June 28, 2017

Category Archives: Musings

So much for the weather forecasts

So much for the weather forecasts

Rain is predicted around these parts off and on but the predictions, like the chances of rain, seem to fade away into the night…and day.

According to the forecast of the National Weather Service office in Blacksburg Monday, Floyd County and surrounding areas had a 49 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms on Tuesday.

That was Monday.  Today (Tuesday), the forecast calls for less than 10 percent and the hourly percentage is zero percent during the morning hours and about five percent for the evening. Continue Reading

It is better than the alternative

It is better than the alternative

With luck, I will turn 70 later this year.  I can still use a motorcycle for much of my daily transportation and ride the tight turns on Squirrel Spur or our other challenging roads.  I can still cover courts and the board of supervisors for the paper and I will wander the vast areas of FloydFest later next month for photographic and video coverage. Continue Reading

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.

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Goodbye to The Floyd Pharmacy

Goodbye to The Floyd Pharmacy

  Employees of The Floyd Pharmacy spent much of this week packing things that will no longer be sold when the building reopens Monday as a CVS chain drug store. The building that housed the Pharmacy was a Piggly Wiggly back in the 1960s.  On Monday, it opens as a CVS. Watching the end of… Continue Reading

A busy weekend awaits us

A busy weekend awaits us

The last weekend in June brings The Floyd Fandango, the Annual House & Garden Tour, another chapter of Floyd Small Town Summer and the Relay for Life as well as much more. Keep your umbrellas handy as the National Weather Service in Blacksburg predicts scattered thunderstorms for Friday and a higher chance on Saturday on… Continue Reading

Summer finally arrives

Summer finally arrives

Welcome to the Solstice, the longest day of the year and the “official” beginning of the summer season. In a culture dominated by calendar designations controlled by sales and promotions, most feel like summer has been upon us for a while.  Memorial Day is often considered the “start of summer.”  Whenever schools let out for… Continue Reading

Ah, to be in Paris

Ah, to be in Paris

This time of year is one of the few times I miss being a Congressional staff member in Washington. It I were still there in my previous position as a senior staff member of the House Committee on Science & Technology — one of several posts I had during my time in Congress — I… Continue Reading

Boothe challenges Clinger for Supervisor

Boothe challenges Clinger for Supervisor

The race for the Floyd County Board of Supervisors got more interesting last week with the return of former Courthouse member Jerry Boothe, who is running for  third possible term in the seat he retired from in 2009.

“To be honest, I miss public service,” Boothe said in an interview Friday.  “I like serving our residents. I also think we need more open communication between the board, the schools, and the public.”

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The dad I wish I’d known

The dad I wish I’d known

In March of 1944, a young sailor and electrician’s mate in the Navy, and battle-tested veteran of World War II, in the Pacific walked into the gas rationing office at the Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia to seek extra coupons to ride his Harley-Davidson to Tampa, Florida, to visit his parents.

William Douglas (Tommy) Thompson met with the woman — Ethel McPeak from Meadows of Dan, Virginia — who ran the office and discovered she also rode a Harley. After swapping motorcycles stories with him, she granted the extra coupons. Continue Reading

Congressional shooting hits too close to home

Congressional shooting hits too close to home

The horrific shooting that put House of Representatives Majority Whip Steve Scalise in intensive care and others, including two police officers, in the hospital Wednesday in Alexandria outside of Washington, DC, was — many felt — something that was bound to happen.

It had to come, they said, because of the violent language used too often in legislative debates and because politics fed the growing hate that occupies the hearts and minds of a divisive America. Continue Reading

Tuesday’s primary shows too much anger

Tuesday’s primary shows too much anger

In statewide results from Tuesday’s Republican primary for governor, the extremism that has consumed the GOP threw a scare into the party of the elephant as self-declared “Trump mini-me” Corey Stewart took his campaign of hate to within a percentage point of victory over Ed Gillespie in his campaign to destroy what little sanity is… Continue Reading

Racism and hate in Stuart

Racism and hate in Stuart

A gathering of members of the Ku Klux Klan, tagged as an “active hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, showed up in Stuart in nearby Patrick County over the weekend. One attendee told WDBJ-TV news he’s a member of the Rebel Brigade Knights of the True Invisible Empire, based in Martinsville. The handful,… Continue Reading

Four days & 1,143.7 miles of fun

Four days & 1,143.7 miles of fun

Early on Wednesday of this past week, I fired up my Harley Davidson Switchback shortly before 0600, set one of my two trip odometers to 00.0 and headed Northeast on U.S. 221 towards Roanoke for the first of four days of the Merging Mountains Motorcycle Rally staged by the Harley Owners Group (HOG). As a… Continue Reading

Watch out for motorcycles

Watch out for motorcycles

Expect to see a lot of motorcycles in our area for the next few days. The Harley Owners Group (HOG) is sponsoring the Merging Mountains Rally, starting today, bringing more than 2,000 of the two-wheeled machines into Roanoke for four days of riding and the roar of pipes throughout Southwestern Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley… Continue Reading

23 years…one day at a time

23 years…one day at a time

Today, as I have done on June 6 of the 22 previous years, I will face a group of people — some that I know, others I have not seen for a while and still others I’m meeting for the first time — and I will say, in a clear, unhesitating voice: “My name is Doug and I’m an alcoholic. I’ve been sober for 23 years as of today.”

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Remembering life in Washington, DC

Remembering life in Washington, DC

Amy and me lived in Arlington, Virginia — part of the National Capital Region of Washington, DC  — for 23 years in a move that we thought would last, at the most, two or three 12-month terms. My plan, at the time, was to work for Congress for a couple of years to learn a… Continue Reading

Questionable Mabry Mill gun ban

Questionable Mabry Mill gun ban

Found a new sign quoting federal law, Title 18, Section 930, warning that anyone carrying a firearm into Mabry Mill faces arrest and up to five years in jail. Title 18, Section 930, prohibits carrying or have knowledge of someone else carrying a firearm into federal facilities or federal courts. In a National Park Service… Continue Reading

Friday Night Music

A beautiful, clear Friday night in Floyd means music on the streets of Floyd, The Friday Night Jamboree inside the Country Store and music in other venues in town and around the county. Continue Reading

Whitetop Band, cars and more…

Whitetop Band, cars and more…

The Whitetop Mountain Band plays their mixture of old-time music on the stage of the Oak Grove Pavilion Saturday night as just one of many events of music, art, theater and more for the first weekend of June 2017. Floyd Auto Fair highlights a collection of vintage, customized and other vehicles at Chantilly Farm Friday… Continue Reading

More jobs lost in Southwest Virginia

More jobs lost in Southwest Virginia

More job losses for The Roanoke Times, my first daily newspaper gig back in the 1960s. In August, the paper will move its printing operations to Lynchburg, where it will be printed by the News & Advance press.  Print advertising inserts of sale items will be handled by The Richmond Times Dispatch.  Both papers, like… Continue Reading