Welcome to North Carolina!


Welcome to Mount Airy – February 8, 2013

I took my mom on a day trip about 70 minutes away, down US 52 North to Mount Airy. The town is famous for a couple of “stars” – Donna Fargo (the song, FUNNY FACE) and more notably, Andy Griffith’s hometown. It is said that Mayberry is modeled after Griffith’s memories of Mount Airy.

While there are major events held at the small town of about 10,000 during the year, we wanted to see what the town offered without being in a huge crowd – like during their annual Mayberry Days celebration.

After some research on the internet, I found that I could park for free in a municipal lot two blocks from Main Street. However, after parking there and walking the two blocks, I found there were spaces ON Main Street. (sigh) My mistake, but I wouldn’t have gotten this photo of part of mural on one of the buildings.



Since we were a bit late starting out, we wanted to eat. My mom – who doesn’t eat pork or red meat – can make it hard to find restaurants sometimes. So when walking to Main Street, a gentleman suggested we go to Speedy Diner – famous for pork chops. Obviously we didn’t go there, but instead decided to go to Walker’s Soda Fountain.

Walkers Soda Fountain

Walkers Soda Fountain

Upon entering, we were the only people in the place – other than the owner, but several people came in while we were there. The soda fountain is original from 1948 and the homemade chicken salad is excellent! There is also this mural on the back wall (someone is making a killing on murals in Mount Airy!):

Walkers Mural

Walkers Mural

After waddling out of the soda shoppe, I spotted Floyd’s Barber shop. After all, this is Mayberry!

Floyd's Barber Shop

Floyd’s Barber Shop

Next, I wanted to see the historic movie theater I read about online. In Greensboro, there were no less than five downtown theaters “back in the day” and now only one remains – The Carolina, which opened in 1927. So when I read about The Earle – a 1938 movie house/theater located on Main Street, I knew I had to see if I could get inside. You can read the complete history using the link above, but with the new multi-plexes popping up, theaters like The Earle were becoming obsolete. Thankfully, the Surry County Arts Council were deeded the building and began renovations. Please believe me when I say my photos do not do this charming theater justice!

The Earle

The Earle

Once inside, you see a neat little concession stand, tended by a very nice young man (I’m sorry I neglected to get his name).

Concession Stand

Concession Stand

The Earle still shows movies on Saturday and Sunday and has a live country music radio show twice weekly since 1948! Inside the auditorium, there are three sections for seating, a main stage and screen.



There is also a balcony section.



Balcony Downstairs

Balcony Downstairs



Even the restroon area was neat. The retro doors led to a very simple, but clean facility. For all I know, these are the original fixtures!

Men's Room

Men’s Room

Clean and Serviceable

Once out on the street again, we strolled back towards our parking lot, passing by a building labeled Bank of Mount Airy. Built in 1923 using granite from Surry County, it is now closed to banking and is an Art Center.

Bank of Mount Airy

Bank of Mount Airy

After a short stop in an Antique consignment market (where mom bought a table), we headed back home – very happy that we finally visited “Mayberry” – Mount Airy, NC!




12-25-2012 – Merry Christmas Lights

I grew up (60s-70s) with big, gaudy, colorful Christmas lights. Lights on the tree, lights on the windows, on the bushes outside – the bigger the better.

But somewhere along the way, someone made (the mysterious “they”?) big, colorful lights tacky. Cheap. White trash. (insert additional terms here) You could (should) only have white lights. And not too many either. Be discreet. Tasteful. Don’t embarrass the neighborhood.

I never lost the love of the big colorful lights. Not mini-lights. Definitely not white lights. BIG. COLORFUL. BLINKING.

So it’s all about taste and nothing else. Colorful isn’t wrong . . . and neither are the white lights. Both represent families who honoring CHRISTmas.

So I rode around two neighborhoods near my apartment and took a couple of dozen photos of various homes. Some were white lights, some were colorful, but one stood out. And to that I say Ho-Ho-Ho.


I'll have fries with that.

I’ll have fries with that.

Saturday, November 17, 2012 – American Flag Retirement Ceremony

I joined the local Elks Club this spring and have really enjoyed the experience. Especially since the Lodge is right across the street from my apartment! But the Elks do good work. This particular Lodge has many charities and functions, but primarily concentrate on veteran’s assistance and placing new flags in schools.

