Sunday, August 27, 2006

Dear Kind Readers,

I will be away for the following week. My life is as crazy and disorganized as a man's sock drawer. Metaphorically speaking, I need to pair up and organized the good socks and trash the bad ones....They aren't even worth saving for sock puppets.

we'll catch up soon!


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Poppin' cool!

Check out this cool pop corn bag! I really like the illustrations on old packaging. I got a few of these bags this weekend during a tour the dixie dolls and I went on of our public TV station. One of my oldest friends (I've know him and his wife almost half my life) works for this station and gave us the 'interesting' tour after hours. I happened upon an old popcorn machine that was in storage along with a box of these bags and well.. kinda helped myself to a few of them. Don't worry, I shared! I stole some for heather and Kat too!

One of the movie theatres in town has got some bad ass pickle paper bags. I need to get my hands on a few of those as well...

the dolls are thinking about making them into something... not sure what yet though...suggestions? They measure 3 1/2 in wide by 8 1/4 inches tall and I only got off with about 10 of them.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

It's Broiled and I'm calling it Dinner!...the leftovers

Here is the leftovers from the swapatorium post for last friday. Not my finest but it'll do......

Hello dear Swapatorium readers! For this month's vintage recipe installment I wanted to make something that looked really hideous. I wanted it to be so hideous that it would turn your stomach and send you all scampering off to cash in a 'round trip meal ticket' by it's mere image. And then I found this....It's Broiled Ham and Lima Beans.

Better Homes and Gardens Meat Cook Book 1965

It's being smothered in a blanket of brownish yellow sludge! Yum yum! Well I proceeded to make this dish with such high hopes and well.... compared to mine, the original actually looks fairly appetizing. Tell me "it's hideous" folks, and make my day!

I had such expectations of an exact reproduction. I went wrong by using canned lima beans which have no color left to them, even though the " serving suggestion" image on the exterior of the can shows them in a lovely shade of bright green. LIES!! My second downfall was not using finely shredded sludge, I mean cheese. Learn from my mistakes friends. Flavor-wise it's not too bad at all, just keep your eyes shut while eating!



Thursday, August 17, 2006

Eng and Chang Bunker

Last stop of the vacation! Mt. Airy, NC is where the infamous Siamese twins Eng and Chang are buried. They were born in Siam in 1811 having a 5 inch band of flesh and cartilage joining them at the chest. They toured in sideshow type attractions before settling down near Mt. Airy and raising a family. They married two sisters and had 21 children combined.
They died only a few hours apart in 1874. Chang went first due to a blot clot in the brain. Eng died, it is believed from fear of dying.

I found a really good article on the twins here. It goes into alot of interesting facts and more on their lives.

After they died it was discovered that the only organ they shared was their livers which were fused but independently complete. They could have been easily separated if they lived in present day but it's debatable if the operation could have been possible during their time. The twins' fused liver is still preserved in formalin at the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and is exhibited alongside a plaster death-cast of the twins. (sidenote:I want to go to the Mutter soooo badly!!! It's a museum of medical oddities and curiosities.)

They are buried in the White Plains Church Cemetery in Surry County, NC (outskirts of Mt.Airy). The church they helped to establish and build.

I did find an Andy connection to the twins:

"The Wedding of the Siamese Twins" by Burton Cohen, a play detailing the intimate and often amusing lives of Chang and Eng Bunker, is scheduled to be performed annually at the Andy Griffith Playhouse in Mount Airy, NC.

Another interesting thing is that Mark Twain wrote a short story about Eng and Chang: The Siamese Twins

That's that! Vacation over! Time to get unpacked and back to cooking up revolting matter that I like to try and pass off as food!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Andy Griffith TV Land Landmark

The last Andy inspired installment of the Mt. Airy, NC (Mayberry) vacation. This statue was installed on the lawn in front of the Andy Griffith Playhouse as part of a special ceremony on September 24th 2004 to kick off the town's annual 15th Mayberry Days celebration. Andy Griffith was there himself for the unveiling. This is one of two Andy and Opie statues done by TV Land. The first one was erected in Pullen Park, Raleigh, NC. I don't really understand why they chose to put the first one up there. Sure they mentioned the town of Raleigh on the Andy Griffith Show many a time but the show wasn't based there.

