Friday Shorts: Almost July

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You can see a larger image different view of this shot of a busy barn swallow bringing food to at least two hungry mouths I could see inside. She returned about once a minute with her catch (that sometimes got away before the gaping mouths could take it) so I had several opportunities to catch her on the wing.

* That’s My Name Too (three! four!) There is a Goose Creek in South Carolina, and they have a press–which is how it happened to come up in a Google search for the name of my little business, Goose Creek Press. Apparently, more goes on there than in our rural backwater. I give you exhibit A. It involved Rev. Jesse Jackson, who apparently stopped by for a photo-op.

* I’m tinkering with some new sites for the book. If you enter or in your web address, you’ll go to my newly-redirected site at It’s very easy to use and change. Stop by, poke around, let me know what you think. I haven’t settled yet, and haven’t invested anything here but a little time.

* But then yesterday I rediscovered Terapad, where I’d already set up an account back in January and then forgotten about it. It is feature rich, but as far as I can figure out, lacks an easy way to get from the edit page back to the page that’s been edited.

* Almost, but not quite. I just couldn’t make myself enter the medical quagmire that is health care in America. Yeah, we have insurance. But I will do anything to keep from being jerked around by Southern Health. So I’m looking at something other than straight glucosamine for my crummy wrists and thumbs. Anybody know anything about Osteo-Biflex? It’s “special” ingredient is Frankensense. Seems to be something to it as an anti-inflammatory, with a history of use that goes way back.

* Carry me back. The Kingston Trio sings Four Strong Winds. So clean-cut and earnest, the crowd so polite and engaged. Sorry: the good ol’ days.

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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. Our tree swallow brood fledged a few weeks ago, and the bluebirds have produced two generations of offspring from their box this year.

    I know some of the folks that run Wetpaint. For that reason alone I think you should stick with them 🙂

  2. i’ve known of your southern name-twin for some time… hubby and i were married at goose creek (sc)’s st. james episcopal, which is one of the oldest in the state, dating from around 1719. pix here:

    altho’ the church is awesome and tucked away in a still-hidden, spanish-moss draped residential backwater, the town is pretty far gone as far as development is concerned. it’s overrun with rabid commercial strips and overbuilt highways.

    and overall, sc cops are pretty overzealous, as described in your linked article.

    in other words, your goose creek is far better.

    hope you are well.

  3. Hey Fred,
    I’m Justin from Terapad . I noticed your msg, and just wanted to let you know that you can preview your page on Terapad.
    On the Editor screen at the top right there is a “pop up page” button which will launch the live page.
    If you don;t want to make the page live then there is a ‘Preview’ button at the bottom, which will show you what you have been working on.
    Finally you can always work on a page and save it but not make it live until you are ready.
    If you ever need more info in Terapad – don’t hesitate to email our team – .
    Good luck with the book!

  4. Boy, I agree with you about trying to avoid going to the doctors. That’s why I’m a big supplement fan, beats the doctors in most cases.

    There are several different formulas of Osteo Bi-Flex, but the formula I use, doesn’t list Frankensense.

    But then you probably know it by a different name than what’s listed on the formula that I use, which is Glucosamine Chondrotin, MSM with Joint Shield, Triple Strength.

    You might get more information at

  5. I have used Osteo Bi-Flex triple strength for 10 years with great results. My knees stopped aching and that was my goal. At one point, I stopped taking it because I wondered if was really contributing to my decreased pain. The pain returned. I resumed use of the product and the knee aching disappeared again.

  6. Smith is the name. John Jacob Jingle Heimer Smith. I can’t believe no one caught your not-so-veiled reference to one of the old dining hall songs from Camp Winnetaska. What? Ya mean everybody didn’t go to Winnetaska.

    I just saw a book at Mom’s, titled something like “Remembering Winnetaska”. Saw a picture of Mistah Bimbam, and “Apple” Bowie, and Bobby Okin’s dad. It was interesting to see photos of all the various bridges across the creek over time that washed away.

  7. I thought I had read smewhere that clinical trials of glucosamine proved it not to be effective. I would like to be wrong to get away fron ibuprofen, but I have to find a formulation (in the UK) that doesn’t use shellfish because of my allergy.