Reviewing Fred First’s book, Slow Road Home

It was Fred First and the lead up to his publishing of this, his first book, that started me on this journey with my “Mountain Dreams”. Way back when he first had it listed at Amazon I sat down at lunch one day and wrote the following review. I originally put it up at North Carolina Mountain Dreams, my everyday blog at that time….

Today for lunch I joined a friend I’ve never met. We walked along a creek with no name under hemlocks in a valley I’ve never seen. We passed a barn I’ve only envisioned in painted light upon my screen. The sun I couldn’t see glistened on grasses in the field to dry the dew I did not feel. I wasn’t there, and yet I was, visiting with Fred on Goose Creek in the mountains of Floyd County.

I’ll go there again tomorrow for lunch as I revisit a “Slow Road Home”. Won’t you come along? We’ll visit Ann’s Falls, we’ll sit a spell under the white pines, we’ll wave at the neighbors from the front porch. We’ll while away the time as we discuss the important issues of the day, the bumblebees at play, and the hawks upon the wing. We can discuss anything at all as we visit there on the creek with no name along that “Slow Road Home”.

A visit to Fred thru a “Slow Road Home” always slows the day, sets the pace to another time, and takes you to another place. The place you’ve longed for since childhood, a place that brings back the memories of grandparents and more. A time when the constant companion was a single word…Why? Walk a while and listen to another’s whys, you may discover the child you left a long time ago, far, far away. Where else can you feel free to laze in a summer rain, loll in an open field at night to watch the fireflies rise and stars fall, or chase spiders as they glide by? There is a maple on the cover that shelters a house that seems to have been there forever. The house is nestled up to the ridge like you shelter in the covers of a bed. How do I know this? I have seen this house thru the eyes of someone who loves it, and the tree, and the ridge and all it encompasses. You can see it too. Come walk the pages of Fred First’s “Slow Road Home”…You never know, we may meet along the road.
Join Me For A Visit… – North Carolina Mountain Dreams.

Of course, since I wrote those words, I have had the pleasure of walking beside the creek with no name with Fred and Ann. We sat upon the porch and watched the sun go down on the field that holds the most photographed barn in all of Floyd County. We shared coffee at the kitchen table there in the white house on the “Slow Road Home”.
Others have also found pleasure in the measured words that Fred has published…


  • “There is an old saying that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. In Fred First’s case, when he was ready to learn new lessons, he let Nature be his teacher.”
  • “What he discovered about himself and his connection to his new home in the Blue Ridge Mountains will strike a familiar chord in everyone who has reached the point in life where our goals leave us unfulfilled.”
  • “His weblog journal, Fragments from Floyd, becomes a tapestry of his days chronicling his angsts, his sometimes humorous efforts to overcome them, and his epiphanies.”
  • “Not all interesting journeys require a lot of mileage”



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