That Old House

Our place, the first time we saw it, didn’t look much more solid than this place does.

We drive past it on our way home by way of Stonewall Road. The first time we saw it 13 years ago, we figured the next time we drove by the porch with collapsed. It hasn’t yet.

The owners have seen fit to keep the cows from walking up on the what’s left of the porch, but this metal gate does nothing for the aesthetics of the ornate gingerbread detail and aesthetic care that went into the construction and ornamentation of this place so long ago.

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. What a great old house – one that makes you wonder about who lived there and all of the stories, good and bad, surrounding those who lived in and loved it over the years.