Blogging in Floyd County

This quiet rural area feels more like home with every visit. It is the kind of place we have been seeking for many years. It has the same intermingling of scenery and high-tech sophistication that we saw in Woodside and Pacific Grove, but we do not find the same level of high-ticket living that characterizes those California oases. The Maserati count is negligible and there is no ostrich salami available at the local deli. In fact, there is no deli in the county!

Floyd has charm and internet awareness at a price that ordinary bloggers and other citizens can still afford.

HinghamI am sitting in the Cafe Del Sol with my wife, Gretchen, and we are joined by blogger, Colleen Redman. Gretchen (on the left) and Colleen became instant friends because they hail originally from the same area in Eastern Massachusetts.

While they are talking, a woman in the corner mentions Hingham, Massachusetts, and her name is also Colleen. So here in this coffee house at a remote crossroads in southern Virginia in a county with a single traffic light, three women from the Hingham area are excitedly discussing their websites, blogging, and life in general. As the conversation winds down, they exchange business cards!

OddfellastrioLast night we enjoyed another excellent meal at Oddfellas Cantina. I had the Roast Thai Chicken and I recommend it highly. While we were eating, Rob Neukirch, the owner of the cafe, got up on the small stage and jammed with Bernie Coveney, and Chris Luster on a number of old standards.

Rob, a former actor, has established an outstanding reputation for his restaurant by offering fine food and live entertainment. He shows remarkable talent in a number of areas and keeps the show on the road in spite of all obstacles.

As we were leaving after a wonderful evening, he shared a harrowing story. On Wednesday, a week ago, an automatic fire sprinkler on the second floor of the building let go and water cascaded into the Oddfellas kitchen for several hours. The roof fell in and the main floor and the basement were flooded by the time he figured out how to turn the water off.

This would have put many a small businessman into a tailspin, but Rob and his crew had the place dried out and back in operation within a few days. If he had not told us, we would have never known of the recent disaster. The restaurant was back in operation serving wonderful food and the musicians played everything from bluegrass to jazz. It was another "uneventful" and altogether pleasant evening.

These are many businessmen who are not as cool under fire, but this is evidently what it takes to be successful. Rob exemplifies the successful small businessman, multitalented, always courteous, and unflappable under pressure.

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