It happens all over the place, one city is the serious face of the community, another town isn't. Roanoke is an industrial city, Floyd is a hippie town. Which is not to say Floyd, the county seat of Floyd County isn't worth a visit... Not at all.
The morning I drove the splendid mountains of Southwest Virginia to get to Floyd, an hour or so from Roanoke by tourist route, it was a beautiful day. The numbers flashing at the realtor's office gave a Key West resident pause:
Sixty one degrees in the Fabulous Florida Keys equates to a moderately serious cold front in mid winter but here the weather seemed energizing, warm enough for shirt sleeves yet fresh enough to encourage exploration of this 180 year old town.
Cheyenne's skin allergies were improving markedly all on their own and she for one wasn't complaining about the fresh air and abundant sweet grass everywhere.
We strolled past classic brick homes which always look so formal and dignified to me. In Key West a mansion like this would require serious wealth to acquire and live in:
Floyd's "hippie" label is actually a bit of a local misnomer. This is a place where artists of all sorts gather to create and show their work.
The plan was to lunch at Oddfella's Cantina, a name combination that left me wondering if they served margaritas prepared by burly mountain men in plaid shirts. It is quite the hang out I'm told, when open which it was not for lunch as summer season had yet to start.
"General Hardware" must be the category that comprises children's tricycles for they are surely not "Farmer's Supply."
I have noticed that books continue to be traded around Roanoke in numerous shops as they are here in Floyd.
Which is fancifully known to some as a Republic of a State of mind, not dissimilar I would wager to the status of the conch Republic, where I'm from.
It was a peaceful afternoon in Floyd, a town that might look at home in the West, where not even a dog was stirring.
Small town shops seem to function quite nicely here waiting summer's rush.
And neighbors talk to neighbors directly:
The last time I looked there used to be Floyd's Barber Shop on Petronia Street, not far from Blue Heaven in Key West. Well, look'ee here!
Cheyenne found a shady spot to pause and check out the scene. She got pets from some nice ladies coming out of the country store but discarded food seemed in short supply in Floyd.
They do bluegrass concerts at the general store in summer months, apparently sold out and filled beyond capacity.
The hint is above the door:
Unlike Key West signage that encourages people to do nothing but move on, Floyd has a different attitude:
You don't have to talk about being laid back when you really are.
Floyd's active website link. To give you an idea how busy this little town is, check out their links and blogs and events and on and on.
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