The Old and the New

If Old Houses Could Tell Their Tales...

I’m leaving out of here to drive down Bent Mountain (in the all-to-familiar fog) to meet some folks that have asked me to be a part of what seems on this side of the meeting-to-know-more as a good thing to be involved with. I’m generally not an organizational kind of guy, but have been surprised at the joy involved in working with SustainFloyd this past year and a half. Maybe there are sides to me I’m still discovering?

I had the luxury of plenty of time on the way to Floyd a few days back, and that tropical air mass made for some wonderful moody lighting–perfect for the context of black and white images of derelict old farm buildings like this one. (Click image to enlarge.)

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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. Wonderful photo, reminds me of the John Prine song “Make Me an Angel” especially where the lyrics say:
    I am an old woman
    Named after my mother
    My old man’s another
    Child that’s grown old
    If dreams were lightnin’
    And Thunder were desire
    This old house would’ve burned down
    A long time ago

  2. I think there is a similar radar dome on Apple Orchard Mountain in Bedford Co.

    There is SUMTHIN on that Mountain!!