With everything that is going on in America and around the world, it is not a surprise that more than five million people a week (according to the Christian Science Monitor) still watch The Andy Griffith Show. How many times over the years have you pondered what it would have been like to live in Mayberry? Where problems would surface and be solved in a half hour. When things moved at a slower and kinder pace. America loves Mayberry. We love its innocence, and its charm. We love the '50s style storefronts, the drugstore soda fountain, the everybody-knows-your-name atmosphere.
With the countless numbers of fans, there are some wonderful Mayberry collections around the country. The RememberingMayberry collection is one of many and is still under construction. So far there are over 950 original cast member autographs on photos and other memorabilia. Once the all of the items are added, the autograph totals should reach to more than 1,000, with almost 5,000 Mayberry items.
The mega Mayberry collection is located in Andy Griffith’s home town, Mt. Airy, NC. Andy Griffith’s childhood friend (Emmett Forrest) started the Andy Griffith Museum years ago and has since morphed into the world’s finest collection of Mayberry memorabilia. You can visit the museum year round, but the best time to visit is during Mayberry Days which is always the last weekend of September every year. You owe it to yourself to take a long weekend and visit Andy’s home town during Mayberry Days!
The resurge in the Andy Griffith Show’s popularity is primarily due to a group of dedicated Mayberry fans who worked to bring the show back into the spot light. This all started with Jim Clark. Jim founded the first rerun watchers club, wrote books, and worked tirelessly on his Mayberry passion. Then there were show promoters (Greg Brown, David Brown, Gary Wedemeyer, Tim McAbee, Joel Laird, and others) who took on the financial responsibility to create shows with the original cast members. Without these events, most fans would have never had the opportunity to meet their Mayberry heroes in person. It gave fans the chance to find out how special the cast members really were and to maybe get an autograph and a picture made with them.
The next phase in the Mayberry story would then be the impersonators who love the show to the extent that they become one of the cast members every chance they get. These talented individuals will continue to improve their talents and at every opportunity will be transformed into the character that they play. There are too many of these people to name them all, but it starts with David Browning, who plays the Mayberry Deputy. Then Allan Newsome who plays Floyd, Kenneth Junkin who plays Otis, Phil Fox who plays Earnest T Bass, Jeff Branch as Howard Sprague, and once again, too many to name…but all are tremendously talented and much appreciated!
If the number one Mayberry fan of all time could actually be determined, Nancy Thornton would be at the top of the list. This wonderful lady travels to every event, big or small to be in and around the Mayberry experience. She is truly a very special lady who loves The Andy Griffith Show!
Many thanks for visiting the Remembering Mayberry website. There are still a lot of items to be added and will be a work in progress for a while. Mayberry…my home town!