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But another visitor, Melanie Pledger of Winston-Salem, says it did _ at least at her house. “I certainly respected my mom and dad,” said Pledger, who came to the museum with her mother, Carolyn Courtney of Benton, Ark., and her three sons. “We all sat down and ate dinner. I didn’t realize everybody didn’t do that.”

Pledger thinks people are looking for “down-home values, family, God, country, that kind of patriotism,” when they visit Mount Airy. “I think America’s really hungry for that,” she said.

Forrest brushes aside any suggestion that the times were any different than what “The Andy Griffith Show” portrayed. When asked about the racial divide of the `60s, he replies that he and Griffith grew up on the poor side of town, and two black families lived across the street from his family.

Visitors “want to relive the times of the show,” he said. “It was such a great time. It was such an innocent time. It was an innocent time compared to today.”


If You Go…

MOUNT AIRY, N.C.: Mayberry Days, Sept. 27-30:

ANDY GRIFFITH MUSEUM: 218 Rockford St., Mount Airy, N.C.; or 336-786-1604. Open daily. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sundays, 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Admission, $3.


Martha Waggoner can be reached at