A Visit to Mayberry

After hearing my late grandmother’s stories about her father’s birth and family in Mt. Airy, North Carolina, I’ve wanted to visit this place where a branch of my family lived during the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. As luck would have it, this year my son’s Boy Scout troop decided to attend a summer camp nearby, so my mom and I and my other two kids made the four-hour trek from Richmond to spend the weekend in the town made famous by the Andy Griffith Show as Mayberry.

Mt. Airy is just across the North Carolina line from Virginia, and lies near the old wagon road that brought settlers, many of them German, from Pennsylvania into the wilderness of Virginia. After a bunch of research on Ancestry.com, I’ve been able to trace some of my Mt. Airy ancestors to this path – arriving in Pennsylvania from Germany in the late 1700’s and coming down the wagon road to Mt. Airy.

The town is small and charming and lies between Wytheville, Virginia and Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It has a quaint Main Street with antique shops, restaurants and tourist attractions from the Andy Griffith Show.

We visited the Mt. Airy Regional History Museum to get an overview of the town’s history and to see where “our people” fit in. The museum is housed on the site of a former saloon and later hardware store (which we found out the next night on the Mt. Airy Ghost Tour was haunted by the former manager of the hardware store).

There was a classic car and hot rod cruise-in, with old cars lined up on Main Street, and we walked around and got ice cream at Hillbilly Ice & Creamery.

More to come…

 

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4th of July Dessert Cheesecake Dip

This is a quick and delicious dip to enjoy at your 4th of July cookout with vanilla wafers, pretzels or fruit.

US Flag Dip

Vanilla Pudding Cheesecake Dip

Ingredients:

2 boxes vanilla pudding

4 cups cold milk

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup diced fresh cherries

1/2 cup small marshmallows

Preparation:

Blend vanilla pudding mix, milk, softened cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar with an immersion blender or in a blender until thickened and smooth. Pour into a rectangular glass casserole or other container. Arrange fresh blueberries, diced cherries and marshmallows to resemble the American flag. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Serve with vanilla wafers, sugar cookies, pretzels, fresh fruit or any other snack. Happy 4th!

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