MOUNT AIRY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — No matter what day, it’s a place people choose to swing by.
“If you go inside this door, there’s a young lady in there that will book you on a squad car tour,” Norm Schultz told a visitor.
After a few minutes in front of Wally’s Service Station in Mount Airy, it’s clear why it draws so many.
It’s an experience straight out of a movie, or in this case, a famous treasured television show.
“You get out there, and you fire it up and go, ‘how cool is this?’” Schultz said.
Norm has been driving the ‘squad cars’ for two years. They look like they are straight from the iconic “Andy Griffith Show.” Schultz said they could be from the famous show.
“This happens to be a 1961 Ford Galaxy 500, like the ones that they used on the show, but it’s not one of the ones of the show, but it might could be as they say down here,” Norm joked.
While riding shotgun or in the back, it’s a journey through Mayberry and Griffith’s childhood home.
“That just happens to be the church Andy and his parents attended right there,” the man pointed out.
While patrolling, there’s one phrase you’ll hear over and over and over.
“Our cautionary tale is very simple, three little words,” Norm said. “Nippit- I know it may sound like two words, but it’s one. In. The. Bud.”
Norm loves all of it, including the TV show. And he knows about TV.
“When you go to audition, you have to stand in front of the camera, and they say, can you slate? And I’m here for the role of squad car driver.”
While he drives now, he’s worked on a few movies and TV shows as a stand-in, including Blue Bloods.
“People say, ‘That was you! What’s Tom Selleck like?’” laughed Norm.
Norm moved to Mount Airy a few years ago. He knew this was home when he took his first ride around town.
“You choose to smile. You choose to be happy. You have that opportunity every day to make someone else’s day, and I don’t take that lightly,” said Norm.
Behind the wheel or walking downtown, it’s easy to find joy when choosing Mayberry.