Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 74

GUEST COLUMN

HOME AGAIN

Floyd, Virginia, and its Sense of Community
Will Griffin has served as the mayor of the small town of Floyd, Virginia, for 10 years. During that time Floyd
has received national recognition from USA Today and Southern Living magazine as one of the best small towns
in the South. Will and his wife, Misty, are the proud parents of twins, Reed & Addie. The Clemson Tigers, golf
and bourbon are the three things that excite him outside of his family and community.
By WILL GRIFFIN

A

s an 18-year-old in
making a bad decision to see who
1986, I could not wait
was going to witness this who
to leave my small
also knew and would likely tell
hometown of one stopyour parents.
light. Leaving Floyd
Floyd has been the best decithat fall was easy. And
sion our family has made. Cathe thought of ever
reer-wise, Charlotte obviously
returning home again permaoffered far more. However, the
nently never crossed my mind.
quality of life has exceeded our
I attended college at Clemson
wildest expectations. I am in my
University at the foot of the
10th year serving as the mayor of
Blue Ridge Mountains in South
our ½-square-mile, populationCarolina and somehow finished
of-450 town.
with a degree in accounting. AfFloyd has changed so much
Will Griffin, second from left, with his mother,
ter graduation, job opportunities Gayle Griffin, son Reed, wife Misty and daughter
since 1986 but at the same time,
took me to Charlotte. Once my Addie.
it has not changed much at all.
wife, a true Floyd native, and I
It is still a largely agriculturally
had twins, we began thinking of returning home to raise based community but gone are the garment factories that
our family. Floyd remained home to my parents and my contributed so greatly to our job base. Floyd is full of artiin-laws so the benefit of being close to family was there. sans, musicians and do-it-yourself entrepreneurs. The reSomething I did not realize until parenthood was the surgence of old time and bluegrass music, combined with
strength of community in Floyd. What was an aggrava- the creation of the Crooked Road and our accessibility
tion as a youth was a blessing as a parent. Given Floyd's to the Blue Ridge Parkway has solidified our position as
size, it was not unusual to look over your shoulder before a music destination. That has intensified in recent years
with the growing success of Floydfest.
The history of our long-standing businesses such
as The Floyd Country Store and Farmers Supply blend
nicely with the innovation of more recent homegrown
businesses such as Red Rooster Coffee Roaster and The
Harvest Moon. Floyd continues to attract and maintain
a very broad and loyal visitor base. We have created a
vibrant tourist economy without giving up who we are.
While many small towns have withered up and died on
the vine, Floyd continues to thrive. We have been so fortunate that the people envisioning our future have never
lost sight of our past and do not compromise when trying
to preserve our history.

Something I did not realize until
parenthood was the strength of
community in Floyd.

74

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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019

Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 12
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 15
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 18
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 21
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 29
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 37
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 40
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - 42
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Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2019 - Cover4
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