Monthly Archives: December 2008

Southern Living Recognizes Two NC Towns


The establishment known as “Southern Living” has published it’s list of “Best Small Towns” as voted on by the readers of the ever-popular magazine.

Two incredible small towns in North Carolina have made the list. Both towns have that classic Mayberry-ish feel to them, especially their downtowns.

Blowing Rock shows up as #4 on the list of top 10 small towns in the South. The mountain charm of this town is undeniable, with it’s quaint shops, restaurants, park and downtown district with historic buildings.

Hendersonville appears at #10. Just South of Asheville, the town has done a fantastic job with downtown revitalization and preservation.

I thought it strange that both are considered “mountain towns.” More importantly, the readers of Southern Living must be grossly mis-informed because I can come up with about 50-60 other towns that they’ve missed. Where is Mount Airy, Southport, Hillsborough, Mount Olive, West Jefferson, Davidson, Elkin, Black Mountain, Dillsboro, Beaufort or Swansboro? Perhaps Southern Living needs some help in this department.

Click HERE for the article online and below is the entire list:
Best Small Town
1. Beaufort, South Carolina
2. Fairhope, Alabama
3. Fredericksburg, Texas
4. Blowing Rock, North Carolina
5. Franklin, Tennessee
6. Eureka Springs, Arkansas
7. Oxford, Mississippi
8. Grand Rivers, Kentucky
9. Madison, Georgia
10. Hendersonville, North Carolina  

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Beaufort, NC Recognized by The White House


Beaufort gets White House recognition
Updated 12/23/2008 04:20 PM
By: Andrea Pacetti


BEAUFORT, N.C. – The town of Beaufort is being recognized by the White House.

First lady Laura Bush has named the town a Preserve America Community, a designation reserved for towns that protect their heritage. It allows the town to use the Preserve America logo as well as apply for grants. 

The honor comes as Beaufort is preparing to celebrate its 300th birthday in 2009.

Janet Grainge, director of the town’s 300th birthday celebration, spearheaded the effort to secure the designation for Beaufort. She put together the application, playing up Beaufort’s historic buildings and waterfront.


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NC Small Town makes it into

An awesome small town in NC….Bethlehem, NC was recently featured in USA Weekend. The spirit of Mayberry is alive and well…thanks to The Andy Griffith Show.

usa weekend



Welcome to Bethlehem U.S.A.

Meet the citizens of great American towns that share a special name — and spirit — of the holiday season.

By Dennis McCafferty

The star of Bethlehem, N.C., had seen better days. More than three decades old, its metal pipes were rusting away, and its electrical wiring was falling apart. As is tradition, it is lighted on the first Saturday evening of December, and a crowd of more than 2,000 gathers — cups of sweet hot chocolate in their hands steaming the night.

Through the years, Bethlehem citizens and visitors have shared recollections: A native soldier once recounted how, in looking at stars in faraway lands where he was serving, he was reminded of the Bethlehem star, and that made him feel closer to home. A plant worker who lost his job said that he stopped his car when he saw the star shining one night and concluded he would be OK because he knew he wasn’t alone.


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First Appearance in 2009 Scheduled for March 3rd in Mount Airy

I’ve confirmed my first appearance in 2009 for Tuesday, March 3rd in Mount Airy.

I’ll be speaking at the Mount Airy Library to a group called “Friends of the Library.”


Come out and enjoy some lively discussion on small towns in NC, Mount Airy, Mayberry and The Andy Griffith Show.

Click HERE for more information!

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Old Fort to benefit from N.C. STEP Community Leadership


Next year, a new logo will remind folks about all the wonderful things that are “Made in McDowell.”
On Monday, representatives of the N.C. STEP Community Leadership Committees for Marion and Old Fort unveiled a new “Made in McDowell” logo. Both Marion and Old Fort are a part of the North Carolina Small Towns Economic Prosperity (N.C. STEP) demonstration program, which seeks to encourage small town revitalization through services, educational opportunities and grants.
The program has three primary goals:
· To support economic recovery and revitalization in small towns adversely affected by structural changes in the economy or recent natural disasters
· To test a comprehensive model of technical assistance and grantmaking to aid in revitalization efforts; and
· To provide information vital to the development of public policies that support long-term investment in the economic vitality of North Carolina’s small towns.


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Mount Olive To Benefit From Small Town Revitalization

The spirit of small town life sure does appear to be catching on…..finally!!!

Mount Olive Small Town group looking for more input, members

By Steve HerringPublished in News on December 7, 2008 2:00 AM

MOUNT OLIVE — The revitalization of the west side of the 200 block of North Center Street is the most visible sign of the Small Town Main Street group’s support of efforts to help spark a renewed life and interest in downtown.
However, there are other, less obvious and mostly free advantages to being one of the four initial towns in the program — advantages chairman Stephanie Kornegay and the group are working to promote.
Complementing those efforts is the group’s desire to find out what downtown merchants, as well as the public, want it to pursue in its vision for the town.


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Article in "Today’s Dietician" mentions In Search of Mayberry

I promptly emailed the publisher of Today’s Dietician and thanked her for kindly mentioning my book in their article on small town living. See below…

Armchair Guide to Discovering Small-Town Dining
Best Food in Town: The Restaurant Lover’s Guide to Comfort Food in the Midwest by Dawn Simonds (Emmis Books, 2004)

In Search Of Mayberry: A Guide To North Carolina’s Favorite Small Towns by Scott Dickson (Parkway Publishers, 2004)


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Ron Howard Answers Questions

Q: You seem to have been one of the very few famous child stars who survived without any disorders. How did you do it? Mark Flowers, LOGANVILLE, GA.

A: I can’t take a lot of credit for it. My parents did a fantastic job. The way my father described it to me as a kid, being on television is a career choice. It’s a way of working, and you want to do that with integrity, but everybody works. I think that his common sense wore off on me a little bit.


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Christmas in Mayberry

Before you start in on me about Mount Airy not being Mayberry just save your breath. I know it’s not Mayberry, but it’s just as close as any other small town in NC. The fact that it’s Andy Griffith’s hometown and that The Andy Griffith Show and Mayberry was modeled after Mount Airy, North Carolina just makes it even more authentic and reputable. Griffith now acknowledges that he use alot of Mount Airy on the show, but he always denied until just recently.

Christmas in Mount Airy is special. Check out all the cool Christmas fun to be had in Mount Airy this year by clicking HERE.

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