Mile Marker 50 Mile Marker 50 Mile Marker 50 Mile Marker 50 Mile Marker 50

Trip 15: Mayberry to Merlot, a Small Town to Love

768 1024 Mile Marker 50

I grew up in a small town. Home for me is farmers on tractors and playing barefoot. It’s messy ponytails and cute boys in pickup trucks. It’s football games and backroads. My life has taken me from Florida to California and then to North Carolina. But as I travel to 50 places I’ve never been the year I turn 50, visiting a small town takes me right back to my Indiana day.

Mount Airy, North Carolina has that small-town vibe with its rural edges, and charming downtown, it’s a place where simple is embraced and time seems to stand still. 

Mount Airy is known as the inspiration for the beloved fictional town of Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show. Andy grew up in the rural community. His school and childhood home are now highlights on the Mayberry Squad Car Tours…. 

For those who really loved the show, there’s the Andy Griffith Museum.  I visited the town as part of an assignment for Lake Norman Currents Magazine, but there was a lot I learned that made the town worth checking out even if you don’t like Andy Griffith… I’m just going to say Siamese Twins and Wine and you can watch the video to see what that means.

I’ve long outgrown the blue eye shadow and cruising in Camaros but going back to a small town reminds me of that girl. The little girl who loved rolling down the hill at Mamaw’s farm. The kid who convinced all the kids in the neighborhood to put on a show and make our parents pay to see it. The high school cheerleader who loved speech class. The girl who wanted to see more of the world.

My adventures are bigger than rolling down a hill these days. I’m still organizing and planning. That cheerleader is very much alive only cheering for other causes. My career has put those speech classes to good use.

If you get a chance to visit a small town make sure to see all it has to offer but take time to talk to the people too… slow down a little… maybe even have a cold beer on a front porch.

Simple can be good.