Happy Birthday Amerca

We have celebrated America’s Independence Day in many places, including the National Mall in Washington during our 23 years living and working in the nation’s capital.

We’ve witnessed, photographed and filmed fireworks shows in Manhattan, Washington, St. Louis, Los Angeles, the Mountains of New Mexico, at home here in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and other places both in America and abroad.

Admittedly, celebrating this year is difficult because of America’s partisan political divide along with the hate and anger that consumes America but I can turn to the images of previous 4th of July to recognize, remember and honor the nation what we love and continue to fight to preserve.

America is far more than tanks on the National Mall or expensive taxpayer-funded military flyovers in Washington. It is far more than the political demagoguery that we must endure in a national government gone mad.

This is our home, our country and our people — all of them. American is a nation founded by immigrants seeking a better home in this land and we must remember that the welcome mat should never be withdrawn by those who fear others who look or act different.

Our nation exists on a vow of equality in beliefs.  All who seek what we have must be welcome.

Happy Birthday America. We’ve come a long way but we still have much more to do to protect what it means to actually live free among everyone.

The Whitetop Mountain Band: A favorite

The Whitetop Mountain Band is a perennial crowd favorite at The Floyd Country Store, Oak Grove Pavilion and other venues in our area.

An appearance guarantees a large crowd and gets many views on posts on YouTube and Vimeo.

This clip has drawn more than 14,000 views since posting seven years ago on YouTube and it has about that many on Vimeo.  A reminder of the clip’s popularity arrived with an email arrived Sunday reporting a comment on the clip.

A crowd delight and a pleasure to photograph and film.

Dancing the night away at the Jamboree

A dry Friday night greeted a large and enthusiastic crowd at The Friday Night Jamboree this weekend with The Black Twig Pickers and a film crew from a North Carolina aquarium filming with a 360-degree camera to capture the music and fun.

As Floyd’s tourism offerings expand, the Jamboree remains as a fixture in what brings an international audience to this Blue Ridge Mountain hamlet for old-time and bluegrass music as well as a draw to young and old alike.

Jerry Boothe, candidate for Supervisor

In contested Floyd County elections, we try to interview each of the candidates and let them describe, in a video setting, why they are running for a position and what they would do with the job.

In this year’s local elections, set for vote on Tuesday, Nov. 7, the only contested race is for the Courthouse District, where former supervisor Jerry Boothe, who retired from the seat in 2009, is seeking to return and oust Case Clinger, who is also the current board chairman.

Clinger declined our invitation for an interview on camera, saying he saw nothing to gain by sitting down for one. Boothe accepted and his interview was shot Monday of this week at the Floyd Country Store. His answers are presented without editing as a public service to the residents of Floyd County.

Music and sun on a Floyd Friday night

Tropical storm Cindy’s threatened visit to our area turned into more worry than actuality and sun and beautiful weather greeted Floyd’s Friday night musical offerings for those who ignored the weather forecast that originally threatened rain and storms.

Music and dancing inside the Floyd Country Store and more music and enjoyment on Locust Street provided a gorgeous backdrop for the night.

The last dredges of Cindy blew through the area after midnight Friday and a little coolness greeted the area on Saturday morning with a forecast of good weather and more good times.

Driving in the snow

Floyd County Schools closed Monday. So are nearly all public and private schools in the New River and Roanoke valleys.

Still a lot of snow on the ground and with temperatures Monday remaining below freezing, the chances of much melting are nil.

Forecasts show warming around the middle of the week, with highs in upper 50s by Thursday and the 60s on Friday.

The first snowstorm of 2017 arrived with a frenzy and will stick around for a while.

Blustery winds and dry conditions Sunday added to problems with drifting blasts of snow filling in areas previously plowed by the Virginia Department of Transportation and covering over driveways cleared by home tractors and snow blowers.

Temperatures into single digits overnight Sunday left roads extremely slick as chemicals on the roads could not not keep conditions from refreezing.