Small world

You could tell the couple having lunch at Oddfellas Cantina came to town looking for property. They spread their real estate brochures and maps out on the table and made notes about various pieces of land for sale.

Finally, as happens often, they approached my table with questions in their eyes.

"Excuse us, do you live here?"

"Yes."

"Could we ask you some questions about the area?"

"Sure."

You could tell the couple having lunch at Oddfellas Cantina came to town looking for property. They spread their real estate brochures and maps out on the table and made notes about various pieces of land for sale.

Finally, as happens often, they approached my table with questions in their eyes.

"Excuse us, do you live here?"

"Yes."

"Could we ask you some questions about the area?"

"Sure."

They sat down and we shared coffee while they asked about land prices, cost of living, availability of services, crime, weather and all the other things that people want to know when considering a place to move.

"Hi, I’m Cindy. This is George." Both seemed a few years older than me. I asked where they are from.

"Illinois."

"Illinois? How on earth did you end up here looking for a place to live?"

"Well, we’ve wanted to visit Floyd County for a long time — more than 30 years."

"Really? Why?"

George produced a faded newspaper article, written by a reporter for their hometown paper in 1974.

"This is why. The writer made it seem like this place was special. We decided we wanted to visit and perhaps retire here."

I don’t know if I blushed or not. I laughed.

"You’re from Alton, Illinois."

"How did you know?"

"Because I wrote this article. I was a reporter for The Alton Telegraph for 11 years, from 1969-81."

It was their turn to laugh. I asked about people I knew in Alton. We discovered mutual friends.

We talked at length about the differences between a Midwestern Mississippi River town and a Blue Ridge Mountain community. I looked at the properties they had circled in the real estate brochures and told them what I knew about each.

We exchanged phone numbers and email addresses and they left on their quest.  This morning, an email arrived.

"We made an offer and have a contract down on 52 acres of land with a nice farmhouse. We hope to move to Floyd next year."

Small world.

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7 Responses

  1. Doug, what a great story! I became a fan through Capitol Hill Blue and found my way here later. Today, on a lengthy drive from Tidewater to Knoxville, I considered a stretch-stop in Floyd and thought “What are the odds of running in to Doug Thompson?”. I can bet the couple you spoke with never expected a chance meeting with the author of an article from 3 decades past. I hope they’re just the kind of people who could move to that special place without spoiling what makes it worth waiting 33 years for… Keep up the good work here and over at CHB. For God’s sake, we need to survive this hell and try and save this country. Your voice is appreciated, glad you at least have a peaceful place to call home.

    Regards,

    Vince

  2. I’m laughing my ass off. In light of your recent musings, the irony of you being responsible for attracting immigrants, is perfect. And you could have told the pilgrims to return in February and bring a windbreaker prior to making a decision, but no, you had to be Mr. Welcome Wagon. See how easy it is to be hospitable when your nemesis has a face?

  3. Sorry but I find nothing ironic or hypocritical in my actions. I’m responsible, I’m told, for a number of people moving to Floyd County (along with Fred First, the dean of area bloggers). You can’t write about the pleasures of living here without knowing it will encourage others to check us out.

    I’ve never opposed people moving to our corner of the world and have sat and discussed the pros and cons of living here with countless numbers of property and home seekers that I’ve met in local eateries and elsewhere. I have, however, discouraged all from moving here if they plan to immediately start trying to change the county to suit their idea of country life. I will always be critical of those who exploit friendship as "business opportunities." That’s not the Floyd County lifestyle and, with luck, it never will become so.

    A number of the new friends we’ve made since moving back here are newcomers. A number are oldtimers. It’s part of what makes Floyd so unique.

     

     

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