sure -- Andy Griffith has left his mark on Mt Airy, NC.
Standing proudly outside the playhouse is this bronze statute of Andy and Opie on their way to the fishin' hole.
As we prepare to leave NC for WV and beyond, we continue to be thankful for the opportunity we have to travel and see this great country. May we ever be mindful that without God preparing our way and leading us, we would not be here and may we continue to honor and praise Him in our travels. "To God be the glory, great things He hath done."
We enjoyed the times we shared with Alissa, Matt, Sarah, Dalton and Jordan. We pray we left a footprint on their hearts as they did ours and we will see them again in late October.
In the meantime, may God continue to bless our voyage and may God bless our family and friends near and far.