Michael Miller, a writer, photographer and self-admitted “bad banjo player,” puts Floyd in proper perspective in the New River Valley Current section of the Roanoke Times Tuesday, just one day after the paper missed the real story of Floyd’s musical tradition.
Floyd is what Blacksburg wants to be. Or maybe it’s what Blacksburg secretly wants to be when it’s not taking itself so seriously.
It’s kinda like Mayberry, but with lots of college graduates roaming the streets. They do that in Blacksburg, too, but they are more in your face about it.
If you stop somebody in Blacksburg and ask about their academic background, you will generally get 30 minutes of exposition. If you do the same in Floyd, you might get a quizzical look, followed by “Oh, yeah, I think that’s what I was doing between 1983 and 1987 or something. Whatever. So, who made your banjo?”
In a few hilarious paragraphs, Miller captures the true spirit of Floyd:
Back when I first came to Blacksburg, when Steppin’ Out was called Deadwood Days, I would stroll around looking at the arts and crafts, and College Avenue would be filled with tie-died, long-haired, comfortably dressed (if you take my meaning) people who looked like they had just stepped out of a Woodstock documentary. Locals would point at them and say one word: “Floyd!”
Those people are still in Floyd, but their long hair is now gray and their shoes are a bit more sensible. Now they have been joined by college professors as well as master craftsmen and photographers and painters and potters and sculptors and bluegrass musicians.
Amen brother. And well written.