Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – The Man Who Lives On My Porch

My life in appalachia - The Man Who Lives On My Porch
This somber looking man lives on my front porch. He steadfastly gazes at all who enter at the door. Sounds pretty impressive uh? Actually, my door watching man has led a very interesting life.

Several years ago, one of Miss Cindy’s closest friends made my man. Right from the start he found out life was full of ups, downs, and surprises. Robin, his creator, hung him in the woods near his house to see how he held up in the weather.

It’s easy to see why it happened. I mean who wouldn’t look into those eyes and decided they needed him. They wanted him. Heck they just had to have him. Someone stole my door watching man.

Who knows what sights he seen while they had him-who knows if he was treated like a door watching man should be.

Never to be deterred Robin made a new man and hung him in the woods to see how he weathered. Wouldn’t you know it whoever took my man decided they liked the 2nd man better. They brought back my door watching man and took the new guy on the block.

It was sometime later I acquired my door watching man and to be honest I wouldn’t take no amount of money for him. But when I think of all he’s seen take place on my front porch-well I would pay him to tell me his opinion-if he only could.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    Robin Gregg
    November 30, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Wow, you have had several comments on this old man, I would like to clarify some of the questions about him. He is made from a stoneware clay, some are made from an earthenware clay. All are individual pieces but they resemble like a family. Your man has the leaves and flowers of the Sourwood tree, I have used several types of leaves from Ivy to Holly, Maple and Chestnutoak. Some of your man’s relatives live in California, and he even has relatives in England. And one watches over the door to my smokehouse. I am very glad you like him.

  • Reply
    November 17, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    He’s gorgeous! Reminds me of the Celt’s Green Man. Too funny that someone stole him, then returned him! I’m sure he could tell us some interesting stories about his ‘travels’!

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    November 16, 2011 at 12:23 am

    We have several of Mitchell’s carvings (well, a lot!) hangin’ out in the house, the barn, the porch, the yard…some days it’s so crazy around here, I don’t even want to know what they’d think-LOL!

  • Reply
    November 15, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Love this story. Interesting how the man that was with you longest came back. Just sad people steal like that.

  • Reply
    Wendi Gregg
    November 15, 2011 at 8:41 am

    I’m blessed to be Mrs. Robin…and Cindy is entirely right – our home is randomly touched by his talent…two things took me by surprise here- one/he has little sculptures out and about on the property so when you least expect it, a face will be looking at you! two/he actually did a face, lifesize, of his father and hung it on the smokehouse door…I looked out of the house one day and seeing it from an angle, thought that Robin was peeking out! All of your comments have been interesting to read and I “appreciate your appreciation” of his God given talent…Thank you, Tipper, for posting this…Blessings!

  • Reply
    November 15, 2011 at 7:51 am

    Great story and he’s a Dandy for sure!

  • Reply
    November 15, 2011 at 1:10 am

    What a funny life your man has led! Can’t help but wonder what he saw, I bet he loves your family!

  • Reply
    SandyCarlson (USA)
    November 14, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    His eyes seem to be taking everything into account!

  • Reply
    November 14, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    I love stories like this. Who knows, maybe your first Door Watching Man went on a little Walk-About, a world tour, and returned once he tired of the travel. ;o)
    God bless.

  • Reply
    susie swanson
    November 14, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    Now that takes the cake, very interesting..funny how that turned out. If he could only talk..Take care, Susie

  • Reply
    November 14, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Mike-he is made of clay-Robin is a potter : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    lynn legge
    November 14, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    tipper that is such an interesting story… lol that the person errrr theif … errr somebody who decided they needed to take your man.. came back to see another one and put the first one back. lol that is one strange tale. but i tell you.. that youre lucky to have that guy watching over your door… very creative and talented people out there… and lucky you.. that your friend wasnt deterred.. and went ahead and tried it again..
    thank you so much for your stories.. i get to be part of them.. here in my little corner of the world..
    hugs and ladybug hugs

  • Reply
    November 14, 2011 at 11:43 am

    Very interesting story… I have never heard of a door watching man. Like some of the other reader comments, I wonder about the origin of this tradition… For some reason, your post today reminds me of a book that I read, “Walking to Gatlinburg: A Novel” by Howard Frank Mosher, I think because the story involved a journey through the Appalachians looking for specially marked signs, which were usually on houses… Obviously your door watching man is not the same, but if you ever get the chance to read it, it is a wonderful book.

  • Reply
    Janet Smart
    November 14, 2011 at 11:19 am

    What a neat story and door watching man. But, I think if I came up on your porch at night he would startle me. If only he could speak, what tales he would tell.

  • Reply
    November 14, 2011 at 10:45 am

    What a wonderful piece of art! It’s the first time I’ve heard of a door-watching man! That’s some mystery you have going on there.

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    November 14, 2011 at 10:15 am

    That is so neat! I’ve never seen anything like it! Do you have any idea where they come from?

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    November 14, 2011 at 10:09 am

    p.s. I love Tim O’Brien – thanks for adding him to music 🙂

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    November 14, 2011 at 10:08 am

    I like that man! He watches over you and keeps his own counsel.

  • Reply
    November 14, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Everyone should have a door watching man!
    As for the person who stole him, brought him back and stole his friend – wow! How can they look into those eyes and not feel guilty. He’s watching them…

  • Reply
    November 14, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Our friends have a gate watching man. He peaked out of a tree once and so someone helped him stick his face out even more, now he’s there all the time, watchin’

  • Reply
    November 14, 2011 at 8:58 am

    Seems like you have a mystery on your hands. Humm! I just wonder where that man has been; perhaps, he can tell you in some way, especially by looking into his eyes. He reminds of something I have seen in my life.

  • Reply
    Debby Brown
    November 14, 2011 at 8:46 am

    wow.. he sorta looks like a modern variation on the Green Man. I dont know if you are familar with him or not but hes been around since before Medieval times. He represents “rebirth” and often one thinks of the spring because of everything coming back to life and all. But nowadays alot of people use him for the forest or nature. I doubt that’s what your artist friend was thinking, but that’s what he reminds me of. Lovely work anyway!

  • Reply
    November 14, 2011 at 8:31 am

    How funny that they brought him back in exchange for the new man!

  • Reply
    November 14, 2011 at 8:29 am

    when the I saw the title of your post, i thought WHAT? then i found this very interesting story. he is really neat and I enjoyed the story.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    November 14, 2011 at 8:22 am

    Now that is an interesting story. One could probably write a book about what the two “door-watching men” have seen. Course your imagination would have to used a bit.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    November 14, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I really enjoy this type of folk art. But, it wasn’t me! LOL

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 14, 2011 at 8:05 am

    Tipper, that is the wildest story. The thief returned the old man and took the new one. LOL!
    Robin and I have been friends for many years. I don’t see him as often because our lives have gone in different directions but I still count among my few close friends.
    If you wander through my house you will see several clay pieces that he made. They include a sun/moon wall hanging, a green-man wall hanging and three miniature heads. I also have a few pieces made by his sculpting mentor. If you wander through his house (a wonderful reclaimed/remodeled very old cabin) you will see several pictures that I framed and one very large framed tapestry that the Deer Hunter and I created to hold this family crest.
    It is one of life’s gifts to have old friends.
    Every time I come to your house I see the man that Robin made and I think fondly of my friend!

  • Reply
    November 14, 2011 at 7:58 am

    Silence is golden.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    November 14, 2011 at 7:57 am

    I like your door-watching man, Tipper, but I am trying to figure out the material he is made from. Wood or pottery, or something else?

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    November 14, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Do you think that Cindys artist friend borrowed your door watching man to go by and make another door watching man so she could get a second one like the first door watching man and when she brought you the new one she had second thoughts and another person saw the second one and wanted it so she came and borrowed the second door watching man to give them and replaced your door watching man since she knew all the time that you loved the first door watching man and missed it more even though the second door watching man was very nice you had just adopted the first door watching man to your porch and the second wasn’t quite the same as the first but of course if you went where he hung on the tree in the woods you would and could find out if the Wampus Cat was taking alikin’ to them and I would nail down my door watching man if I were you!!!
    Whew…I think this is what is called a run on sentence…but I could’nt stop for thinking of the door watching man!
    Thanks Tipper,

  • Reply
    Karen Larsen
    November 14, 2011 at 7:38 am

    I love your Door Watching Man, too! He looks like the Green Man…. and you’re right– who knows what he’s seen? I’m glad someone brought him back to you.

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