On the map it is called Mt. Airy, but to visitors and locals alike it is known as Mayberry, the fictional but all too real town that was featured on the Andy Griffith Show.
It was the town where Griffith grew up and the place he carried with him, said friend James Kemp. "He set an example for everyone," he said.
Kemp said Tuesday that the Griffith's death is a sad day for the town and for everyone with strong family values.
There are reminders of Griffith across this small town. There's Floyd's Barber shop, Wally's Garage, and even the Snappy Lunch restaurant that was mentioned on one of Griffith's shows.
"He's the hometown boy that made it big and never forgot where he came from," said Debbie Miles, who runs a souvenir shop on Main Street. Her shop was packed with tourists Tuesday. Most were already in town when they heard the news of Griffith's death.
Bonnie Dotson and her family were in the Andy Griffith Museum when they heard the news. "We just loved him," she said. Ransom Dotson said the important thing about Griffith was the type of shows he was involved in. "It was always something the entire family could watch and actually would tell you the right way to raise your kids."
Connie Lovell wipes away tears as she stood next to a life-sized bronze statue of Griffith just outside the museum. Lovell and her family moved to Mt. Airy from New Jersey last year. "It's because of him we're here." Lovell said when she came to town she found the values and attitude she found depicted on the "The Andy Griffith Show" and didn't want to leave. Today, after hearing the news of his passing, she said "Our hearts are broken and we are devastated."
A big Fourth of July celebration is planned for downtown Mt. Airy on Wednesday. Local folks expect part of the festivities will be a celebration of Andy Griffith's life. "He did so much for this town and we will never forget him, "said Debbie Miles.
Sunday, May 19 2013 10:35 PM EDT2013-05-20 02:35:37 GMT
Authorities have recovered the body of a 10-year-old boy who apparently drowned after an all-terrain vehicle overturned in a Mississippi creek. The search for the boy's younger brother continued Sunday. ColumbusMore >>
Authorities have recovered the body of a 6-year-old boy who apparently drowned after an all-terrain vehicle overturned in a Mississippi creek. The search for the boy's older brother continued Sunday.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 5:35 PM EDT2013-05-19 21:35:57 GMT
A body discovered in Clinton Saturday night has led to a homicide investigation. Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham Stewart confirms a body was discovered, although few other details are known. The bodyMore >>
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Sunday, May 19 2013 10:53 PM EDT2013-05-20 02:53:15 GMT
JPD searched a Jackson Home at 846 Brandon Ave., Saturday that netted four arrests, a variety of drugs and $1,500. "On May 18, 2013, The Jackson Police Department's Vice and Narcotics Unit responded toMore >>
JPD searched a Jackson Home at 846 Brandon Ave., Saturday that netted four arrests, a variety of drugs and $1,500.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 9:11 PM EDT2013-05-20 01:11:48 GMT
Clinton H.S. students evacuated the school after the threat
Thursday Clinton police arrested a Clinton Alternative School student in connection with several recent bomb threats to Clinton High School. Police now say more people will be arrested in connection withMore >>
Police now say more people will be arrested in connection with the threats.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 7:16 PM EDT2013-05-17 23:16:53 GMT
One person has died in a crash near Harrisonville, MO, Thursday evening. The crash happened on Missouri Highway 7 and Walker Road. It involved a car and a tractor-trailer. Harrisonville is in Cass County.More >>
Savannah Nash celebrated her 16th birthday last week. She died Thursday when her car slammed into a semi while she was texting during her first time driving by herself.More >>
Wednesday, July 11 2012 6:10 AM EDT2012-07-11 10:10:08 GMT
(WMC-TV) – Dozens of police recruits were injured during training exercises last week and the heat could be to blame. The entire current class at the police academy filed paperwork claiming to be injuredMore >>
Dozens of police recruits were injured during training exercises last week and the heat could be to blame.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:00 PM EDT2013-05-19 02:00:02 GMT
Observers are predicting a speedy confirmation to the federal bench for Jackson attorney Debra M. Brown. If confirmed, Brown would become the state's first black female district judge. Carl Tobias, aMore >>
Observers are predicting a speedy confirmation to the federal bench for Jackson attorney Debra M. Brown.More >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 7:29 PM EDT2013-05-19 23:29:27 GMT
Jackson mayoral candidates will face off in another forum to explain their views on public schools in the capital city. The forum was scheduled be start at 6 p.m. Sunday in the community room of the JacksonMore >>
Jackson mayoral candidates will face off in another forum to explain their views on public schools in the capital city.More >>
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