This telephone directory is from Andy Griffith’s real hometown

Blink and you'll miss this rare reference to Mount Airy.

When Andy Griffith was just a young boy growing up in Mount Airy, he dreamed of joining a swing band. He saved up all his money for nearly six months to buy a trombone. Next, he just needed to learn how to play the thing.

His high school didn't have a band, but his church did. A laughing pastor told Andy he'd give the 16-year-old boy free lessons if he actually rode his bike two miles with that trombone every week to church, just to be taught. He didn't think Andy would follow through.

Andy showed up for those lessons. Joining that church band changed everything for Andy, and that pastor soon learned that Andy had plenty of enthusiasm when it came to performing of all kinds.

In the book Andy and Don: The Making of a Classic TV Friendship, Griffith is quoted looking back fondly at this moment in Mount Airy, saying, "I became a little somebody then."

Of course, Griffith later became a giant somebody as the star of his own show. The Andy Griffith Show remains one of the most popular things ever aired on TV, and the town of Mayberry is well-known to be loosely based on Griffith's hometown of Mount Airy.

However, as widely known as it is that Mount Airy is the town that Mayberry is modeled after, it's downright rare to ever see a reference of the small North Carolina town in an actual episode of The Andy Griffith Show.

Well, if you watch closely in the fourth season episode "A Black Day for Mayberry," you can see a tiny piece of Mount Airy that Griffith clearly brought with him to Mayberry.

In the opening scene of the episode, two men (one of whom happens to be Rance Howard, Ron's dad) stop by to talk to the sheriff and find only deputy Barney Fife at the jail. Barney insists they can tell him anything they'd tell Andy, but they assure the deputy, "We'll wait."

Barney gets insulted by this snub and picks up a telephone directory from Andy's desk. He begins paging through it, casually trying to convince the men to tell him why they're looking for Andy. It's the book in Barney's hands that we want to direct your attention to.

If you look at the telephone directory, it's not a phonebook for fictional Mayberry at all, but rather one for Mount Airy. It clearly has the town's name on the cover. And from the looks of it, it's not a new copy of the directory, but one that's well-worn from use. It feels safe to assume this was Andy's actual copy of his hometown phonebook, just sitting on his desk like he got plenty of use from it.

Today, a statue of Andy Griffith stands in Mount Airy, in front of the Andy Griffith Playhouse. As of 2015, there's an $80 million tourist industry in the county where the town is, with 95% of that spent in businesses rooted in Mount Airy.

Many fans know that Andy's relationship with his hometown was complicated. As a boy, he felt bullied for his family's poverty, and the TV star at times has said that it was his urge to leave Mount Airy that pushed him to become a talent who could go so far — so far in life and so far from home.

However, when the Andy Griffith tourist industry got to the point where somebody wanted to put up a statue of Don Knotts in town, too, Griffith notably put his foot down. He said a statue of Don belonged in Morgantown, where Don was from.

Mount Airy was his home, and he took pride in the impact he had there. He also apparently took the phonebook in case he ever needed to call home after skipping town. Who among us can't relate to that?

Watch The Andy Griffith Show on MeTV!

Weeknights at 8 & 8:30, Sundays at 6 & 6:30 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Steve0517 47 months ago
Andy Griffith is one of my favorite persons
There are very few ... On my bucket list is to go to Mount Airy learn more about Andy Griffith
hermanstein2015 Steve0517 46 months ago
You won't regret that trip! The Andy Griffith Museum is wonderful. Lots of things to look at and read, even though it's smaller don't rush through take your time and soak it in! Such an amazing town. We make the 4 hour trip there as much as possible! If you go eat at Barney's Cafe!!
plumbsue 47 months ago
I stopped and had breakfast in Mount Airy on my way home from Ft. Jackson, SC.
nawibe 47 months ago
I am making $90 to $100 every hour online artworks and that I got $15k and additional in multi month web based performing from home. i'm an ordinary full time understudy and I work unquestionably to my spair of hours in my extra time.anybody can attempt this activity and makes mogul and demonstrated yourlife design by methods for truly open this hyperlink......excellent luck★
 here⇢⇢⇢► www.cash03 .com
DON’T include SPACE in url  
britannic2 47 months ago
With all the terrible stories, be them made-up or some true, it's great to be able to ho back in time where people truly cared for each other. I would like to think that most people really do care and escape to this place to get away from all the hate generated reporting...
hermanstein2015 47 months ago
So many amazing stories. Andy Griffith was a pure talent and Mt. Airy is such a magical place!
FrankensteinLover 47 months ago
Love hearing Stories from the Show, forever a Andy Griffith Show Addict.
I love the show too.
Rerun after Rerun they're all still so Good.
I agree. I have some dialogue memorized.
It's hard not too! Especially Barney lol!
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?