The question seemed simple enough.
“Why,” a lunch companion wanted to know recently, “did you come back to Floyd County after all these years?”
Like many teenagers longing for a life of adventure, getting our of Floyd County became an obsession. I even went to summer school so I could skip a year of high school, graduating early just to escape what I then saw as limiting opportunities in a Blue Ridge Mountain Community.
When I left the county in 1965, I never intended to come back. The world was out there, waiting to be explored and conquered. After four years in Roanoke as a writer and photographer for The Roanoke Times, I moved on to a newspaper in Illinois for 11 years. I traveled the country and the world, writing about people and photographing their lives.
A move to Washington in 1981 expanded the opportunities and allowed me to explore the seductive world of politics. Washington became home, so much so that I wrote about it in 1997, but being in closer proximity to Floyd County increased our visits back here and by the start of the new century, we had a farm in Carroll County and increasing interests here.
So how does it feel? I’m not sure yet.
The question is simple.
The answer is not.