Category Culture

No More High Places

Creative fiction based on fact. Write your congressmen–but not on Floyd County’s behalf.  You might as well learn it from me right here and now, because this is big news, and it will change everything. You probably haven’t even heard…

Water Wonders and Worries

You don’t miss the water… Through the open windows at night, we can’t hear the creek–what little is left of it–for only the second time in ten years. And when it happened the first time back in 2002, the oldest…

America: The Saudi Arabia of Coal

Technology. Yet again, it will be our salvation and is the eternal object of our prayers. Our engineers, the high priests and alchemists of our times, will find a way to make what we have into what we need. What…

Threads of Connection: Blog Friends

Ruminations about one’s personal blogging future may create a kind of bow-wave resonance among those connected to it, casting out harmonics unheard by those who found your website only once or twice and by chance. After five years, there have…

Do What Makes Money

“Where’s the beef?” a Wendy’s commercial famously asked for the first time in 1984. And today, my beef is with their shameless promotion of deadly foods in the guise of whimsy and wisdom.  Let me just say first that I…

Our Sense of Self

By putting on funny hats, do these WineFest revelers become someone different–better, more interesting, unique? Does being a member of the Grand Pubas change the way they think about themselves? Does it enhance their health in the same way having…

Turn Your Radio On

If you can take a slice of life from Southwest Virginia by ear. The last three Friday essays at WVTF are by local writers including my friends Colleen Redman and former Floyd Countian, Jim Minick. Each is about three and…

Plastics Are Forever

One word: plastic. Benjamin Braddock as The Graduate in the 1967 film may not have been at all interested in it. Meanwhile, America has swooned to the seduction of plastic after finding a generation ago that “cheap oil” could be…

Uptown, Downtown

If you’re headed to Floyd this weekend, be prepared to not be the only one.This may well be the buzziest couple of days all summer long–or at least the first of what promises to be a lot of summer days…

A Poem for Father’s Day

So here we are, the parental empty-nesters, sandwiched once more on the late spring calendar between Special Days for mothers and fathers. Our adult offspring (the term we substitute in recent years for the word “children” when describing our small…

John McCutcheon in Concert

Sunday, June 17 at 3:00 pm Whitman Auditorium | Virginia Western Community CollegeColonial Avenue | Roanoke VirginiaGeneral Admission | $20 | Directions This event is sponsored by the Social Justice Committee of Roanoke Friends (Quaker) Meeting and is a benefit…

Floyd Virginia : Musical Horizon

There’s been some discussion of late over at Blue Ridge Muse in which a false distinction has been made between the washed and the unwashed of Floyd County. Who goes in which camp can be biased by a prejudice against…

It’s Just War

For a country whose (previously) predominant Christian moral code forbids killing, the proposition of war has been a difficult matter. Many have wrestled with the conditions that must be met to call a war JUST. This very day, our children…