Mount Airy, N.C. (WFMY) - Few television shows or actors have monuments, museums, stores and restaurants devoted to them. However, if you travel to Mount Airy, you'll have no doubt it's Andy Griffith's boyhood home.
Andy Griffith fans from all over the country were in Mount Airy to see the sights on Tuesday. But, they never expected to be in town on the day Andy died.
Along the main stretch of road downtown, you'll find a store called, "Mayberry on Main."
Debbie Miles owns the store with her husband. They moved from Indiana to Mount Airy in 2006, all because of their love for Andy Griffith.
"Your day isn't complete unless you have a dose of Andy every day," Debbie Miles said.
When the Miles told family and friends they were moving across the country because of Andy Griffith, Miles says, "They were shocked."
Now, she feels at home in the tiny North Carolina town beloved by so many people. "Mayberry fans understand each other. We're not alone. There's a whole big world of us," Miles said.
Janie Hubbard, a customer visiting from Alabama, said, "We have these shows memorized. We've seen them over and over and over."
When Debbie heard Andy died, she said it was "...like losing a family member."
On this day, her shop has given new meaning to the term "retail therapy."
"It's good the town has a lot of people because we can all talk about it together," Miles said, "Andy will never be gone. He'll be in our hearts. We like to think he's up there with Don Knotts, rehearing some lines."
Even though Andy passed away, the show must go on and will go on for generations to come.
Debbie told WFMY News 2 her adult daughter originally didn't want to move to Mount Airy. However, after a few months, she followed her parents there and also fell in love with the community.