Our Summer Vacation – Day 3
After a great night in our secluded cabin beside Laurel Creek, I picked up my brother early the next morning. For the second morning in a row, my wife and I had an economical breakfast with him at the small eating area inside the Food Town Grocery Store.
Before this trip we hadn’t seen my brother for over three months. With his traveling job, that wasn’t unusual. My wife and I were headed east in our car. My brother was headed north on foot carrying his newly restocked (translation: heavier) backpack. God only knew when we would see him again.
In the mini-series Lonesome Dove, retired Texas Ranger Augustus McCrae observed “There’s nothing like exploring new country on a good horse!” Shortly after he said that he had an arrow in his leg courtesy of a current inhabitant of the new country he was exploring.
My wife and I would be exploring new country in a reliable car. My brother would be exploring new country on semi-reliable legs. It was a beautiful day, Let the adventure begin!
First stop: Mount Airy, N.C., a name familiar to all fans of The Andy Griffith Show.
Andy Griffith grew up in Mt. Airy, N.C. Much of The Andy Griffith Show is based on Andy’s boyhood in Mt. Airy. The first episode aired October 3, 1960. Though production ended on April 1, 1968, reruns continue to this day and the show spawned spin-offs Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., and Mayberry, R.F.D.
Crime was low in Mayberry for three reasons , according to Deputy Barney Fife. “There’s Andy, and me, and (patting his gun) baby makes three!” That’s even though Barney only had one bullet and had to ask permission to put it in his gun.
And then their was Barney’s five word solution to crime: “NIP IT IN THE BUD!”
There is an Andy Griffith Museum in Mt. Airy. We didn’t take time to tour it, but I understand it has lots of memorabilia from the show.
Leaving Mt. Airy, we set Google maps for Myrtle Beach, S.C. Having been without phone service for 36 hours, I made a few calls to friends to check on the neighborhood back home.
First call – voice mail.
Second call – voice mail.
Third call – BINGO! I reached a good friend who was recovering from major bladder surgery.
“How are you doing, Rich?” I asked.
“I’m feeling better every day!” he replied enthusiastically and without hesitation. We talked until we reached a rest area where we could use the rest rooms and stretch our legs. As we pulled into a parking spot, I said goodbye to Rich, feeling encouraged by his positive report.
That’s when my wife and I saw a strange sight. As we walked into visitor’s center, the women’s restrooms were on the right and the men’s on the left. The couple who had walked in ahead of us paused, embraced, and kissed before she went to the women’s restroom and he went to the men’s restroom. Honeymooners maybe? Can’t say. Maybe they just take a long time in the bathroom.
Though my wife and I have not yet taken up that practice, there is a first time for everything.
And, as would be reinforced to me on Day 4 of our vacation, there is also a last time for everything.