Oral History Interview: Tom Franko

Tom Franko and interviewer Zach Weddle
T-Franko Tom-03-29-2018-Weddle Zach-COMPLETE.pdf


March 29, 2018



Tom Franko, originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was educated in a Catholic all-male high school, and from there completed two years of college before engaging himself in various types of employment. Tom describes himself as a child of the sixties, becoming interested in ideas that were out of the mainstream, yoga and small communities. That interest, and the ideals of diversity, enticed his family to Blacksburg in 1976 to join an intentional community there.

Tom was soon drawn to the social fabric of Floyd County, which led to his becoming one of the founding members of the Zephyr Community in the late 1970s—a group of like-minded families purchasing land together. Tom describes the Food Cooperative, the Barter Faire, and seasonal celebrations such as the summer solstice, as well as the county’s low-key pace of life at that time.

The interview tobecontinued



Interview Location

Hotel Floyd, Floyd, Virginia

Interview Media

  • Audio files: 12 MP3 files, duration: 68:01
  • Video files:
  • Photos from day of interview: 36 files, JPEG
  • Scans: 22 files, JPEG
  • Transcript: 28 pages, PDF

Video Player

Brief excerpt from oral history interview with Tom Franko, conducted on March 29, 2018. The title of this excerpt is "Many to One."

Audio Player

A brief audio clip from an Oral History interview with Tom Franko conducted on March 29, 2018. In this excerpt he discusses the use of solar power at the Zephyr intentional community in Floyd County, Virginia.


Old Church Gallery


To access the complete interview, please contact the Old Church Gallery.



“Oral History Interview: Tom Franko,” Floyd Folklife Gallery and Archives, accessed January 20, 2021, https://floydvafolklife.org/items/show/19.

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