Category: Musings


Most Americans, thankfully, never live through the full fury of nature’s wrath. As a journalist, I saw too much of it close up — tornados in the Midwest, earthquakes in Califoria, floods along the Mississippi River and hurricanes in the South.

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Stopped off for some groceries at Food Lion in Floyd late Sunday night.

Ohmigod! Did he say Food Lion? Quick, somebody call the political corrrectness police!

You see, in Floyd, is is not politically correct to shop at Food Lion. It’s one of those dreaded “chain” stores. Same goes for munching on a pork chop bisquit at Hardees for breakfast. God forbid that we stop to pick up something necessary at the new Dollar General when it opens.

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‘Tis the Season

High school football season begins tonight across Virginia and I’ll on on the sidelines shooting photos for The Floyd Press when FCHS takes on Carroll County.

Coming off a strong season where the team lost only one regular season game, the Buffaloes have a lot to live up to if they want to match last year but I’ll be there to watch as both an alumni and a photographer for the local paper.

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The Big Lie

082505mall1.jpgThe huge sign towers over the trees along Interstate 81 just south of the intersection with I-77 near Fort Chiswell, claiming a factory outlet mall with 36 stores.

But the sign is a lie. Fort Chiswell Outlets is a dying mall of just 10 stores and some of the few surviving merchants admit business is so bad they expect the place to close in the near future.

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“You write a lot about what you call Chateau Thompson,” an old friend emailed the other day. “How about a picture?”

Fair enough, I suppose. We put a lot of time and effort into the house over the past nine months and, yet, we’re only about half way there. Lot of boxes remain unpacked, rooms not yet complete and still no room in the garage for cars but everything is coming together.

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I sit in our front-yard gazebo and watch night turn into dawn, sipping coffee and listening to the surrounding sounds of birds, bugs and whatever. Chewy, the puppy who is all-too-quickly growing into dog, searches the two-acre front yard to just the right place to deposit her morning’s offerings.

Nature has a way of giving those of us who get lost in our own self-importance some much-needed humility. Nature goes on, despite our best efforts to interrupt its flow and balance. We keep animals as pets yet those same animals are better equipped to deal with nature than we.

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Good Question

Dropped by the Jesse Peterman library last night to see Fred First’s photos and words show about why he and his wife settled in Floyd County.

Like most things from Fred, the show featured incredible photography, flowing prose and exacting attention to detail. Fred, always the scientist, doesn’t just want to know that something is a bug — he wants to know the bug’s full, Latin-based named, history and family tree.

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