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 a half minutes long. Take a listen.

Essay by Fred First – 6.29.07
If you find yourself swatting at annoying insects that abound as you mow the lawn or attempt to enjoy the outdoors this summer, you’re certainly not alone. But WVTF essayist Fred First has a different reaction. Fred First is the Floyd County author of “Slow Road Home: A Memoir of Place.”

Essay by Jim Minick – 6.22.07
The summer months find many tending gardens. WVTF essayist Jim Minick stays busy protecting his tree farm. Jim Minick teaches English at Radford University

Essay by Colleen Redman – 6.15.07
There aren’t as many farmers these days as in the past. But WVTF essayist Colleen Redman has a son whom she calls a farmer of sorts. Colleen Redman of Floyd blogs daily at looseleafnotes.com. Listen.”

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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. I was pleased to hear you read your essay. Hearing your voice was a treat. Of your three favorite insects, the lightning bugs are my favorite, I think because it has been so many years since I’ve seen them. I hopefully will see them this summer if they are found as far north as Wisconsin, where I’ll be in August.