Coming ‘Round the Mountain

One of the unique pleasures of living and working in Floyd, VA is that I am continually being exposed to people with unconventional ideas and boundless enthusiasm.

One of the most stimulating people I know in this regard is Woody Crenshaw, owner of the Floyd Country Store, driving force behind ‘Round the Mountain: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Network, and among other things, president of Crenshaw Lighting, in Floyd, Virginia.

Unlike many visionaries who radiate energy and charisma like a Klieg light, Woody’s low key approach is more like the quiet and irresistable force of nature that enables blades of grass to break through cement pavement.

He seems to accomplish whatever he sets his mind to, and that may be a result of his efforts on behalf of the greater good. When a person’s actions are designed to improve conditions for those living and working around him, it is hard to resist those actions.

It is almost as though a sympathetic magic exists which favors the bold and those who work to improve conditions in life.

Woody’s most visible project in Floyd at the moment is the expansion of the Floyd Country Store,
home of the Friday Night Jamboree. I understand that the plans may call
for re-creation of a real country store in addition to an expanded
venue for Bluegrass and country music. Whatever its will be, I intend
to be there when it is unveiled.

Woody’s most ambitious project, on the other hand, is the creation of ‘Round the Mountain
(RTM) which is working to establish a network of driving trails
throughout the region which will connect artisan studios, craft venues,
agricultural tourism related venues and other creative points of
interest with the general public (visitors & customers).

These trails will be promoted by RTM to bring visitors into the
region to experience the culture and traditions of Southwest Virginia.

This project has vast implications for the economy of Southwest
Virginia. As a network, it requires contributions from the bottom up to
realize its full potential. It is a logical vehicle for grassroots
economic development efforts to join and align forces with.

If you have a business of the type described in the earlier
paragraph, you might do well to connect up with RTM and contribute to
the network. If you look at the website for ‘Round the Mountain, you
may also see how other business opportunities will be created as this
network grows. In my opinion, this is a win-win situation.

I am curious to see what Woody comes up with next. There is no telling where it will lead.

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0 Responses to Coming ‘Round the Mountain

  1. David M says:


    You wrote “It is almost as though a sympathetic magic exists which favors the bold and those who work to improve conditions in life.”

    This is a romantic notion, but it does seem to work for some fortunate souls. Certainly those whos endeavors are so favored are more likely to attract notice while those not so favored remain relatively unknown.

    In all of my previous employment experiences I have made it my habit to be always mindful of the impact that my actions will have on the “big picture”, and to choose actions which favor the “greater good”.

    Yet, in a working life spanning nearly 40 years the preponderance of the “magic” has been decidedly un-sympathetic. Frankly, it seems that actually caring passionately about one’s work is a good way to get oneself branded as “wierd” among one’s peers.

    Sadly the “adult” workplace often is not so far removed in emotional maturity from high school, where the guy or gal that aces the exam is likely to be the social outcast. Perhaps there is a different kind of magic for those who are self-employed.

  2. David M,

    You might want to read my earlier post, “There is always a price for striking out in a new direction.”

    Insouciance, not seriousness, is the best state of mind when starting somehing important.

    Nobody is going to “approve” you into a state of success. If being thought weird is going to stop you, by all means keep your head down, and shuffle along with the rest of the cubical dwellers who are patiently waiting for retirement to come.

    If you are not getting the results you expect, there is only one person who is responsible for that. You.

    Nobody is entitled to become successful. One becomes successful by failing a lot or watching why other people fail and then not doing that. If you are trying to do it any other way, I think you are wasting your time.

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