An Org of My Own

It hurts me that my people would refer to me as a WHAT and not a WHO. I am willing to educate them.

Yesterday, house-bound by the wind that offered to slice me to the bone like a fancy-cut ham, I tossed my full name into some GPT tool to see how results would compare to the vanity searches from old-fashioned web engines like Google.

In the Good Old Days, Google showed me dozens of memories, discovering my photos that ended up on various tourism sites or listing places I’d met with audiences over the years. It was my own Nostalgia Machine.

But I was corrected this time. I was told that Frederick First is NOT an individual but an organization.

I investigated this shocking revelation after all these years thinking otherwise. To my delight, discovered I am the central figure in a cult that follows me enthusiastically– a band of grass-roots folks earnestly dedicated to my well-being; and I had not even known. A groundswell of support is in place, solely for our continued happiness. Letters to the editor, even. I am overwhelmed, people.

Imagine my sudden loss and disappointment when the lights came on, and I realized there is a Frederick County in Virginia. I feel so betrayed and used.

So, should I get a piece of this action? Do I get a place at the table and on the Board of Directors? Do I get reduced rates at the Country Club? Do I at least get a coffee mug with my name on it?

And finally, can I insist that my people at least refer to me as a WHO?

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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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