“Don’t try to be Tom,” it declared. “It cannot be done.”
Yes, Tom Ryan was one of a kind and the Republic of Floyd was just one part of his legacy. His untimely death from a heart attack in January left a gaping hole in the community and those who came together for the grand reopening of his store sought to help fill that hole with stories about Ryan and the impact he had on the community.
The words in the sign came from Floyd mayor Will Griffin and more words came during the celebration from many others, including sculptor Joey Jones, Oddfellas co-owner Kerry Underwood and Jim Newlin, active in the New Land Trust and other county activities. They are part of the group that helped bring the Republic of Floyd back to life, along with his family, son Ed Ryan and daughter Jessica Wisnewski.
A portrait of Ryan hung over the front area of the store and a window display helped set the tone. They served up popcorn to both store visitors and those who passed by on Locust Street. Scott Perry and a band of musicians provided music.
It was an evening to celebrate and remember.