Tag Archives: 1950’s

The Mayberry Diner


We stepped back into the 1950’s the other day when we climbed the steps to the cottage-style restaurant in Albany, Georgia called “The Mayberry Diner.” I’d heard about the diner from my Albany sister-in-law, Reggie. So when her sister, Sally, and I went up from Cairo for a visit, Reggie said lunch would be with Andy, Barney, and, of course, Aunt Bea.

I really looked forward to the occasion and was not disappointed. I could hardly pay attention to the small, humble menu for gazing at all the pictures in the two rooms. Sally ordered chicken livers, Reggie a fried pork chop, and I salmon croquettes. At least two of us asked also for the fried green tomatoes. And then I began enjoying more memorabilia while we waited.


I had my picture made between Andy with his sly grin and Barney trying to use his one silver bullet–probably on his own big toe.

There were pictures of Aunt Bea (sometimes spelled Bee) as if she’d just set biscuits on the table. There was Goober all clean from oil and grease but otherwise authentic, and Gomer with his super happy smile, as if he’d just won a million dollars. Opie had that mixed look of innocence and mischief in several pictures, particularly the one posed with Andy, Aunt Bea, and even Helen Crump. Every wall was covered with pictures. Restaurant owners had to hang the television (showing, of course an Andy Griffith episode in black and white) up in one corner.

There were oohs and aahs from the three of us when our entrees arrived. Our waitress was efficient and fun to interact with. The prices were reasonable. And the food was delicious!

I hadn’t had salmon croquettes in a very long time and never deep fried to a golden brown crisp like those. The fried green tomatoes were crisp too and not greasy, made you feel as if fried was healthy! Reggie’s pork chop invited her to pick it up and eat with fingers and the whole restaurant felt like home so why not pick up with your fingers? I think Sally ate every one of her chicken livers, enjoying remembering how much her brother likes them too.

We sat around our table and visited for about an hour and, though there was a brisk business, we never felt as if we were in the way.


There is an authentic Mayberry, a whole town maybe, in North Carolina where it’s supposed to be just a few miles from Mt. Pilot, I guess. But that’s “a fur piece from here” so it’s very nice to find this charming restaurant nearby.

And, by the way, if you don’t want fried foods they have some luscious sounding salads and some desserts to make you “swallow your tongue.”

During our early years of marriage Charles and I looked forward each week to the Andy Griffith show. Later, we enjoyed it with our children. All ages could get a laugh over the “loaded goat” or Barney trying to catch a convict and getting locked up by the convict instead. The show was aired first in 1960 and was carried by CBS until 1971. But the re-runs are still going! In recent years we have laughed our sides sore with our grandson Charles D who particularly enjoys the old fashioned “Andy” humor. Recently he, his granddaddy and I sat around the supper table listening to Andy telling his old stories about football, Shakespeare, and such. Charles D had found them on his smart phone and we laughed uproariously.

You can tell I’m thankful for Andy Taylor (Griffith) and Barney Fife (Don Knotts) who gave us so much good humor, humor that lives on after they are gone.

Laughter is so good. Loosens up right muscles, makes your face relax, gives you a wholesome feeling throughout. And then when I hear Andy singing “How Great Thou Art” it’s like listening to a dear old friend.

Which leads me back to the diner. I snapped pictures of Reggie and Sally relaxing on the charming porch of The Mayberry Diner. I hope to take my two Charleses there soon. A treasure of a place!


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Leaving Lane of Palms?

When my husband and I decided about two months ago to buy a house across town and leave our dear old place we named Lane of Palms, our friends and family were aghast. They still think maybe something is wrong with us, that we’ve gone crazy, or at the very least are in the midst of some psychiatric crisis. To tell you the truth, we weren’t in the midst of a crisis before we made that profound decision to move, but we may be by the time it’s over.

We are in our early seventies and thought we’d be living at the Lane of Palms for the rest of our earthly lives unless maybe in our old age we might have to go to an assisted living home. We were very happy in our home. We love this old house, originally a log cabin built before the civil war. It isn’t on the historical registry because former owners and we ourselves have done too much to change it, make it comfortable for everyday living. For instance, the former owners bricked over the logs in the early 1950’s making it look more like a ranch style house than a log cabin. Over the 41 years we’ve lived here, we’ve added a new wing, upgraded the chimneys and fireplaces, added a pleasant ramp and deck, glassed in a side porch to make it a fun garden room, and totally remodeled a bathroom and kitchen to make them bright and efficient. That’s not to mention my lovely built-in desk and shelves where I write. And it’s not mentioning our biggest project which was to expose ancient, beautiful hand-hewn logs in an upstairs bedroom, adding chinking and making it a charming room for our grandson Charles Reeves to grow up in. 

So why leave? There are several answers I give when people ask, and I guess all of them are true. We both simply felt compelled in early December to “look” at one house which led, in January, to our finding the white brick ranch style house on a South Georgia “hill.” Was it God “compelling” us? We feel it was. Answer #2 is that we felt the need of some adventure. (Boy, did we get it!) Charles’ comical answer is that he’s moving nearer his office. He lives three miles away at Lane of Palms, but at the new house he’ll be only one mile from Cairo Animal Hospital. And Answer #4 is something like, we needed to go through our “stuff” and moving is the very best way to downsize.

But “downsize” doesn’t match our move to Ten Ten Fourth. Because Ten Ten Fourth is a much bigger house than Lane of Palms. Folks would understand if, in our seventies, we moved to a neat little cottage. But a house with four big bedrooms, a den and a living room, a breakfast room and a dining room, and a marvelous “scullery” as I’m calling the dreamy walk-in pantry and laundry room combined–no, no that’s not downsizing! Oh, and did I mention the yard? It’s at least as large as our present yard, although of course it doesn’t include a pasture and barn and a herd of goats.

As we shop Lowe’s–again!–ordering blinds for twenty windows, I am convinced we are really crazy. But tonight as I put my spices on a lazy susan shelf and stowed a crockpot in a nice roomy shelf all its own I took a deep breath of satisfaction. This afternoon I marveled at the beautiful azaleas at Ten Ten and didn’t feel disloyal to Lane of Palms until I got back here and saw slanting sunlight on the magnolia tree that’s grown so elegantly and proudly by South Broad Street.


We don’t want to leave our dear old home. But we do want to go to that beautiful new home! We’ve raised our dear two children at Lane of Palms, as well as almost raising two grandchildren. Now three more grandchildren and a handful of great-grands are running figure eights in this old house, dashing out to run the goats, examining their very own birth trees planted as each child was born, shooting baskets, having teaparties. Lots of good memories. But we plan to make lots of memories in that new house–we’re taking the basketball goal, setting up a new badminton court, taking out some shrubbery so as to have plenty of football throwing space. I can just see our whole family gathered in that big, big dining room and living room at Thanksgiving and Christmas. We won’t have to hold our breath to make room for everybody!
Leaving Lane of Palms? I guess so. But taking a lot of it with us. And that’s not just counting the three crates of photo albums!
Like Abraham of eons ago, I feel we are going with God’s blessings. And that makes it all okay.
(If I were more proficient with my blogging I’d send you pictures of our before and after houses. I need another lesson, Eric!)

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