The Floyd County wave, a sign you are among friends

There are still a few parts of the country where people wave as you drive by. Floyd County, Virginia, is one of them.

As newcomers who had spent many years in California and in southern Florida, it was a startling experience to drive down the country roads of Floyd County for the first time and see other drivers waving at us. After a short period of readjustment, we began waving back. It was a marvelous feeling.

This waving is not confined to folks sitting on their front porches. You get a wave from truck drivers hauling cargo and from soccer moms with kids in the car. It gives you a feeling that you are in the right place at last.

These are not waves with a full sweep of the arm. In fact, you have to be alert to see that the oncoming driver has raised a finger or two from the wheel and has given you a friendly signal while negotiating a tricky curve or avoiding fresh roadkill.

If you are extremely observant, you may even notice a pinky wave from a hand holding a cellphone as the oncoming driver passes by.

As this area grows, many newcomers arrive who are more familiar with road rage than with friendly greetings. It is imperative that we wave at them until they learn to wave back.

When the world is full of places where defensive driving means a gun in the glove compartment and doors locked to prevent carjacking, it is a matter of local concern to show that Floyd Countians cares about each other and are willing to show friendship with a simple wave.

It is a custom that deserves support.

Floyd blogger Rose Bowen is concerned that this may become another vanishing local tradition and has written an appealing article, "Bring Back the Wave, Floyd!".

Do people wave in your part of the world?

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0 Responses to The Floyd County wave, a sign you are among friends

  1. Liz Donovan says:

    Yep, here in far western NC everyone waves. Well, not the recent immigrants from Florida…they seem flummoxed. Well, we came from Florida, too (although we’re not ‘from’ there, of course) and we started waving immediately. Of course, people all waved when I lived in a small town near Asheville 30 years ago, too.
    And if you ride a motorcycle, it’s mandatory to stick a finger out as you pass other bikes……all around these parts of NC/GA/TN.

  2. GBGames says:

    In college, a friend from Iowa invited a number of us to her parents’ home, and to prepare us, she forwarded us an email that described Iowa to “foreigners”. Among information about the difference between “bags” and “sacks”, the fact that they are “dirt roads” so you’re are not in fact “offroading”, and the way the weather changes within minutes, was The One Finger Wave.

    I practiced doing so while driving to Iowa from Chicago, and wouldn’t you know it, someone actually waved at me when we got there!

    It must be a community thing.

  3. GUY says:

    After reading this post… I’ve decided to try it around here…

    I went to night club (a disco) and waved toward a group of people next by… suddenly one of them pulled a knife…

    I tried giving a friendly wave to police patrol… sirens started…

    I waved at a guy at the street and had to flee… the same with a girl, cause her boyfriend arrived…

    And finally, in the fast food place, I waved to the huge seller and almost hit by the beef instrument.

    Conclusion: where I live we don’t wave.
    Unless one is a very big man. But if your’e a big man (2x2x2 meters) you wouldn’t wave.

    Your International Reader

  4. Mouse says:

    Living in a small commune in rural France is a unique experience. Here everyone knows everyone else and stops to kiss/shake hands/pass the time of day, which makes fetching the bread a long journey some days!
    I have even been stopped by an old lady in a nearby town and informed that “I know you, you’re the English woman who lives by the school in X village and has flowers along her wall”
    And to think, I came to France to be invisible!

  5. Here on the island of Møn, in rural Denmark, we are accomplished practitioners of the “wave.” It’s a civilized thing.

  6. Chris Muir says:

    Definitely, in parts of Florida(The rural ones).

  7. Mikie B says:

    We are building a home in Floyd, moving from Virginia Beach. I grew up in Blacksburg, coming home to the mountains is most satisfying. The steering wheel finger flip (swff)is both nice to receive and fun to give, but I’ve noticed it’s selective depending on what you’re driving. If you’re in a pickup truck, pickup truck drivers coming the other way are sure to swff you, but if you’re in a small car forget it! It’s a right of passage I suspect. MGB

  8. Sean Pecor says:

    Yes, I experience the same as Mikie B. I live just over the blue ridge from David and own a Toyota Prius and a Ford F-350 Lariat. When I’m driving the Prius, I rarely get “wavebacks” from folks in trucks unless I know them. When I’m driving my truck, nearly every single truck driver (from little half tons to 18 wheelers) gives me a waveback.

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