On the Road with Tom and Gloria travel blog

55th Whispering Giant

Wytheville Main Street

creative advertising

Floyds in Mount Airr N.C. aka mayberry

Russell - the real Floyd


Andy and Opie





Flora Danica


The physical feature on my body that I dislike the most is my nose. Now there is twice as much of it to be unhappy about. When I returned to the hotel after dinner I tripped on the curb and fell. Minor scrapes and bruising except for my nose. Apparently it made contact with the cement, the eyeglass dug into the bridge of the nose, and now I have a fat nose and a black eye. People always say to me -"drive safely" - now they will have to say "walk safely".

I had breakfast with Kate and then left Knoxville for Johnson City . I had two reasons for this stop - one personal and the other was to see the Tennessee Whispering Giant - the 55th in Peter Toth's series.

On the way to Mount Airy NC , I stopped in Wytheville VA. The town was named for George Wythe( pronounced WITH), the first Virginian to sign the Declaration of Independence. It is the birthplace of Edith Wilson -President Andrew Wilson's wife. It is also a town with some very creative store advertising. ( see pencil and paint can photo).

On to Mount Airy . Andy Griffith was raised here and based his fictional town of Mayberry on Mt. Airy. The only person still living in the town that had interaction with Andy growing up is 89 year old Russell the barber. He turned out to be a great guy and was full of stories. I walked past Opie's candy sore, Barney's cafe, Walker's drugstore, etc and went to see the statue of Andy and Opie - fishing poles and all - donated by TV Land. Cute town, friendly people.

Replacements, Ltd. is an amazing place. Some fun facts: the inventory consists of 13 million pieces from more than 360,000 patterns ; 70,000 new pieces are shipped in weekly; they have over 10 million customers from six continents. The founder was an auditor for the state of NC and his hobby was going to flea markets and estate sales looking for china and crystal. He left his job in 1981 and started Replacements, Ltd in his attic. He is now the world's largest retailer of china, crystal, silver and collectibles. They repair and resilver also.

Other than my mishap , it was a fun day. I will definitely walk safely from now on.

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