I did not take as many photos as I should have during the Mayberry Meet-Up as my phone battery was low and my car charger needed to be replaced, so I will share some taken and posted on Facebook by my friend, Mona Cooper.
The second evening of the Meet-Up, a tribute artist contest was held. This was the first year this was done and there was a lot of great and entertaining participation.
One of the more ingenious was Maddy Fitzwater as Sarah the telephone operator leading her husband, Nick, who was dressed as Mr. McBeevee, around by a telephone line. Maddy even had the phone numbers provided on the show on a portable switchboard she had to connect the calls.
Eventually the field was narrowed down to a few finalists, including those portraying in the photo (left to right): Ellie Walker, Lydia Crosswaithe, The Keeper of the Golden Door of Good Fellowship, Asa Breeney (moldy bullets, a gun that fell apart, and a ball of tin foil included!), Rafe Hollister, and Clarence Earp. Mike Creech who was dressed as Clarence was the winner.
Of course, a highlight for me was getting to see my buddy Sarah, also known as Miss Mayberry.
Every year, Steve Jackson arranges a raffle to raise money to support Allan’s podcast. This year, he asked if I would be willing to donate a copy of my book, Mayberry Firsts. The book was still at the printer while I was there, so we auctioned off the galley copy, which is the actual book but with a plain white cover that was used to okay the print job. The winner not only received this literally one-of-a-kind memento but was also the first of two to be mailed a copy of the actual book once it was in stock as well as the 2020 Mayberry Day-by-Day Calendar. (The person who won the raffle at Mayberry in the Midwest was mailed the book and calendar on the same day.) And I can’t fail to mention, the winner also received a bottle of pickle-flavored pop. We raised well over $200 to donate to Allan.
The Mayberry Meet-Up is a much different experience than Mayberry Days. 150 or so people make Mount Airy much easier to navigate than the tens of thousands who descend on the town on parade day during Mayberry Days. While the only thing nearly everybody does is gather each evening to watch episodes of our favorite series under the stars outside the Mayberry Motor Inn’s gazebo, there are lots of other activities many participate in, including seeing Betty Lynn for an autograph and photo at the museum on Friday and watching a wonderful presentation on a particular episode by author Neal Brower on Saturday. If your time and budget allow, I highly recommend the Meet-Up.
One last note to add. After several days in Chapel Hill looking through Andy Griffith’s original scripts, I returned to Mount Airy for one additional night and stayed in another wonderful bed and breakfast. The Vermeer Bed & Breakfast was a real treat and is another option if you ever want to visit Mount Airy and treat yourself to a pampered experience. You will be hearing more about The Vermeer in next year’s project (along with where I found what I thought was the best sonker to be found).