They also have a Flag Retirement Ceremony once a year and I took some photos of the event, held yesterday (11/17/2012).

I learned a lot about the ceremony. There is no law for retiring a flag – but that it be done in a dignified manner. The ceremony conducted at the Elks was very nice.

There were dozens of individuals in attendance, mostly veterans. One flag was displayed as a symbolic flag for the ceremony, while other flags lay on a table in the back – cut into pieces (I’ll explain that below).


While an Honor Guard stood by the flag, a speaker led the crowd with the playing of patriotic songs and what the flag means.


Included was a great reading of the origin of Frances Scott Key’s inspiration of our National Anthem, where he was aboard a British ship in the harbor, trying to negotiate a prisoner exchange. He viewed the 25-hour bombardment of Fort McHenry where 1500-1800 cannon balls and bombs were lobbed at the Fort.

Next, the flag is removed from it’s mount and dissected – removing the blue and stars from the stripes. By doing this, you have two pieces of cloth to be burned, not a flag.



Next the the Blue and Stars, along with the Blue and Stars from the previously dissected flags are burned.




Next, each stripe is dissected separately, with each strip representing one of the original 13 colonies – in order of statehood.



After the flag is completely dissected and all stripes are incinerated, Taps is played and the ceremony is complete.

August 4, 2012 – The DeLorean Visit

I loved the BACK TO THE FUTURE movie when it came out. The first one, not so much the next several! So when I read the DeLorean from the BTTF movie was in town, I had to go.

While I thoroughly enjoyed the car, it was the reason the car was in town that impressed me more. Terry and Oliver Holler own the car and take it all over the country . . . no check that thought . . . all over the world to raise money for Parkinson’s Research through TEAM FOX.

Diagnosed with terminal cancer and given six months, Oliver,  with the help and support of his wife Terry decided to work on his bucket list. One of those items was to build a replica of the DeLorean from the BTTF movies. And they did – by hand!

Well Oliver and Terry are still going and have been to 48 of the 50 states, raising money for TEAM FOX, as well as traveling to Argentina to film a piece with Christopher Lloyd and their car. In all, the Hollers have raised more than $100,000 for TEAM FOX.

If you have the opportunity to see this amazing hand-made car and the even more amazing Hollers, go and enjoy the experience! You can also like their Facebook page.

I hope you enjoy the photos below and remember – if Michael J. Fox were 6’4+ and 250 lbs, either he wouldn’t have been given the role, or they would have used a Hummer (see last photo of me!).

And what to do with my legs????

June 29, 2012 – The Osprey Has Landed

I’ve been a soccer coach in Greensboro since 1976. Back in the day, we played games on fields that needed mowing, had rain-ruts running diagonally across the field from corner to corner, and fields where parents and players of both teams had to walk in a line across the field, picking up glass, rocks, condoms, etc.

So imagine my delight when our local association, combined with the City built the Bryan Park Soccer Complex. And it just didn’t ‘pop up’ overnight either. First there were six fields, then eleven, then six more at the ‘Annex’. Then lights were installed on four fields. That’ where the photo comes in.

On top of the light pole overlooking Field #9, an osprey (I believe) has built a nest at the top of the lights. It’s been there as long as I can remember, but never had a chance to pay much attention to it during matches. Earlier this month, the club hosted a regional tournament and I was able to spend time watching games – with my camera – and caught the osprey leaving the nest, flying to a nearby lake and returning with food for either it’s mate or young.

I don’t have a great lens for this type of long range shot, but thought it came out pretty good. I hope you enjoy.

Osprey comes in with food.

Antique Motorcycle Show – Denton, North Carolina

A friend and I took a 45 minute bike ride to Denton to see an antique motorcycle show. It wasn’t exactly what I expected, but I did see get to see some nice old motorcycles. I hope you enjoy the photos.

Faith Victory Church – April 1, 2012

I had about 2 hours to kill before shooting a lacrosse game and decided to take a bike (motorcycle, ahem) ride around that end of the county. Out of 2 hours of riding, I only found two things that interested me enough to stop and get the camera out of the tank bag, but this church near the Guilford County/Randolph County line was one of them.

I don’t know what it was about the red trim, but it was different and looked appealing. I love taking photos of churches, cemeteries and abandoned “things” and I’m glad I spotted this church! Enjoy.

Faith Victory Church