Here are some close ups.

There are 4 other TV Land Landmarks depicting other classic TV characters in their corresponding cities. I would really like to go see the Bob Newhart one. It looks really cool and I love that show. Once TV Land had a commercial were they just sang "Bob Newhart" over and over with the theme song playing in the background. It made me laugh and I liked singing along with it... the words were easy enough to remember.

One last stop to make in Mt. Airy then it's time to unpack!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Floyd's Barbershop

The legendary Floyd's City Barbershop is located next door to the Snappy Lunch on Mainstreet. The owner actually isn't named Floyd but Russell Hiatt. The shop and character of Floyd Lawson on the Andy Griffith show were based after him. Mr. Hiatt has been in this shop for 46 years and used to cut Andy's hair.

Here is mom and I with the owner, Russell Hiatt aka "Floyd".

Pumpkinbutt striking a pose in a neat vintage kid's sized barber chair.

Floyd's Barbershop is a really neat place. When we walked in, there was a guy getting a haircut in one chair and another guy just chit-chatting with them in the other chair. Everyone was super friendly to us. It was so similar to the feeling that Floyd's had on the show.

I hope next time we come through pumkinbutt can get his hair cut here. That would be very cool.

Just two more short stops left before we head out of town!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Opie's Candy Shoppe

Opie's Candy Shoppe is located just a few doors down from the Snappy Lunch. They have a lot of really neat old timey type candy. It's sold 5 bucks a pound which I thought was a good deal til I had to pay 8 bucks for 2 handfuls of candy, yikes! At least I got some cool looking candy wrappers out of the deal as well. I was very excited to see they had a candy called Squirrel Nut Zippers because I very fondly enjoy the band of the same name. I'm sure you will see why....

Next stop Floyd's Barber Shop!

And by the way, I'm over at the Swapatorium today serving up some broiled hideousness. Do stop by!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Snappy Lunch

Next stop... The Snappy Lunch in downtown 'Mayberry'! It has been open since 1923 and Andy, himself has talked about coming here to get a hot dog and bottle of pop after school as a boy. On the back of the Snappy Lunch Take Out menu it says "In an early episode of The Andy Griffith show entitled 'Andy the Matchmaker' Andy suggests to Barney that they go down to the Snappy Lunch to get a bite to eat...Andy also mentioned the Snappy Lunch in his version of the song 'Silhouettes'." So, as you can see, it's definitely a stop to make on the Mayberry tour.

There are two dining areas in the Snappy Lunch. The area when you first walk in is all done up in dingy nasty 70's style and the back room (shown here) is done up in retro 50's. I preferred this room.
Other than being know as part of the Andy Griffith/Mayberry experience, the Snappy Lunch has another bragging right:
Here is the "World Famous Porkchop Sandwich".. It says so right on the take out menu! World Famous! (sidenote: sorry to get off the subject here but my mind generally works in references to things and with this one it calls to mind the part in the movie Elf, when he is all giddy happy and congratulates the diner for having "the world's greatest/best coffee" ha! That part of the movie makes me laugh. Esp. when he takes his girl on a date there and apparently the coffee actually is really "a crappy cup of coffee".... okay back to our previously scheduled programming).

I was thinking it would be a fried porkchop but it's more like a pancake batter-covered-then- fried porkchop. I recommend getting one while in town just so you can say you did. It will only set you back 3.65. And after all people, it's World Famous!
So, you want to see us all eating? Sure you do!

