Monday, October 08, 2007

Return to Mayberry

Thanks to John Duke for the link.

'Thelma Lou' finds a happy new life in 'Mayberry': "MOUNT AIRY, N.C. -- On the drive home from the Los Angeles airport, there was a particular billboard along La Cienega Boulevard that always gave Betty Lynn a chuckle. 'This Ain't Mayberry!' it declared.

As if she needed a reminder of that fact, the West Hollywood home where Lynn had lived since 1950 was broken into twice last year. 'That made it for me,' the 81-year-old actress says. 'I just was too frightened to stay. So I thought, I've got to find some place I feel safe.'

When she reflected on what safe meant to her -- and what 'home' meant, for that matter -- one place stood out. And life imitated art. The woman who played Thelma Lou on 'The Andy Griffith Show' moved more than 2,100 miles to Mount Airy -- Griffith's hometown and one of the inspirations for the fictional Mayberry.

Lynn knows this ain't Mayberry, either. It never existed, really. But she figures this picturesque town in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains is about as close to Mayberry as she is going to get. In this life, anyway.

'There's no place like it, unless it's heaven,' she says over a lunch of hot coffee and a hamburger with onions at a local country club."


Randy Johnson said...

One of my favorite shows and I live about an hour's drive from Mount Airy. My stepfather has always maintained he grew up with Andy Griffith. He's the right age and did grow up in the same town, so I suppose it's possible.

Unknown said...

Must be a great place. And always believe your grandfather.

Anonymous said...


Actually, I read this last week. Glad to see Thelma Lou is still with us.

Anonymous said...

Bill, please repeat that statement to MY grandkids.

Jerry House

Unknown said...

Just tell 'em I said so, Jerry.

Anonymous said...

Thelma Lou is 81? Mercy me!
I saw her on YouTube a couple of weeks ago and she looked pert and pretty as ever.

Thanks for the update, Bill! :-D

Pat Browning