Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 58

BRC

Í

Click for a video featuring
music by "Glory on the Floor."

Erika Johnson and Kris Hodges

Floyd, Virginia
Erika Johnson and Kris Hodges are the
brains behind FloydFest, one of the bestloved festivals in the region, celebrating its
12th year in 2013 (“Rise and Shine” is this
year’s festival theme). Johnson describes herself as a “Floyd County semi-native” – her
family moved to the county when she was
five, during the back-to-the-land movement.
Some years later, she and Hodges met in a
restaurant in downtown Roanoke – a musician, Hodges had come there by way of
Atlanta and Raleigh. They started a restau-

Î
rant in Floyd, Oddfellas, where they hosted
musicians including Rhonda Vincent, Mike
Seeger and Stacey Earle.
“Oddfellas was definitely kind of the germination of the festival idea,” says Johnson.
“Floyd was ripe for someone to harness the
creative energy of the music there and the art
and the unique community and at the time.”
They sold the restaurant and started the
festival with a business plan and some good
contacts. The early years were difficult, but
the festival has flowered.

Thomas Watson
Executive Director, Rural Support Partners; North Carolina
Thomas Watson moved to Asheville,
N.C. to start the nonprofit Center for
Participatory Change.
“My passion for community change work
comes from growing up in Galax, Va., with a
single mother who struggled to make a better
life,” Watson says. “I graduated high school
with no vision for my future. When I was 19,
I was laid off from my first factory job.”
While volunteering for Big Brothers Big
Sisters, he realized he loved working with
kids. That’s when he discovered the work of
community organizing.
Today, Watson’s work with Rural Support
Partners focuses on the economy, environment and social justice in rural communities.
58 | BlueRidgeCountry.com

Í

Tom Riford

President and CEO, Hagerstown-Washington
County Convention and Visitors Bureau;
Maryland
Tom Riford has been a vocal advocate for
Hagerstown and Washington County in a
range of roles – first in his work for Whitetail
Ski Resort, then as a broadcast news anchor
(he still works for WJEJ two or three days a
week, doing news and weather at 5, 6 and 7
a.m., weather at 7:30, sports at 7:50 and
news at 8.) “I sleep some,” he concedes, “but
I think, give a busy person something to do
and they’ll get it done.”
Giving back to the community is at the
core of his busy-ness – besides his work in
tourism, promoting the region he loves, he
is deeply involved in arts and health carerelated organizations, fundraising, emceeing.
“Sometimes I do 27 days in a row without a
break because I’m doing so much volunteering,” he says, but “we’re in this mortal coil
for such a short time.”
He’s as inspired by history as he is by the
present-day – he’ll spin moving stories from
the Civil War and the early days of Hagerstown
(the love story between Jonathan Hager and
his wife, for instance), and then expound on
what’s wonderful about the here and now –
the fine arts museum, the symphony orchestra, the skiing.
“I’ve noticed a wry and amusing pathological modesty, that a lot of people don’t believe
it’s a great place,” he says. “It is a great place.”


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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013

Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013
Table of Contents
Digital Help Guide
Letters
From the Editor
From the Farm
Worth a Click
Creature Feature
Great Home Buys
Country Roads
The Hike
Mountain Report
Festivals and Events
The Best of the Mountains 2013
25 Years of Covers: Your Favorites
Ghost Town in the Sky Rises from the Dead to Live Again
Blossoms and Buddies: The Photoessay
25 Gen X and Gen Y-ers Changing Our Mountains for the Better
Beer! A Tasting Tour of Notable Microbrews in the Mountains
Then & Now: A Photo Tour
Chefs of the Mountains, Part III
Cabin in the Woods
Flavors
Mountain Garden
The Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Table of Contents
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Digital Help Guide
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Letters
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - From the Editor
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - From the Farm
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Worth a Click
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Great Home Buys
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Festivals and Events
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - The Best of the Mountains 2013
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 25 Years of Covers: Your Favorites
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Ghost Town in the Sky Rises from the Dead to Live Again
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Blossoms and Buddies: The Photoessay
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 25 Gen X and Gen Y-ers Changing Our Mountains for the Better
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Beer! A Tasting Tour of Notable Microbrews in the Mountains
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 67
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 68
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 69
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 70
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 71
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Then & Now: A Photo Tour
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 73
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 74
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 75
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 76
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 77
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 78
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 79
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Chefs of the Mountains, Part III
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 81
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 82
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 83
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 84
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 85
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Cabin in the Woods
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 87
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 88
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 89
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Flavors
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 91
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Mountain Garden
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 93
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 94
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 95
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 96
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 97
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - DE1
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - DE2
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - DE3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - DE4
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - DE5
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - DE6
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - DE7
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - DE8
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - DE9
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - 99
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - The Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2013 - Cover4
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