A Special Town Called Mayberry

Mayberry was the fictitious town from the Andy Griffith series and the home town of Gomer Pyle in Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.

Unlike today, in Mayberry everyone knew your name and everyone respected their neighbor.  It was a much slower pace of life where family life and friends were of utmost importance.  People respected each other and took responsibility for their actions and  their lives.

People worked hard and enjoyed simple pleasures. They participated in many social events together.

There might be a town pot-luck supper where everyone came and brought good homemade food.  The evening would be spent enjoying the meal and engaging in fellowship with friends and neighbors.  There was no spending the day alone with a TV, computer or video game.

When there was a problem these honest, hardworking people would all pitch in the resolve it.  Even if there had been such a  thing, there was no need for anyone to go to a gym.  Everyday life involved plenty of physical exercise.

Andy Griffith was the sheriff of the town located  somewhere in rural North Carolina.  As sheriff he did not carry a gun instead relying on the respect of the people for him and not for a weapon.  Can you imagine a sheriff today relying on respect and not carrying a weapon?

When not working Andy could be found fishing or maybe playing his guitar and singing with friends.  Andy’s aunt took care of Andy and his son and they lived in the same household.  It was not unusual in that time for extended families to live together.  Today families are spread out all over the world and some of the closeness from several decades ago has been lost.

We live today in a much different society than the one found in Mayberry years ago.  We’ve gone through war, assassination of a president, trips to space, less importance placed on the family units,  and less importance placed on religious values.  We now also have news coverage 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  Life today is at a much faster pace.

Maybe we yearn for the much slower and seemingly more civil days from the time of Mayberry.  We didn’t live back there and this fictitious town and its people are remembered with great fondness.  People didn’t have to work many, many hours a week at a job to try and keep up.   Who is to say if the time we remember was really a better way of life than the one we have now.  Looking back with rose colored glasses it sure seemed like a more pleasant time.


  1. Richard Butler says:

    The town of Mayberry was located in rural North Carolina, based upon the real town of Mt. Airy, NC.

    The other fictional town from the show was Mt. Pilot, which is actually Pilot Mountain, NC. Both Pilot Mountain and Mt. Airy are located due north of Winston-Salem, NC along US hwy 52. I recommend that everyone who has the opportunity, to visit these areas and you may still find a piece of Mayberry today!

    • Wil Thames says:

      The Mt. Airy of today is a far cry from the one Andy Griffith grew up in; however, it is a very nice place to visit and sure, I would LOVE to actually live there. It’s a beautiful area and folks still do things at a slower pace.

  2. Debbie says:

    The lifestyle depicted in Mayberry did exist! A lot of small southern towns in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina were actually like Mayberry. My dad was from a small town in Georgia and I can remember until the late 70′s early 80′s people who lived there didn’t lock their doors when they left their house and everyone looked out for each other. When you went into town everyone knew your name if you were a resident, and knew you didn’t belong there if you weren’t. They even knew who you were visiting & where you were from!! My son know lives in a small town in North Carolina and we say it’s like Mayberry. You can walk from your home to downtown and your neighbors come out to meet you and they even still have town get togethers where everyone from town comes!!! Yes, it would be wonderful if people lived today like they lived back then but everyone stays cooped up in their homes with air conditioning, electrical gadgets, and how today’s society is!! What I would give to be back in “Mayberry time”!!!

    • Becky Brown says:

      I agree with Debbie. Little towns like this did exist. I grew up in a rural small town in North Carolina close to the Virginia line. Growing up, I started helping my dad work in tobacco when I was 5 or 6. I thought I was something when I learned how to drive a tractor! And I was always so eager to help my dad with what he was doing… when he would ask me to go get him something, I’d start to take off even before he could tell me what I was going for! I remember riding my bicycle in the yard after dark, catching lightning bugs in a jar, listening to the crickets late in the evening. In the summertime, these (and rain on a tin roof) made for some of the best nights’ sleep! And on Sundays, it was Sunday School, church, then home for Sunday dinner. No stores were open on Sunday, and we would visit the grandparents every week to see how everyone was doing! When we did go to town, we could leave the doors and windows open, and everything would be just like we left it when we’d get back. Those were definitely “THE DAYS!!!”

      • greg gray says:

        Wow Becky your comment put me in your shoes in a wonderful way!

      • sam says:

        Yes Becky that would be a good place to grow up. I lived in a little town like that in Missouri. No stores were open on Sunday everyone knew everyone you didn’t have to lock your house or car. The whole town lived in a slow pace and was quite and peaceful. Wished I lived in a place like that now.

  3. Robert says:

    Mayberry was a TV small town with conservative rural values. Although the USA has changed and we cannot go back to those days, we can teach those old-fashioned values to our children and pray that our next generation will not forget them. As adults, we can display those “neighborhood values” to those people that we come into contact with each day. Character is not formed by circumstances, but it can be shown in any circumstance. While many Americans are moving towards individualism and self-centeredness, those who appreciate Mayberry morals can show that “small town” attitude that we admire in this greatest TV show in history. It can be easy to complain about the direction that our society is moving, but I believe the sheriff and the citizens of Mayberry would remind us to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

  4. paula says:

    I watch Andy every day. We never locked our doors to our homes or cars. People left their keys in the ignition and didn’t give it a second thought. People were trusting and friendly then. Simple is always better. People were genuine and considerate of one another and helpful. Too many choices are stressful and that’s not how it was then. I for one miss the full service gas stations and I really don’t Ned 50 kinds of bread choices. I would take Mayberry life anytime. my children were raised on the classics.

  5. Ann Phillips says:

    The little hometown I grew up in was a lot like Mayberry only bigger. Life back then was far simpler than today. Children were surrounded by extended families, grandma and grandpa, aunts and uncles and cousins galore. Far more security for growing up instead of the way it is now with so many latch key children having nobody close to turn to in a crisis. Too bad things didn’t stay more like Mayberry.

  6. paula says:

    My hometown was that way. We didnt lock our doors or cars. We had street dances where the police woukd block off the main street through town and everybody turned out. You knew when a stranger was in town and you always knew your neighbors. My friends and I would play hide and seek till midnight and didnt have to worry about being “taken”. I remember all of us kids riding our bikes all over town and we had stopped at a house my mom said she lived in as a little girl. I told the lady that lived there my story and she invited all four of us kids inside and we sat and had hot chocolate. Try doing that today. I miss those days very much.


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