High school football season begins tonight across Virginia and I’ll on on the sidelines shooting photos for The Floyd Press when FCHS takes on Carroll County.

Coming off a strong season where the team lost only one regular season game, the Buffaloes have a lot to live up to if they want to match last year but I’ll be there to watch as both an alumni and a photographer for the local paper.

The gig for the local paper has grown a bit since this time last fall when editor Wanda Combs asked if I could “shoot a few games.” Now I not only photograph high school sports, along with other assignments, but — as a reporter — cover the county government and circuit courts. As Yogi Berra once said, “this is like deja vu all over again” because I did much of the same thing for the same paper while attending high school here.

“This must be quite a comedown for you,” a friend remarked Thursday when we met for coffee at Cafe del Sol.


“After a career that took you around the world, photographing and writing about events that shaped the world, coming back to little old Floyd and shooting high school sports and writing aobut local issues must seem trivial.”

Not at all. Local issues affect people far more than what happens in Washington or far off places in remote parts of the world. Local journalism is far more connected to readers than what now passes as journalism in papers like The Washington Post or on television news shows that are really little more than plugs for that network’s entertainment division.

I’ve done my time and practiced my profession at the bidding of others. Now I do what I want, in my own time and at my own pace. I photograph high school sports because I want do, not because I have to, and I write about issues that affect Floyd County because they are issues that affect me as a county resident just as much as they do other readers of the local paper.

Comedown? Not one bit. I consider it a promotion, a step up both professionally and personally. Plus I’m having fun and doing what I love in my hometown. In the overall scheme of things, that’s all that really matters.