Mom (she's thinking.. good lord, does she have to take pictures of everything?):

Me (I'm thinking that I hope my lipstick is near perfection, and by the looks of it I got my wish! ha!)

pumkinbutt..he kept to safe territory and just ate two bags of chips:
Below are the deets on the Snappy. They close up shop kinda early (after lunch) so I would call first.
125 North Main Street
Mount Airy, NC

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Mayberry Courthouse

Conveniently located next door to Wally's Filling Station is the Mayberry Courthouse. The inside is sooo awesome! I am really into theater set design and prop making and I was very impressed with how well this was put together. I do think the jail cells could use some more work though but that's just me and my 'you always have to have everything so perfect!' outlook, as my best friend Kathy tells me all the time.

Here's mom as the Justice as the Peace..."I don't care what holiday or special occasion you are making your elixer can't make shine in these parts!"

Here's me as the sheriff receiving some important news regarding the crazy antics of the Fun Girls from Mt. Pilot.

Locked up on suspicion of Diaper Dodging.

In this same building is an area that is being set up to look like Emmit's Fix-It shop. Hopefully it will be all done up next time through.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Tour Mayberry!

"No visit to Mayberry is complete without a ride in Mayberry's squad car!"

The first thing we did while in Mayberry was take a tour in style. The tour lasted about 30-45 minutes. It took us all around town and showed highlights like Andy Griffith's home place, Floyd's Barbershop*, Snappy Lunch*, and a few other points of interest*. The tour guide we had was really cool and very informative. Wally's Service Station is the homebase for the tours. Inside Wally's is a little gift shop that is pretty neat and old timey looking.

Pumkinbutt had a great time! This was his favorite part of the entire Mayberry trip...tring to see how long he could hang out in the squad car.

He's one cool dude!

This Tow Truck is located next to the service station. Goober says "Hey"...I highly recommend doing the tour (336-789-OPIE) 625 S. Main St.

* will be covered in upcoming posts

Monday, August 07, 2006

Mt. Airy Diner

Mt. Airy Diner

One last stop before we get in to Mayberry. This is the sign for the Mt. Airy Diner and just like the Drive-In, it was closed. Everything in this town closes up shop at 1pm it seems like.
The menu was posted on the door and everything was really cheap. Definitely some place I would like to hit up next time through. I think I will call my waitress "Juanita", just for good measure even if it's not her name.

Okay, everyone use the restroom now because I ain't stopping when we get into town!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Bright Leaf Drive-In

Bright Leaf Drive In
Back to the Mayberry* vacation slide show! The next neat place we found in Mount Airy was this still functioning Drive-In Movie Theater called The Bright Leaf. It was closed the night we were in town and I was sad to have missed out on the "best hotdogs around"!

Bright Leaf Drive In
I thought this was a fairly cool sign.

Bright Leaf Drive In
They still use hang-on-your-window metal speakers. neat!

Bright Leaf Drive In
I really love Drive-In movie theatres. I recommend a vehicle with a bench seat for better viewing pleasure, which brings to mind one of my favorite Cake songs:

Stickshifts & Safetybelts

Stickshifts and safetybelts,
Bucket seats have all got to go.
When we're driving in the car,
It makes my baby seem so far.
I need you here with me,
Not way over in a bucket seat.
I need you to be here with me,
Not way over in a bucket seat.

But when we're driving in my malibu,
It's easy to get right next to you.
I say, "baby, scoot over, please."
And then she's right there next to me.
I need you here with me,
Not way over in a bucket seat.
I need you to be here with me,
Not way over in a bucket seat.

Well a lot of good cars are japanese.
But when we're driving far,
I need my baby,
I need my baby next to me.

Well, stickshifts and safetybelts,
Bucket seats have all got to go.
When we're driving in the car,
It makes my baby seem so far.
I need you here with me,
Not way over in a bucket seat.
I need you to be here with me,
Not way over in a bucket seat.
*I know, I know.. I promised some andy adventures, they're coming, don't get your "Judy, judy, judy" all in a tissy! It's just that there are quite a few un-andy, but very cool things in town I wanted to share as well.