I previously blogged fairly extensively about my experiences researching Andy Griffith’s original scripts in Chapel Hill following my attendance at the annual Mayberry Meet-Up in Mount Airy, North Carolina, but I did not discuss the Meet-Up itself.
This was just my second time to attend the Meet-Up but it was the seventh to be held. Back in 2013, Allan Newsome (the Floyd the barber tribute artist and the podcaster behind the long-running Two Chairs, No Waiting podcast I participate in) knew he would be traveling to Mount Airy to interview Betty Lynn. Betty, or Thelma Lou to her many Mayberry fans, had recently loved from the Los Angeles area to Mount Airy. Allan mentioned on his podcast that is anyone was around at the same time and wanted to meet up, he would be happy to do so. More people showed up than he anticipated but he still thought it was a one-time event. However, he was soon being contacted by people saying they wanted to go to the next Meet-Up the next summer. Long story short, there were roughly 90 people there when I went for the first time two years ago and close to 150 last summer.
When I attend Mayberry Days with my friend Rob, we always stop at Hillbilly Hot Dogs on my way home. But on this trip, I was by myself and instead stopped on the way down. Since it was a weekday, it was not nearly as crowded as it has been during my previous visits, but work on a bridge as I drove south along the Ohio River on the West Virginia side slowed me down considerably.
I am working on a project which I will announce next year which resulted in men wanting to try a couple of alternative lodging options on this trip since I have stayed at chain hotels and at the Mayberry Motor Inn previously.
My first night in town, I stayed at the lovely and quite luxurious Heart and Soul Bed and Breakfast. I will be sharing more about this lovely place in the afore-mentioned project, but if you want to treat yourself, I could not recommend it highly enough.