Mt. Airy, North Carolina. Name ring a bell?
Picture a simpler time ... a fishing pole, a sheriff and his deputy, a little redheaded boy, a town drunk, a goofy gas station attendant, a nosy barber, and a roly-poly mayor ...
Mayberry. The Heart and Soul of America.
The real Mayberry was patterned after the town of Mt. Airy. After all, it is the hometown of Andy Griffith. But my, my ... how times have changed.
Upon entering Main Street today, it still exudes a certain amount of nostalgia. The shops are much the same as they were in the 50s and 60s. Snappy Lunch, the Drug Store, the Sheriff’s Office.
And when I think of Mayberry women, I think of Aunt Bea, Helen Crump, and Thelma Lou. The plethora of women in that old TV show was ideal specimens of women during that time period. They wore house dresses, perfectly coiffed page boys or French twists, baked pies, and waited on Andy and Barney to come a callin'.
Well, let me introduce you to the women of Mt. Airy (Mayberry) today.
Last night, I spoke to the American Business Women's Association of Mt. Airy ... and these gals have turned the tide of "hometown women" into "women in business." Thirty-five women gathered at the Elks Lodge for their Annual Business Associate Event and to honor their elected Woman of the Year. Their motto, "Changing women's lives ... one woman at a time." My keynote speech to them reflected on the power of the Southern voice, and to be proud of their heritage ... but you could already see it in their eyes. This was their town, and they had made a difference as women in Mt. Airy.
This networking group of women belongs to the larger group, a national group of the ABWA. They've been asked to sponsor the statewide event next year in Greensboro, so their pride is well deserved.
Mt. Airy may be Mayberry in the fictional sense ... but in reality, Mt. Airy women have made their mark. They have rocked their community, their world, and have come out on top.
My hat is off today, to the women of Mt. Airy. I was very proud to be a part of them, if only for one evening in November. (And I have to say, the food was fabulous! I thought possibly Aunt Bea might've joined the ABWA and had agreed to cook for this event!)
Blessings to you and yours.