Traveling Hopefully and Not Alone


The train has left the station and there are a few faces peeking out of the coach car windows. Welcome aboard, and I trust the destination will be worth the view along the way.

Many thanks to the first readers who now (or will shortly) have one of the nine chapters of What We Hold In Our Hands: a Slow Road Reader …. Dennis, Becky, Stephanie, Gretchen, Larry, Jim, Judy, Kay, Georgia, Carrie, and Jeff.

So I feel less like a hobo alone in a container car waiting uncertain in the switching yard and more like a man on holiday with friends, expectant, pulling off, gaining momentum slowly, going somewhere worth going.

This feels right. Thanks, and we have some open dining cars and if you jog just a little, there’s still time to swing aboard. (You may board at any time regardless of speed, time or location. The more the merrier. See you then!

See yesterday’s Fragments post for more details, and certainly much more to come!

NOTE: While it is the only feasible way to make it happen, I wish the book interior images could be color but that is a whole ‘nuther order of magnitude of complexity and cost. Slow Road Home has 4 half-tone black and whites and the quality I think is good. The images even without color will contribute to the stories, I think, and I need to be gathering the 24 I included in my request-for-quote from my good friends at Edwards Brothers.

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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. Let me know what I can do to help. I’m a cataloger by profession, so looking for minute errors is my job. I also like to read 🙂 Sorry I can’t help with the InDesign problem, though.

  2. Fred, my Dad was a train buff and the analogy brought back pleasant memories.
    The brakes are open, Fred. Bring up the steam!