Phon Thong, Roi Et, Thailand.
I think you received some bad info, brother. Andy Griffith is from Mount Airy, NC. Mayberry is loosely based on that town as well as the surrounding towns—at least that’s what the man has always said.
Manteo is in the Outer Banks (where I grew up) and has nothing to do with Mayberry.
Actually I grew up in Manteo. Andy lived, died and is buried on the North End of Roanoke Island. Surely you know that being from there. Went to all the schools (MES, MJHS, MHS). My info is taken from several interviews and conversations with people close to Andy. Yes, you’re correct about Mt. Airy and his show being influenced by that town as well. I’ll dig around and see if I can find a Manteo/Andy reference for you. If Manteo’s not Mayberry in the real sense, it certainly was much like Mayberry, especially in the late 60’s thru the early 80’s when I grew up there.
You’re from where on the OBX? When and where did you go to school there?
Yes, I knew he lived somewhere in the Outer Banks–didn’t know it was Manteo, actually thought it was Roanoke for some reason. However, he grew up in Mt. Airy and then went to UNC. I was just making the point that Mayberry is based on Mt. Airy–but to be more precise, I think he said it wasn’t even specifically Mt. Airy, but another tiny town near Mt. Airy, with a little bit of the surrounding towns added too. I’m not an AG scholar or anything, but had a great uncle who had some kind of friendship with him and as kids we were dragged to Mt. Airy a couple of times. Hadn’t thought about it decades! I remember wondering why in the hell anyone felt the need to drive all that way to see a small town when there were so many all around us. Anywho, your post gave me the first and only reason I have ever had to share the AG info that I was force-fed for so many hours in a car as a kid. All of those small towns when I was a kid, especially the coastal towns, were sort of interchangeable. Had the same feel, the same people, the same . . . You know what I mean. Mayberry could have been any town, really. There just would have been some surfboards if based on where I grew up. : )
I grew up in Emerald Isle/Swansboro in the 70s and 80s. Spent a lot of time on Topsail and in Wilmington also. Grandparents had a farm in the coastal plains.
Greetings from India.
You’re right about the towns all being interchangeable! Small town NC. The show could be any small town NC for sure.
Depending on who you talk to in and around Manteo, Andy was a great guy or not so much. My interactions with him were around town and he was always cordial but not outgoing. Funny story related to him. I was working at a local supermarket in Manteo during high school, and a tourist lady was shopping and spotted him. Of course she had to talk to him. Apparently she asked about Opie…and Andy did it up. When he was getting into his car, he hollered out, “Opie, come on. Let’s go!”
Thanks for sharing.
I’m a long ways from Eastern NC now. About two hours from the Mekong River and the Thai/Lao border. But there are Mayberry characters around here, too.
Have a good one.
You didn’t have to go around the globe to get out of the small town! I’ve migrated to D.C. and still make it down to see friends and family regularly.
Never met AG, but did meet Charlie Daniels a couple times. My uncle played with him way back when he was still cutting his teeth in Wilmington and Jacksonville. Very, very cool guy. And down to earth, which I don’t think is a surprise. That was many, many years ago though. Now all I meet who anyone might know are politicians, which I could honestly do without.
Take it easy. Good chatting with you about things I haven’t thought about in decades.
Hubei, China (as an expat).