Today is Tommy's birthday! Because he has been a lifelong fan of Andy Griffith and the show, his sister reserved Andy's childhood home in Mt. Airy, NC for me and Tommy to spend the night in. We drove to Mt. Airy yesterday afternoon and checked in at 3:00. Tommy's sister Lisa, her husband Dale, and Tommy’s parents met us there. They stayed in the Hampton Inn (who now owns Andy's old home).
After checking in we drove to the house and were delighted when we opened the door and stepped back in time. Much of the furnishings are 50's and 60's style decor and very little has been updated. The only newer appliances in the kitchen were the refrigerator, microwave and a little coffee maker. In the living room was a DVD player with the entire collection of the Andy Griffith Show.
Andy Griffith's childhood home at 711 Haymore St, Mt. Airy, NC
Me in the kitchen, but I didn't do any cooking (I should have).
Hard to believe that this little room not much larger than some walk-in closets was Andy's bedroom. A back porch has now been enclosed as a second bedroom.
While we were at the house we noticed a number of cars pulling up to stop and take pictures. Remembering how many times we've been up there and wished we could see inside, we began inviting some people to come in and check out the inside. It was fun because we talked to people from Georgia, Texas, Missouri, West Virginia, and several other places and they all seemed excited to have the opportunity to see inside.
Later we all drove to Dobson, NC (only 10 miles away) where we had dinner at a fantastic restaurant named The Depot. I didn't eat as healthy as I should have, but I did pass on the prime rib and opted for a chicken dish, some potatoes and apples instead. It could have been much worse. We then drove back to the house where we had a birthday cake in the beautiful back yard.
Tommy with his birthday cake.
Tommy and his family enjoying birthday cake (yes I had a small piece).
Later that night we went to the theater on Main Street where they had free live music. We then walked around town a little before heading back to the house for the night.
My sister woke me up with a telephone call this morning to tell me that my niece delivered a baby boy at 3:02 this morning - on Tommy's birthday!! For those of you who have been my friends here for several years, this is my same niece who lost her sweet baby Maddie to Leigh's Disease (a mitochondrial disease). Baby Maddie was buried the same day Tommy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Stephanie and Jimmy now have a sweet, healthy daughter named Abby and now little Jay. We are so thrilled for them.
After meeting Tommy's family for breakfast, we did some sightseeing around town and then went to the Andy Griffith Museum. Betty Lynn (also known as Thelma Lou on the Andy Griffith Show) was there today. We were so happy to meet her and found her to be a warm and genuine person.
Me and Tommy with Betty Lynn
Tommy gets a birthday kiss from Thelma Lou.
What a great two days. We finally made it home this evening and we are exhausted, but it was so much fun. Off to bed early tonight since I have to get back to work tomorrow.
A little souvenir we brought home with us.
Me and Tommy