Visitors to our area often ask: "Can you describe the Floyd lifestyle?"
The Floyd lifestyle. You can’t categorize it in a snapshot. It’s too diverse.
Floyd is the young husband getting up at 4 a.m. to feed the animals before he has to drive an hour and a half to his job at the Volvo truck plant two counties away.
Floyd is the farmer up at the same hour, preparing for a long day cutting hay, mending fences, slopping hogs and worrying about the weather and the price of beef on the hoof at market.
Floyd is the blogger sitting down at his computer keyboard before the sun comes up, struggling the find the words to describe, among other things, "the Floyd lifestyle."
Floyd is the deputy sheriff preparing for another shift, working for a salary that is among the lowest in the county and wondering if he should take a job with a police force in another county so he can afford to pay his bills and feed his family.
Floyd is the city born retiree who cashed out his or her inflated home value and moved here to pay what seemed like a bargain for a house on 10 acres but still was twice as much as a local would have paid for the same property.
Floyd is the local who returned home after many years away, breaking a vow made at 17 to "never, ever live here again."
Floyd is the regular breakfast customer at Hardees, one of the senior citizens who gather for coffee each morning and talk about how much better life here was before places like Hardees opened.
Floyd is the waitress at Oddfellas who also sells real estate and teaches yoga, or the young lady with a master’s degree in biology and who is serving coffee at Cafe del Sol and fostering kittens for the local humane society.
Floyd is a musician who once toured with Emmylou Harris and gave up the road to experience the "Floyd lifestyle" and play for tips at local venues. It is musicians who play for free simply because they love the music.
Floyd is a former actor who owns a restaurant, a former musician who turns wood, a former accountant who raises cattle, a former fire chief who paints landscapes or a former cop who runs a bed & breakfast.
Floyd is the aging hippie wearing a tye-died t-shirt, eating breakfast at the Blue Ridge Restaurant and arguing politics with the farmer wearing a John Deere cap.
Floyd is a county known nationally for its bluegrass music, fine wines, timber frame homes, restorative lighting and eclectic music festivals. Yet many county residents have never attended the Friday Night Jamboree, sampled the wine from Chateau Morrisette and couldn’t tell you where to find Dreaming Creek, Crenshaw Lighting or FloydFest.
Floyd is, as a Radford attorney once described it, "a county with 40 percent lost in the fifties, 40 percent lost in the seventies and 20 percent still trying to figure out where the hell it is."
Floyd is many things to many people and fewer things to others. To some it is a place in need of change and to others a place where change is coming too quickly.
Floyd is, well, Floyd, and that’s not easy to describe.
Any more questions?
(Updated to remove reference that said Floyd County was the only Virgiia county that voted for Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War. That piece of historical information was originally given to us by a member of the local historical society. Further research has shown the information to be incorrect. Our thanks to readers who brought that to our attention.)