GLITTERS FOR THE
HOLIDAYS story by Bill Bauer
IT’S CHRISTMAS EVE AND THE MAYBERRY JAILHOUSE IS FULL OF CRIMINALS … WELL, SORT OF. Local merchant Ben Weaver insists Andy arrest local moonshiner Sam Muggins, and Andy complies, but also incarcerates Sam’s whole family for complicity. They are not alone in the Sherriff ’s office however, as Andy, Aunt Bee, Opie and Barney decorate a tree, bring gifts and are celebrating the blessed event, when Weaver peeks through the window and has a Scrooge-like revelation. He tries to join the festive moment by getting himself arrested and succeeds only after dumping a garbage can in the alley. Andy and Ben soon return to the jail with a suitcase of gifts from Ben’s store. And, after imbibing from a bottle of Muggins’ moonshine, Weaver eventually falls asleep in a cell.
nd, so it went in Season 1, Episode 11 — the only Christmas installment in 153 episodes of The Andy Griffith Show. Andy Griffith has become synonymous with wholesome, old-fashioned comedy, often spun from the fabric of his childhood in Mount Airy, NC. While Griffith was always quick to point out that Mount Airy was not Mayberry, it’s no secret he based
18 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING
the show’s fictional hamlet on his hometown. More than 50 Mount Airy people, places and things are referenced in the classic 1960s sitcom. Today, Griffith’s birthplace continues to be a Mayberry look-alike, and the fabric of life in Mount Airy — population 8,600 — echoes that of Mayberry. A haircut in Floyd’s Barber Shop, a pork chop sandwich at Snappy Lunch, tours in vintage squad cars, or a visit to Wally’s Service Station, located next to a replica of the jail
and courthouse, are just a few of the nostalgic moments that can come alive for visitors drawn to this picturesque hamlet in the Blue Ridge foothills. And, at what many consider the most festive time of the year, Mount Airy and nearby Pilot Mountain have been known to celebrate the holiday season in style. Mount Airy alone has over 100 unique shops, restaurants and attractions, many of which occupy its Main Street, which takes on a festive glow for the annual holiday parade