The holiday season would not be complete for us without a trip to our home turf, Mount Airy, NC. Our little home town was the inspiration for the popular Andy Griffith show. My late mother who moved to Mount Airy in 1926 called the town home for most of 75 years.
Lots of towns have watched their downtowns disappear as strip malls and Walmarts have sucked the business off of main street. This hasn't happened to Mount Airy. Main Street Mount Airy launched itself with help from Andy, Barney, Aunt Bea, Snappy Lunch, and Floyd's Barber Shop.
Yet today, you can find every thing from the shiny white Apple computers at CyberGear to Vera Bradley bags at Specialty Gifts. Along the way there are some really interesting spots even for us guys.
One of my favorite spots is Holcomb's Hardware and Locksmith. The window shot to the left was taken today. There is some amazing stuff in the window. Many of the things are a little hard to find today unless you know a place like Holcomb's. But it you need a gasket for your pressure cooker or a special key done, Holdcomb's is the place.
You can enjoy many other shops from a bakery or bookstore to an Army surplus story and everything in between. We even saw a Christmas tree decorated with toy John Deere tractors.
Then there is food and drink. There are several sandwich shops including Snappy Lunch and a restaurant or two. There's even a candy store, a winery, and a downtown Cinema which operates on limited hours.
One of the things I like the most about Mount Airy is that there are always people on the main street. You will see a wide variety of people. Mount Airy is no cookie cutter city. Every time that I see a thriving downtown, I have renewed hope for our country. While sometimes I like the ready availability of chain store merchandise as much as anyone, I'll always try to find my goods in a local store first.
While part of that resolve might be a distaste for Walmart parking lots, the rest is a belief that local service and support will alway trump the impersonal nature of the big box stores.
For better views of the pictures, especially the John Deere Christmas tree, try clicking on them.