USA Today’s second story about Floyd in recent months (the other was a less-than-stellar piece about the Crooked Road) is bringing mixed reaction when you can find someone who actually saw the article, which ran on Nov. 21. Writes Haya El Nasser, the paper’s environmental writer:
There’s only one stoplight in town. Locals want to keep it that way. Nothing moves too fast on Floyd time. That’s partly why hippies 30 or 40 years ago moved here to the heart of Blue Ridge moonshine country. Today, natives and "alter-natives," as some transplants like to be called, embrace with equal fervor locally grown fruits and vegetables, grass-fed beef, fresh milk and freshly slaughtered chickens. They revel in the ecological wonders of this 3,000-foot-high mountain town where the water is pure, the air clean and the music rich. Hot-list items in town: solar panels, wind generators, organic foods, bluegrass jamborees, clogging, wineries and artist colonies.
Ah, yes. The one stoplight town. Actually, Floyd is a one-stoplight county (or will be once again when they finish that long-delayed bridge project on U.S. 221 near Check). And it’s a hippie paradise where life is slow, ponytails abound and tie-dye is the uniform of the day. That’s the image to many. Floyd, of course, is much more than that and while Nasser managed to catch some of it, equating the area with the "Slow City" movement that began in Europe, she missed capturing the essence of the county.