Small? SMALL? This ain't small!

By Chris Johnson
Director of communications

I must take issue with something Fuller Center for Housing President David Snell implied in our news item today about Surry/Stokes County FCH joining our covenant partnership ranks.

David was referring to the new partner’s home base of Pilot Mountain, N.C., a town of just over 1,400 residents, when he compared us to them, saying, “We are based in a small town in south Georgia and have a strong affinity for rural America.”

Whoa! Hold on now, David! We are based in Americus, Ga., a city of about 17,000. I grew up in nearby Oglethorpe, Ga., a town of about 1,200 residents. Americus is what I’d call a thriving urban metropolis – which to me is any city high-fallutin’ enough to have more than one traffic light.

Speaking of small towns, you probably know that Pilot Mountain is the inspiration for the fictional town of “Mount Pilot” from “The Andy Griffith Show,” which in my humble but almost always correct opinion is the greatest television comedy of all time. It’s just down The Andy Griffith Parkway from Griffith’s hometown of Mount Airy, N.C., and, in fact, Griffith has even gone on record as saying the show’s Mayberry setting was actually based on Pilot Mountain, not Mount Airy.

But those are just quibbling details. It’s all Andy Griffith territory around there anyway. Well, except those areas where folks like Ernest T. Bass, Rafe Hollister and The Darlings live.

So, we welcome a real small town of legendary proportions into our fold. And now I know I’ve got some new friends to hang out with should I finally make a pilgrimage to “Mayberry Days,” the celebration of the show held every year in Mount Airy. The next “Mayberry Days” is next month, by the way. What timing!

Now, when it comes to substandard housing in Andy Griffith’s old stomping grounds, maybe Surry/Stokes can “Nip it! Nip it in the bud!”

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