Thursday, June 24, 2010

#20 - The Story of Ms. Mayberry - Part 1

I decided it was time for another ‘detour’ this week. Tools are kool, but there are other things going on that you might want to read about.

On the 5th of June, 2003, my wife and I were on our honeymoon. We were cruising the backloads of Virginia and North Carolina, and we decided to visit Mt. Airy, NC…the real “Mayberry”…Andy Griffith’s hometown.

We toured the local museum and the “Mayberry” jail, and even had our picture taken with “Floyd the barber”. He was a cool old fellow and the wall in his shop – yes, he really is a barber – is just covered with pictures of people and celebrities who have been in there.

We started out of Mt. Airy, attempting to take route 601 South but unknowingly, I turned a block too early. As we headed down a hill toward an intersection, we passed an Auto Body Shop and noticed a long row of cars sitting facing the road. Among the cars was a really pretty 1955 Ford. It caught our attention, so we turned around and drove back to take a look. There was no “for sale” sign, but this Ford was looking real good. It had an unusual paint pattern on because the color was above the white. We had never seen that before. The chrome was nice, the paint did look sharp and the interior looked like it had just rolled out of the factory. We could tell that it was an original interior because of the small cigarette burns that occur when a smoking driver doesn’t quite get the cigarette out of the vent window and instead burns the upholstery. We checked it out for a bit and then got back in the truck and headed on our way.

Once home and back into the daily routine (if that’s even an accurate statement for newlyweds), I couldn’t get that ’55 off my mind. So, I called back to Mt. Airy and after a few days of talking to the Chamber of Commerce and several other area people, I was able to find out that Mr. John Mittman owned the Body Shop, and presumably the ’55.

After a few tries, I was able to talk to Mr. Mittman, who relayed to story of “Ms. Mayberry” (our new name for the ’55) to me.

A fellow named Mr. Watson Harris had bought his car new, in 1955. Mr. Harris only drove it to church and to Florida once or twice over the 46 years that he used it. The car had only 56,300 miles on it when Mr. Harris passed away in 1991. Mr. Harris’s daughter put the ’55 into a one-car garage and left it there for the next 10years.

Next week- part 2.

Send your questions or comments to: and we’ll see what we can do to help you.

No comments: