The Appalachian Center for the Arts, in partnership with the Appalachia Book Company and UK Extension – Pike County Fine Arts, is thrilled to introduce our new live storytelling and conversation series: Porch Talk at the App!
We all love kicking our feet up on the front porch, gathering around a roaring fire, or circling a kitchen table to talk with our friends. Porch Talk is your chance to share those stories with your community, and we know you have some good ones! Come share your stories solo or in conversation with your friends. We want to hear the generational (tall) tales you’ve collected, the monumental moments from your life, or remembrances of the people who have mattered most.
Porch Talk workshops will help you craft your personal stories into stage-worthy monologues with the help of professional editors, actors, and public speakers. These low-pressure workshops will culminate in a staged storytelling showcase and possible publication!
Storytelling Workshop Series @ Pike Co. Extension
January 23rd & 30th @ 6:30
February 6th & 13th @ 6:30
Porch Talk Story Showcase @ The App
To pre-register for workshops contact UK Extension – Pike County Fine Arts through FB message, at (606) 432-2534, or at email@example.com.
After a long day of clearing brush and cleaning gravestones, Ron McCoy takes a moment to stand before the towering statue of Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield, which sits atop the famous feudist’s resting place. This interesting and deeply moving moment was captured without, at the time, Ron’s knowledge. What ran through Ron’s head as he stood there is anyone’s guess, however, such a compelling moment had an undeniable impact on me, so I snapped the photo.
Ron, along with descendant Bob Scott (Hatfield), had been spending the week in their ancestral home of Pikeville-Pike County, Kentucky assisting Pike County Tourism CVB staff and volunteers in cleaning and preparing the gravesites of the feudists for tourist season. Thousands of feud descendants, as well as history buffs from all over the world visit Pikeville-Pike County each year to tour the sites of the world’s most famous feud, and to these descendants, the gravesites’ condition are of utmost importance. To see the descendants of these famous feudists cleaning the gravestones of their family’s ancestral enemy is a powerful image of forgiveness, and truly shows the humble heart these people have developed despite a legacy of hatred and bloodshed.
Ron, along with descendant Bob Scott (Hatfield), had been spending the week in their ancestral home of Pikeville-Pike County, Kentucky assisting Pike County Tourism CVB staff in cleaning and preparing the gravesites of the feudists for tourist season. Thousands of feud descendants, as well as history buffs from all over the world visit Pikeville-Pike County each year to tour the sites of the world’s most famous feud, and to these descendants, the gravesites’ condition is of utmost importance.
As marketing director of Pike County Tourism CVB, I have, for years, sought to not only promote the Pike County Hatfield & McCoy Feud Sites as a historic destination, but also to tell the story of the feud from interesting and unique points of view. I find the perspective of the direct descendants to be particularly interesting, as their relationship with the history is so intriguing. Given that there are great many Hatfield and McCoy descendants around today, with a great variety of perspectives on feud history, we tend to reach out to the descendants that were involved in signing the Peace Treaty when creating our content, namely Ron McCoy, Bo McCoy and Reo Hatfield. William Keith Hatfield and Jack Hatfield, who are William Anderson “Devil Anse” Hatfield’s descendants, are also two resources that we commonly reach out to, as they have worked over the years to create and enhance our Hatfield McCoy events, namely Hatfield McCoy Heritage Days which takes place each year in September in Pikeville/Pike County, Kentucky.
The Hatfield – McCoy Feud: From Retribution to Reconciliation
Recently, we called upon some of these descendants to assist us in creating a video detailing their story as it relates to the Hatfield and McCoy Feud; to tell the story of how the two families went from retribution to reconciliation. The following video was filmed in the Preacher Anse Hatfield Hog Trial Cabin, and features descendants Ron McCoy, Reo Hatfield and William Keith Hatfield.
Just a reminder for you history buffs, Preservation Kentucky Tour120 is coming this weekend, Saturday May 18th and Sunday May 19th, to Pikeville-Pike County, Kentucky!
The following is available this weekend:
Saturday 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. – Historic tour of the Big Sandy Heritage Museum, Pike County Historic Courthouse and Pikeville City with Reed Potter. Meet at the Doughboy beside the Pike County Historic Courthouse, 146 Main Street, Pikeville KY. $10.00 per person (donation for Big Sandy Heritage Center). Reed Potter contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. – Tour of the Hatfield McCoy Hog Trial Site with Patti Whitt (Blackberry, KY). Patti Whitt contact: email@example.com
Saturday 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. – The McCoy Well Site will be available, featuring the Randolph McCoy statue. (Hardy, KY).
Saturday 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. – Matewan Heritage Days will be going on in Matewan, WV. Featuring reenactments. Kim McCoy contact: (606) 371-0938
Sunday 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. – The Big Sandy Heritage Museum will be open for special hours, featuring Hatfield & McCoy artifacts.
For full details on Tour120, visit the Preservation Kentucky website here.
When one thinks of the Hatfields and the McCoys, they no doubt think of a bloody grudge, unrelenting violence, unforgiveness and vengeance. After all, the Hatfield and McCoy feud is perhaps the world’s most infamous feud, and is a pop culture staple that is found in everything from movies, to television shows, artwork, as well as a huge assortment of books. The Hatfield and McCoy feud is so ingrained in American culture that one name is rarely said without the other, with the figure of speech “feuding like the Hatfields and McCoys” being used across the nation, and in many parts of the world.
With all of the sensationalism found within feud lore; the gunfights, the forbidden Hatfield-McCoy love affair, law men and outlaws, and everything in between, it is no wonder that this story has garnered the attention of so many, and has had the lasting appeal that it has. With all of this considered, it is easy to lose sight of the greatest feud story told, a story of forgiveness.
Since the signing of the peace treaty in Pikeville back in 2003, Hatfield and McCoy descendants have gone to great lengths to use the infamy of the feud to bring a new message to the world, a message of conflict resolution and forgiveness. In fact, this message of forgiveness was recognized by the John Templeton Foundation as being one of “Ten Great Moments in Forgiveness History”, alongside notable acts such as Holocaust survivor Corrie Boom shaking the hand of a guard that held her captive in a prison camp, Pope John Paul II forgiving his would-be assassin Mehmet Ali Agca, and Jesus Christ forgiving roman guards as they were in the process of executing him on the cross.
While the Hatfield & McCoy descendants may disagree on some of the details of the feud, they are passionate about bringing their message of reconciliation to the world. Each year, at Hatfield McCoy Heritage Days in Pikeville, Kentucky, Hatfield and McCoy descendants travel to Pikeville to take part in a variety of events, from a pig roast at the Pikeville Farmer’s Market, to a Hatfield McCoy theatre production, storytelling events and more. Hatfield & McCoy Heritage Days culminates in a special service at the McCoy Well in Hardy, Kentucky, the site where the Hatfields attacked and burned down the McCoy cabin on New Years Eve, 1888. This attack resulted in the death of two of Randolph McCoy’s children, a daughter and a son, as well as leaving his wife permanently injured. This special service focuses on memorializing the past, and reiterating the message of peace and forgiveness.
So, when telling the story of the Hatfields and the McCoys, remember, the story does not end in the execution of Ellison “Cottontop” Mounts, nor does it end with a climactic battle. The story of the feuding Hatfields and McCoys ends with a treaty, a handshake, and a newly forged kinship between both families. Where one story of vengeance and unforgiveness ends, a new story of forgiveness and brotherhood begins. Hatfield McCoy Heritage Days will be held in Pikeville, KY September 21 – September 23, 2018.
Family and friends can have a lasting tribute to a coal miner who was important to them by purchasing a black granite paver that will be part of the Pike County Coal Miner Memorial to be built in Downtown Pikeville. Any coal miner is eligible by completing the form below and making a donation of $150.00 to the Pike County Miner Memorial Fund, Inc.