Man Down

Even following  on Doug Thompson’s Facebook page, it’s very difficult to find out much information, even though many of his friends know that something terrible has happened. For those of you who don’t go to Facebook and are noticing that Doug has not updated his blog today or for the last several, here’s the situation:

Doug was riding on his Harley from Roanoke back to Floyd County Friday night. He hit a cow that had strayed onto the highway (in the Back Creek area) with his bike, probably going highway speeds, and likely if it was a black cow, suddenly there, with no warning to brake.

Doug was seriously injured in this accident, and has been and will be hospitalized in Roanoke, the full  extent of his injuries unknown, but they are critical.

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but for those of you who know Doug either as a blogger, a journalist, a biker or a friend, your prayers and support are needed now and in the months ahead. We need this man back among us, afflicting the comfortable, drawing lightning out of clear skies, telling tales, living real-life stories or making them up as he goes, and putting it all down on film.

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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. Pass along our thoughts and prayers from Texas. Doug made me a member of the Floyd community years ago even though we’ve never met anywhere except online…

  2. Please keep us updated, Fred. Doug has been in my thoughts and prayers since I learned of the accident yesterday via the comment that Bob Stepno left on BRM.

  3. I learned of this yesterday evening. I had lunch with Doug on Thursday at the Country Store and he told me that, because his Jeep was in the shop, he was going to ride his bike to cover the game in Roanoke. I remember telling him the only thing that scares me is him riding after dark.

    There’s going to be an unfillable void in this county until he recuperates and comes back.

  4. So sorry to read about Doug. Saying prayers for his recovery. I usually check in on his blog from yours. Please keep us updated…….

  5. Doug and Amy, my thoughts and prayers remain with you. Although Doug’s condition continues to be critical although on the positive side from what Amy has told me I know it’s a long road of recovery ahead. I would gladly volunteer to show up and pitch in, if anything, offer some relief to Amy. Obviously Jeff Dalton is proving his “best friend” status from what I gathered by talking with him. Don’t hesitate to call me at 804.240.5799 or email if I can do anything. I worked with Doug years ago in a Capitol Hill experience and quickly learned a lot from him, and soon considered him a true friend. The spirits are with you Doug and Amy. I’m in Richmond; not that far away. Godspeed.

  6. Having been out of touch with Doug for so long, except for occasional phone conversations, should I assume he had friends, associaties, freelancers, etc. who will maintain his blogs? I will do some freelance, if needed, but Doug’s high standards demand someone closer to him woul d be able to oversee such effort. Hell I’d even move up there — it’s only me and my aging 4-legged companion. I’ll leave that alone for now. Does Amy have anyone watching the house?? I would assume so. I’m easy to contact. Jim