March 20 Free Jax Event: Charlie Thompson

You might have heard Charlie speaking in and around town a few years back about and from his book “Spirits of Just Men” that told his personal story looking back on Franklin County’s moonshine economy and the people who depended on it to eat.

You might have seen Charlie and wife Hope on a Saturday morning at the Floyd Community Market on a weekend they make it up from Carolina to “be home” at their cabin over near the Parkway.

Sunday is looking like a moist cool day to stay in bed with a good book–or come to the Jax and hear how one was written–about an intensely serious and timely issue told from the first-hand and carefully-considered point of view of a Floyd County neighbor.


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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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