Letter to the Editor: Ridgeway is still Mayberry

To me, Ridgeway has always been, and remains, more “Mayberry” than “Mayberry.” If anything, Andy Griffith’s show was art imitating life. Ridgeway, in my time, has been a place full of characters…some good, some bad, never boring or dull.

Ridgeway, like Mayberry, is not in chaos but is thriving. We have a main street that is full of people most any day and packed on the weekends. We have antique stores, tea rooms, hat stores, clothing stores, three restaurants, a furniture store, and a hardware stores open for 180 years. We have a premier auction house that serves the entire country.  We have two wildly successful festivals, Pig on the Ridge and Arts on the Ridge, that operate at a profit. We have plans for public restrooms and a water tower being built at the same time. Ridgeway now owns the Cotton Yard. We have a lawyer, (self), and a fine medical facility just outside of town, and we have completed a historic restoration of the Century House which is now our Town Hall to assure its continued repair.

We now have better police protection and deputies, just like Andy Taylor and Barney, who visit out stores and homes and gab with us about how great a place Ridgeway is to work. These deputies love being Andy Taylor. Don’t believe me? Ask them!

We also have a town government that is operated in the black without corruption as determined by numerous independent audits and paid, in-house over-seers. Just like Mayberry, and unlike many places, Ridgeway’s books are sparkly clean.

All that said, I also remember, not so long ago, a sleepier Ridgeway, when one might only see a dog cross across the street in an hour’s time. Which, to think of it, was not so bad either.

Ridgeway has always, like Mayberry, had its dramas, disagreements and bad apples. My dad was mayor for 12 years and I used to hear about it as a child. Ridgeway is no stranger to disagreement. Ridgeway is no different from anywhere else in that respect.

But also, like the real Mayberry (Mount. Airy, N.C.), Ridgeway in 2018 is strong as ever and compared to most places, Ridgeway is united. Troubles will pass. Ridgeway trends upward.

Ridgeway is not in chaos just because a couple of people say it is. Ridgeway is thriving. Ridgeway really is more “Mayberry” than “Mayberry,” and I still watch Andy Griffith on TV Land.

Robert Hartman, III


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