Another character point related to Andy Griffith's Mayberry. After the fifth season of The Andy Griffith Show, Don Knotts, who played breakout series favorite Deputy Barney Fife, decided to leave the show to pursue a movie career. (This happens to roughly coincide with when the series started being filmed in color, and when it got a little less fun.) This was long before most TV series would kill off a main character, so the show gave Barney a promotion. He went big time and got a job as a detective in Raleigh. He qualified for this big city job based largely on an incident from an earlier episode when Barney single-handedly captured a fugitive and was hailed as a hero across the state. What most people didn't realize was that Barney had managed this completely by accident, and even then it only happened with help from Andy that Barney didn't know about.
Raleigh today seems like a nice, midsize city, pleasantly active in my half-hour of observation with a population of about 430,000. The city was named for Sir Walter Raleigh (who will be be discussed later in the trip) and founded in 1792, a little late for a North Carolina city, but there's a good reason. Raleigh was a planned community, carved out of what had previously been the middle of nowhere to serve as North Carolina's all-new capital city. It's a lot bigger now, but it's generally a pretty place.