About fred

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

Two to Tango

They have their moments, even though mostly on our round-abouts we’re either keeping Dingo at some distance from Gandy or, when they are at a distance, watching Gandy dominate the confrontations by soundly boxing his ears or sending him tumbling. He finally gets the message. And when they have come to terms, it’s gratifying to […]

Doglemma

We don’t know what we want. We don’t know what’s best. We don’t know what’s possible. Other than that, our future of dog ownership is perfectly clear. We have been fated to cross paths with a fully worthy young stray (dropoff?) dog who has entered our lives unbidden, perhaps at random, perhaps ordained by the […]

Fragments Future

Fragments “came together”, so to speak, in the spring of 2002—for a variety of reasons, a history of belonging and writing and journey of self-knowledge and sharing that I have embellished with photographs over the course of the past 15 years and literally millions of words. And that journey has morphed through several molts over […]