MOUNT AIRY, N.C.--The Andy Griffith Museum was a busy place this Fourth of July. Just one day after it's namesake died, hundreds packed the museum to take in its rich history. Now a community is continuing to say goodbye to one of its own.
“I've watched the Andy Griffith Show forever, all my life. My kids 8 and 10 years old love it, we watch it all the time still. So just had to drive up this morning and spend a couple of hours,” Rodney Taylor, from Hillsborough said.
With the news of Andy Griffith's death still fresh in everyone's hearts and minds, many say they felt a calling to head here, to the museum named for him. “Just walking around here and reading everything about him, it's just brings back fond memories. I remember watching the television show as a young girl growing up and then all his reruns and things like that,” Atlanta resident Terry Lutin said.
Inside the museum is memorabilia from Griffith's life and contributions, but outside a community mourns by placing flowers in front of his statue.
“He represents what we all wish we could go back to. A very safe, simpler time in our life and in our childhood and the values and the morals and the ethics that he shared on TV,” Greta Hinson, with the Andy Griffith Museum said.
Museum officials say big crowds were here when they opened Fourth of July morning and they expect those crowds to continue through the weekend.
“I think people are coming because I think it makes them feel safe and secure just to be in his hometown, where he was born and raised and that he grew up here,” Hinson said.
“I just had to do it, I just had to come up for a couple of hours and just take it in. I've been before, but I had to come up today,” Taylor said.