Doug Thompson hit a cow while riding his Harley Super Glide (which he rode a lot) on U.S. 221 in Roanoke County night the night of Nov. 10. He was on his way home from a Floyd County High football game. Details of the accident are here.
On Friday (Nov. 17) he was in critical serious but stable As of Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 27), Doug was listed in good condition at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, and he needs all the thoughts and prayers he can get.
Various news accounts have described Thompson, 64, as the blogger behind Blue Ridge Muse and a former reporter for The Roanoke Times. All that’s true but there’s a lot more to him than that.
Doug worked at the paper for awhile back in the late 1960s and/or early 1970s, and then he landed a job as a reporter in Illinois. Eventually he found himself working on Capitol Hill, first as a congressman’s press secretary and later as a chief of staff. Here’s his bio.
But he ended up as a lobbyist, working for the National Association of Realtors. He also founded Capitol Hill Blue, which bills itself as the oldest political site on the Internet. That went online in 1994, in the infancy of the World Wide Web, and it’s still around. He’s still listed as their editor and publisher.
To make a long story short, Doug burned out up in Washington, D.C. and in 2004 he and his wife returned to Floyd, where he’d moved to at age 14. There, he established a photography business, and Blue Ridge Muse, and he covered sports and other stuff for the weekly newspaper up there, and he managed Capitol Hill Blue from there, too.
He has a great sense of humor and he’s a controversial figure in Floyd County — which he knew better about than just about anybody. When I was a metro editor, if there was a newbie reporter who was working on a story up there, I’d tell him or her, “The first thing you need to do is call up Doug and offer to buy him lunch. Because he’ll regale you with facts and history and point you to good sources” for whatever story they were working on.
A couple of years ago I went up to Floyd where Doug and I had lunch at Oddfellas Cantina. He seemed delighted to learn The Roanoke Times would pay for it, and he proceeded to order a large steak, the most expensive item on the menu. Ha!
Let’s hope he recovers soon.