Passing the Buck

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Nothing to see here. On your way. But before you go, let me send you to…

The Slippery Slope of Winter Parts One and Two, from the last two issues of the Star Sentinel / Roanoke. If you’ve read Slow Road Home, you know this true tale of my close encounter with the White Witch of Winter when I almost became a piece of ice sculpture on Walnut Knob.

It’s sort of comical, looking back, but that brush with hypothermia’s made me have a greater respect for ice underfoot! I’ve remembered this adventure this winter, here alone, coming back and forth from Café del Chicken.

And, apologies: I discovered this morning that Posterous will treat audio files like a podcast. So to check it out, I found a musical file hidden in the vault–a quick take, off the cuff, one-pass recording from a time when my hands worked on the guitar reasonably well (check out the fingers on this guy!) and I borrowed Willy Nelson’s nasal twang attempting my version of Stardust. You were warned.

And BTW, I will be posting more often to Posterous at so stop by. I’ll put stuff there too embarrassing, inflammatory or trivial for Fragments.

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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. Thanks for the redirect to your story in the Roanoke Star-Sentinel. It’s a good little story. You write well. Having once lived in Virginia, I know how that ice can be. Now I live in Maine (more snow than ice).

  2. Willie Nelson is my favorite singer, and you channeled him very nicely. I think you got the tremulo/nasal perfect! I’m sorry your pickiing days are oveer, but you need to get an accompanist and keep on singing!