An Uncommon Remembrance

Landscapes from Floyd County, Southwest Virginia by Fred First
From where I stood to take the picture of the store (posted yesterday) I could have reached behind me and touched this stone and bronze memorial. Placed by Clyne Angle’s wife, Myrtle, I wonder each time we pass this marker about the generations that have walked, driven wagons, ridden horses, and navigated Model T’s past the store that bears its last owner’s name.

I wonder, too, about legacies. The best most of us can hope for is a rank and file slab of granite far from where we spent our days. Here is a tribute in place, marking where the celebrated life was lived.

Click the image to read the inscription. How unpretentious and simple. How heartfelt.

What would your memorial say? And where would it be placed to show the center of your life’s work and joy?

Note: Visit Nameless Creek (Fragments Annex) today for the first of several pieces on Roscoe Willis’ Store on Goose Creek. This series is possible because of the kind contributions by several readers after yesterday’s post on Floyd County history. link

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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. that memorial is wonderful….i’ve driven by so many old buildings and stores and wondered what their history was. too bad there aren’t more of these…it’s sad that the history fades away with the neglect of the building…and with no one to tell it. a fitting tribute…and, yes, very heartfelt.